This page contains archived communications regarding Oregon Tech's response to the COVID-19 outbreak. For the latest communications and updates, please return to the Coronavirus page.

<p>Oregon Tech is prepared to continue with on-campus in-person classes on Monday, January 3<sup>rd</sup>, 2022. To have the smoothest possible start to the winter term, please note:</p>

<ul type="disc">
    <li>Per CDC guidelines, it is strongly recommended that each vaccinated person receive their&nbsp;<b>COVID booster shot</b>&nbsp;before returning to campus.</li>
    <li><b>Masks must be worn</b>&nbsp;indoors on campus, as has been our practice in the past. A surgical mask is strongly recommended, with a KN95 or N95 mask preferred.&nbsp;<b>Physical distancing</b>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<b>frequent hand washing</b>&nbsp;are also recommended.</li>
    <li><b>Weekly testing for unvaccinated persons</b>&nbsp;will resume, and an announcement to that effect is forthcoming to those required to test.</li>
    <li>We are monitoring the Omicron variant and the overall Covid impact on health and will provide additional information as prudent and needed. At this time, each of us must do our part to try and minimize the effects of the pandemic on our campus and community.</li>
</ul>

<p>As a reminder, if you are experiencing COVID symptoms, please follow the campus protocol to stay home.&nbsp;<b>Contact Student Health at&nbsp;</b><a data-auth="NotApplicable" data-linkindex="1" data-ogsc="" href="tel:5418851800" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"><b>541-885-1800</b></a><b>&nbsp;or your health care provider if you feel ill.</b>&nbsp;Information on the Oregon Tech COVID response can be found at&nbsp;<a data-auth="NotApplicable" data-linkindex="2" data-ogsc="" href="https://www.oit.edu/coronavirus" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.oit.edu/coronavirus</a>.</p>
 

<p>Oregon Tech Staff Member,</p>

<p>As announced yesterday, weekly COVID testing will begin next week. You are receiving this email to inform you of the COVID Testing Requirement details. Please read the attached <a href="https://www.oit.edu/sites/default/files/2021/documents/COVID%20Testing%20Req%2010-4.pdf" title="Oregon Tech COVID Testing Requirement ">COVID Testing Requirement pdf</a> and the instructions for how to collect and label your sample. You will need to create an account with the lab and then submit the unique test kit barcode each week so you can get your results once processed (<a href="https://www.oit.edu/sites/default/files/2021/documents/Instructions%20Wkly%20Covid%20Testing_0.pdf" title="Weekly Covid Testing Instructions">see instruction sheet</a>). Student Health will directly contact anyone that tested positive.</p>

<p>If you are located in KF, you may pick up a test kit starting today in the Student Affairs Office (CU 217). PM staff can get the kit from the Student Services desk on the 1<sup>st</sup> floor. The first test is to be returned next week by Tuesday (10/12) at noon to the location that you picked up the kit. When you drop off the kit each week, you can pick up the kit for the next week’s test.</p>

<p>If you are in the process of getting the vaccine, you need to test weekly until you are fully vaccinated which is <b>two weeks after</b> the one dose Johnson &amp; Johnson or the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna.</p>

<p>Thank you for following the instructions.</p>

<p>Erin M. Foley, Ph.D.<br />
Vice President &amp; Dean of Students</p>
 

<p>Dear Oregon Tech Community,</p>

<p>The academic year has begun, and it is refreshing to see so many of you back on campus and in person. I want to personally say <strong>“Thank you”</strong> to all who have worked so diligently and selflessly to make our return to in-person learning a reality.</p>

<p>As the new academic year gets underway, Oregon Tech is supplementing our COVID-19 prevention measures to include a COVID Testing Requirement to further protect the campus community, especially given the surges we are experiencing with the Delta variant. <strong>This COVID Testing Requirement applies to all unvaccinated students and employees, including those who are partially vaccinated or submitted an exemption, and <u>requires</u> a weekly COVID test.</strong> This COVID testing requirement is comparable to those found at other Universities and Colleges in Oregon.</p>

<p><strong>Beginning the week of October 11, 2021</strong>, all students and employees who are not fully vaccinated will be required to undergo weekly COVID testing at the Klamath Falls and Portland-Metro campuses. <strong>The test is provided to you free of cost.</strong> Students in Online programs and only enrolled in online courses are exempt. The Integrated Student Health Center (ISHC) will be monitoring test results for all testers throughout the Testing Requirement program. Results will remain confidential as no one other than ISHC staff and the participants themselves will have access to the results.</p>

<p><strong>Additional information will be forthcoming soon from our COVID response team.</strong> This team has individually and collectively performed superbly under less than ideal conditions, but they cannot accomplish the goal of a safe and healthy community alone. We must each continue to do our part to support one another, and it is that commitment to our fellow Owls that makes Oregon Tech so unique and special.</p>

<p>Sincerely,</p>

<p>Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow<br />
President</p>
 

<p>Oregon Tech Community,</p>

<p>As much as we would like COVID to be completely over, it continues with another surge. &nbsp;Oregon had a 53% increase in the number of cases this week over the previous week, with case rates higher in counties with lower vaccination rates. &nbsp;Klamath County’s vaccination rate currently is 47.9%, with Clackamas and Marion at 68.1% and 63.5%, respectively. The number of people hospitalized due to COVID also increased this week (an increase of 18.7%).</p>

<p>The CDC and OHA have provided new guidance this week that recommends face coverings for people in public, indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status. &nbsp;<strong>Oregon Tech will return to the face covering requirement for anyone on campus when indoors (except when working alone in a private office) beginning Monday, August 2.</strong></p>

<p>If you have already complied with the Vaccine Requirement, thank you. If you have not, please submit documentation soon as the September 1 deadline is quickly approaching. Thanks.</p>

<p>Stay well,<br />
Erin<br />
Vice President &amp; Dean of Students</p>
 

Oregon Tech Faculty and Staff,

As you know President Naganathan announced on June 2, 2021 that Oregon Tech students, faculty and staff are required to meet the COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement. This email provides information about the Vaccination Requirement and how to comply with the requirement, by either receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and providing documentation (called Attestation) or completing the Declination (exemption) process.

The Attestation process and Medical Exemption are now ready for you to submit the documentation by following the steps below. The Declination process for a Non-Medical Exemption, however, is not quite ready so please watch your email and check the website for the details of this process.

How to Comply with the Oregon Tech COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement
The requirement deadline for compliance is September 1, 2021. You have three options from which to choose in order to comply with the requirement:

  1. Complete the full series of the COVID-19 vaccine – There are currently 3 vaccines being administered in the United States (Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson). Employees who have been vaccinated internationally, please reach out to OHR for assistance. You are expected to be fully vaccinated by the deadline, meaning you need to plan on having your final dose at least two weeks prior to September 1.
  2. Claim a Medical Exemption – If, during a conversation with your medical provider, they advise you against taking the vaccine for medical reasons you can have them complete the COVID-19 Medical Exemption Form excusing you from doing so.
  3. Claim a Non-Medical Exemption – If you have a personal reason or religious, philosophical, or other deeply held belief that prohibits you from being vaccinated, you can decline by claiming a Non-Medical Exemption. In order to do so, you are required to watch an Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Tech sanctioned COVID-19 vaccine video which provides educational information about the vaccine, as well as reviewing common myths, benefits, and risks of immunization. After viewing the video (once available in the next week or so), you will complete the COVID-19 Non-Medical Exemption Form.

No matter which option you choose, you will need to submit an attestation or exemption form electronically to the Office of Human Resources:

  1. Attestation – click here to complete the form
  2. Exemption – complete the COVID Vaccine Medical Exemption form and send electronically to OITHR@oit.edu; the Non-Medical Exemption process requires viewing a video which will be available approximately July 9 (watch the vaccine website)

Although the COVID pandemic is improving, it is still very likely that COVID will be with us fall term and possibly the rest of the academic year, as variants spread. If the Oregon Tech community (students, faculty and staff) get vaccinated, it will allow campus operations and activities to resume in a more typical manner. COVID exposure and spread are also likely to continue. It is important to remind you that if you are exposed to someone with COVID, you would not have to quarantine if you are fully vaccinated. This would also mean you can continue to report to work. If you are unvaccinated and exposed to COVID-19, you may be required to quarantine.

The requirement for face coverings also changed last week. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated are required to wear a face covering inside campus buildings. Any individuals may also choose to continue to wear a face covering at Oregon Tech, even if fully vaccinated.

If you have not already received the vaccine and want to get it, please go to the Get Vaccinated Oregon tool to find a vaccination provider.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the Vaccine Requirement itself.

Stay well,

Erin M. Foley, Ph.D.
Vice President & Dean of Students

Dear Oregon Tech Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Thank you for your individual and combined efforts these past 16 months as we navigated the challenges of the COVID pandemic. Although the pandemic is not over, the time for restrictions to be modified has arrived. Based on the most recent Centers for Disease Control Guidance (CDC) and in accordance with Governor Brown’s June 25, 2021, announcement lifting all remaining COVID-19 restrictions issued under emergency statutes, with limited exceptions, Oregon Tech will modify requirements as noted below, effective tomorrow, Thursday, July 1, 2021.

  • Face Coverings: The modified face covering requirement allows individuals that are vaccinated to go without a face covering. The use of face coverings will continue to be required for anyone not vaccinated, including visitors to our campuses. Other individuals may choose to continue to wear a face covering even when not required.

  • Physical Distancing: Physical distancing should be continued in large gatherings; otherwise, building and space utilization is no longer restricted. When holding gatherings or events that could include individuals who are not fully vaccinated, such as visitors or others from outside the university, appropriate prevention strategies should be utilized.

This is not a time to let our guard down. While significant advances have been made against this disease, there is still much work to be done. We must all remain vigilant. We each have a continued responsibility to our fellow coworkers, students, and community members. Accordingly, we ask you to:

  1. Continue to engage in COVID-19-related personal hygiene practices, including performing daily health checks and staying home when you are not feeling well.
  2. Consider receiving the COVID vaccine if you have not done so.
  3. If unvaccinated, wear a face covering to protect yourself and others, particularly in indoor and higher-density locations.
  4. Respect others’ decision on whether they choose to wear a face covering.
  5. Update your vaccination if boosters are determined necessary.
  6. Rely on and stay informed by trusted and science-based information sources.

To that end, Oregon Tech will:

  1. Continue to work with appropriate entities regarding public health guidance, share information with the campus communities, and update our practices accordingly.
  2. Continue to require compliance with the Fall Vaccine Requirement (or appropriate declination) to be completed by September 1 -- more information will be sent by early next week.
  3. Provide hand sanitation stations throughout campuses.
  4. Require any individual not vaccinated to wear a face covering while inside campus facilities
  5. Respect individual decisions to wear face coverings as a personal choice for COVID-19 risk-reduction and other reasons.

This latest update is indeed welcome news as we collectively see the light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you for your contributions in helping our university maintain our operations and thrive throughout the pandemic. I offer special recognition to Dr. Erin Foley for leading this effort.

As each of us continue to do our part in the days, weeks, and months to come, we can celebrate a return to normalcy and life as we knew it pre-COVID. I wish the best for you throughout this summer and look forward to the opportunity for us to gather together again.

Warm regards,

Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow
President

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

I hope this message finds you in good health. To continue protecting the health and safety of our community while transitioning to more normal academic operations and campus life, the University will require all faculty, students, and staff returning to our campuses in the fall to be immunized against COVID-19 unless they claim an exemption under law or applicable policies.

