Arkansas Tech University will continue its current policy of virtual instruction for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester and postpone its spring 2020 commencement ceremonies, which were scheduled for May 7-9.
"These decisions were not made lightly," said Dr. Robin E. Bowen, ATU president. "They were made following a thorough review of information from the Arkansas Department of Health, data and guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and input from the ATU COVID-19 task force. We will only have four-and-a-half weeks of instruction remaining in the spring 2020 semester after spring break. The momentum of the situation indicates we will still be grappling with the pandemic as a community, a state and a nation for the entirety of that period. We must put a priority on our civic responsibility to limit the spread of the virus. Contributing to social distancing by suspending in-person classes for the remainder of the semester and postponing our commencement ceremonies are two ways we can fulfill that responsibility."
Bowen said that ATU hopes to recognize its spring 2020 graduates from its Russellville and Ozark campuses during the summer 2020 commencement period, which is planned at the end of the week of Aug. 3. The university will continue to consider that possibility as the context of the pandemic evolves.
ATU staff members, with the exception of essential personnel, on all campuses should plan on their continued work from home until further notice. Any staff members with an urgent need to work on campus must have approval from their respective vice presidents.
Residence halls and dining services remain open on the ATU campus in Russellville for students who need them. Special circumstances for remaining on campus beyond April 3 include personal safety, access to internet, no other available housing, academic distress or other legitimate reasons.
Personnel from the ATU Department of Residence Life are working with residents on a case-by-case basis and attempting to find solutions that will allow them to return home during spring break so that deep cleanings of shared spaces in the residence halls may proceed without interruption.
Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center will observe its spring break schedule. The facility will be closed Saturday, March 21, and Sunday, March 22. The library will be open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, March 23, through Friday, March 27. The facility will be closed Saturday, March 28, and will re-open from 1-9 p.m. Sunday, March 29.
Library hours beginning Monday, March 30, will be 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 1-9 p.m. Sundays.
At ATU-Ozark Campus, all buildings except for the Technology and Administrative Support building and the Health Sciences building are closed. Those two facilities will be open weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. until further notice.
"Details and guidance about the COVID-19 pandemic are changing frequently," said Bowen. "We will continue to evaluate this situation on a day-by-day and hour-by-hour basis. We will continue to make decisions that are in the best interest of our students and are consistent with our role as a public institution serving the greater good. We appreciate the understanding and cooperation of our university community as we work together to combat this threat to our collective health and well-being."
Click on the links below for additional information:
www.atu.edu/hwc/coronavirus.php (Russellville Campus)
www.atu.edu/ozark/atuozarkcovid19faqs.php (Ozark Campus)