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The Auburn University Board of Trustees received an update Thursday on the status of students, instruction and employees relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Jay Gogue said the university has been operating under three principles: focusing on the health and safety of students and employees, continuing the mission of the university for as long as possible and fostering shared governance. With the university transitioning to remote instruction on March 16, Gogue said only about 80 students have remained on campus, most of which are international students.

Bobby Woodard, senior vice president for Student Affairs, said the university has continued to provide mental health and other resources to students during this time. The Office of the Provost and the Auburn University Bookstore were instrumental in helping students acquire Wi-Fi hotspots and other technology in order to receive remote instruction.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Bill Hardgrave commended faculty for making the transition to remote instruction so quickly. He said Auburn was one of only a handful of institutions across the country that didn’t have to take a week or two off in order to make the switch to remote instruction. More than 5,000 Auburn classes are now delivered remotely and are being taught by more than 2,000 faculty, the majority of which have never taught remotely before. Hardgrave said remote instruction will likely continue through the summer.

With May commencement ceremonies postponed, he said they plan to combine them with summer commencement ceremonies, scheduled for Aug. 8-9.

Lt. Gen. Ron Burgess, Auburn’s executive vice president, commended the university’s employees for their efforts, saying they “have stepped up their game during this time, doing as well as any work force I’ve ever been associated with.”

Wayne Smith, president pro tempore of the board, echoed Burgess’s statement, saying “We couldn’t be more proud of all of you.” Gogue emphasized that all employees—regardless of employment type—will be paid through the end of the semester. The special board meeting was held over the phone for informational purposes only. Since the board oversees Auburn University at Montgomery, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Gogue said the board will hear from representatives from each during the next meeting, which is set for 9 a.m. on April 3.