Thursday, April 2, 2020

Dear FPU Community,

In an effort to continue to best provide for the safety of students, faculty, administrators and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, Fresno Pacific University will institute several changes starting Monday, April 6, 2020. Our goal is to safeguard our community while fulfilling our commitment to provide education to our 4,100 students throughout the Central Valley. Like all decisions we have made during this time, our actions are considered and based on information from health professionals and leaders of similar institutions of higher learning. Our team remains in regular contact with the Fresno County Department of Public Health and monitors communication from the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Online instruction to continue

  • All classes will remain online for the rest of the spring 2020 semester.
  • Degree completion sessions two, three and four will continue online through July 5.
  • The first session of graduate classes (May 11-June 19) will be online and a decision on classes for the second session (June 22-July 31) will be made by June 10.
  • The decision whether all traditional undergraduate summer sessions will be online will be made by May 1.

The university first suspended all in-person instruction March 16, using the following week to equip faculty to conduct classes online from March 21 through April 12. It became clear by the end of March that finishing the semester with online instruction was best. This applies to students in the traditional undergraduate, bachelor’s degree completion, graduate and seminary programs at all campuses.

All events scheduled to take place on any FPU campus through June 10 not already cancelled or postponed will not be held on the date scheduled. We will review the schedule for any events planned beyond that date.

Campus access to be reduced

In line with directives from the Fresno County Department of Public Health regarding employer screening of employees for “a new or worsening episode of either cough or shortness of breath, presenting with fever (temperature 38C/100.4F or higher) or chills in the previous 24 hours,” FPU is limiting access to and from each campus to a single point.

The main campus entrance will be the Hamilton Avenue gate near the swimming pool and the cafeteria. It will be staffed 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday. Those requesting access at other times will need to contact the Campus Safety Office at 559-453-2298 and be screened when they enter.

Access to the regional campuses will at the main entrances of those buildings and be staffed 3:00-7:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday. Signs will designate the proper entrance/exit point at all campuses.

Staff will ask anyone seeking to come on campus if they are experiencing symptoms. Employees and non-resident students answering yes or showing symptoms will not be allowed on campus. Instead, they will be excluded from the campus for seven days from the day they are identified as having symptoms and directed to isolate at home and notify all close contacts to quarantine themselves for 14 days from the last known contact with the employee. The health department defines close contact as having spent 15 minutes or more within six feet or less of the person showing symptoms.

REMINDER:  If any employee comes to campus (short time, intermittent or “essential”), DO NOT BRING YOUR CHILDREN TO CAMPUS.

For better safety, we are extending this practice to commuter students and visitors. Main campus gate codes will be changed so students, faculty and staff will all need to enter through the designated gate. Residential students will be expected to make the main campus their shelter-in-place “home” environment, only leaving campus for vital services as defined by local and state directives. A full text of the health department order is here: co.fresno.ca.us/home/showdocument?id=42188.

In addition, the Commuter House and Commuter Lounge in Jost Hall will be closed. The Al and Dotty Warkentine Lounge in Steinert Campus Center will remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Hiebert Library will remain open on its current schedule. Charlotte’s Coffee Corner will be open Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for carry-out service, but seating will be limited to one person per table. Also open are Pacific Bookshop, as well as the Harold and Betty Haak Tennis Complex and the track for students that remain in residence.

Regional campus students will still be able to access WiFi at each regional campus from 3:00-7:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday beginning Monday, April 6.

Working at home to continue

Employees presently working at home will continue to do so until May 15, with only essential employees at the campuses. The plan will be reviewed again in early May.

Service offices remain open

The offices at the main and regional campuses will remain physically closed, but all service areas will continue to be operational during the current shelter-in-place mandate. Students and others can contact the offices via phone, email or the website.

Food services limited to pick-up only

Seating in Shehadey Dining Hall will be closed. Meals will be available for pick up from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for lunch and 4:45-6:00 p.m. for dinner Monday-Friday with current weekend hours continuing. Charlotte’s will continue serving breakfast items to meal-plan students from 8:30-9:30 a.m.

Residential student information

With these changes we understand that some students still in campus housing may want to leave. We are extending the 10 percent refund for room and board to accommodate these students. Residence halls will remain open for students who wish to stay. Residential students can get specific information from the Residence Life Office.

No cases reported

While a small number of members of the FPU community have reported symptoms, they were tested and found negative for COVID-19. These members were isolated and individuals who had contact with them were also notified and asked to isolate themselves until results came in. We are thankful that to date we are not aware of any faculty, staff or students infected by the virus. Employees and commuter students with symptoms of any kind are strongly encouraged to stay home.

Trusting in God

In all things FPU continues to trust in the promises of Our Lord Jesus. We remain in prayer for all our community—from our students to health care providers and first responders to people fighting COVID-19. Thank you for your continuing prayers as we journey through this trial together. May our Lord’s peace rest upon the hearts and minds of you and your families. If there are specific ways we can pray for you or your family please let us know by filling out our prayer request form at fpu.edu/prayer-request.

For the latest information regarding FPU’s response to the COVID-19 situation, go to the website at fresno.edu/covid-19. Students, employees and their immediate families can contact On-Site Counseling and the MFT department for six free telehealth counseling sessions by MFT trainees. To make an appointment, call the referral line at 559-453-8050 and leave a message if necessary or email onsite@fresno.edu.

May God’s peace be with you,

Joseph Jones, Ph.D.
President

Author

Wayne Steffen
Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations