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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information

North Central University is closely monitoring the outbreak of a respiratory illness caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). University officials have been in contact with county and state officials and will continue to monitor updates from federal and international health agencies to track the situation.

The latest information affecting the North Central community will be posted here.

Read the latest update from North Central below

March 23, 2020 - message from President Scott Hagan

March 23, 2020

Dear NCU Community,

The past two weeks have brought a tsunami of change to campus and life as we know it. I pray you are swimming in the strength of the Lord as we all navigate these waters together.

We have some important updates to share with you today. As always, this information will also be posted on our emergency-management web page.

Commencement

We have made the painful decision that we must cancel our Commencement Ceremony on May 1 and our Hooding Ceremony for our master’s degree graduates on April 30. Given the uncertainty of how long the various restrictions of movement and activity will be in place due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., this became a necessary course of action. Please know that we are committed to celebrating our graduates! Though it may be delayed, we plan on holding a Commencement celebration to honor them at a later date.

Graduates, we would love to hear your ideas about the timing and type of celebration we should hold! Please fill out this 2020 Graduates idea form to help our team members know your thoughts.

Room and board

North Central will be returning the unused portion of your room and board charges onto your student account. This will mean that students who have left their residence hall or apartment will receive a prorated amount for the last seven weeks of the semester. The returned amount will appear either as a credit or as a reduction in the amount due on your student account. Please note, this amount will look different for each student based on their specific hall/apartment building, room type, and meal plan. Another email will be sent from the Student Financial Services office in the next 24 hours, outlining more specifics.

Chapel

We are pleased to be able to offer resources for your spiritual growth and connections with the NCU community during this season of a virtual learning environment. There will be a new chapel experience available each day at 11 a.m. on North Central’s YouTube channel. Virtual chapel is for those who want to take time during their day and worship and have a shared experience with the NCU community—even if people watch it at different times of the day. Attendance will not be taken for this virtual chapel experience, but we look forward to serving those who want to participate.

NCU faculty and staff

We are grateful for the concern expressed for NCU faculty and staff, who are all stepping up to the plate in an incredible way to serve our students. We want to assure you that during the remainder of our current fiscal year, all full-time and part-time permanent staff and faculty are guaranteed full pay, working either remotely or on campus as essential personnel.

Our unique assignment

Well, dear NCU family, I believe the major crossroads and decisions have now been made as an institution. Our immediate future has become painfully clear. For you seniors and master’s degree graduates, all I can say is, I’m so sorry.

These dramatic changes we are all experiencing can feel threatening to the traditions of closeness that mark life at NCU; however, there is hope ahead—because we have experienced the deep power of connection, love, and friendship. Our future is bright.

Every generation is given a unique assignment. This will be ours. I have every confidence in you and especially in our Lord.

Our world needs us, and that begins with our neighbor. Even in loss, our purpose to water this earth as graduates still remains.

 

I love you!

Scott Hagan

President

North Central University

 

P.S. While the major decisions seem to have been made, we should expect things to remain fluid for a while. We will stay on top of recommendations and mandates from health experts and our governing bodies and will continue to inform you of the impact at NCU. Please stay tuned to the websites and follow the recommendations below.

NCU’s COVID-19 Information Pages

Campus Safety Recommendations

  • For those who are living on campus: if you experience any signs of illness, please self-isolate and let a member of the Residence Life staff know. All employees, if you are sick or show any signs of illness, please stay away from campus.
  • If you are not registered to live or work on campus during this time, always check in at the Campus Safety and Security office in Miller Hall if you need to visit. It is best to call in advance, 612.343.4445.
  • Security remains on campus 24/7 to serve you. Call 612.343.4445 at any time for an escort or assistance.

Previous COVID-19 (coronavirus) updates

March 18, 2020 - message from President Scott Hagan

Dear NCU Community,

I’m sure you have all been watching as more colleges and universities have rapidly switched their plans from offering a few weeks of remote learning, to declaring that all classes will be remote through the remainder of the semester. As we have analyzed the landscape and observed efforts across the nation to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus, our Senior Leadership Team, faculty deans, and COVID-19 Task Force have concluded that our anticipated and hoped-for reunion after Easter cannot take place. Please take note of these important updates:

COURSE DELIVERY: North Central University will be extending the virtual learning environment that began this week through the remainder of the semester. There will be no more on-campus classes for the 2019–20 academic year.

COMMENCEMENT: We are actively monitoring the situation, studying various options, and placing prime importance on the safety of our students and the entire NCU community as we decide whether or not we will be able to hold our Commencement Ceremony on May 1. For the sake of our seniors, this is a decision we want to make with great care. Please look for communication about commencement in the days ahead.

ATHLETICS AND ACTIVITIES: The UMAC athletic conference confirmed this week that the remainder of the spring season is canceled for all sports. By necessity, we must also cancel all previously scheduled campus activities for the rest of the semester. We are still evaluating summer activities and travel.

At the end of this communication, you’ll find helpful information from our campus leaders with essential details that students and families will need to know regarding the logistics of closing out this semester.

The information coming from our government and news sources creates a lot of emotion for me. On the one hand, it feels like a slow, drip-by-drip daily dose of bad news. On the other hand, it feels like getting hit by a freight train. But no matter how I feel during that moment when the information first arrives, God always arrives NEXT and strengthens my heart and sensibilities. Our NCU family and infrastructure are more than ready to tackle this challenge.

I have been in leadership roles for most of my career, and the speed with which “business as usual” has disappeared from our national vocabulary is unlike anything I have ever seen.

As you can imagine, this situation has put everyone on our team on high alert. I wish you could personally see the depth of care and concern every member of our faculty and staff have shown for our students in this challenging time.

As many of you are aware, I, too, am a student slotted to graduate this May with my Ph.D.—something I’ve been working towards for seven years. I was so excited to walk across the stage on May 9, with friends and family there to help me celebrate. I recently found out that all this is now in flux at Gonzaga University, just as it is at NCU. Yet I am confident God has something MORE, not just different. So let’s watch Him work … together.

I am excited to share that Vice President Doug Graham and I are working on a plan to continue chapel services in an online format. We will have more details later this week or over the weekend and will be in touch with more information about optional virtual chapels starting soon!

Looking forward,

Scott Hagan

President

North Central University

 

Important notes for the remainder of the semester:

RESIDENTIAL STUDENTS

Students who have been approved this week to remain on campus may continue to do so.

Within the next couple of hours, a follow-up email will be sent outlining the necessary steps to follow to ensure a smooth check out procedure.

Here are instructions for students who may now wish to return to campus to collect their belongings:

  • All students must arrange a time to check out with a member of the Housing staff through Signup Genius [instructions to follow].
  • Students will have until May 2, 2020, to collect their belongings but are welcome to return in the next few days should they wish to check out early.
  • Please keep in mind that food services, campus amenities, and available resources on campus are limited at this time. We ask that students make every effort to expedite the moving out process as quickly as possible upon their return.

The Senior Leadership Team continues to evaluate a prorated refund for room and board charges, and we will communicate details as soon as we finalize the plan.

ONGOING COMMUNICATION

Skyline News and Skyline Report will be your sources for forthcoming details about business items such as getting mail and packages from CAMS and taking care of student finances.

Parents and others may also access ongoing updates at https://northcentral.edu/covid19. We will post specific details for students at https://northcentral.edu/covid19/students  and for faculty and staff at https://northcentral.edu/covid19/employees.

March 15, 2020 - message from President Scott Hagan

March 15, 2020

Dear NCU Community,

I’m sure you have all been watching with concern the rapidly changing landscape as cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus have increased in Minnesota and nationwide. Here in Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz has called for all Minnesota public schools to be closed by March 18 and remain closed at least through March 27. This swift and unprecedented action has caused us to accelerate our actions, as well.