This requirement strengthens the University’s ability to protect the health and safety of our campuses and neighboring communities. COVID-19 vaccination for Oregon Tech community members will contribute to greater immunity, reduce the risk of sudden clusters of outbreaks on our campuses, and help protect members of our communities who are at the highest risk of developing complications from the virus.

This requirement is in line with many public and private universities and colleges in Oregon that are requiring students, faculty, and staff to be vaccinated as a condition of returning to campus in the fall. Additional information regarding incentives to encourage vaccinations, the process of providing vaccination information or exemption requests will be forthcoming.

Since early April 2020, Oregon Tech has utilized a combination of in-person and remote teaching methods. Hybrid delivery will continue through the summer term, with a combination of remote and in-person courses, and on-campus laboratory experiences, with appropriate physical distancing and other safety measures in place.

Resumption of in-person teaching in September will be guided by Governor Brown’s staging plan for the state to reopen higher education institutions across Oregon as well as vaccine access and guidance received from state health, education, and other officials. Oregon Tech will continue to monitor trends in the number of cases and take measures to address the safety of students, faculty, and staff. Additionally, Oregon Tech Online will continue to offer a variety of courses and degree options through virtual delivery. Programs at Chemeketa and Boeing sites will follow the state and host-campus guidelines.

Thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation as we work toward a successful return to campus in the fall.

Sincerely,

Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow
President

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

As we near the one-year mark since the COVID-19 pandemic began to change our way of life, you have much to be proud of, especially the collective resiliency and determination you have demonstrated to provide and partake in instructional and support services – in-person, hybrid, and online.

While we will finish off the 2020-21 academic year with our summer term continuing the hybrid learning model, I am pleased to share that Oregon Tech looks forward to opening campus to all activities and classes for the fall start date of September 29, 2021. We will continue to monitor guidance from state and local health and government officials, remain ready to adapt, and begin planning to return to in-person operations in the fall.

Classes designed for in-person delivery will return to face-to-face on our campuses this fall while Oregon Tech Online will continue to offer online courses and degree options. Faculty and staff will also resume their on-campus roles this fall, and at this time, employees are encouraged to continue working with their supervisors and department chairs to determine on-campus expectations prior to fall term. Programs at Chemeketa and Boeing will be governed by the respective site and host-campus guidelines.

Classes will be scheduled to meet current physical distancing needs. However, depending on state and federal guidance these may be modified along with other safety precautions. As the fall term approaches, we will provide updates.

On-campus interaction and activities create such a vibrant community, and I look forward to us being together on our campuses once again. Thank you again for all of your efforts and contributions to our campus community, and for your continued commitment to Oregon Tech.

Sincerely,

Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow
President

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

I am sending this correspondence to share commencement plans as they currently stand, given the current circumstances. Regretfully, we will not be able to host in-person commencement ceremonies in June 2021. Instead, we will be hosting virtual commencement ceremonies as we did last year.

Please know that this is not a decision that we made easily or take lightly. We looked at the many factors involved, focusing on the health and safety of our students, their families, and others who will participate in the ceremonies including our alumni, university employees, and community members. State and local health officials have indicated that the COVID-19 vaccine will not be widely available by June, and as we all know, commencement brings friends and family members from all over Oregon and beyond. Given that state and local health guidelines are continually changing, we also cannot assume that large in-person gatherings will be permitted in June. We believe it is important to make this announcement now before our graduates’ families and friends begin to make travel and lodging arrangements.

Graduates will receive detailed information in the coming months about the virtual ceremonies, scheduled for June 12, 2021. Again this year we will have two ceremonies - one for the college of ETM graduates and another for the college of HAS graduates, and graduates from all campuses and sites will be invited to participate. We will recognize Fall ‘20, Winter ‘21, Spring ‘21, and Summer ‘21 graduates along with those Summer ‘20 graduates who did not participate in the June 2020 ceremonies.

Please visit the commencement webpage for guidance and updates, and continue to watch for communications sent from various offices. Oregon Tech’s Coronavirus website also remains a great resource for information and it provides mechanisms for submitting questions.

Now to our graduates -- the decision to forgo in-person ceremonies is a great disappointment to all of us, and especially to you and to your families and friends. Please do not let the format of the commencement or the current circumstances diminish your sense of accomplishment. Quite the contrary—to complete your education during times such as these is an amazing feat. We are all very proud of you and your achievements. Go Owls!

Sincerely,

Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow
President

Dear Oregon Tech students, faculty, and staff,

We are currently ending the second week of winter term and next week, I look forward to welcoming you back to the courses and labs offered on-campus. Seeing the activity on campus, although still limited due to COVID-19, creates a welcoming environment and excitement, even if we are just waving hello to one another. Next week will also see the continuation of in-person services such as healthcare availability (mental and physical) and Student Involvement & Belonging activities.

At this time, I want to share spring term course delivery plans as they currently stand: Spring term 2021 will proceed in the same format for each campus as fall 2020 and winter 2021, but please understand, our plans for spring term remain subject to change, as the circumstances may require. Please also note that there will NOT be a two-week remote instruction as we did this winter term. Classes will be offered per course plans below starting the first day of the spring term.

SPRING 2021 TERM START DATE

The spring term starts Monday, March 29, 2021 for all campuses.

CURRENT SPRING 2021 CAMPUS-SPECIFIC COURSE PLANS

Portland-Metro: Lectures will be taught through remote (primarily synchronous) delivery and labs will be offered in-person.

  • We will continue to monitor conditions and if necessary, all labs, except for allied health programs, will be moved to remote. If conditions or guidance from the Oregon Health Authority, the Governor’s Office, or county health direct, as the last option, we will offer all courses and labs in remote format.

Klamath Falls: 100 and 200 level lectures and all labs will be offered in-person with few exceptions, while 300 and 400 level lectures will be remote (primarily synchronous). All upper-division courses taught in-person will also be recorded for remote delivery.

  • If conditions change, we will progressively reduce the in-person teaching, first to only labs and then to only allied health labs.

Chemeketa: Chemeketa site facilities will be accessible as determined by the administration of Chemeketa Community College. As it stands currently, lecture classes will be taught through remote delivery. Lab courses are planned to be in-person, conditions and the community college administration permitting.

Seattle: The Seattle campus is currently conducting a mixed-model mostly remote/hybrid with very few classes in-person for lab purposes only, and will continue this model unless there is different guidance from the state of Washington.

To help plan your spring term class schedules, courses to be taught remotely will be identified on the class schedule posted on the Registrar’s website with the notation “REMOTE.”

FUTURE UPDATES TO OUR PLANS

Oregon Tech’s Coronavirus website will continue to be a great resource for information and provide mechanisms for submitting questions or voicing concerns. Please also continue to read communication sent from the various offices regarding updates.

We are committed to ensuring that student success remains a pillar of Oregon Tech’s mission and strategic plan, and we will continue to make plans with this at the forefront. Thank you for your dedication to keeping our community safe and healthy.

Sincerely,

Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow
President
Oregon Institute of Technology

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

It is my pleasure to welcome all of you to the much awaited 2021 and the start of the Winter Term.

I want to compliment and thank you for your diligence and cooperation that helped us offer a successful fall term. While the new year offers much promise for relief and recovery from the pandemic with the availability of the vaccine, we are still dealing with continuing challenges from the virus and have to remain vigilant until the pandemic is truly behind us. I am confident that with all of us following the health and safety protocols in place, we will have another successful term.

Thank you, students, for all of your hard work. Please know that all of us stand ready to help you in every way possible; please reach out the moment you have questions or need any assistance.

Each one of you – students, faculty, and staff –contribute to the success of Oregon Tech. Your health and safety are paramount in this regard; choosing to go remote for the first two weeks immediately after the New Year celebrations is an extra precaution.

I wish you a productive and successful Winter Term. Go Owls!

Sincerely,

Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow
President

Dear Faculty and Staff:

We are very glad to announce that Dr. Nagi’s recovery has gone so well, he is able to return to work effective today!

As 2020 comes to a close, we wish you a happy, healthy holiday season.

This year brought unprecedented challenges for all of us. You have truly risen to the occasion. Our faculty successfully navigated transitions from in person to remote delivery, our classified and unclassified staff worked harder and furloughed to conserve precious resources, and our students remained engaged and enthusiastic. Again, thank you to everyone for helping to address the many challenges of these unusual times.

We have seen Oregon Tech “walk the walk” of our strategic plan, demonstrating even in tough times our commitment to student success, to innovation, to community, and to institutional excellence. You have proven we are Oregon Tech Together, and that together we are greater than the sum of our parts.

Candidly, we expect 2021 to pose continuing – and new – challenges. But with challenge comes opportunity. Thank you for being part of the team that will enable us to thrive as we move forward.

We send you best wishes for this holiday season and hope that you and your family stay safe and stay well.

Respectfully,
Senior Leadership Team

Joanna Mott
Erin Foley
Brian Fox
Sandra Fox
David Groff
Maureen DeArmond
Adria Paschal

All,

After meeting with the Academic Reopening Committee to review operating plans for next quarter we are announcing changes in our Winter Term operating plans for the Klamath Falls campus because of continued changes in the COVID-19 situation across Oregon and the country. We recognize the importance of continuing face-to-face instructions and labs because of our applied programs and are focused on doing so safely and in the best interest of our students' education.

For Klamath Falls, our residential campus, given the short time between the holidays and the start of the winter term, the first two weeks of lecture course and labs (i.e. all instruction) will be taught through remote delivery, with a return to the modalities shown in the schedule starting the week of January 18thand continuing for the remainder of the term. Residence halls will open on January 2 so students can return to campus housing. Information will be posted to the Oregon Tech COVID-19 response page located at https://www.oit.edu/coronavirus.

At the Portland Metro campus classes will follow the same format as for fall, with lectures being taught remotely and labs in person.

Thank you all for your continuing efforts to maintain physical distancing, wear face coverings, wash hands frequently and limit social gatherings. We know you hear this frequently but until vaccines are available these are the best measures we can take to curtail the spread of the virus in our community.

On behalf of Dr. Nagi we want to thank you all for your expressions of concern and best wishes for his speedy recovery.

We wish you all a safe end to the term and a restful winter break.

Respectfully,

Senior Leadership Team

Joanna Mott
Erin Foley
Brian Fox
Sandra Fox
David Groff
Maureen DeArmond
Adria Paschal

All,

Dr. Naganathan has asked me to share with you that he tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday. He is in good spirits and recuperating. Out of an abundance of caution, he has asked me to address his day-to-day responsibilities until he returns to the office. In turn, I am working with Oregon Tech’s senior leadership team to ensure the continuity of all Oregon Tech operations.

Please join me in wishing Dr. Naganathan a speedy recovery and offering best wishes to his family.

Respectfully,

Joanna Mott
Provost and Vice President
Academic Affairs and Stategic Enrollment Management

Dear Oregon Tech students, faculty, and staff,

As we approach the mid-point of this fall term, I want to thank you all for your efforts to help assure our success—both with in-person activities and with those done remotely. We have been fortunate to have experienced minimal positive COVID-19 cases so far and we ask everyone to continue being vigilant about their health and consistently follow the preventative measures necessary to minimize risk of exposure to ourselves and others.

Today, I am sharing our plans for the 2021 Winter Term, including information on course delivery and related measures. As with the remainder of the fall term, our plans for winter term remain subject to change, as the circumstances may demand.

WINTER 2021 TERM DATES INFORMATION

As a reminder, the winter term starts Monday, January 4, 2021 for all campuses.

CURRENT WINTER 2021 CAMPUS-SPECIFIC COURSE PLANS

Portland-Metro: As COVID-19 cases in the Portland area continue to be significant, the modality of course offerings for the Portland-Metro campus will continue as for the fall term:

  • Lectures will be taught through remote (primarily synchronous) delivery. Labs will still be offered in in-person format at Portland-Metro. We will continue to monitor conditions and if necessary, all labs, except for allied health programs, will be moved to remote. If conditions or guidance from the Oregon Health Authority, the Governor’s Office, or county health dictate, as the last option, we will offer all courses and labs in remote format.

Klamath Falls: As fall term has started very well, the modality of course offerings for the Klamath Falls campus for winter term is planned as follows:

  • 100 and 200 level lectures and all labs will continue to be offered in in-person format with few exceptions, while 300 and 400 level lectures will be planned to be remote (primarily synchronous). All upper-division courses taught in person will also be recorded for remote delivery.
  • As with the Portland-Metro campus, if conditions change, we will progressively reduce the in-person teaching, first to only labs and then to only allied health labs.

Chemeketa: Chemeketa site facilities will be accessible as determined by the administration of the Chemeketa Community College. As it stands currently, lecture classes will be taught through remote delivery. Lab courses are planned to be in person, conditions and the community college administration permitting.

Seattle: The Seattle campus is currently conducting a mixed-model mostly remote/hybrid with very few classes in person for lab purposes only and will continue this model unless there is different guidance from the state of Washington.

To help plan your Winter Term class schedules, courses to be taught remotely will be identified on the class schedule posted on the Registrar’s website with the notation “REMOTE.”

STAFF SUPPORT

Given we will continue to have students on campus, staff support will also be needed on campus. Hence, we will not be providing all of our support through telecommuting. It is important that we continue to remain flexible. Staff will receive continued guidance from their supervisors. Later this term, Maureen De Armond, AVP for Human Resources, will send information reminding employees and supervisors of options for telecommuting and/or modified work arrangements. The Office of Human Resources (OHR) has been sending periodic email updates to employees and we ask that you continue reading these communications and contact OHR when you have questions or need support.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

It is imperative that all members of our community continue to follow preventative measures to maintain health and safety. Please be vigilant in doing the following every day:

  • Complete the daily health screening and do not come to campus if you are ill or have COVID-19 symptoms (students should contact Student Health if they have COVID-19 symptoms; employees should contact the OHR);
  • Maintain at least 6 feet of physical distancing between yourself and others both indoors and outside;
  • Properly wear a face covering when on campus; and
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water and maintain sanitation of workspaces.

FUTURE UPDATES TO OUR PLANS

Oregon Tech’s Coronavirus website and Re-Opening & Resumption Plan website will continue to be great resources for information and both provide mechanisms for submitting questions or voicing concerns. Please also continue to read communication sent from the various offices regarding updates.

Thank you for your continued dedication to keeping our community safe and healthy. We are Oregon Tech Together.

Sincerely,

Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow
President

Dear Oregon Tech students, faculty, and staff,

I hope you are staying healthy and safe and enjoying the summer with family and friends. I write to you today with an update for the upcoming fall term, including information on our current course delivery plans and related measures. Throughout the summer, we have been continuously assessing our options and analyzing the most recent data and guidance. In addition to several conversations in the COVID Planning committees, members of the executive staff and I have had numerous meetings and consultations both at the state and county levels and with colleagues on our campuses about the best path forward.

While we are keen to welcome all of our students back to-campus this fall, the changing nature of the pandemic and the status of each community where our campuses and teaching sites are located require continuing review of our plans, staying aligned with the framework provided by Oregon’s governor and the Oregon Health Authority.

As we identify avenues through which we can provide our students the best of educational experiences possible, the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff remains our top priority. We are also monitoring the recently announced changes in the K-12 calendars and their instructional modalities. Please know that we are very cognizant that these changes impact a sizeable number of our university community members.

FALL 2020 TERM DATES INFORMATION
As a reminder, the fall term start date has been revised with the first day of classes on September 21. This will allow students at Klamath Falls to remain on campus until Thanksgiving and then finish the term, with two class days and finals completed remotely without having to return to the campus to finish the academic term. The only exceptions will be some of our allied health programs where students will return for an in person lab final. Students will be notified by their instructors if this will be the case for their classes.

CURRENT FALL 2020 CAMPUS-SPECIFIC COURSE PLANS
Portland-Metro: Out of concerns for higher infection rates in the Portland area and the Phase 1 reopening status in Clackamas County, the modality of course offerings for the Portland-Metro campus is as follows:

  • Lectures will be taught through remote (primarily synchronous) delivery. Labs will still be offered in in-person format at Portland-Metro. We will continue to monitor conditions and if necessary, all labs, except for allied health programs, will be moved to remote. If conditions or guidance from the Oregon Health Authority, the Governor’s Office, or county health dictate, as the last option, we will offer all courses and labs in remote format, as we did for the spring term.

Klamath Falls: The pandemic situation and county reopening phase are very different for our Klamath Falls campus compared to Portland-Metro. Since Klamath County is in Phase 2 of reopening, the modality of course offerings for the Klamath Falls campus is as follows:

  • 100 and 200 level lectures and all labs will continue to be offered in in-person format with few exceptions, while 300 and 400 level lectures will be primarily remote (primarily synchronous). All upper-division courses taught in person will also be recorded for remote delivery.
  • When it comes to what to expect in the classroom, chairs will be spaced to allow physical distancing and lectures have been rescheduled into larger classrooms. Cleaning supplies will be provided in each room. Various changes are being implemented for labs – reduced number of students, staggered times, etc.
  • As with the Portland-Metro campus, if conditions change, we will progressively reduce the in person teaching, first to only labs and then to only allied health labs.

Chemeketa: Chemeketa site facilities will be accessible as determined by the administration of the Chemeketa Community College. As it stands currently, lecture classes will be taught through remote delivery. Lab courses are planned to be in person, conditions and the community college administration permitting.

Seattle: The Seattle campus at Everett is waiting for guidance from the state of Washington, but hope to offer in person courses.

Provost Mott will continue to communicate with the colleges and departments as conditions evolve. Also, by Thursday this week, August 20, 2020, the class schedule posted on the Registrar’s website will show the current list of courses with a notation of ‘REMOTE” for those to be taught remotely to help you plan for the term.

STAFF SUPPORT
Given we will have students on campus, we will need some level of staff support on campus. Hence, we will not be providing all of our support through telecommuting only. It is important that we continue to remain flexible. Staff will receive continued guidance from their supervisors. Maureen De Armond, AVP for Human Resources, will soon send a separate and detailed email regarding telecommuting vs modified work arrangement as well as about some of the staff services that have to be continued on-campus.

HEALTH AND SAFETY
In the interest of everyone’s health and safety, Oregon Tech is requiring the use of face coverings, or an appropriate alternative, by all faculty, staff, students, and visitors who are physically present at an Oregon Tech location and in enclosed public or common areas. The face covering requirement will also apply when we gather outside, if a six feet physical distance cannot be maintained. Cloth face coverings, or alternative, are to be used in combination with other preventative measures, such as physical distancing and proper hand washing. There are Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about face coverings posted on the Reopening website.

To promote the face covering requirement, two Oregon Tech cloth face masks will be provided to each member of the Oregon Tech family. Faculty and staff are asked to check with their department chairs or supervisors to obtain your face coverings. Students will be able to pick up face coverings from Housing at move in and during Week of Welcome activities. Any students currently on the Klamath Falls campus can get them from Student Affairs (CU 217) and students on the Portland Metro campus can get theirs at the main desk at the Portland-Metro campus.

To promote physical distancing and discourage groups of people from congregating, common spaces on campus are being adjusted. Some tables and chairs have been removed from the Marketplace seating area and couches/chairs in the Residence Halls and in the College Union. Other Klamath Falls buildings will also have reduced seating in hallways as well as in classrooms. Similarly, furniture in Portland-Metro spaces have been spread out or removed. We ask that furniture not be rearranged. Please know that these modifications are being implemented with everyone’s safety in mind.

HOUSING AND RESIDENCE LIFE AND CAMPUS LIFE
Housing and Residence Life is open for fall term 2020 and is ready to welcome the residential students to on-campus housing. If you already have a housing assignment, please click this link to confirm your plans for fall term 2020 housing. If you do not have a current housing contract to live on campus for the 2020-2021 academic year, Housing does have space available. Please visit the housing webpage and click on the blue APPLY FOR HOUSING button to submit a housing application. If you have questions about on-campus housing or want more information about our plans for opening, physical distancing and more, please contact Housing and Residence Life via email to housing@oit.edu or call 541-885-1094.

FUTURE UPDATES TO OUR PLANS
Oregon Tech’s coronavirus site will continue to provide up-to-date information. Please also continue to read communication sent from the various offices regarding updates and guidance for the upcoming term.

A recording of a virtual campus forum for new freshman and transfer students addressing re-opening that was held on August 13 can be viewed at https://youtu.be/aPzMVr5IG9g. Nearly 400 guests participated in the virtual campus forum which included about 200 new students. We will soon be announcing a final campus panel discussion, open to students, faculty, and staff, on the topic of re-opening.

I appreciate your understanding and support in recognizing that these course modality changes and preventive measures are made in the spirit of Oregon Tech Together, to do everything that we can for the collective well-being of Oregon Tech’s students, faculty, and staff, for both the short- and the long-term.

I look forward to seeing you in-person and virtually next month. Meanwhile, I wish you a great rest of the summer.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow
President

Dear Oregon Tech Community,

As an update to my communication dated July 13th, I am pleased to share with you that the White House has rescinded the policy announced on July 6, which would have prohibited international students from remaining in the United States if they are only enrolled in online courses. This information was announced by a federal judge earlier this week in Boston.

This is good news for our international students and for our entire campus community. I know that ICE’s earlier announcement caused a lot of stress for our international students and to all of us because of the negative impact it would have had on the students and their families, and on our ability to serve and learn from a global community.

We will keep you updated on what we learn and any further changes. If you have any questions, please contact our Student Affairs office (Iona Musgnung at Iona.Musgnung@oit.edu or 503-821-1312).

Sincerely,

Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow
President

Dear Oregon Tech Community,

Last week we learned of the disturbing news that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) is modifying its policies regarding international students’ immigration status if they were taking online courses exclusively during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the necessity of students to take all-remote classes in Spring and Summer terms due to COVID-19, and the remaining uncertainty about the future, this policy threatens our valued international students who bring welcomed diversity and global perspectives to our campuses. The recent federal guidance would force international students to return to their home countries should Oregon Tech have to return to a fully online courses.

Oregon Tech strongly opposes this new ICE policy and will work with Oregon’s Congressional delegation and our sister universities in the state to stop this action.

Until these detrimental policies are over-ruled, Oregon Tech recommends that our international students enroll in on-campus classes for the fall. We encourage you to contact our Student Affairs office (Iona Musgnung at Iona.Musgnung@oit.edu or 503-821-1312) should you wish to discuss your options, or should you have any questions. Thank you, and stay healthy and safe.

Sincerely, 

Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow

President

Dear Faculty and Staff,

I hope you received my video message which was sent earlier today to all faculty, staff, and students. In addition, I am sending this memo to you on other important activities and operational matters that are or will be in front of us as we close the spring term and prepare for the summer and fall terms.

