Coronavirus information

Coronavirus (COVID-19)


 


The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff are our top priority. As the instances of COVID-19 increase in the U.S., Pittsburg State University is modifying operations. Here's what you need to know now.

CARES Act Status: Pittsburg State University has submitted an application for federal emergency relief as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. If eligibility requirements are all met, each Pell-eligible full-time student will receive $800, and each Pell-eligible part-time student will receive $400. Non-Pell-eligible students are not guaranteed funds, but should submit an application by May 31. Eligibility requirements and preparation suggestions can be found in the University Messages below from 5/14/2020 and 5/15/ 2020.     

coronavirus

University Messages

Messages and communication sent to Pittsburg State students, faculty and staff.

Current Week

Past weeks

Event Cancellations

  • Until further notice, all Pittsburg State University events are cancelled starting March 16
  • Confessions of a Video Game Addict (4 p.m. Monday, March 16, Bicknell Family Center for the Arts)

FAQ's


  • Should I cancel my spring break vacation plans?
  • What is Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
  • How is it transmitted?
  • What are the symptoms?
  • What is the treatment?
  • How can I protect myself and others?
  • What do I do if I have credible reason to believe I’ve been exposed to COVID-19?
  • Is it safe to travel to infected areas?
  • What is Pittsburg State University doing to prepare?
  • Are there any specific measures being taken in residence halls?
  • Are we still holding events?
  • Can I still travel to infected areas on university business or for academic reasons?
  • If I choose on my own to travel to an infected area, what happens when I return?
  • The CDC recommends staying home if coronavirus symptoms (fever, coughing, shortness of breath) are present. Will Pittsburg State University implement a consistent process for students so they aren’t penalized by strict attendance policies by individual instructors?
  • What about employees who have coronavirus symptoms? Can they work from home?
  • Who can use the Student Health Center services?
  • How would PSU make a decision to close because of COVID-19?
  • Can I travel domestically on university business or for academic or club reasons?
Yes. We strongly encourage you to avoid travel at this time. The virus situation is evolving daily, and growth is accelerating. Destinations that seem less impacted today can change overnight and without warning. Practice social distancing, stay home as much as possible, and follow CDC guidelines for protecting yourself and others. If you do travel, expect a 14-day quarantine when you return, depending on the situation at your destination. 

COVID-19 is a respiratory virus in the family of coronaviruses.

It is spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. This can happen from direct contact, or contact with droplets on surfaces and then touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, and gastrointestinal issues. All can be mild or severe. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19. Supportive care to relieve symptoms should be done while the virus runs its course. Severely ill people may be hospitalized.

The most important think you can do right now is to distance yourself from others. Social distancing (staying home, staying away from crowds, isolating) is an effective way to stop the spread.

Please also always follow the CDC recommendations:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home and away from others when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces daily using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Carry germ wipes and wipe down shared electronic devices (keyboards, mice, printers, copiers, phones) before using.
  • Regularly sanitize your own electronic devices, and avoid sharing devices

Contact your healthcare provider (which could be the Student Health Center) by phone and explain the reason you believe you’ve been exposed. Even if you do not have symptoms, self-isolate until released by your healthcare provider. If you have credible reason to believe you have been exposed or have symptoms of COVID-19, describe everything to your healthcare provider so a plan can be put in place for your diagnosis and care.

All university-realted travel is suspended. Personal vacation travel is strongly discouraged. 

The state of Kansas mandates a 14-day quarantine for anyone who travels to areas deemed high risk. For the list of locations, click here

Further, the CDC has issued travel notices and levels to determine risks in traveling to certain areas.

  • Warning Level 3:Avoid nonessential travel
  • Alert Level 2: Practice enhanced precautions
  • Watch Level 1:Practice usual precautions:
    • Avoid contact with sick people.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty. It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
For the latest information on cases in the US, click here. For the latest information on travel recommendations and the global situation, click here.

We have activated our Critical Response Management Team, which is meeting daily to determine how we reduce exposure for our students, faculty, and staff, and to prepare. All university-related travel is suspended. All events on our campus are canceled for the remainder of the semester, including commencement ceremonies in May. Students were released one week early for spring break. Residence halls have closed except to those students without permanent US residences or for a few other special circumstances. Coursework is moving away from face-to-face and will resume on Monday, March 30 via alternative delivery methods for the remainder of the semester. Most campus facilities are closed for two weeks starting end of day Friday, March 20.  We’ll continue to monitor expert resources and follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. This is a dynamic situation, so we will monitor and take action on a daily basis.

UPDATE May 20, 2020

Summer coursework is moved online. On May 4, the University announced intent to resume face-to-face courses and student life for the fall. Three working groups across academics, student life, and budget/finance are setting the institution on a path to a safe return in August. 

Residence halls have closed except to those students without permanent US residences or for a few other special circumstances. Custodial services and food service will remain for these students.

No. All events on the campus of Pittsburg State University are canceled for the remainder of the semester, including commencement ceremonies in May.

UPDATE May 20 2020

Events remain suspended through June 2020.

All university-led travel is suspended for the spring semester.

UPDATE May 20, 2020

All university-led travel remains suspended through the summer semester. 

We strongly discourage personal travel at this time. If you proceed with vacation or other travel, you may be subject to a 14-day quarantine when you return. Please monitor travel alerts from the CDC, KDHE, and WHO for information. Travel restrictions and quarantine rules can change suddenly and without warning.
Individual instructor attendance policies are in place. Coursework resumes via alternative teaching methods on March 30.

Always stay home if you are sick to avoid the risk infecting others and worsening your own condition. Campus facilities are closed for two weeks starting end of day Friday, March 20. 

UPDATE MAY 20, 2020

As part of the Families First Act, the federal government is providing COVID-19 leave. Read about it here

All current students who pay fees can use the Student Health Center. Students in online degree programs who do not pay the Campus Privilege Fee and are therefore not eligible for access to the Student Health Fee may pay the student health fee ($76, paid at the Student Recreation Center) and get access to the Student Health Center. Visits are free, though charges could result if tests are necessary or medicine is prescribed. Employees of Pittsburg State University (faculty and staff) can use the Student Health Center for a $30 fee per visit, with additional charges for tests and prescriptions. The Student Health Center does not require any students, faculty, or staff to have health insurance.

Pittsburg State University is moving all instruction to alternative delivery methods starting March 30. No face-to-face courses will be held for the remainder of the semester. Campus facilities are also closed for two weeks starting end of day Friday, March 20. We are closely following the recommendations from the CDC, the KDHE, and the Crawford County Health Department for reopening facilities. 

UPDATE May 20, 2020

Most campus facilities remain closed. The University is carefully following Ad Astra: A Plan for Reopening Kansas, which was released by Governor Laura Kelly on May 1, 2020. All custodial, maintenance, trades, and grounds teams are working on campus, as are the staff of the Bryant Student Health Center. The campus post office operates, as does Printing & Design. Other offices for student services are reopening with modified schedules in the coming weeks. All other employees are working from home. 

All university-led travel is suspended for the remainder of the semester, and for the summer. 

University Messages



CARES Act: Assistance Availability for Students

Friday 05/15/20 03:50 PM

Last week we gave students a heads-up about determining their eligibility for financial assistance from the federal government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.  