We are acutely aware of the critical need for social distancing and other recommended protocols to protect our NCU community and the community at large. With the recommendations of our Emergency Response Team and Faculty Deans, our Senior Leadership Team has decided that North Central University will be conducting our regular on-campus classes via a virtual instruction learning environment beginning Monday, March 16 (as previously announced), now with an extension through Monday, April 13, with an anticipated return to regular in-person instruction on Tuesday, April 14.

Our fully online courses will continue with no modifications.

Additionally, effective Tuesday, March 17, all faculty and staff who are able to conduct their work remotely will begin telecommuting during the same time frame. Staff will be on campus on March 16 and will be expected to use it as a prep day for short-term telecommuting.

Here are some specific realities that will be in place during this time frame:

STUDENTS

• To protect our resident student population as comprehensively as possible, only students who are unable to return home, have an approved internship or student-teaching obligation, or other approved reason for remaining on campus will be allowed to stay in their campus residence.
• Students who believe they meet the criteria for remaining on campus will need to be approved to do so and must contact Student Development at studlife@northcentral.edu by Tuesday, March 17, to make a request and receive further instructions.
• Those who stay on campus will have access to essential campus services, including food services.
• All other students and students who are not approved to remain on campus will be expected to return home or make arrangements to stay off campus.
• Students who need items from their campus residence should contact Student Development at studlife@northcentral.edu and will need to remove those items by Wednesday, March 18, at 4:30 p.m.
• Student employees will not be working during this time unless specifically requested to do so by their supervisor.
• Modification of room and board fees in light of these circumstances are under review and will be communicated when details become available.

FACULTY/STAFF

• Personnel essential for physical operations and student services will be notified by their supervisors and will continue to report to work as usual.
• Faculty and staff will receive additional instructions for carrying out their responsibilities during this time from their supervisors and Human Resources.
• We are suspending all non-essential, university-sponsored domestic travel, in addition to the previously announced suspension of international travel. This includes air, bus, and train travel, effective March 17 through the end of the spring semester. Faculty or staff members who believe they have an essential business reason to travel can seek approval through their SLT leader, but the expectation is that such approval will be rare.

CAMPUS HEALTH AND SAFETY

• All best-practice protocols for keeping campus common areas clean and sanitized will continue to be deployed.
• We will continue to follow guidelines as recommended by the CDC and Minnesota Department of Health.

ACTIVITIES AND ATHLETICS

• All spring athletics are suspended for the duration of the season.
• All campus activities falling within the March 16–April 13 window are canceled.

WHAT’S AHEAD

NCU leaders met throughout the weekend and will continue to meet this week to work through anticipated ramifications of this unexpected season for our university.

I am grateful to the Lord to report that at this time, there are no known cases of COVID-19 on the North Central University campus, and we are asking our entire campus community to continue to practice all recommended guidelines for reducing the risk of spreading germs and illness of all kinds, including COVID-19.

The plans outlined above will remain in effect as indicated, and we will amend them as needed to follow additional guidelines of designated health authorities. Additionally, the plans for allowing campus residency are contingent upon NCU remaining free from any verified cases of COVID-19. If any community member on campus tests positive for COVID-19, we need to anticipate a different course of action that would be conducted in close cooperation with local health authorities.

COMMUNICATION

Email remains an essential form of communication for the NCU community and I encourage you to check your NCU email regularly during this time, as things can change rapidly. We will continue to post updates at northcentral.edu/covid19 so your parents and others may stay connected with the COVID-19 impact at North Central University.

CAST YOUR CARES ON HIM

NCU family, this is a hard season. I am especially aware of the impact this has on our NCU seniors and those of you who are prematurely ending athletic seasons, theatre productions, and so many things you had planned for the next several weeks.