  • Congratulations to Oregon Tech’s Class of 2020 who are graduating on Saturday, June 13! We are very proud of our students’ accomplishments, which we will recognize in this weekend’s virtual commencement ceremonies. The Saturday morning ceremonies will start with the College of ETM at 9:50am, followed by the College of HAS at 11:50am. The videos will be accessible on Oregon Tech’s commencement information page, and on our You Tube channel by entering Oregon Tech in the search bar. Please join us for a unique approach to our ceremonies this year, featuring photographs of our Class of 2020 graduates and other students and very special video congratulations from our faculty, staff, and alumni. You are also invited to view the 2020 Virtual Student Awards Ceremony which recognizes some of our most amazing students.
  • Summer term begins on June 22, and it will continue to be delivered remotely, with the exception of some health care related degree programs which have a required practicum component. Students will be checking with their advisor or faculty instructor for details. During the summer, some offices may have limited staffing or day long closures due to furloughs. Please be sure to contact offices, in advance, for any assistance you may need.
  • For fall term 2020, classes will begin earlier than the normal calendar, on September 21. Oregon Tech plans on having in-person classes on both of its campuses, Klamath Falls and Portland-Metro. Other sites, Seattle and Chemeketa, will be announced separately as these plans rely on the campuses of other organizations at which the coursework is being offered. Re-opening plans do rely on approval by state and county health authorities and other officials, but we are working very hard on preparing the campuses for a September face-to-face option. These plans put first the health and safety of our campus communities, and we will be spending the summer preparing for physical distancing, face coverings and other provisions at both campuses, to make in-person delivery of classes as safe as we can. The fall schedule is starting earlier than usual so students can remain at home after the Thanksgiving break, with finals being delivered remotely after the break. Additional updates will be provided over the summer on our website.
  • We are anticipating maintaining current working schedules for most employees. We will continue to implement furloughs and for employees who have been working remotely, those arrangements are likely to continue during the summer. As we progress through the next several weeks, we will share our plans about when and how we will return remote-work employees back to campus.
  • For faculty, a welcome back virtual convocation will be held on September 16. Following the early end of the fall term in December, we will offer a week of various events and sessions. We hope to return to our normal week of convocation next year. If you have questions, please email those directly to provostoffice@oit.edu.

For all of you who will spend the summer away from Oregon Tech, I wish you enjoyable months ahead to refresh and renew. For those who will be teaching remotely, thank you for continuing to excel at this delivery mode.

Please know that the Board of Trustees of Oregon Tech join me in being very proud of how each of you have worked so hard, adapted so quickly, and united as a university to get us through arguably the most challenging period of our 70+ year history. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow
President

3:49 pm

Dear Oregon Tech Faculty and Staff,

As you are aware, classified and unclassified staff furloughs began this week. In order to help you plan your interactions with the various administrative departments and support your other collaborative efforts, below are the tentative schedules for administrative units through August 2020, at which time revised schedules will be published.

  1. The following divisional administrative departments will be closed on Fridays to accommodate a consistent furlough schedule:
    • Academic Affairs (will be open for New Wings events) including:
      • Admissions
      • Educational Outreach and Partnerships
      • Financial Aid
      • Registrar
      • Retention and Advising
      • Strategic Enrollment Management
    • Finance and Administration, including:
      • Business Affairs
      • Cashier’s Office
      • Facilities
    • Foundation/Development
    • Legal Counsel
    • Staff of the President’s Office
    • Student Affairs
  2. Information Technology Services (ITS) will remain open; but will have limited staff on Fridays.
  3. The Office of Human Resources, Title IX Compliance, and Affirmative Action will be open on Fridays, but will also have limited staff.
  4. Marketing, Communication and Public Affairs (MarCoPa) will have modified and staggered schedules and limited staff will be available Mondays and Fridays.
  5. Campus Safety will maintain the same schedule by officers with 24/7 coverage.
  6. The College Union will continue to have the building accessible everyday (through spring term) for students to get meals, study and have access to other offices on Friday.

We are very appreciative of the shared sacrifice of Oregon Tech’s staff in helping to manage the university’s budget as we anticipate reductions in state support. We ask that everyone have patience and understanding as we manage around furlough days, when staff availability is lowered to a 4-day-a-week schedule.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow
President

6:54 PM

Dear Oregon Tech Faculty and Staff:

The purpose of this memo is to share the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic emergency on the state’s finances, the resulting impact on our university’s operations, and measures we are beginning to put in place. During the last few days, members of the Executive Staff have met with the leadership of SEIU, Administrative Council, and Faculty Senate to apprise them of the developing financial picture and the need for action. Also, yesterday, we received initial guidance from the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) regarding likely reductions in state funding for the next fiscal year.

As you are likely aware, Oregon Tech is highly reliant on two main funding sources, tuition and fees from students and state funding. Like universities across the country, there are high levels of uncertainty not just in the future of state funding but also about the stability of enrollment in the fall term and beyond. An additional layer of uncertainty also exists regarding what fall operations will look like on Oregon Tech campuses.

The stability of funding from tuition and fees is clearly linked to enrollment. During the current spring term, because of the hard work of our faculty and staff, enrollment and retention has been stable. Admissions and Financial Aid have been working tirelessly and as a result, fall term enrollment numbers also appear to be on track at this point.

While there are still a lot of unknowns, what we do know today is that we have already experienced significant reductions in Auxiliary revenues for the spring term. While 574 beds were occupied in our residence halls in Winter 2020, we have an occupancy of 114 students in Spring 2020. At the same time, we have increased much-needed financial aid for students during spring term, reduced fees where feasible, and plan to provide additional financial aid for the upcoming fall term. These actions are necessary to help us support our students and sustain enrollment but will reduce net tuition revenue even if strong enrollment persists. Unfortunately, the Federal CARES Act funding cannot be used for traditional financial aid. It is to be used to support students who have had increased costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our State provides nearly 45% of our General Fund revenue through the Student Success and Completion Model (SSCM), as well as other dedicated funding streams including the Oregon Renewable Energy Center (OREC), and the Engineering Technology Sustaining Fund (ETSF). Unfortunately, we do expect a sizable reduction in this funding during the next fiscal year.

The economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic is dramatically impacting the state’s budget. Governor Brown has asked each state agency to prepare for and report on the impact of an 8.5% decrease in biennial funding. Because we are in the second year of the biennium, the impact is compressed into one year. HECC has estimated a 17% decrease in funding for our next fiscal year budget, running from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. In addition, the Oregon Lottery revenues are estimated to be down by about 90%. Oregon Tech benefits considerably from the Sports Lottery program which is likely to have a large reduction next year, though at this point there is little clarity into the timing and total amounts. Given information made available yesterday through HECC, the cumulative impact of the state’s situation is likely to be in the range of 15% to 20% reduction in the state funding to Oregon Tech during the next year. If we assume at least a 1% growth in student enrollment, the estimated net reduction in our revenue would be about 4.5 million dollars.

Given this level of decrease in state appropriations paired with likely reductions in tuition revenue net of remissions, I have determined that there is need to plan for imminent and significant net reductions in our budget. While we will not have sufficient precision on the exact budget reductions necessary until later in Spring Term, we must begin planning and implementing cost savings measures now.

To plan for the impact of COVID‑19 emergency on university operations and finances, I am enacting Oregon Tech’s Program Reduction and Elimination policy (OIT-20-050). The policy focuses on budget reductions on both academic and non-academic programs. This correspondence notifying the Oregon Tech community of the financial condition that exists or is forecast, is the required first step of the policy.

As per the policy, I have moved forward with the appointment of five members and the Faculty Senate President has appointed four faculty members. Together, they will serve as members of the Program Reduction and Elimination Committee (PREC).

Following is the membership listed in alphabetical order:

  • Dr. Abdy Afjeh (President’s Council, Vice Provost)
  • Brenda Campbell (Administrative Council, Executive Assistant, PM)
  • Jim Fischer (Applied Mathematics, Professor, KF)
  • Dr. Janette Isaacson (Medical Imaging Technology, Associate Professor, Online)
  • Dr. Ryan Madden (Humanities & Social Sciences, Associate Professor & Gen Ed Program Director, PM)
  • Jeff Pardy (Respiratory Care, Associate Professor & Dept. Chairperson, KF)
  • Dr. Dan Peterson (President’s Council, Interim HAS Dean)
  • Pat Schaeffer (Management, Associate Professor, KF)
  • Dr. Sean St. Clair (Civil Engineering, Professor, KF)

We initiate the PREC with the hopes of a comprehensive, objective, and practical set of recommendations that are balanced across academic and non-academic programs as the outcome. These recommendations are to be developed by the membership of the PREC and then taken under advisement by the President. Some of the preliminary measures that other Oregon public universities have already communicated include salary reductions, employee layoffs and/or furloughs, and hiring freezes to address the imminent fiscal challenges. As the policy’s name indicates, PREC’s role is to look at programs and not just positions. Also, given the timeline ahead of us, administrative measures will continue in parallel with PREC’s deliberations.

My expectation is that PREC will make its recommendations during the first week of June 2020, so there is sufficient time for review and consideration ahead of the June 30 Board of Trustees meeting. In all of our deliberations and decisions we must consider Oregon Tech’s continued success both in the short-term and long-term. It is important to note that unlike during prior hard economic times we are now an independent university and cannot rely on a larger system of higher education for support to offset reductions or take on administrative duties.

The primary charge of the PREC is to identify and recommend to the President a set of possible savings, reductions, and eliminations totaling 4.5 million dollars balanced across our academic and non-academic operations during the next fiscal year starting July 1, 2020. The PREC will be formally given its charge by May 1, 2020 and its final set of recommendations is due to my office by Friday, June 5, 2020.

I appreciate your support of the PREC’s charge and role. The PREC will be performing a difficult but important service during these uncertain times. I also appreciate your understanding that we must plan and act quickly to ensure that we manage the university’s financial, human and capital resources in ways that continue to fulfill our mission. Together, we are united in our desire to safeguard the well-being of Oregon Tech’s students and our faculty and staff community, for both the short- and the long-term.

As we move forward, we will continue to provide additional updates as appropriate. Please note that our next regularly scheduled Oregon Tech Town Hall meeting will be virtual and is planned for May 26.

Thank you for all you are doing to help us manage through this challenging time for Oregon Tech, higher education and our state and country.

Sincerely,

Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow
President

2:29 PM

Dear Oregon Tech Faculty and Staff,

As we conclude the third week of the spring term, I wanted to share a few updates related to our on-going operations in the COVID-19 environment.

I appreciate your understanding and support in recognizing that these decisions are made in the spirit of Oregon Tech Together, to do everything that we can for the collective well-being of Oregon Tech’s students and our faculty and staff community, for both the short- and the long-term. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow
President

  1. Governor’s Executive Orders: Governor’s Executive Order 20-17 released on April 17 provided the official guidance that no in-person classes should be held at any higher education institutions through June 13, 2020. Given that back in March we made the decision to stay with remote learning throughout the current Spring Term and not to have an in-person commencement on June 13, the new order does not have any direct impact on our programming at this time. Also, on Wednesday, April 22, presidents of the seven public universities in Oregon had a teleconference with Governor Brown, where she indicated that she is contemplating a carefully planned, regional reopening strategy among her options. We do not have specific information or timing for Klamath Falls, Salem or Portland-Metro at this time, but are working to prepare for the possibilities. We are also currently exploring opportunities for our clinical operations as a follow-up to Governor Brown’s April 23 announcement, which allows for non-urgent medical procedures to resume effective May 1, 2020.

  2. Commencement: Oregon Tech’s commencement committee continues to work on designing two unique virtual ceremonies for our students on June 13 -- one for the graduates of the College of HAS and the other for the graduates of the College of ETM. Faculty and staff were recently sent a request to provide video greetings and congratulations to students, which will be one of the special portions of these ceremonies and will honor the connections and relationships with our students that make Oregon Tech unique.