Here’s what students need to know now:

PELL-ELIGIBLE STUDENTS

  • Every Pell-eligible student will receive assistance, if they meet the eligibility requirements below.
  • Pell-eligible full-time students will receive $800, and Pell-eligible part-time students will receive $400.
  • Pell-eligible students DO NOT apply for assistance – you will automatically qualify as long as you meet the eligibility requirements below
  • Pell-eligible students can expect to receive payments within 4 weeks if direct deposit information has been provided
  • Eligibility requirements for Pell students:
    • Must be enrolled in PSU on/after March 13, 2020
    • Must be a degree-seeking student (certificate, associates, bachelors, masters, or doctorate degree)
    • Must not be in loan default or have grant or loan over-payment status
    • Must be currently making satisfactory academic progress at PSU
    • Must have a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file. They still have time to file one at https://studentaid.gov, so they should do so if not done already.
    • Must be eligible to receive Title IV federal aid (as determined by FAFSA)
    • Must have expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19
    • They are INELIGIBLE if they are an international or undocumented student, or if they were enrolled in an online-only program at the time of the emergency declaration on March 13, 2020.

NON-PELL-ELIGIBLE STUDENTS

  • Non-Pell students must apply for assistance at https://bit.ly/2Z5GPef.
  • Deadline for first consideration of applications is May 31
  • One application per student is allowed
  • Assistance is not guaranteed
  • The amount of assistance is not determined at this time
  • The date for payments to non-Pell students will be announced after May 31
  • Non-Pell students must meet these eligibility requirements:
    • Must be enrolled in PSU on/after March 13, 2020
    • Must be a degree-seeking student (certificate, associates, bachelors, masters, or doctorate degree)
    • Must not be in loan default or have grant or loan overpayment status
    • Must be currently making satisfactory academic progress at PSU
    • Must have a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file. You still have time to file one at https://studentaid.gov, so they should do so if not done already.
    • Must be eligible to receive Title IV federal aid (as determined by FAFSA)
    • Must have expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19
    • They are INELIGIBLE if they are an international or undocumented student, or if they were enrolled in an online-only program at the time of the emergency declaration on March 13, 2020.

What can students do to prepare?


Campus facilities closure extended until June 1

Friday 05/15/20 11:46 AM

As Kansas progresses through AdAstra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas and assesses the state’s status, Governor Laura Kelly has added a new phase, Phase 1.5. The new phase starts Monday, and continues to prohibit gatherings of over 10 people but does allow certain business types to reopen with precautions.

Though progress is slow, we are getting closer to reopening our campus to our employees, students, and the public. Thanks to all of you for the health-focused practices you’ve put in place to protect our community from COVID-19. The resulting low number of cases in our county indicates they’re working.

Through Phase 1.5 at minimum, social distancing, limiting travel, mask wearing, and telework remain strongly encouraged. Therefore, the facilities of Pittsburg State University will remain largely closed for now. The next assessment regarding reopening campus will occur before June 1.

Employees currently working from home will continue to do so during this time. Essential personnel who are already coming to campus for work will continue to do so. Additional personnel will be added as required to support campus operations and prepare for a full reopening.

Custodial, maintenance, trades, and groundskeeping staff are working on campus. To aid prospective and current students, additional offices could open with limited hours and staggered work schedules.

To prepare for our eventual full reopening, we’ve purchased masks for every full-time employee, and departments will be able to request them for part-time employees and students as needed. We’re also purchasing plexiglass sneeze guards for high-traffic, public-facing areas, and floor stickers encouraging social distancing will be available.

To comply with Crawford County’s public health order, any employees reporting to campus for work are required to complete a daily health questionnaire. PDF and online versions of this questionnaire are available at pittstate.edu/coronavirus.

Once again, the health and safety of our campus community is our highest priority. We will continue to carefully monitor the situation and assess needs, making adjustments as we go. 


CARES Act: What it means for PSU students

Thursday 05/14/20 06:16 PM

As we weather the pandemic, the federal government has passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide financial relief to states, workers, and small businesses.

In addition, the CARES Act includes the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund that enables universities like ours to provide direct financial assistance to students.

Pittsburg State University will receive approximately $2.6 million reserved specifically for student financial relief. The federal government requires strict eligibility guidelines – not every student will qualify for relief.

Students must meet the following eligibility requirements:
   - Must be enrolled in PSU on/after March 13, 2020
   - Must be a degree-seeking student (certificate, associates, bachelors, masters,
     or doctorate degree)
   - Must not be in loan default or have grant or loan overpayment status
   - Must be currently making satisfactory academic progress at PSU
   - Must have a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file. You still
     have time to file one at https://studentaid.gov, so please do that if you have not
     already.
   - Must be eligible to receive Title IV federal aid (as determined by FAFSA)
   - Must have expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to
     COVID-19

Who is NOT eligible?
   - International and undocumented students
   - Students enrolled in only online programs before the COVID-19 emergency
     declaration on March 13, 2020

We are hard at work creating a CARES Act student relief application system, and it’ll be released within the next week. 

What can students do to prepare now?
   - Make sure students have a FAFSA on file. If not, they can do so at https://studentaid.gov.
   - Set up direct deposit with Pitt State so your payment comes as soon as
     possible. Do so at https://psuapps.pittstate.edu/ui/CASH/studentbanking/bankinfo.

May 6 Town Hall Questions and Answers

Wednesday 05/06/20 04:45 AM

I’m a student and I have an underlying health condition that prevents my return to campus until there is a vaccine. Will I be able to take all of my courses online?

The answer to this question is unique to each student, and is dependent on the student’s major. It might be possible for some students and not possible for others, but every effort will be made to help students stay on a path to graduation in some form. Students in this position should immediately begin talking to their advisor to determine options.

Will PSU students receive CARES Act relief?

Eligible students (which likely is not all students) will receive relief payments. We have submitted an application for our portion of the funding. The language of the CARES Act gives us some flexibility in how we disperse the funds, and we are planning this carefully to ensure our decisions adhere to the guidelines. We need to get it right.

Are we raising tuition given the financial strain most students are suffering?

We do expect a modest tuition increase to ensure we can continue to operate at the standard our students expect. We are working hard to balance our budget, reduce spending, and secure an appropriate level of state funding so we can limit our increases in tuition.

When we return to campus, will faculty and students be required to wear masks?

It is unlikely that we will require masks for everyone, but in keeping with the recommendations from public health officials it is very likely that we will strongly encourage it for all and require it for those who work in close proximity to others.

What extra precautions will we take in the fall to keep students, faculty, and staff safe?

The work groups for Academics and Student Life are working through these now. We will set these based on recommendations from public health officials.

Will Pitt State host summer camps this year?

We will not host any camps in June. Some camps are rescheduling for July, and barring any further restrictions from state and local public health officials, we should be able to hold camps by then while adhering to group size orders for that time.

Will we have events on the Oval and at the Bicknell when we return?

Every event and every venue is different, so we can’t say definitively right now whether all events can happen as they normally would. We do expect changes, and expect ingenuity and innovation in how we host and manage events on campus. The Student Life working group will be discussing events in the coming months.  

When will we know if we will have a football season?

That timeline is not clear. Discussions at the MIAA and NCAA are underway. We are hopeful we’ll have football and all fall sports.

PSU’s Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology was a huge help when we had to swiftly move to online instruction. Can we expand their resources to prepare for this in the future, and the general increase in online instruction?

We agree they have done excellent work and are an indispensable part of our campus. We can’t guarantee any additional resources for CTLT specifically, but we know the work they do is a priority.

Is there an expectation that some or all PSU offices on campus will have open office hours over the summer? 