I am praying for all of you, and I ask you all to choose at this time to BE NCU, an institution rooted in Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. We are equipped to walk through this differently, believing in the power of prayer and in the ability of God to do amazing things through these trials.

As you know, I use social media as a way to connect with people, and today I shared a reflection from my heart. The essential message was this:

Jesus provides the perfect answer to our anxiety or fear through the pen of the Apostle Peter, “CAST (throw) all your anxiety ON Him (Jesus) because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:17). In one impulsive act, we can hurl all of our disorganized uncertainties ON him, not simply at Him.

I need to recognize and believe that in the same way Jesus took my sins ON Himself and bore (wore) them on the cross—forever dealing with sin’s cost and ugly after-effects. In the same way Jesus BORE (and wore) my anxieties and fears.

Think of it this way: When I CONFESSED my sin, Jesus bore them on the cross. When I CAST my anxieties, Jesus bore them as well on the cross —”confession” and “casting” work the same way.

Be at peace.

Scott Hagan
President
North Central University

March 11, 2020 - message from President Scott Hagan

Dear NCU Students, Faculty, and Staff,

While there are no known or suspected cases of the COVID-19 Coronavirus on the North Central campus, the Senior Leadership Team of North Central University is implementing the actions below:

  • For the week of March 16–22, there will be no in-person instruction taking place on the North Central University campus. Instead, students will be doing coursework for their in-person courses via Moodle, according to directions provided by their professors.
    • We encourage all students currently off campus for spring break to remain at home.
    • We encourage local students who are on campus now, and have the ability to go home, to do so.
    • We recognize that for some students the safest, most secure place will be on campus. At this time, residence halls, dining services, and other student services will continue.
  • All fully online classes will continue without any adjustments to the course schedule.
  • The university will remain open for normal operations, including food service, although service hours may be modified.
  • All campus activities, including the March 19–22 performances of “Into the Woods,” student activities, and residence-life activities are canceled.
  • All Athletics operations, which includes varsity practices and games for all in-season sports, will be suspended through at least March 23, 2020. Any potential rescheduling will be done on a case-by-case basis.
  • All employees of the University should report for work as usual. Supervisors and human resource personnel will work with employees to determine if telecommuting is necessary.
    • Large meetings of 25 or more people, including scheduled all-staff and all-faculty meetings, will be canceled. Smaller meetings will take place at the discretion of team leaders.
  • Our Housekeeping and Facilities teams will continue all best-practice protocols to keep campus sanitized and safe.
  • All university-sponsored international travel is being canceled for the remainder of spring semester.
    • The planned Chorale trip to Italy in May has been canceled.
    • Other spring/summer international travel will be evaluated, and any changes or cancellations will be communicated at a later date.
    • Domestic travel will continue as needed and any new travel recommendations will be closely monitored.
    • If this change in schedule affects student travel via airlines, we encourage you to check with your airline carrier to see if you can make changes; many are making accommodations due to the COVID-19 situation worldwide.

UPDATES AND QUESTIONS

All further updates will be communicated on this page.

Updates will also be distributed via email to those with North Central University email accounts and via special editions of the Parent and Family News. If parents are not currently on the parent/family list, they may subscribe here.

Questions about any of these action items may directed to emergencymanagement@northcentral.edu.

A staff member will get back to you as soon as possible.

BACKGROUND

The COVID-19 outbreak represents an unprecedented health crisis and is creating challenges for every aspect of our society. Late in the day when students departed for spring break (Friday, March 6) we received the first report of COVID-19 being diagnosed in Minnesota. Since Friday, there have been five reported cases, with the anticipation the number will continue to rise.

Due to the highly contagious nature of this virus and the susceptibility of communal campus life, we believe this pause, at minimum, is needed. COVID-19’s appearance in Minnesota is in its early stages and happening in real time. We will be taking the next several days to thoroughly evaluate all foreseeable risk factors and contingency plans before the majority of students return to campus.

