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March 12, 2020, Message to Campus From ESU President

Communication from President Allison Garrett

March 12, 2020

Dear ESU community,

As we have all watched the situation with COVID-19 (coronavirus) evolve over the past few days, steps for the immediate future have been determined. These plans are designed to help our students, faculty and staff practice social distancing, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines as “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.”

This is our plan:

  • Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 20 — all Emporia State University face-to-face classes are cancelled. This includes face-to-face classes taught at locations other than ESU’s main campus.
  • Beginning Monday, March 23 and continuing until further notice, all ESU face-to-face classes will be offered through remote access rather than in classrooms.
  • Faculty will receive additional information about the resources and support available to assist them in moving their face-to-face classes to remote delivery.
  • There is no change to ESU online classes; they will continue as scheduled.
  • All campus events and programming are cancelled until April 10, with monitoring to determine whether this date will be extended. This includes events scheduled by off-campus groups using university venues.
  • With respect to internal campus meetings, social distancing practices will be used with gatherings limited to no more than six or eight individuals. Even with small groups, consider having telephone or virtual meetings. Watch for information about best practices for social distancing.
  • In addition, all ESU Athletics events — track and field, baseball, softball, tennis — will be held without spectators.
  • We strongly encourage students who live in the residence halls, sororities or fraternities to travel home or stay at home next week. For students who cannot go home, the residence halls and related services remain open. Residential Life will reach out to hall residents about housing options that will be available beginning Saturday, March 21.

For faculty and staff, the campus remains open and business continues as usual, except for the change of class delivery and recommendations about internal campus meetings. We will be providing more information soon about our working environment.

The COVID-19 situation continues to evolve. Our Emergency Policy Group, with input from the Critical Incident Planning Group, Student Wellness and Emergency Management, will continue to meet daily to study the situation and discuss any additional actions.

Our primary communication to you will be through email, so please check your account regularly. We will provide one week’s notice before we transition back to face-to-face classes.

You can find all of our communication plus frequently asked questions and other information about COVID-19 online. (

This website will be updated as information changes.

I understand that all of us face challenges during this time as we are asked to be creative and flexible to continue offering courses and learning. I appreciate everyone’s patience, cooperation and compassion as we move forward.


Allison D. Garrett