We expect this to change and evolve as summer starts and progresses. Given the nature of their work and our commitment to students, we do plan to open a few offices such as Admission and Student Financial Assistance. These will open with modified hours and with staggered employee schedules. As the threat of the virus subsides and more needs arise, other offices will open.

Is it possible we’ll have furloughs, layoffs, and salary reductions?

We are fortunate to live in a state that has carefully managed resources and is financially sound, and we are in the same position on our own campus. While this helps us and means we have not had to make any immediate changes, we will likely not be immune from cuts similar to those being made by other universities across the nation. We must make sure our institution remains viable, and given the financial outlook in our state we are not taking cuts of this nature off the table at this time.


Fall at Pittsburg State University

Monday 05/04/20 02:26 PM

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our institution in ways that were difficult to predict. It changed how we provide instruction, how we honor our students and graduates, how we welcome the public to our campus, and how we orient our new students for fall. All of these swift and temporary changes were made to protect the health and safety of our campus community.

At the same time, our mission has not changed. We have a commitment to our students and to the community to provide transformational experiences and to live up to our founding principle “by doing, learn.” At the heart of these is a thriving campus with students actively pursuing their goals. 

With this in mind, we intend to return to campus in the fall with face-to-face classes, open residence halls, and a resumption of student life. There are still many unknowns. Campus life will not be the same – there will be differences – though not all of those differences are defined. What we can say with certainty now is that health and safety will remain the top priority.

Bringing Pitt State back together will require careful planning, close communication with our public health officials, and well-coordinated decision making across campus. To accomplish this, President Steve Scott has assembled three Pitt State Together working groups to determine how we’ll safely return to campus in the fall.  

  • Academics – chaired by Dr. Howard Smith, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. This group will explore and make recommendations for safely resuming face-to-face instruction for the fall semester, including consideration of course schedules, the academic calendar, curricular design, and classroom, lab, library, and office safety.
  • Student Life – chaired by Dr. Steve Erwin, Vice President for Student Life. This group will explore and make recommendations for safely returning students to university housing and access to student life resources and activities.
  • Budget and Finance – chaired by Doug Ball, Chief Financial Officer. This group will explore and make recommendations to address the financial impact of returning to campus this fall as well as responding to the overall impact of the virus on University finances, including tuition and fee discounts, revenue opportunities, options for budget reductions, and more.

The membership in these groups is broad to ensure we hear from and represent the interests of every area of the University. We know we cannot eliminate all risk, but we can anticipate challenges and mitigate as much as possible to ensure we have options.

On Wednesday, May 6 at 11:00 a.m. on KRPS, Dr. Scott and Dr. Howard Smith will host their second town hall to discuss the Pitt State Together planning process. They’ll take questions in advance and live during the broadcast at social@pittstate.edu.

Working Groups:

Academics – chaired by Dr. Howard Smith. Members are:

  • James Truelove, Dean
  • Greg Murray, Chairperson
  • Kevin Bracker/Dr. Cole Shewmake, Faculty Senate
  • Grant Moss/Dr. Khamis Siam, PSU-KNEA
  • Kristi Frisbee, Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing
  • Susan Dellasega, Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology
  • Julie Blanken, Student Financial Assistance
  • Melinda Roelfs, Registrar
  • Rita Girth, Bryant Student Health Center
  • Bill Hoyt, Information Technology Systems
  • Brad Stefanoni, Purchasing and Unclassified Professional Staff
  • Tim Senecaut, Physical Plant Services and Grounds
  • Kristi Geier, Administrative Staff
  • Seth George, Student Government Association
  • Amy Hammesfahr, Graduate Student

Student Life – chaired by Dr. Steve Erwin. Members are:

  • Kathleen Sandness, Bryant Student Health Center
  • Connie Malle, Student Housing
  • Stu Hite, University Police & Parking
  • Eva Sager, Campus Activities
  • Vince Daino, Campus Recreation
  • Kristina Taylor, Sodexo Campus Services
  • Fawn Arndt, Barnes & Noble
  • Jim Johnson, Intercollegiate Athletics
  • Rocky Restivo, Faculty
  • Mandy Peak, Faculty
  • Deatrea Rose, Student Diversity
  • Kevin Malle, Physical Plant Services and Grounds
  • Lexi Houser, Students
  • Barbara Jemison, Purchasing
  • Becky Krause, Information Technology Systems
  • Joe Firman, Bicknell Family Center for the Arts
  • Randy Roberts, Axe Library
  • Jeff Steinmiller, Overman Student Center

Budget and Finances, chaired by Doug Ball. Members are:

  • Kathleen Flannery, University Advancement
  • Shawn Naccarato, University Strategic Initiatives and Government Affairs
  • Barbara Winter, Business Office
  • Jim Hughes, Purchasing
  • Lauren Werner, Budget
  • Debbie Amershek/Lori Dreiling, Human Resource Services
  • Tammy Higgins, Student Financial Assistance
  • La Donna Flynn, Internal Audit
  • Angela Neria, Information Technology Services
  • Paul Grimes, Dean
  • Cheryl Giefer, Chairperson
  • Joe Levens, Faculty
  • Brian Sims, Faculty
  • Jason Kegler, Student Life
  • Tom Westhoff, Student Housing
  • Terry Pierce, Unclassified Support Staff

Ex officio members for all working groups are:

  • Abby Fern, Chief Marketing and Communication Officer
  • Jamie Brooksher, General Counsel
  • Jaime Dalton, Chief of Staff

 

 


Campus facilities closure extended until May 18

Friday 05/01/20 11:55 AM

As part of a larger plan to reopen the state’s economy, last night Governor Kelly released Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas. The phased plan lifts the stay-at-home order that expires on May 3 and sets the baseline level of state-wide restrictions, all of which reduce over time as the threat of COVID-19 subsides in our state. The threat reduction is measured by a stable or declining number of new cases, hospital admissions, and deaths; communities’ ability to test, trace contacts, and isolate those infected; and the availability of personal protective equipment for those who require it.

The statewide plan allows for gatherings of fewer than ten people and enables the reopening of restaurants, shops, and other businesses so long as safety protocols are followed. At the same time, social distancing, limiting travel, mask wearing, and telework remain strongly encouraged. Read the state’s plan here.

Further, the plan calls for individual counties to set additional restrictions locally as needed, depending on the situation in their communities. Read Crawford County’s plan here, which provides additional guidance to employers and workplaces.

This does not immediately change our processes at Pitt State. Our campus facilities will remain closed at least until May 18, aligning with expected end of Phase 1 of the governor’s plan.

Employees currently working from home will continue to do so during this time. Essential personnel who are already coming to campus for work will continue to do so. Additional personnel will be added as required to support campus operations. Social distancing is required for those on campus, as well as additional precautionary measures in place within departments.

To comply with the county’s order, any employees reporting to campus for work will be required to complete a daily questionnaire about their health as it relates to COVID-19 symptoms or activities that potentially exposed them to an infected person. Supervisors will receive additional guidance about this today.

This is no doubt the beginning of a process to reopen our campus, but this cannot happen overnight. The health and safety of our campus community is paramount. We will continue to carefully monitor the situation and assess needs, making adjustments as we go. Please stay in close contact with your supervisor to understand your responsibilities.


Spring Commencement

Wednesday 04/29/20 03:15 PM

In March, we made the difficult decision to cancel our May commencement ceremonies due to ongoing uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, our commencement team has been hard at work devising a new plan to honor our graduates and their accomplishments in other ways.

To help us make our decisions, we surveyed seniors to understand their preferences. A majority of students prefer a face-to-face ceremony dedicated to those who would have walked across the stage in May. We are happy to announce that this ceremony will take place on Saturday, December 12.

We fully recognize and appreciate that many of our graduates will depart Pittsburg for jobs and lives after Pittsburg State University, and making their way back to campus in December could be challenging. We’ve done our best to choose a date that allows for the most flexibility and time to plan. Also, this date is safest considering the public health threat related to large gatherings, which is expected to extend through the summer.

Whether or not a graduate walks in December, their name will appear in the recording posted to the University’s Vimeo and YouTube channels after the event.

In addition, we’ve planned a variety of features of our graduating seniors, which you’ll see on our social media channels and website over the coming weeks. We’ll revisit this process in December.

Finally, each graduating senior will receive copies of the commencement program as well as a unique keepsake that marks the occasion. 

Graduation from college is a defining milestone in one’s life, and our goal is to recognize our graduates in the most robust way possible in these unprecedented times.


Fall 2020 New Student Orientation Moving Online

Thursday 04/23/20 04:10 PM

As we've shifted academic experiences online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we did the same for new student recruitment and current student support services. Now that all summer coursework will also be online to ensure health and safety on our campus, we are doing the same for new student orientation (Pitt CARES). It will also be shifted online for the fall 2020 semester.

All orientation activities will be online in Canvas. All required orientation activities must be completed online, and students required to participate in Pitt CARES must attend a live Zoom session on their orientation date to be eligible to enroll. Reminder: enrollment for new students occurs on their orientation date.

Pitt CARES is required for all 2020 high school graduates, and optional for transfer students. Online orientation will not require a fee. If students have already registered and paid the fee, they will be refunded.

Further, on Saturday, August 15, an optional orientation gathering for students, parents, and families is planned on the campus of Pittsburg State University. Should this event be canceled due to ongoing health concerns, everyone will be notified.

We look forward to welcoming our new students to campus as soon as possible, but in the meantime we will welcome them with the same level of care and attention – but online. If you have any questions about this process, please direct them to orientation@pittstate.edu


April 21 Town Hall Questions and Answers

Tuesday 04/21/20 04:30 PM

Will we be operating under traditional summer hours this year?

Yes. Summer hours will start as planned on May 17 and end August 8. More details about this will come soon.

Can we assign new duties to those staying home but not working? Help in other departments?

This is certainly an option, though not necessary at this time. We are slowly restarting some functions on campus that will bring these employees back to work safely. We encourage everyone in this position to stay in close contact with supervisors to ensure you’re available when needed.

How are we honoring graduates in lieu of commencement?

Canceling May commencement was a very difficult decision, and we’re working hard to ensure these graduates know how much we value their commitment to their futures. To understand their preferences, we polled them. A majority of respondents prefer a dedicated face-to-face ceremony later in the year, so we are adding a third ceremony devoted to May graduates to our December commencement plans (details coming soon). We’re also honoring them on social media in the week around what would have been May commencement, and we’re working on a commemorative keepsake for each graduate.

Can we reinstate students if they dropped before the pass/fail grading policy news?

With permission from the instructor, this may be possible. Please contact our registrar, Melinda Roelfs, for details. 

Will the rules for granting incompletes stay the same, or be altered under these circumstances?

The incomplete policy is not changing, though please remember that instructors can grant deadline extensions to students who need more time to complete the coursework.

What is our financial outlook now that we’ve had to give refunds for housing?

Our budget is complex. Granting housing and dining refunds will amount to $1.5-1.8 million, or nearly 25% of our annual housing revenue. This is no small amount, though tells only part of the story, as Pitt State has various impacted revenue streams, including from the State of Kansas, grants, tuition, and outreach activities like summer camps, which typically serve about 5,000 young people and result in more than $200,000 in annual revenue. We are on target to get through the remainder of this fiscal year (ends June 30), though we are keeping a close eye on the bleak 2-year outlook from the State of Kansas issued on April 20. On the positive and hopeful side, we have responded to global higher education enrollment declines over the last several years, making difficult but fiscally responsible decisions that have put us in a good position to manage our way through this.

How will federal stimulus money help us? How will it help our students?

Pittsburg State University is expected to receive $5.2 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Half will be direct payments to students to offset costs incurred this semester, and the remaining $2.6 million will be used to defray expenses or revenue lost due to our COVID-19 response. Guidelines for distribution and proper use of the funds have been slow, and Dr. Howard Smith is leading a group responsible for ensuring we interpret and implement the Act with full compliance on our campus. We also expect more legislation and funding opportunities from the federal government, and there is potential for more resources from the State of Kansas. The important thing to remember is that while this extra funding is very helpful, it does not entirely fill all the gaps for our institution or our students. More work and decisions are necessary to ensure we stay ahead of further cuts, which we expect given the projected 2-year $1.3 billion decline in state revenue projections.  

What are we doing to ensure strong enrollment in the fall?

We are doing everything we can to maintain our pre-COVID19 student recruitment momentum. Our recruiters are working virtually via online chat, virtual campus tours, and lots of emails, texts, and phone calls. We’re exploring the option of hosting very small groups on campus as soon as it’s feasible. For students who are hesitant about college right now, we are focusing on helping them see that a credential beyond high school puts them in a far better position in any job market – particularly one with high unemployment in many sectors. Now is not the time to stray from goals. Enrollment started April 19, and CARES registration is also open. So far numbers look good, but we’ll monitor this weekly. We’ll have the best data by the end of June. In the meantime, it’s important to remember that we all represent Pitt State, and we are all recruiters in our own way by staying positive and encouraging with the young adults in our lives, and connecting them to resources.

Do we expect retention to suffer if we must stay online for the fall semester?

It’s difficult to say, because different students are impacted by the move to online than others. What we do know is that the likelihood that they’ll continue their education with Pitt State is much higher if they have an excellent experience this spring. Though not what they envisioned for Spring 2020, they can still finish the semester strong and positively if we do everything we can do to show compassion, go the extra mile to help a student, and put them in touch with resources. All the focus we put on students now will pay off in the fall.

Is there an indication about whether we’ll reopen after May 3?

If the governor of Kansas follows a similar timeline for announcements as in the past, we should hear news of this by April 29. 

Are we moving the summer tuition deadline past June 2?

No. This deadline will not change.

Will the pandemic bring permanence to the prevalence of online vs. face to face courses? If so, will this mean alumni will have less affinity/give less over time?

The entirety of this pandemic and our response is certainly causing us to look at our operations and offerings differently. Faculty are adjusting coursework delivery and innovating how they teach – sometimes in positive ways they did not expect. Students are adjusting as well, and setting new expectations for their college experience. All of this could mean we are better equipped to be flexible and agile, but none of it changes our DNA. Our motto is “by doing, learn”, and we know that being face-to-face matters. We believe that having a holistic higher education experience drives transformation, and also feeds affinity for Pittsburg State University among our graduates. While this crisis has opened our eyes even more to what’s possible, and it’s likely many of the great changes will stick, it won’t change who we are and why our graduates continue to support us.

Will this mean we’re more open to faculty and staff working remotely?

If there is a silver lining in this, it’s that we have learned we can adjust to new ways of working. For staff, we have not discussed policy changes that would precipitate sustained remote work, but please refer to the existing Telework and Alternative Work Schedules Policies. Remote faculty require a different discussion.

Can we put the tenure and promotion process on hold if we don’t return to campus in the fall?

This is a contract decision that will be discussed by PSU-KNEA and administration, with final approval for changes by the Kansas Board of Regents.

Will faculty who are promoted still get their raises?

Yes, we are honoring the long-standing promotion guidelines.  

Are non-tenured faculty in danger of losing their jobs?

If budget reductions are necessary, then all expenses must be considered. At this point, we have not discussed layoffs or furloughs for any particular group.

When we return to campus, how will we be protected from the virus? Will we require testing before returning to work? Will we take temps? Will we be required to wear masks and gloves? If so, will PSU provide this centrally, or will each department purchase their own?

We have not made decisions about this yet, but will rely on information from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Crawford County Health Department to guide our actions. What we can say now is that we’ve learned lessons from this pandemic, particularly in the areas of safety and cleanliness. Our outstanding custodial staff already did a great job, and we’ve learned new things that can help them be even more effective. Our goal is that we return to normal operations as soon as possible, but we do it safely.

Are students returning to campus in the fall?

Given the nature of the pandemic, we are unable to make this decision at this time. Our intent with the measures we’ve taken so far, and those we’ll take in the summer, is to return to face-to-face courses in the fall. We don’t yet know when we can make the decision, or whether students will return to residence halls, but we are working daily to define a path toward this decision and we are relying on recommendations and expertise from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Crawford County Health Department.

Do you have confidence that our faculty can offer transformational learning experiences for our students this fall even if there continue to be disruptions in face to face learning due to the pandemic?

First, we are doing everything we can to return to face to face coursework in the fall. We are hopeful that the precautions we take now lead to a relaxation of restrictions by August. That said, should the ongoing health crisis prevent us from safely resuming normal operations for the fall semester there is one major difference: we have more time to prepare. Many faculty have already indicated they are preparing their courses for both alternative and traditional delivery methods. For the spring semester, everything happened very quickly and we understand the circumstances weren't ideal for anyone. Still, faculty are delivering and students are progressing toward their degrees. 

Do you think PSU students will continue to see the kind of care and personal attention Pitt State is known for even if classes are sometimes online?

Yes but in different ways from our traditional approach. From a practical standpoint, we've worked hard to remove all barriers between students, faculty, and staff by making use of the tremendous technology resources on our campus. Students can reach out and get prompt answers in a variety of ways, and it's typically 1:1 and personal. While we prefer they could get help in person, we are using technology to help everyone remain connected. From an emotional standpoint, the extra care we take this semester will help our students feel supported. It's important that we all go the extra mile all the time, but especially now.

How are innovative ideas and solutions being documented?

President’s Council is documenting ideas, successes, and challenges from each of the divisions through a structured after-action review process. Members of the team are in regular contact with all areas of the university. As things are learned – what works and what doesn’t – it’s captured. A transition plan is being developed (and will be shared), and a thorough review will happen and discussion will occur across campus to ensure we implement best practices going forward.   

If we can’t return in the fall, will both synchronous and asynchronous options be available?

We have not made these decisions yet, but we have certainly learned a lot about how we can remain flexible, agile, and serve our students in the ways that best fit their needs. More to come on this.

Is the work resulting from the RPK recommendations still happening? What will be done in FY21?

The work and progress we made from the RPK recommendations is absolutely still very relevant. Work continues to implement recommendations, and we are learning further good lessons through this pandemic as we move our offerings into the future. Particularly, determining how we live our mission and retain our culture as we move more courses online is a challenge we’re tackling.


Spring 2020 Grading Policy

Friday 04/17/20 03:25 PM

The Spring 2020 semester is not unfolding as any of us planned. The disruption brought by the COVID-19 pandemic has required us to make tremendous changes in a short amount of time to ensure students at Pittsburg State University maintain momentum toward a degree. And for that we are very proud – our faculty and staff have stepped up and we are continuing to deliver with the excellence expected by our students.

That said, challenges remain. Students are still adapting to new ways of learning, and faculty are still adapting to new ways of instructing. Some have less-than-ideal devices to work with, and others might not have convenient internet access. Living arrangements and family responsibilities might have changed. In sort, this is an unprecedented time.

To help ease anxiety, our student leaders, faculty, and academic leadership have collaborated on a revised grading policy for this semester that enables students to take a Pass or Fail rather than a letter grade.

This policy is for Spring 2020 only, and applies to both undergraduate and graduate courses. Students have until May 8 to select the Pass/Fail option in lieu of a letter grade.

Students are strongly encouraged to carefully consider any request to convert a letter grade to a Pass/Fail designation, and to fully understand the implications and limitations this brings. It is important for students to seek advice from their advisor before making decisions.

For complete information, including a list of implications, guidance from specific programs, and a link to request the designation, please visit this page.


Summer Courses

Friday 04/17/20 12:00 PM

To ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff while uncertainty surrounds the COVID-19 pandemic, Pittsburg State University will continue online delivery of courses through the summer. Enrollment for summer and fall courses begins Sunday, April 19.

The intent behind the decision is to do everything we can now to limit the spread of the virus so we set ourselves up for a return in the fall. Over 90% of summer courses at Pitt State are already delivered online, so the level of disruption for summer should be far less than the spring semester.

Even so, early notice of this change means students, faculty, and staff have more time to prepare. Courses already slated for online delivery in the summer will continue as planned. Faculty planning face-to-face courses in the summer should begin preparations to move the coursework to alternative delivery methods.

Academic labs will remain closed for whole-class work. Axe Library will continue to operate in its current limited capacity.


Campus facilities closure extended through May 3

Wednesday 04/15/20 02:20 PM

In accordance with Governor Laura Kelly’s extension of the state of Kansas’s stay-at-home order today, the facilities of Pittsburg State University will remain closed at least through May 3.

The original stay-at-home order issued by the governor expired on April 6, but was extended to April 19. This further extension adds two more weeks as the state monitors the status of COVID-19 in Kansas. There could be further extensions, so please pay close attention to future updates.

Employees currently working from home will continue to do so during this time. Essential personnel who are already coming to campus for work will continue to do so and additional personnel will be added as required to support campus operations.

Social distancing and other precautionary measures will continue to ensure the health and safety of employees working on campus.

We will carefully monitor the situation beyond May 3 and make every effort to give a week’s notice to employees when we are able to reopen campus. In the meantime, we will continue to assess needs on our campus and make adjustments. 


Stay-at-home message from President Scott

Thursday 04/09/20 01:00 PM


Campus facilities closure extended through April 19

Tuesday 03/31/20 12:00 PM

In accordance with the stay-at-home order issued by the Crawford County Commission on March 27, and Governor Kelly’s order on March 30, the facilities of Pittsburg State University will remain closed at least until April 19.

Originally, we announced that facilities would close for two weeks, reopening April 6. Given new guidance the campus facilities will remain closed an additional two weeks. This may be extended, so please pay close attention to future updates.

The closure of academic labs will remain in place for the remainder of the semester.

Please note that nearly every department on campus is working remotely. Emails and voicemails will be answered, and students can chat online with Admission, Gorilla Geeks, Registrar, Student Financial Assistance, International Programs and Services, Cashiers & Student Accounts, Student Success Programs, Student Life, and the Library.

We will continue to assess necessary campus functions with supervisors, and will make adjustments as we move forward.


Order of Governor of Kansas Laura Kelly

Monday 03/30/20 08:00 AM


Student Laptop Checkout

Monday 03/30/20 08:00 AM

If you need a laptop to complete this semester’s courses, no worries – we have you covered.

Students can check out a laptop for the remainder of the semester next week at Axe Library's main entrance.