Our top priority is to protect those on our campus who are most at risk from COVID-19—those with underlying health conditions that make them more vulnerable to severe illness from the virus—as well as the health of the general NCU community and the greater Twin Cities community in which we live. We have made this decision in keeping with nearby schools such as the University of Minnesota and have been in communication with sister CCCU schools in the area, as well, who have taken or are considering similar precautions.

Knowledge of the COVID-19 behavior in increasing and we will continue to closely monitor public health recommendations for Minnesota as we determine operations for the remainder of the semester.

We will be providing more information and developing detailed FAQs in the days to come. We appreciate your patience and support as we work through all of the implications of these changes.

PERSONAL REFLECTION

This outbreak has been very personal for me. My own mother, Beverly, is a resident of an elderly care facility in Tacoma, WA. The Pacific Northwest elderly in these facilities are among the highest risk groups in the world. Please keep my mom and our precious senior adult population in your prayers. As I have watched the Coronavirus situation unfold with the rest of the world, my heart has been awakened, not only for the thousands of people whose health and lives have been impacted, but also by the spirit of fear that seems to be gripping humanity.

I want to make sure that we do not confuse precaution with fear. Because of the unique environment of an urban residential college, it’s imperative that we work to prevent the arrival of COVID-19 on campus, and our precaution is to do the best to ensure the health and safety of the community.

Our ultimate assurance for health and safety always has been, and always will be in God alone. The Apostle Paul reminds us: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7).

Trusting in Christ,

Scott Hagan
President
North Central University

March 5, 2020

March 5, 2020

North Central University is closely monitoring the outbreak of a respiratory illness caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, in December 2019.

According to state health officials, at this time there are no confirmed cases in Minnesota.

University officials have been in contact with county and state officials and will continue to monitor updates from federal and international health agencies to monitor the situation.

To help keep campus healthy year-round, North Central University maintains hand-sanitizing stations in classrooms and other public spaces. As a reminder to the community in this season, laminated signs with instructions for effective hand-washing procedures are being posted in all public restrooms.

Spring break and travel

COVID-19 continues to spread to countries around the world and can present challenges to travelers. Recommendations and restrictions for international travel are constantly changing. Please check the CDC website for the most updated information regarding travel to various areas and countries. It is important to consider not only potential exposure to the virus but also the possibility of being stranded abroad due to a suspension of airline services and other modes of transportation or being required to quarantine upon return to the United States.

Faculty, staff, and students planning personal travel (either domestically or internationally) should carefully watch the U.S. Department of State and CDC guidance on COVID-19 and prepare for the possibility of rapidly changing travel restrictions. Any university faculty, staff or student returning from travel abroad may be required to quarantine, as determined by the Minnesota Department of Health, for up to 14 days.

North Central University does not currently have any students studying abroad in countries that have declared travel bans.

About COVID-19

Symptoms

Current symptoms include mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

Things to know

University staff are closely adhering to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and have set in motion a number of strategies to identify and monitor any potential cases.

If you have recently traveled to an area where COVID-19 has been confirmed, or have been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus, health officials encourage you to seek further guidance from your preferred health professional.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection. Below are everyday actions to decrease the spread of respiratory viruses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. NCU Housekeeping should be contacted to disinfect public surfaces if needed.
  • Students who are ill should not attend class. They should contact their instructor, via email or telephone, to discuss appropriate adjustments. Instructors are encouraged to make appropriate adjustments based on their courses.

As of early March 2020, the Minnesota Department of Health is not recommending any change in university operation, including attendance for students, faculty, or staff.

North Central University leaders and emergency response personnel will continue to closely monitor, update, and modify action plans and communication should the COVID-19 virus arrive in Minnesota, or more importantly, on campus. Updates regarding our plans for prevention and response to this health situation will be communicated to students, faculty, and staff via Skyline or email and posted on this page. Please be aware that our plans may also be directed by the CDC and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).

Additional resources

For more information about COVID-19, please visit the following websites: