Update from President Gogue
Update from President Gogue about spring semester and COVID-19
Dear Auburn Family,
Together, as a nation and as members of the Auburn Family, we are facing a time of considerable uncertainty. The coronavirus pandemic continues to bring rapid changes to the way we live and interact with others. The unprecedented interruptions and immediate impact of this pandemic occur at a critical time for our campus as we traditionally prepare for final exams and celebrate the academic and personal accomplishments of our students as a lead up to spring commencement.
The decision to transition all instruction to remote delivery was made to uphold the safety for all and support our students as they continue their academic journey. With this in mind, we have made the decision that Auburn will not resume on-campus classes but will continue to deliver instruction remotely through the remainder of the spring semester. By reducing the number of individuals on campus, Auburn continues to promote as much social distancing as possible to help slow the spread of the virus. The university is working on a plan to provide prorated refunds for on-campus housing and dining plans. Those students who need to retrieve belongings from campus residence halls will be contacted by University Housing. No students should return to campus until they receive additional information.
Of course, the decision to suspend on-campus activities, coupled with the restrictions on event sizes announced by state and federal officials, has resulted in the university’s decision to postpone our May commencement ceremonies. This was a very difficult decision made with careful thought and input from faculty, staff, and, most importantly, our students. Spring graduates will receive additional information about alternate commencement plans in the coming days. Degrees will be conferred to students who meet graduation eligibility and will be mailed as usual. Graduation is one of the most important events in the lives of our students, and I look forward to celebrating their accomplishments at a future date.
Understanding the need for flexibility, particularly with our academic policies, the Provost has authorized several changes to support students during this time. These include extending the withdrawal date for students to April 24, allowing more flexible use of Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (also known as Pass/Fail) grading, and providing faculty who choose to administer final exams with appropriate online proctoring resources. Students should consult their academic advisors to understand the potential impacts of these changes on their academic progression.
Many members of our campus community have asked about the university’s plans for summer. Final decisions regarding summer classes, programs and events will be made and communicated soon.
I encourage you to subscribe to email updates on the university’s COVID-19 information page and by following university social media accounts.
The response of our campus community this week has been remarkable. Our students and faculty are embracing new approaches to teaching and learning while our staff is adjusting to a new form of work-life. One of the most extraordinary characteristics of the Auburn Family is our solidarity in times of crisis and need. I am confident we will emerge from these trying times even stronger.