  3. Board of Trustees Meetings: The Board of Trustees meetings scheduled for May 28, 2020 are now rescheduled to June 30, 2020. By then, we are hoping to have more certainty regarding in-person teaching and social distancing requirements. Moving the meetings also allows time for additional financial information to be obtained from the state. We anticipate this will be helpful as we will be presenting the next year’s budget to our Board for their consideration and approval at the June meeting.

  4. Summer Session: Summer Term will continue with remote teaching, with the exception of certain allied health programs which need to provide some in-person labs in order for their students to make progress. Provost Mott, working with the Deans, has instructed the program directors of these select programs to contact their students directly with any additional information, where appropriate.

  5. Fall Term: We have not made any final decisions regarding Fall 2020 teaching delivery at this point. However, planning for a fall session continues in consultation with HECC and other universities across our state. We are looking at multiple scenarios including normal delivery, a continuation of remote delivery, or a hybrid of the two, depending on the state and local requirements.

  6. Partial Hiring Freeze: To begin addressing anticipated needs for cost savings, effective immediately, Oregon Tech is implementing a partial hiring freeze, until further notice. This partial freeze will pertain to the hiring of administrative staff, classified staff, and faculty into newly created positions, as well as positions that become vacant due to retirement, resignation, etc. This is considered a partial hiring freeze as there may still be some hires made to assure critical positions are filled. Such positions may include faculty positions as well as critical staff positions to advance strategic initiatives. I will work with functional vice-presidents on identifying what other positions may be deemed critical to our operational and revenue needs. The functional vice-presidents will work with their respective teams to identify internal resources, job sharing options, cross-training potential, or other strategies to assure our important work continues while protecting as many of our current employees as possible.

11:43 AM

April 21, 2020

Dear Oregon Tech Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Yesterday an employee on our Klamath Falls campus came to work but left early because they were feeling ill. On their way home they sought medical care and were tested for COVID-19. We do not know yet whether the test is positive and will not know for the next few days.

We appreciate the employee reaching out to their supervisor immediately, so that we can take precautions to reduce the risk of possible exposure to others, in case the employee were to have a positive COVID-19 test. The Integrated Student Health Center (ISHC) is working with county public health to ensure we are following all necessary steps and precautions.

Out of an abundance of caution, we have closed the spaces that that employee entered and used. We are following current CDC guidelines for disinfecting of spaces. This includes shutting down portions of Owens Hall and Cornett Hall where several employees have offices. Owens 141, a remote teaching lab, is also being closed – although it is important to note that the employee did not use that space. The Registrar is working to find alternative locations for remote teaching, and that will be communicated to impacted employees.

We recognize this may cause some inconvenience, but we want to ensure, first and foremost, that we take measures protect the health of our employees to the greatest extent possible.

Many thanks to our valued facilities and custodial staff who are disinfecting these spaces so that they can be opened as soon as feasible, following the CDC guidance. We anticipate the space would become available for use by Monday, April 27, 2020. If for some reason this date is changed, an update will be provided.

If the employee does test positive for COVID-19 and you are directly contacted by the Public Health Division, it does not necessarily mean that you have contracted COVID-19. It simply means that you could have interacted with the employee at some point within the last two weeks and may be at risk for developing symptoms.

If you are a student and are contacted by the Public Health Division, please call the Integrated Student Health Center (ISHC) as soon as you can at 541-885-1800 to let them know that the Public Health Division has reached out to you. ISHC is available to provide counseling by phone or video conferencing to support you in this potentially stressful situation.

If you are an employee, you are not required to inform Oregon Tech that you have been contacted by the Public Health Division, but you may call ISHC to notify them, as well, if you choose to do so. If you think you would benefit from counseling support, you can contact the Employee Assistance Program for support at 800-433-2320. Please know that we are here to help so reach out if you have any questions or concerns in any area.

We encourage you to stay home if you are feeling the symptoms, just as a precaution that will keep you and the campus community safe and healthy. Please let your supervisor know if you did need to stay home when you would otherwise have been expected on campus.

We remain committed to the well-being and safety of the Oregon Tech community and encourage each of you to continue doing your part to reduce the likelihood of further transmission of this virus. We will continue to communicate as new or updated information is available.

Should you have questions, please visit the Oregon Tech COVID-19 website, which is updated daily, or contact Dr. Erin Foley at erin.foley@oit.edu.

Thank you,

Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow
President

3:49 PM

Oregon Tech Owls,

We are currently in week 3 of Governor Brown’s executive order: “Stay Home. Save Lives” and week 2 of spring term under the new remote learning/teaching/working landscape. It is clear that everyone’s efforts to stay home and maintain physical distancing if out in public are paying off as the number of positive COVID-19 cases is not increasing as projected if these measures were not in place. Thank you for your efforts, and keep doing what is recommended by the CDC and other authorities.

The COVID-19 response by the university remains a focus. We announced two positive cases of employees, one each at both the Klamath Falls and Portland-Metro campuses, at the beginning of April. It is possible that we may have additional positive cases over the next couple of weeks (or months) as the virus is still being spread through the state and our local communities. Symptomless transmission and community spread means COVID-19 still requires each and every one of us to take all precautions, which will help minimize positive cases on campus. Any future positive cases on campus will be announced when the circumstances warrant such notifications (specific actions needed), otherwise updates about the COVID-19 response will provide overall numbers and other information.

Another COVID-19 update: The bookstore in Klamath Falls will close Thursday, April 16, for the rest of spring term. Purchases can still be made online through the bookstore with items mailed out within 1 business day. Check out the current sale on sweats, hats and other items. The manager can also assist via email: SM8337@bncollege.com.

Please continue to check the university’s COVID-19 webpage and other sites for announcements, FAQs, and resources, which continue to be updated regularly. Other sites available include the CDC, Oregon Health Authority and the HECC, for information and resources.

Stay well,

Erin M. Foley, Ph.D.
Vice President and Dean of Students

3:06 PM

April 10, 2020

Dear University Community:

First, please let me begin by thanking our students, faculty, and staff for your incredible efforts throughout this first week of Spring Term. This week of remote teaching and learning went well, despite a few glitches along the way. And this successful launch was made possible by the superb efforts of our faculty on curricular transition to remote channels with our students engaging and adapting to this new modality with their usual talent and speed, and the excellent support of our staff from ITS, Student Affairs, and many other areas. Last week our Board of Trustees expressed how impressed and proud they were of Oregon Tech’s united community as we navigate this new landscape together. I join them wholeheartedly in those expressions.

Second, I promised a decision regarding 2020 commencement by today. We have to make the decision on commencement based on what we know today including state mandates from the Governor and other authorities. In view of this, our faculty and administration carefully considered possible options, including a delayed ceremony in August or September, as many of our students expressed an interest in doing. One of the big unknowns is when the stay-at-home mandate will be lifted based on the “flattening of the curve” of the spread of the virus. Because there are estimates from June to even later in the summer or fall, it became apparent that it is not possible to plan a set date for an in-person commencement without the possibility of cancelling it, yet again.

So, we will work with our graduating class, as other universities across the country are doing, to hold two virtual ceremonies, one for the college of HAS and one for the college of ETM, on Saturday, June 13, 2020. These college ceremonies will include graduating students from both campuses, Klamath Falls and Portland-Metro.

With all of the innovative students and campus community, we know that we can create something very special. Will it be the same as an in-person event? No. But with that option moving further away from us, we know we can collaborate on a memorable event. Our commencement planning teams on both campuses will work to engage students to help with the event planning. More information is attached in an FAQ, and as these plans develop, we will reach out again.

We would still like to provide the opportunity for graduates to have an in-person event. For those students who can return to campus in June 2021, we invite you to walk in the in-person ceremony at either Klamath Falls or Portland-Metro, joining with your student colleagues in the class of 2021 as our special graduates. More details on this will come later.

I appreciate your understanding and support in recognizing that these decisions are made in the spirit of Oregon Tech Together, to do everything that we can for the collective well-being and safety of our university community. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow
President

2:32 PM

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

Good afternoon. As a follow-up to my first email about commencement, I wanted to provide you an update on the university’s plans for alternative events. As mentioned in the first email, we are considering whether to have a delayed commencement ceremony later this year or to hold a virtual commencement as some universities have chosen to do. We sent out a survey to graduating seniors and received a significant number of comments and innovative suggestions, which we are considering carefully.

Given the importance of the participation of academic departments and other stakeholders in celebrating commencement, we are asking for your patience while we confer with them. In this extraordinary time with information and events changing sometimes daily, we want to consider the opinions of key stakeholders, as well as the logistics involved in the options, before we make our announcement.

We will announce a decision by Friday, April 10. Thank you for your patience.

Sincerely,

Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow

2:46 PM
 

Klamath Falls students,

The COVID-19 situation is rapidly changing now in Klamath Falls with an increase in positive cases announced today.  In order to maintain health and safety, we have many staff members working from home and some areas of campus not open at all.  It is unfortunate that we can’t have a vibrant campus for spring term, but it is important that we play our part in preventing community spread of the virus.  Please see below the status of offices/services starting Monday.

Building / Resource

Status

Phone number

Website

Email

Campus Safety

Available 24/7

541-885-1111

541-891-2143 cell

Campus Safety

Safety@oit.edu

College Union

Open 9:30am – 7:00pm M-F; and 10:30am – 2:00pm and 3:00 –7:00pm Sat & Sun

 

541-885-1030

 

College Union

Bookstore

Counter service only 10am – 2pm

541-885-1058

Bookstore

Sm8337@bncollege.com

Admissions

Available remotely

541-885-1155

Admissions

oit@oit.edu

Financial Aid

Available remotely

541-885-1280

Financial Aid

Dollars@oit.edu

Campus Life

Available remotely

541-885-1829

Campus Life

Campus.Life@oit.edu

MarketPlace Café

Open for meal pick up & limited retail

541-885-1071

541-591-8596

Dining

Steven.kappler@sodexo.com

Student Affairs Office

Available remotely & appointment

541-885-1011

Student Affairs

Student.Affairs@oit.edu

Student Program Spaces (KTEC, Edge, Treehouse, OP, Veterans Center)

 

No access

Snell Hall

Open, 10am – 2pm

 

 

 

Registrar’s Office

Available remotely

541-885-1300

Registrar

Registra@oit.edu

Cashier and Business Office

Open, 10am – 2pm

 

Business Affairs

 

Human Resources

Available remotely

 

Human Resources

 

Payroll

Available remotely

 

 

 

Athletics and Rec Center

Closed

541-885-1624

Athletics

 

Boivin Computer Labs 138, 146

Open, 8am – 5pm, M-F

 

 

 

Cornett, Dow, Owens, Semon, Purvine (academic buildings)

These academic bldgs. and all labs are closed

LRC - Library

Closed (see message below)

541-885-1772

Library

libtech@oit.edu

LRC - SSC

Available remotely

541-851-5179

SSC

 

ITS Service Desk

Available remotely

541-885-

Service Desk

servicedesk@oit.edu

Student Health Center

Open for appts M-F; no weekend appts

541-885-1800

Student Health

Health@oit.edu

Housing & Residence Life

Access to residents only

541-885-1094

Housing

housing@oit.edu

Facilities

Available remotely

541-885-1690

 

Message from the Libraries

While the Oregon Tech Libraries might be closed, we wanted to reassure you that we are still available to help you remotely.  Our top priority is that you have a safe and successful Spring quarter, so library staff are:

Let us know if you have any questions and/or if there is anything else we can do to help.  We look forward to hearing from you and take care.

As you begin to navigate your spring term classes remotely, please contact the appropriate office for assistance – we are only a phone call away.  Please continue to check your Oregon Tech email and various campus websites regularly.

Please stay connected and let us know if you have questions and/or needs.

Stay well,

Erin

9:33 AM

Dear Oregon Tech Students, Faculty, and Staff,

I am reaching out to let you know that Oregon Tech today learned that a Klamath Falls employee has tested positive for COVID-19. This is the second reported case for Oregon Tech; the first was at Portland Metro campus and we learned of that one yesterday and send out notification to the campus last night.

Because of social distancing measures already in place and non-essential employees working from home, the Klamath Falls employee has not been on campus since March 9, and is quarantined at home and doing well. The university is working with Klamath County public health officials to assist the county in its standard case investigation processes. Klamath County will lead the follow up process. Although the identity of the patient will remain undisclosed to the public to protect their privacy, Oregon Tech officials will be cooperating with the Public Health investigation to expedite notification to those who may have been exposed.

If you are directly contacted by the Public Health Division, it does not necessarily mean that you have contracted COVID-19. It may simply mean that you could have interacted with the patient at some point within the last two weeks, and may be at risk for developing symptoms. If you are a student, as soon as you can, call the Integrated Student Health Center (ISHC) at 541-885-1800 to let them know that the Public Health Division has reached out to you. ISHC is available to provide counseling by phone or video conferencing to support you in this situation. If you are an employee, you are not required to inform Oregon Tech that you have been contacted by the Public Health Division, but can call ISHC to notify them, as well, if you choose. You can also contact the Employee Assistance Program for support at 800-433-2320. Please know that we are here to help so reach out if you have any questions or concerns in any area.

We remain committed to the well-being and safety of the Oregon Tech community, and encourage each of you to continue doing your part to reduce the likelihood of further transmission of this virus. We will continue to communicate as new or updated information is available.

 

Should you have questions, please visit the Oregon Tech COVID-19 website, which is updated daily, or contact Dr. Erin Foley at erin.foley@oit.edu.

Thank you,

Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow
President

8:10 PM

Dear Oregon Tech Students, Faculty, and Staff,

I am reaching out to let you know that Oregon Tech today learned that a Portland Metro employee has tested positive for COVID-19. This is the first reported case for Oregon Tech’s Portland Metro campus; no cases have been reported for the Klamath Falls campus.

Because of social distancing measures already in place, the employee has not been on campus since March 13, and is quarantined at home. The university is working with Clackamas County public health officials to assist the county in its standard case investigation processes. Clackamas County will lead the follow up process.

  • If you are directly contacted by the Public Health Division, it does not necessarily mean that you have contracted COVID-19. It may simply mean that you could have interacted with the patient at some point within the last two weeks, and may be at risk for developing symptoms.
  • If you are a student and if you are contacted by the Public Health Division, as soon as you can, call the Integrated Student Health Center (ISHC) at 541-885-1800 to let them know that the Public Health Division has reached out to you. ISHC is available to provide counseling by phone or video conferencing to support you in this situation.
  • If you are an employee and are contacted, you are not required to inform Oregon Tech that you have been contacted by the Public Health Division, but can call ISHC to notify them, as well, if you choose. You can also contact the Employee Assistance Program for support at 800-433-2320. Please know that we are here to help so reach out if you have any questions or concerns in any area.

We remain committed to the well-being and safety of the Oregon Tech community, and encourage each of you to continue doing your part to reduce the likelihood of further transmission of this virus. We will continue to communicate as new or updated information is available.

Should you have questions, please visit the Oregon Tech COVID-19 website, which is updated daily (www.oit.edu/coronavirus), or contact Dr. Erin Foley at erin.foley@oit.edu.

Thank you,

Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow
President

2:50PM

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

The COVID-19 situation has made it apparent that, regretfully, we will not be able to have an in person commencement ceremony in June 2020. We know that this is a great disappointment to everyone at Oregon Tech, but particularly our graduating students and their families. As other universities have announced, we are working to determine whether we can honor the tradition of commencement with a virtual version, or perhaps defer the celebration to a later date.

To help us make that decision, we are sending a simple survey to graduating seniors to gauge their preference. We will share the university’s decision on Friday, April 3, 2020.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. This is an unprecedented time in our history and there will be disappointments, adjustments, and creative solutions needed along the way. We appreciate your engagement with us to make the best decision possible, amidst these extraordinary circumstances.

Sincerely,

Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow
President

Oregon Tech students,

I hope you have been able to relax a little since finishing winter term. As spring break is half over, students are beginning to ask questions around spring term courses taught remotely, tuition and fees, and services available. This email is the first of many that Oregon Tech will send about navigating the spring term remotely. Please read this email carefully (sorry for the length of it).

Spring Classes

Some classes will be taught ‘live’ via Zoom, i.e. the faculty member will be teaching remotely at their computer but you will all be on Zoom with the instructor at the times regularly scheduled for the course. Please be available at your class’s scheduled time. This is called synchronous delivery. Other faculty may teach asynchronously, i.e. they will be posting materials and videos in Canvas along with guidance. For these classes you may not need to be available at the specific times the class is scheduled. Faculty will include this information in their syllabi, which will be available at the latest by the first day of class.

Teaching remotely is a change for everybody – students and your faculty members. Please be patient as they figure out the technology. We have all been working over spring break to practice on the equipment, adjust lesson plans and be prepared to offer you the same high quality Oregon Tech experience you have come to expect.

Add/drop deadlines are extended to reflect the normal timeline; April 17 is the last day to use Web for Student for all registration changes.

Tuition and fees

Tuition for spring term will remain at the same rate for previous terms this academic year as courses will be delivered remotely with the same content. You will NOT be charged the online course rate. As an example, if you took 14 credits winter term and 14 credits spring term, your tuition amount would remain the same if you took 14 credits in spring term.

To address spring fees, campus leaders have met with ASOIT officers to identify how these could be reduced. The President will bring a recommendation to the Board of Trustees at its April 2nd meeting to not charge any of the mandatory fees for spring term or course/lab fees and in their place charge a reduced “Adjusted Spring Fee.” Pending Board approval, this reduced fee will sustain services and employment in the fee funded areas that students rely on and fund fixed costs like debt service and utilities, but will save students as much as is possible. This will be reflected in your bills for spring term.

Financial Aid

The university has been working hard to create mechanisms to support students and families during this uncertain time. We recognize that the fallout from COVID-19 may be quite significant. Below are several new initiatives that we have put in place to directly assist those that have been impacted, including links on where to access this support.

  • In partnership with the Oregon Tech Foundation, the university has established the Helping Owls Scholarship Fund for spring term. This aid is designed for those students experiencing COVID-19 related financial difficulties. Applications can be found on the Financial Aid here. The maximum disbursement is $1,500 and we will be spreading the funds as widely as possible. If you have been directly impacted in ways that impact your ability to afford classes this term, please seek out assistance. We are here for you.

  • Emergency loans for students have been increased from $500 to $1,000 and are available for all students enrolled for Spring Term, this is effective immediately. Please see link to the emergency loan form located on the Cashier’s Office website here. This can be particularly helpful for those students needing assistance before financial aid checks come through.

  • Emergency loans are available for veterans receiving Post-9/11 GI Bill and VR&E benefits up to $5,000 to bridge potential delays in VA benefits. These loans will be repaid when VA benefits come through later in the term. Please use the emergency loan link located on the Cashier’s Office website here.

  • Late fees and interest charges will not be charged for students on Winter Term and Spring Term tuition through the end of Spring Term.

  • For students directly impacted by layoffs please avail yourself of state and federal benefits such as unemployment insurance which is designed to help people through this time. More information can be found here.

Student Employees

Wherever possible we are maintaining student employment opportunities for spring term. If you are available to work during spring term, please contact your supervisor. Because of changes in operations student jobs may be in different areas/with different duties than held previously or may be a job that can be done remotely. Student unable to work in their current positions but wanting hours should contact Rachel Winters at Student.Affairs@oit.edu about getting hours in a different office in need of additional student workers.

Bookstore Info

The Oregon Tech Bookstore is available to support students and make sure they have their textbooks and necessary materials. Students should shop online and place orders quickly. For everyone's safety and health, the bookstore will be open at the counter window March 30th - April 3rd from 10:30am-2:30pm (subject to change).

The Bookstore is currently offering the following services for Oregon Tech students: FREE UPS Ground shipping (International Orders excluded) all Spring long for online orders; and extended rental charge date through March 27th with FREE UPS Return Service Labels to those students who still need to return Winter Term textbook rentals. Please contact the bookstore at sm8337@bncollege.com or visit the website (www.oregontech.bncollege.com) if you have any questions or concerns.

Commencement

We will not be able to have an in person graduation ceremony in June. We know that this is a great disappointment to everyone at Oregon Tech, but particularly our students and their families. As other universities have announced, we are working to determine whether we can honor the tradition of commencement with a virtual version, or perhaps defer the celebration to a later date. This decision will be announced by April 3.

Student Health Services

  • Klamath Falls Students – the Integrated Student Health Center continues to provide both medical and mental health support through Spring Break (including the extension week) and throughout Spring Term. ISHC staff are offering in-person, telephone and video conference counseling. Medical appointments will continue to be in-person, and they are exploring telephone and virtual appointments as well. Call ISHC at 541-885-1800 to schedule either type of appointment.

  • Portland Metro Students – Counseling services will be available over Spring Break (including the extension week) via telephone and video conferencing. Appointments can be made by calling 503-821-1313.

Academic Support

As the new term gets underway, information about accessing academic support through Peer Consulting and other services, will be provided in future emails, and posted on the Student Success Center webpage. We know this transition to remote courses is new to many students and will be challenging initially. Campus resources are available to assist and will be communicating about receiving services remotely.

The Oregon Tech faculty and staff are working to make spring term a success for all. Please continue to monitor the COVID-19 website and check your Oregon Tech email regularly as this is the university’s official means of communication. Please reach out if you have questions or need support.

Making the best of our new situation!

Erin

6:08PM
 

Dear Faculty and Staff:

As the number of COVID-19 cases surge in the U.S., we must remain alert and closely monitor, assess, and take prompt action to continue providing our student, faculty and staff safe campus facilities and services, in support of University’s mission. We must also make good use of the extended spring break, now running through Sunday, April 5, 2020, and direct our energy and resources to prepare for the spring term.

In view of the above, effective Tuesday, March 24 through Sunday, April 5, 2020, a majority of the facilities on our university campuses and sites will be closed, except those required to support critical functions. There will be an exception to the restricted access on April 2nd and 3rd when select computer labs will be accessible on both Portland Metro and Klamath Falls campuses between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm, to provide students the ability to review course instructions/syllabi in preparation for classes starting on April 6th. Campus specific closure information is included further below in this message.

In relation to this closure over the spring break, we are defining critical functions as those that must keep operating to assure the safety and welfare of students, faculty, and staff, key activities, and the integrity of the University’s infrastructure. Critical functions and services include those necessary to:

  1. protect life and safety,
  2. assure campus security,
  3. maintain key health services,
  4. prepare for delivery of remote instruction,
  5. maintain campus housing and dining services for students still on campus, and
  6. maintain business, finance and physical infrastructure necessary to operations and services during an emergency or to the prompt restoration of normal operations and services, as determined by divisional vice-presidents or their designees.

Campus/site specific information for the period between Tuesday, March 24, 2020 and Friday, April 5, 2020 is below.

Klamath Falls: The residence halls will remain open to students but with restricted access for others; hours and numbers are posted on the facilities.
During the weekdays, the following Klamath Falls buildings will be open to members of the Oregon Tech community (students, faculty, and staff), but not the public:

  • Integrated Student Health Center (8:00 am – 12:00 noon and 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm),
  • College Union (10:00 am to 3:00 pm),
  • Snell Hall (6:30 am to 5:00 pm), and
  • Boivin Hall to access ITS (10:00 am to 2:00 pm).

All other Klamath Falls campus facilities will be accessible only by university faculty and staff who have keys and are performing critical functions.

Portland-Metro: Portland-Metro campus’s university facilities will be accessible only by university faculty and staff who are performing critical functions.

Chemeketa: Chemeketa site facilities will be accessible as determined by the administration of the Chemeketa Community College. At the present time, Chemeketa campus is completely closed through March 29, 2020.

Seattle: Our Seattle campus at Everett is completely closed. Faculty are already working remotely.

Scappoose: Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center R&D (OMIC R&D) facility will remain open to continue research projects and related critical functions, following social-distance measures.

Additional communications to targeted audiences including any leave guidance will follow. Further, these restrictions are subject to any additional directives which may be issued by Governor Brown for the state or by county administrators in the counties in which we operate. Please continue to monitor your emails and frequently visit our university’s COVID-19 website for the most current information.

I appreciate your understanding and support in recognizing that these decisions are made in the spirit of Oregon Tech Together , to do everything that we can for the collective well-being of our university community and the communities that host us. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow
President

2:07PM
 

Dear University Community,

In this rapidly changing environment, Oregon Tech continues to make decisions guided by our goal to protect the health and safety of our students, employees, and communities, while also ensuring that our students receive the high-quality academic course work that Oregon Tech is known for.

Today, we made the difficult decision that Oregon Tech will deliver ALL course work remotely throughout the Spring Term between Monday, April 6, 2020 and Friday, June 12, 2020. University campuses will remain open during the break, but with some limitations. As we have previously announced, student housing will remain open both during the break and when classes are delivered remotely during the spring term. More details will be forthcoming.

We fully understand that this decision greatly impacts our students, employees, and operations. In the coming days and over spring break, please continue visiting the COVID-19 website for additional information, updated FAQs, or to submit a question. Also, please make sure you are checking your emails at regular intervals.

Even when we are apart, we are always Oregon Tech Together.

Thank you and stay safe.

Sincerely,

Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow
President

9:16PM

Dear Oregon Tech Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

This communication addresses important operational changes affecting spring break, teaching modality, and reporting to work. I am also appending a copy of the correspondence I will be sending to our students later this evening; I wanted you to receive a copy of it first.

As we are acutely aware, these are unprecedented times. What will define this chapter for Oregon Tech will not only be how this crisis affects us but how we pull together and focus on the wellbeing of each other and our students. To most effectively move forward, we need an abundance of empathy and patience for each other. Thank you for all that you are doing to prioritize our students.

The university’s senior staff have been meeting regularly including through the weekend and coordinating with state and local officials as the situation with COVID-19 develops.

We are instituting the following adjustments to our operating plans.

All Oregon Tech campuses will continue to be open and operational. However, ALL Spring Term courses (classes and labs) will be delivered remotely for at least the first two weeks of Spring Term, which is now scheduled to start a week later on April 6 (see below).

Our ITS team is working to set up appropriate software licenses through Zoom and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) systems to allow for remote access of specialized software during this time. To accommodate the time it will take for licenses to be acquired and for faculty to transition classes and labs to a new format, Spring Break will be extended by an additional week with Spring Term classes beginning on Monday, April 6. We do not anticipate extending spring term; it is scheduled to end on June 12. Class time and labs will need to be adjusted to fit the new, condensed schedule. More on this will come from Provost Mott.

Provost Mott is also working with the Deans and Chairs to identify plans and needs of faculty in teaching classes remotely. This will be different than what some faculty are used to, and we appreciate all that you are doing to facilitate these changes and help our students continue their education. Many thanks to the faculty members and chairs who are well-versed in these tools and are helping others who will utilize them for the first time.

All regular functions of the university will continue, and employees will report to work unless instructed otherwise by their supervisor. All functions of the university are important and must continue to support our students, faculty and staff. To the greatest extent possible, Oregon Tech will allow and encourage telework/remote work. This is not practicable for all employees. When telework is not an option, we will make every effort to employ social distancing techniques in accordance with the Governor’s and OHA’s guidance. Supervisors are instructed to be as flexible as possible adjusting work schedules for those employees who are impacted by the mandatory K-12 closure. Maureen De Armond, Associate Vice President for Human Resources, is providing supervisors with additional guidance, updates, and details to help with these decisions. For additional information related to these measures, please refer to my March 13 communication, available on the Oregon Tech COVID-19 website.

Supervisors will be in communication with employees regarding how flexible schedules and telework will be managed in each department and who is eligible for these arrangements. Forms are being developed to track authorization of remote work and will be distributed in the coming day(s). Employees must communicate with their supervisors if they need accommodations and receive approval for any changes in work location or schedules.

 

It is important to reiterate that the university continues to be open and operational and all campuses will remain open. Sites located on other institution campuses will abide by those institution’s operational decisions, and employees on those sites should coordinate with their supervisors. As we move into Spring Term the scope of services and buildings available for general access will be adjusted to ensure appropriate social distancing for employees who will continue to report to work on campus and for students who live on campus or will need to access computer labs or other resources.

With this evolving situation we will be continuously evaluating and updating our plans and communicating them to you.

If you have questions, please reach out directly to your supervisor and refer to the FAQs on the Oregon Tech COVID-19 website. Questions may be submitted on that website through the “Ask a Question” link or through Tech Tips.

Thank you for all that you do to support our students and each other. We are Oregon Tech Together.

Sincerely,

Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow
President

Dear Oregon Tech Students,

As we confront unprecedented situations such as COVID-19, it is important to know that the university and all of our faculty and staff are here to support you and will do our best to ensure a safe environment on our campuses. This event is affecting us all in a different way, so please reach out to your friends, family and any members of the campus community to offer compassion or to discuss your concerns, including staff counselor(s) at the Portland-Metro Campus and at the Integrated Student Health Center on the Klamath Falls campus. In true Oregon Tech fashion, I am confident we will be kind and caring to each other, and faculty and staff will carry on with providing you the high quality education Oregon Tech is known for and is proud of.

The university’s senior staff have been meeting regularly including through the weekend and coordinating with state and local officials as the situation with COVID-19 develops. Similarly, the Provost, Deans, Department Chairs and faculty are working collectively to support your continued education. Please refer to the Oregon Tech COVID-19 website for additional information and FAQs which are regularly updated. If you do not see the answer to your question, please use the “Ask a Question” tab to submit your question.

As we communicated earlier, Oregon Tech has two principles which guide how decisions are being made:

  1. Reduce the transmission of COVID-19 to protect our students, faculty, staff and the communities we are part of, and
  2. Ensure the continued academic progress of our students.

To support these, updates to the academic calendar and course modality are outlined below.

Final Exams will continue at their regularly scheduled times and locations, unless you have received specific guidance from your course faculty.

Spring Break will be extended an additional week (2 weeks in total).

Spring Term classes will now begin on April 6. ALL classes and labs will be taught remotely for at least the first two weeks of the term, through April 17. The additional week of Spring Break will allow faculty to adjust course plans to offer classes and labs remotely. We do not anticipate extending spring term; it is scheduled to end on June 12.

Remote delivery after Spring Break will include tools for you to participate in spring term courses through remote teaching software and access to required software through virtual labs. Additional information on these systems will follow during spring break as these are put in place. We request your patience and understanding as faculty and staff work diligently to implement these changes.

Campus locations will remain open and operational during spring term, though with some possible reduced services and facility access to ensure social distancing. Students, faculty and staff will be able to use some campus facilities including housing, food service and a limited subset of computer labs to ensure access to computing infrastructure necessary if students do not have their own computers, or internet access, or if their equipment is unable to run specific software needed for classes or labs. Specific information on which buildings, rooms, computer labs and other campus facilities which will remain open during spring term will follow in future communications.

Financial Aid disbursements will be delayed by one week because of the delay in the start of spring term. However, the university has an Emergency Loan program which is available for those students who receive financial aid and are enrolled in spring term and will need funds immediately for necessities like rent or groceries at the beginning of April. Please contact the Cashiers Office to enroll in this program; additional information can be found here.

Residence halls will remain open during the extended spring break, with limited food service availability. At this time the residence halls will remain open for Spring Term for those students who live on campus. Residence Life staff will contact those students living in the residence halls, with additional specific information.

Student Employees who have on-campus jobs will continue to work during Spring Term. To the greatest extent possible, we will maintain hours for student employees. If you are a student employee who is not able to come to campus or report to work, please contact your supervisor. Some student employees may be reassigned depending on the varying needs across departments. We will adjust operations to match employer guidance from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) regarding social distancing. Please refer to the Student Employee FAQs on Oregon Tech’s COVID-19 website.

With this evolving situation, we will continuously evaluate and update changes to these plans and communicate them to you. Please check your email regularly for updates (including during spring break).

Please be safe and know that all of us at Oregon Tech deeply care about you, your well-being and your continued academic progress, especially during these unchartered times.

We are Oregon Tech Together. Go Owls!

 

Sincerely,

Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow

President

2:19PM

Dear Faculty & Staff,

Good afternoon.

As you all know, Governor Brown has announced that all K-12 schools in Oregon will be temporarily closed from Monday, March 16 through Tuesday, March 31. We recognize that this announcement will have varying impacts on our faculty, staff, and students.

This memo is focused on measures to help our faculty and staff and our university meet our responsibilities and to manage our operations through the closure of our K-12 partners.

As we committed yesterday, our primary goals in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak is to:

  1. Reduce the transmission of COVID-19 to protect our students, faculty, staff and the communities we are part of, and
  2. Ensure the continued academic progress of our students.

Both of the above require that we come together as a university community to support each other.

For those colleagues who are directly affected, if you are unable to find appropriate childcare during the upcoming K-12 closure, we ask that you work directly with your supervisor to determine what solution or combination of solutions can be arranged. Please see below. Later today, we will be sending additional guidance to supervisors and updating the COVID-19 website with information specific to this topic.

Further, I have asked the Office of Human Resources (OHR) to serve as an additional resource for supervisors and employees to problem-solve the most complex situations involving staff. Faculty are requested to work directly through their Department Chairs and Deans prior to contacting the Provost’s Office for assistance.

For those that are not able to find appropriate childcare, below are some options to consider discussing with your supervisor. It must be understood however that each department must consider both your job duties and the essential functions of the department.

  1. Use accrued leave – With supervisor knowledge and consent, employees may use accrued leave for related absences (as applicable: compensatory time, personal leave, sick leave, and/or vacation time). Accrued leave should be exhausted before leave without pay is considered. This may include partial days off. Please work with your supervisor to proactively identify solutions to keeping your department operational.

  2. Adopt a temporary flexible schedule – Some departments may be able to accommodate individuals to adopt a temporary flexible schedule (come in early, leave later; come in late, leave late; etc.) to better coordinate childcare with their spouses, partners, and babysitters.

  3. Early morning/evening or weekend work – It is possible that some work time could be made up before or after regular work hours and/or over the weekend, especially for those who may have significant work with deadlines or those with insufficient accrued leave.

  4. Work from home –Work from home arrangements are for employees who can perform their job duties away from campus at the same level of effectiveness as when they are on campus. If employees are caring for young children while working from home, some of that effectiveness will be lost. Employees who can work from home will be asked to assess the actual time they worked and use accrued leave to supplement the time they were performing childcare duties. It is okay and understood that there will be balance needed and proactive communication with supervisors will be key.

  5. Combination –It could be that a combination of the suggestions above may be used on a day-by-day basis to best cover operational needs and the employee’s childcare obligations.

OHR is creating a form that will help map out the dates and times to record temporary changes in an employee’s regular work schedule. Please check on the COVID-19 website later today for the form or contact your supervisor.

One question that may come up is whether employees can bring their children to work. While a fair question, this is not a viable option for a variety of reasons—including safeguarding your child’s own safety and well-being.

As I mentioned in a previous memo, we are in unchartered waters. Today, the landscape has shifted once more, but we are a resilient and caring community and I am confident we can and will work through this latest challenge.

Please check the COVID-19 website frequently. If you have questions, please use the submit a question link on the COVID-19 website, or through Tech-Tips. Thank you for your understanding, cooperation, and support.

Sincerely,

Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow
President


10:06AM

Dear Oregon Tech Faculty and Staff,

Last night, Governor Brown announced that all K-12 schools in Oregon will be temporarily closed from Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27. At the present time, Oregon Tech intends to stay with our plans as announced yesterday afternoon.

However, we recognize that the Governor’s announcement will have varying impacts on our faculty, staff, and students. The senior leadership team has already begun meeting this morning to consider various scenarios and will provide additional guidance later this afternoon related to flexible work schedules and remote work to support our employees, families and the academic progress of our students. Please also keep checking back on the COVID-19 website, as we continue to update and expand its content.

First, to those of you with children too young to be left without supervision, we will work with you to find the best way possible for you to balance your family obligations and your work duties. Solutions for some of you may be apparent and easily managed. For others, we may need to get creative.

Second, I ask members of our community who may not be facing direct challenges due to this school closure, be willing helpers. Whenever and however possible, please be compassionate, understanding, and willing to support your colleagues, your managers, and most importantly our students.

This is a time for us to come together as a university community, supporting each other.

Thank you for all you do for our students and our university every day.

Sincerely,

Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow
President

2:43PM

Dear University Community,

Like many of you, members of the Executive Staff and I have been carefully monitoring the various updates and news about the coronavirus (COVID-19). We have been working closely with other university leaders, public health, and government officials to consider how it has and could continue to impact our students, faculty and staff, and we have been developing plans as we monitor the spread of the virus. While there are no confirmed cases at Oregon Tech, it is important for communities to look out for one another and to do what is best for our university, regional and, global communities.

  • Oregon Tech is open and will take every step to remain open and operational to ensure the academic progress of our students.

  • Finals for Winter Term will be held as scheduled unless students receive specific information from their faculty. Any additional guidance will be provided by Provost Joanna Mott in consultation with the deans.

Based on advice from experts our focus in responding to this emerging situation aligns with two primary goals:

  1. Reduce the transmission of COVID-19 to protect our students, faculty, and staff and the communities we are part of, and

  2. Ensure the continued academic progress of our students.

In keeping with guidance issued by Governor Brown, the Oregon Health Authority and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, Oregon Tech is enacting the following measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 by increasing “social distancing” practices.

Social Distancing Guidance (Effective March 23, 2020):

  • University Events: Nonessential employee, department or other university sponsored gatherings will be limited to no more than 20 people, with an appropriate exception process for larger size gatherings. Teleconferencing and videoconferencing technologies should be used as much as possible to facilitate continued operations. If events are being held in other venues outside of Oregon Tech, determination of whether to hold events may be decided by the hosting organization.

  • Sporting Events: The NAIA athletic conference is suspending all sports until March 29, 2020, pending further developments.

  • Campus Housing: All student housing facilities will remain open and in normal operations, utilizing social distancing and other precautions.

  • Campus Food Service: Campus food service will remain in service including limited availability over Spring Break.

  • Employee Travel: Non-essential employee travel will be curtailed to the extent feasible. Any institutionally sponsored travel must be approved by the employee’s direct supervisor. Student event travel will be approved by Vice President for Student Affairs.

  • Continuity of Work and Remote Work: Employees are expected to report to their normal work locations and work their regular schedules. When feasible, and with prior approval, employees may be permitted to work remotely. Division executives will determine which positions are eligible for remote work in consultation with managers and employees.

  • Social Distancing Procedures: Social distancing guidance will be evaluated on a frequent basis and adjustments will be communicated to the campus community.

Spring Break (March 20-27, 2020):

  • Travel: The university strongly recommends that students, staff and faculty limit travel, particularly international travel or to areas of the United States that have high infection rates.

  • Returning: If you have been to areas with high infection rates, have reason to believe that you have been exposed to COVID-19, or have cold or flu like symptoms, practice increased personal hygiene and social distancing techniques as outlined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). [EDIT: If you have been to areas with high infection rates, have reason to believe that you have been exposed to COVID-19, or have cold or flu like symptoms, practice increased personal hygiene and social distancing techniques as outlined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you do travel and become ill, please delay your return to campus until you do not have a fever or other symptoms for 24 hours.]

Spring Term (Effective March 30, 2020):

  • Classes: Spring Term lecture classes will be delivered remotely wherever feasible for at least the first two weeks of classes from March 30, 2020 to April 10, 2020. Additional information will be communicated to students and faculty by the Office of the Provost.

  • Labs: Laboratory instruction will continue to be offered in their current modality and as scheduled, with efforts made to employ social distancing practices.

  • Computer Labs: Select computer labs will remain open for student use during Spring Term to ensure all students have access to courses delivered remotely.

  • Social Distancing Guidance: Social distancing techniques outlined above will continue in effect.

  • Clinics Operations: Clinics run by Oregon Tech will continue normal operations until further notice.

  • Student Externships: Students externships and co-ops will continue; guidance will be updated on a regular basis by the department, and the extern partner in consultation with the Office of the Provost.

  • Evaluating Further Steps: Each of these steps will be reevaluated on a frequent basis and adjustments will be communicated to the campus community.

Please familiarize yourself with precautions and steps to help keep yourself healthy and avoid transmission of the disease announced by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

We are thankful for the leadership and support that Oregon Tech along with all public universities in Oregon have received from the Governor’s Office, OHA, and the HECC as well as other institutions. This close coordination will continue as this situation develops.

As further guidance from federal, state and local health authorities are provided, we will communicate with our university community by email and at Oregon Tech’s COVID-19 response page located at https://www.oit.edu/coronavirus.

In situations like this we recognize that we cannot eliminate all risk; but we are determined to do all that we can to minimize it. We will continue to focus on protecting the health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff and our regional communities as well as ensuring our students’ continued academic progress.

Thank you for your understanding, cooperation, and support as we move forward as Oregon Tech Together.

Sincerely,

Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow
President

5:40PM

Dear Oregon Tech Faculty and Staff:

Oregon Tech along with all other public universities in Oregon have been in regular communication with the Governor’s Office, the Oregon Health Authority, the Higher Education Coordinating Commission and local health authorities. Active planning is underway at Oregon Tech.

We just received confirmation that Governor Brown and the Oregon Health Authority are planning to release updated guidance and information tomorrow morning. Following the Governor’s announcements, we will send a more detailed set of guidelines to our university community to address topics such as remote work, academic delivery, and social distancing.

I thank you for your support and engagement as we move forward together in these uncharted times.

Sincerely,

Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow
President

Oregon Tech Community Members,

Last week you received the first correspondence regarding the coronavirus and this is the next (of what will be regular) communications.  Please know that the priority is the health and safety of all of our university members at all of our locations.  We are also supportive of our community members who have family and friends directly impacted by this disease.

COVID-19 Status Update #1 – March 6, 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports (as of today) 99,624 cases globally (90 countries), with 3,400 deaths.  The current situation is considered a world health crisis but could become a pandemic at some point. Cases in the United States number 263 with 12 deaths. Oregon has 3 confirmed cases with 13 tests pending and the number of persons under investigation and monitoring are 61 and 353, respectively. In Washington, 70 confirmed cases, 11 deaths and 231 under supervision. 

Oregon Tech’s Planning and Response

A Planning and Response Team met this week and developed subcommittee groups to plan for a variety of scenarios and related needs for all aspects of the university operations. The subcommittees are: Academics, Business Continuity, Communications, Infrastructure and Medical, and are meeting regularly. For more information specific to Oregon Tech, please go to www.oit.edu/coronavirus/ .  Oregon Tech officials are in communication with local and state health authorities and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) to stay informed of the latest information and guidelines.

Academics

A subcommittee of the OT Planning and Response Team is preparing for a variety of possible scenarios, both immediate and longer term. The Oregon Health Authority is recommending that universities (and K-12) do not close for an extended period (7-28 days) should the numbers of infection dictate such action, but only close for a day or so in order to deep clean impacted areas. Oregon Tech will follow these state guidelines. Thus, closures are more likely to resemble a “snow day(s)” and be of limited duration rather than a prolonged period.  The Oregon Tech – Boeing campus is working to balance needs with information relative to the Seattle area and at the relevant Boeing facilities with the university’s support. The Dental Hygiene program at Chemeketa Community College will follow the guidance of that institution, and keep the Oregon Tech administration apprised of any information that they provide to their campus community.

Prevention

Please continue to protect yourself by taking these actions:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 sec (2 rounds of the ABCs song). If not available, use hand sanitizer (60% alcohol based or higher).
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing; dispose of the tissue immediately and wash hands.

Travel – Spring Break

At this time, Oregon Tech has not issued a ban on international travel of university students or employees. Please consider all of the factors when deciding to travel abroad; some countries are prohibiting individuals from entering. Spring break is approaching quickly and we are encouraging everyone to consider not traveling to areas with cases of COVID-19. If you do travel and become ill, please delay your return to campus until you do not have a fever or other symptoms for 24 hours. Students living on campus in Klamath Falls can stay in housing over the break by signing up with the Housing Office.

Next Steps

University officials will continue to be in contact with local and state health authorities. COVID-19 Planning and Response Team subcommittees will to meet and address new developments around this disease.  Please watch for additional communications about the COVID-19 situation and Oregon Tech’s response.

Questions

Please let me know if you have any questions.

For more detailed information on COVID-19, please visit the websites below:

Oregon Tech’s page: https://www.oit.edu/coronavirus/

Oregon Health Authority 2019-nCoV page: http://healthoregon.org/coronavirus

CDC 2019-nCoV page: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

WHO page: https://www.who.int/westernpacific/emergencies/novel-coronavirus

Please take all actions to stay well as we complete winter term, especially staying at home if you are ill. Thanks for helping Oregon Tech’s community stay healthy, and to continue our normal operations.

Sincerely,

Erin M. Foley, Ph.D.
Vice President & Dean of Students

Dear University Community,

Oregon Tech is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for our university community and we are actively monitoring the news regarding the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Oregon Tech has assembled a COVID Response Team that is meeting to develop campus continuation plans. Additional information regarding these plans will be shared as developments occur. We’d like to remind the entire community to continue to take the CDC-recommended precautions to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19 and influenza.

Oregon Tech is committed to providing credible and timely information to our university community and is working closely with local, state and federal public health agencies to make informed decisions and provide considered guidance. The Integrated Student Health Center continues to communicate with health officials and monitor the situation.

At this time, Oregon Tech is operating under normal schedules. If there are changes, we will communicate with our campuses immediately.

Sincerely,
Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow
President