   -  Monday, March 30 from 8:00-4:00
   -  Tuesday, March 31 from 8:00-4:00

Students should line up outside with social distancing in mind. Students will be allowed into the Axe Library lobby one at a time to check out a laptop.

Students must present their PSU student ID and email.

If students are already enrolled in summer courses, they may keep the laptop until fall.

Laptop return procedures will be announced at later date via email, so stay tuned.

Order of the Crawford County Board of Health

Tuesday 03/24/20 12:00 PM


All central IT services are open

Monday 03/23/20 09:00 AM

If you are working or learning remotely and need IT assistance, don't hesitate to reach out to the ITS Help Desk (aka The Gorilla Geeks):

Call-In and Email Hours For the Weeks of March 22nd and March 29th:
  • Monday through Thursday 7:45 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Friday 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Live Chat Hours for the Week of Mar. 22nd:
  • Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m
  • No Sunday Chat Hours on Mar. 22nd (Due to Spring Break)
Live Chat Hours for the Week of Mar. 29th:
  • Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Sunday 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Check out our Remote IT Support page for tips and best practices!

Update for Thursday, 3/19/2020

Thursday 03/19/20 09:00 AM

As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates across the nation, the facilities of Pittsburg State University will close for two weeks starting on Monday, March 23.  

During this time, employees able to work remotely, as determined by their supervisor, will do soAll employees will continue to be paid.  

Coursework will resume as planned on March 30 via alternative delivery methods.  

A small number of employees will be required to work on campus. Those employees will be notified by their supervisor with additional information. 

Student employees will continue to be paid. More guidance on this and for reporting time is forthcoming next week. 

During this time, most campus buildings are closed, including but not limited to academic labs, administrative and academic offices, Axe Library, the Rec Center, and any other physical space. Bryant Student Health Center remains open to serve students.   

These are unprecedented times, and we appreciate your patience. Our plan is influenced by Governor Kelly’s announcement about executive branch employees on March 17, and adapted to fit the unique nature of our university as we work to preserve progress toward degrees for our students.  

Please keep in touch with your supervisors, check your email dailywatch Pitt State social media, and monitor pittstate.edu/coronavirus for future alerts and information about our university’s response.  

IMPORTANT MESSAGES 

  • University facilities are closed for two weeks starting March 23 
  • Employees able to work from home during this time will do so 
  • All employees will continue to be paid, including students 
  • A small number of employees will be required to work on campus 
  • The University will issue further guidance during the next two weeks  

Update for Tuesday, 3/17/2020

Tuesday 03/17/20 12:00 PM

As you know, the situation with COVID-19 in our region is evolving every day. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment believes the widespread transmission of COVID-19 will accelerate during the next several weeks. In addition to proper hygiene, the most effective method of mitigating the spread of this highly contagious respiratory illness is social distancing. 

Given guidance from federal and state public health officials for the next eight weeks, Pittsburg State University will deliver courses via alternative delivery methods through the end of the spring semester. This removes further disruptions for faculty and students. 

In-person commencement ceremonies are also canceled, along with all commencement-related activities. We will soon begin work on alternative ways to celebrate this great accomplishment, so please stay tuned for more information. Graduates will also be welcomed to walk at future ceremonies.  

Residence halls on our main campus will close starting March 23. All residential international students and a small number of domestic students in exceptional circumstances will be allowed to stay but should be prepared to move to different room to reduce density. The closure does not apply to the student residences at Block22. Students in main campus housing will receive additional instructions about moving out by Sunday, March 22.  

These decisions are not easy to weigh and finalize, but we must prioritize the health and welfare of our students, faculty, staff, and community based on expert recommendations. Though none of this is ideal, we also know removing ambiguity is helpful and settling in these uncertain times.  

IMPORTANT MESSAGES: 

  • Pittsburg State University will deliver courses via alternative teaching methods through the end of the spring semester. 

  • In-person commencement ceremonies are canceled 

  • Residence halls on our main campus and Gibson Dining Hall will close starting March 23 


COVID-19 Update from the Bryant Student Health Center

Monday 03/16/20 02:00 PM

Bryant Student Health Center wants you to be informed about Pittsburg State University’s response to COVID-19 and how you can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus. We are working with our University, local and state officials to ensure the health and safety of the PSU community with guidance from CDC.

RECENT TRAVEL

Discuss all travel with your supervisor before leaving. Closely monitor KDHE/CDC website for the most up to date travel guidelines. New recommendations include 14 day home quarantine if someone has traveled on a cruise ship, or to a state with known widespread community transmission (currently California, New York, Washington, and some counties in Colorado). *Travel to these community spread areas are reportable to the county health department for home quarantine monitoring.

If you have traveled recently to an area with confirmed cases of COVID-19 (international or within the US) that does not meet the community spread criteria, please monitor your health and seek medical advice for any symptoms of illness consistent with COVID-19 infection (fever, cough, shortness of breath) for 14 days after your return home or to campus.

STAY HOME WHEN SICK

Do not come to work if you are sick, especially if you have a fever and upper respiratory symptoms such as cough or shortness of breath.

CALL FIRST

If you have symptoms (fever AND cough or shortness of breath) and concerns of exposure to COVID-19, please do not show up at a clinic, urgent care or other health facility without calling first; your provider will need to take special measures to protect other people in the clinic.

Start with calling any of the following medical facilities first:   (COVID-19 testing requires prior approval by KDHE.)

  • your personal medical provider
  • Crawford County Health Department—620-231-5411 (Monday—Friday 8:30 am to 5 pm)
  • Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas—866-888-8650 (Monday—Sunday 7 am to 7 pm)
  • Bryant Student Health Center—620-235-4452 (Monday—Friday 8 am to 4 pm)

**DO NOT go to the emergency room for COVID-19 screening UNLESS YOU ARE EXPERIENCING FEVER AND RESPIRATORY DISTRESS.**

WORK LEAVE

If home-isolation or quarantine related to COVID-19 is recommended by a healthcare official, please ask for appropriate documentation for submission to your supervisor.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Call KDHE at 1-866-534-3463 (1-866-KDHEINF) if you have general questions regarding COVID-19.

For the latest updates from the Kansas Department of Health & Environment, go here: http://www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus/


Update for Monday, 3/16/2020

Monday 03/16/20 12:00 PM

The situation with COVID-19 changes daily, therefore our response can and likely will change daily. Please monitor email, Pitt State social media, and pittstate.edu/coronavirus for updates. 

Events 

All events on the campus of Pittsburg State University (PSU or other) are canceled through the end of the spring semester. The status of May commencement ceremonies is undecided.   

University travel 

ALL university travel is now suspended unless it is in directly related to the health and welfare of our campus community.  

Personal vacation travel 

We strongly discourage all personal vacation travel. Please note that as of today (3/16/2020) the KDHE recommends a 14-day self-isolation if you travel by cruise ship, travel internationally, or travel to Washington, New York, California, or a few counties in Colorado on or after March 15. Those traveling to these destinations will be reported to KDHE and their self-isolation will be monitored by the county health department upon return. Read about it here.  

If you choose to travel for vacation to a place not currently recommending self-isolation, please understand that the situation at your destination can change suddenly and without warning. You too could be subject to self-isolation when you return.  

Before you depart, check travel advisories for your destination, and continue to check warnings while away 

Meetings 

Use caution when scheduling face-to-face meetings. Keep meetings small, and practice CDC-recommended guidelines for hygiene and social distancing. Reconsider non-essential meetings. Use Teams or Skype to hold meetings instead.  

Use of remote work options 

Supervisors should enable and allow telework to reduce density of people on our campus. Find helpful resources for telework here. Follow the telework policy, though relax restrictions and previously-held decisions to make this work for as many people as possible (including students, if applicable). Each employee who works from home should complete the new alternative work/telework form and submit to their supervisor. These will be submitted to VPs for a consolidated record of employee agreements. The new form will be available this afternoon on the HRS webpages and also emailed to supervisors.

This is an unprecedented situation on our campus, and we must take temporary measures to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Please stay current on PSU’s response by checking your email, watching Pitt State social media, and monitoring pittstate.edu/coronavirus.  


Admission events - all on-campus visits sponsored by the Admission Office through March 27 are canceled.

Monday 03/16/20 08:00 AM

As of March 17, all on-campus visits sponsored by the Admission Office through March 27 are canceled. Future on-campus visits will be evaluated after this date, so please check back for updates.

This cancellation of events is very disappointing for us, as we love meeting prospective students and their families. Luckily, we have a virtual tour so you can see how beautiful our campus is, and what awesome things we offer.

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to evolve, our Admission office will remain open so we can assist and answer questions.


Student info on modified operations at PSU

Friday 03/13/20 12:00 PM

As you know, the Critical Response Management Team at PSU has closely monitored the developing public health challenge, COVID-19, across our state, region, and country. Though there are no cases in Pittsburg, our state already is impacted and Governor Kelly has declared a state of emergency. Institutions like ours in communities of our size will not be immune from this virus. Our team makes recommendations based on our priorities: 

  • Ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff and prevent the spread of COVID-19  
  • Maintain transparency with thorough and frequent communication as the situation evolves 
  • Provide high-quality, though potentially alternative, experiences for our students that preserve progress toward a degree  

Pittsburg State University is releasing students in face to face courses a week early for spring break at the end of today, March 13.  

Next week, our faculty will work to redesign their face to face courses and move them to alternative teaching formats. THERE WILL BE NO SCHEDULE CHANGE TO COURSES ALREADY TAUGHT ONLINE. Extended spring break applies only to face-to-face courses. 

Courses will resume on schedule following spring break on Monday, March 30, through online or via other alternative teaching methods – indefinitely.  

We will resume face to face classes when it becomes feasible to do so based on the status of COVID-19 and at the recommendation of public health officials. 

Campus will remain open 

We will maintain normal operations in our administrative to ensure students are served remotely as they navigate this new reality.  

In addition, Axe Library will remain open to provide workspace for students who do not have internet access and computers. Depending on course content, some labs could remain accessible, though that will be determined over the next week by individual instructors and the college deans.  

Student workers may continue in their positions if approved by supervisors. 

Residence halls will remain open 
The move to alternative delivery methods for courses does not currently impact residence halls and dining hall services. However, while completing classes online, students may choose to return to their family residence. 

Events and outreach 

Until further notice, all Pittsburg State University events are cancelled starting March 16 

Keep yourself healthy 

Please do everything you can to stay healthy and informed. Carefully follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: wash your hands, don’t touch your face, disinfect surfaces, stay away from sick people, and stay home if you’re sick. Stay current on public health recommendations. Limit social gatherings and other places where people congregate. Stay home as much as possible. These methods work.  

Taking action to limit exposure helps everyone. Following the guidelines helps keep our community healthy and safe. It will take everyone working together to reduce exposure and transmission of COVID-19.  

We also encourage you to remain connected with your family and friends throughout this trying time by using the technology most of have in our hands. Texting, social media, and phone calls are good ways to maintain structure and social connections. 

What can you do now to prepare? 

  • Be on the lookout for communication from instructors about the logistics of the move to an alternate delivery of classes. Be patient as some instructors will need some time – to test and practice before providing more finalized details ahead of the switch to the alternate delivery of classes. 
  • Work with your instructors to ensure that you will have access to the class content online wherever you may be – on campus or otherwise. 
  • Make sure you have current cell phone information and email in PSU GUS System as well as Canvas in case we need to contact you directly via text with any updates. 

Please watch Pitt State’s Twitter and Facebook, as well as email and pittstate.edu/coronavirus for updates and notices.  


Faculty/Staff info on modified operations at PSU

Friday 03/13/20 12:00 PM

As you know, the Critical Response Management Team at PSU has closely monitored the developing public health challenge, COVID-19, across our state, region, and country. Though there are no cases in Pittsburg, our state and region already are impacted and Governor Kelly has declared a state of emergency. Institutions like ours in communities of our size will not be immune from this virus. Our team makes recommendations based on our priorities: 

  • Ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff and prevent the spread of COVID-19  
  • Maintain transparency with thorough and frequent communication as the situation evolves 
  • Provide high-quality, though potentially alternative, experiences for our students that preserve progress toward a degree  

Pittsburg State University is releasing students in face to face courses a week early for spring break at the end of today, March 13.  

Next week, our faculty will work to redesign their face-to-face courses and move them to alternative teaching formatsThere will be no schedule change to courses already taught online – extended spring break applies only to face-to-face courses.  

Faculty: Expect further communication from your chairperson or dean regarding training and preparation assistance available next week.  

At this time, the move to alternative delivery of instruction methods does not directly impact staff members other than those who will assist students and faculty who are adjusting to alternate methods of course delivery. 

Courses will resume on schedule following spring break on Monday, March 30, via online or other alternative teaching methods – indefinitely.  

Upon return from spring break and until further notice all classes will be delivered online or by other than face to face delivery as determined by the instructor but approved by the chair. 

Our colleagues in CTLT and ITS have collaborated to create a very helpful resource - IT Support for Remote Work & Instruction. This comprehensive site links to all the resources available (and there are a LOT of them) that enable remote instruction. One of the most important is the information on Canvas, which includes information about the Faculty Resources Course developed by the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology. 

Please discuss challenges and potential solutions with your chair and/or dean, and also share among each other so we can learn from each other. If your classes are already prepared or can be done so quickly, please help others.  

We understand this is not a small task, nor is it an easy one for many of our courses, and we appreciate the work it will take. Our goal is that our students have the best possible experiences under these trying circumstances.  

We will resume face-to-face classes when it becomes feasible to do so based on the status of COVID-19 and at the recommendation of public health officials.  

Campus will remain open - we are not “closed” 

Though students won’t be on campus, we will maintain normal operations to ensure students are served remotely as they navigate this new reality. Faculty and staff are expected to work unless they are sick, isolated due to potential COVID-19 exposure, or have chronic health conditions that put them at higher risk. Please continue to practice social distancing and other preventive measures moving forward.  

Once classes resume on March 30, Axe Library will remain open to provide workspace for students who do not have internet access and computers. Depending on certain courses, it’s possible some labs will remain in operation.  

Student workers may continue in their positions if approved by supervisors.  

Leaders are encouraged to use flexibility when evaluating alternate work schedules and telecommuting, as governed by our Telework and Alternate Work Schedules PolicyLeave policies can be found here 

We know spring is an important time to hire new faculty and staff and engage with prospective graduate students. Please limit face-to-face contact and travel by using Skype/Teams as much as possible. Reach out to ITS if you need assistance – 620-235-4600 or geeks@pittstate.edu.   

Residence halls will remain open 
The move to alternative delivery methods for courses does not currently impact residence halls and dining hall services. However, while completing classes online, students may choose to return to their family residence. 

Events and outreach 

Until further notice, all Pittsburg State University events are cancelled starting March 16Employees are encouraged to limit the size of meetings or move meetings online when possible using Skype/Teams 

Large group visits of prospective students will be transitioned to virtual tours with accompanying online/phone meetings. Single student visits will continue, though advance arrangements are required. This could change at any time.       

Travel 

All university-led travel outside Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Arkansas is suspended for the remainder of the spring semester. More information on resumption of travel during the summer will come later.  

Look out for yourself, your family, and our community 

Please do everything you can to stay healthy and informed. Carefully follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionwash your hands, don’t touch your face, disinfect surfaces, stay away from sick people, and stay home if you’re sick. Stay current on public health recommendations. Limit social gatherings and other places where people congregate. Stay home as much as possible. These methods work.  

Taking action to limit exposure helps everyone. Following the guidelines helps keep our community healthy and safe. It will take everyone working together to reduce exposure and transmission of COVID-19.  

We also encourage you to remain connected with your family, friends, and colleagues throughout this trying time by using the technology most of us have in our hands. Texting, online meetings, social media, and phone calls are good ways to maintain structure and social connections.  

Our team will continually update pittstate.edu/coronavirus to keep our students, faculty, and staff current.  

Thank you everyone – students, faculty, and staff – for the work, flexibility, and patience required as we chart a path through this difficult time.  


Faculty Canvas Support

Thursday 03/12/20 03:00 PM

For resources to support teaching within Canvas:

  1. Log into Canvas
  2. Click on the Help icon at the bottom of the global navigation
  3. Select, “Faculty Support” from the help menu

This takes faculty to a landing page with contact information for support by college as well as a link to currently “join” the Faculty Resources Course.  This course includes information to get up and running with the following tools:

  • DesignPLUS
  • Respondus LDB and Monitor
  • Turnitin
  • VidGrid
  • Zoom

Event Cancellation Guidance

Thursday 03/12/20 01:58 PM

If your department or program cancels an event, please follow these steps. 

  1. Add the word “Canceled” to the title of the event on the University Calendar at www.pittstate.edu. Do not delete it. If your department/program does not have access to the events in CMS and you need assistance with this, contact Andra Stefanoni in University Marketing & Communication at astefanoni@pittstate.edu. 
  2. If a Facebook event exists for the event, use Facebook’s option to cancel the event. Anyone who has subscribed to the event will get an automatic alert that it has been canceled. 
  3. On that Facebook page, write a short note announcing the cancellation. Sample: Please note that the trombone recital planned for March 18 in McCray Hall has been canceled. Questions? Call Bob at 235-4474. 
  4. If a news release has already been sent out about the event or a news release is in process, notify Andra in UMC at astefanoni@pittstate.edu. 
  5. If the event is listed on your department’s/program’s websitedo not delete it. Please add “Canceled” next to the event so it is visible (recommended in red) to anyone who goes to that page. 
  6. If posters are hanging on bulletin boards for that event, please ensure they’re all removed. 

Questions? Contact Andra at ext. 4124 or by email at astefanoni@pittstate.edu.


Coronavirus + All Travel

Thursday 03/12/20 10:13 AM

Please note that this guidance can change at any time given the dynamic nature of the COVID-19 public health challenge.

As of today, March 12, 2020, Pittsburg State University is suspending all university-led travel outside Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. 

Previously, we announced that all university-led international travel is suspended for the remainder of the spring semester. We are now extending that suspension to all domestic travel. This includes conferences, meetings, or any other university-related reason. Travel in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas is currently exempt from this suspension, though please watch for further guidance on a daily basis. Exemptions from the suspension will be made only under very specific circumstances determined by the vice presidents.  

All existing university-led travel for the summer (any trips departing after May 15) will be reevaluated.  

If you have already booked travel and require help cancelling, please contact the dean of your college or your director.  

We understand travel suspensions are disappointing, and additional scrutiny can be frustrating. The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff is our top priority, and these precautions are part of our plan to reduce the impact of this global health threat.


Coronavirus + International Travel

Tuesday 03/10/20 04:40 PM

Given the growth of reported cases and the dynamic nature of COVID-19 worldwide, all university-related travel outside the US for the spring semester is suspended. This includes upcoming study abroad programs, international travel by student groups, and international faculty travel. This directive goes into effect immediately.

If you have already booked travel and need help securing refunds for yourself or your students, please contact the dean of your college or your director.

All existing university-led international travel for the summer (any trips departing after May 15) will be reevaluated. At this time, no new programs for the summer that include international travel will be considered, and no travelers will be added to any existing trips.

Currently domestic travel is decided on a case-by-case basis. Travel requests will be evaluated weekly by the vice presidents to determine necessity and risk.

We understand travel suspensions are disappointing, and additional scrutiny can be frustrating. The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff is our top priority, and these precautions are part of our plan to reduce the impact of this global health threat.

Increased Sanitation

Monday 03/09/20 08:00 AM

As the instances of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, grow in the US, Pittsburg State University continues to prepare. There are no cases reported in Pittsburg, but we fully understand the virus spreads easily so we’re taking steps to limit its presence among our students, faculty, and staff.

First and foremost, we have increased disinfection of high-traffic areas and high-use surfaces. We have implemented a daily sanitation regimen for door handles, light switches, bathroom surfaces, frequently-used counters, and hand rails in stairwells.

In addition, the Critical Incident Management Team convenes each morning to discuss the status of the situation on our campus and determine preparedness and response plans. This group is carefully monitoring information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. 

Preventive Measures

Wednesday 03/04/20 08:00 AM

At Pittsburg State University, the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff are top priority. We are committed to regular communication and guidance as the nation prepares for the potential spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Currently there are no cases in the four-state region, and risk of exposure is low at this point. We are carefully monitoring information from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and reports from Student Health Services. 

Members of President Scott’s council are actively developing plans to address concerns. Our institution will follow the procedures set forth in our existing Critical Incident/Crisis Response Management Operations Plan, plus any additional recommendations specific and unique to COVID-19. More information and guidance will be released in the coming days.

In the meantime, remember that COVID-19 has the same basic symptoms and is spread in the exact same way as influenza – through droplets produced when coughing or sneezing. The same measures you’d take to reduce risk of contracting (or spreading) the flu will be effective for COVID-19. Please always follow the CDC recommendations:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home and away from others when you 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 daily using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Carry germ wipes and wipe down shared electronic devices (keyboards, mice, printers, copiers, phones) before using.
  • Regularly sanitize your own electronic devices

You can also choose to not shake hands, hug, or otherwise contact other individuals.

If you have travel plans, please check the CDC website for the list of high-risk areas in which the virus is active and spreading. Traveling to destinations that are high-risk is not advised, and could result in health screenings and restricted movement (potential quarantine) for up to 14 days by the federal government upon your return.

Coronavirus

Friday 02/28/20 08:00 AM

In addition to the seasonal flu, there is now concern with the emerging outbreak of a respiratory disease caused by a new strain of a well-known coronavirus, first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province of China. There are currently only five confirmed cases in the US. While the immediate risk of this new virus to the American public is low at this point, everyone can do their part to help respond to this emerging outbreak with the following recommendations:

  • Recognize symptoms of the coronavirus which typically begin about two-weeks after exposure. Symptoms are similar to flu and other respiratory illness - fever, cough, difficulty breathing, and wheezing.
  • Evaluate recent travel to Wuhan or contact with someone from Wuhan, China who is experiencing respiratory or influenza-like symptoms.
  •  Seek medical attention immediately If you have had travel to Wuhan, or have had contact with a sick person from this region within the last two weeks, and are experiencing these symptoms.