Postponements and Cancellations
All campus events for the remainder of the semester have been postponed or canceled. We will update information as it becomes available.
- Rescheduled to Saturday, October 3
- Alumni Homecoming In-Person Events
- Canceled. View update here
We will update this list as necessary. Please check back often.
Positive COVID-19 case on campus
Today, July 2, 2020, Clarke University was notified by an employee that they received test results confirming a diagnosis of COVID-19. This is the first confirmed case of COVID-19 on campus. This news was not unexpected, and we must now adjust to the reality of COVID-19 in our midst. The Emergency Response Team has helped us as a campus community to prepare for this moment since early March.
In accordance with federal laws related to health care information, we are not able to publicly identify individuals who have reported to us a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. We ask that you also respect their privacy so that they may focus entirely on their health. The individual had limited or no direct contact with other employees prior to diagnosis and is now isolating at home. Those at Clarke who have been identified as having close contact with the individual will be contacted via email by Human Resources with further instruction. They may also be contacted separately through state or local agencies as part of their contact tracing efforts. Clarke University will assist public health officials with any contact tracing efforts to the greatest extent possible.
In response to this notification, Facilities has thoroughly cleaned the employee’s workspace and surrounding areas, including restrooms, in accordance with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Facilities will continue to spend additional time cleaning touchpoints across campus.
We continue to require all employees and students to wear face coverings while on campus and to practice social distancing and other preventative actions identified by the CDC. While no single measure eliminates risk, these measures taken together help to mitigate it. Clarke University values the well-being of everyone in our community, and we remind all employees and students to prioritize behaviors that support individual and community wellness.
Clarke University Fall Return to Campus Information
June 24, 2020
NOTE: This message is being sent to new and returning Clarke University students and their parents, employees, and alumni
Just over three months ago, I made the difficult decision to close the Clarke University campus temporarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, I am writing to affirm that Clarke’s campus will reopen for the fall semester. While we know things will look and feel different, we are looking forward to bringing the Clarke community together again this fall.
Today’s decision is based on our current understanding of the COVID-19 threat locally, regionally, and nationally and the ways we can safely resume operations while taking the recommended steps necessary to minimize risk among our campus population. To prepare for the return of students, our faculty and staff have already begun a slow and deliberative return to campus, which began on June 15, and will continue into August.
There is a lot of information to cover here. I encourage you not only to read it, but also save it as a reference. For our reopening to be successful will require every member of our Pride family to work together and be vigilant in sustaining the changes we have put in place.
Academic Calendar & Instruction
The university will follow the 2020-2021 academic calendar, with the fall 2020 semester beginning August 24 and ending on December 10, 2020.
To ensure students continue to experience quality learning experiences in safe environments, the Academic Affairs division is working with faculty to gather information about how courses will be delivered in the fall 2020 semester. As we prepare for the start of the fall semester in August, students can plan to experience a variety of approaches to instruction including face-to-face, hybrid, and online (synchronous and asynchronous) formats. Once this information is approved and before classes begin in the fall, Academic Affairs will send a notice to students to check their schedules to learn the expected delivery format of their courses. Additionally, instructors will include information in their syllabi about what to expect in terms of course instruction and how learning outcomes will be met with health and safety in mind. As is always the case, Clarke University is committed to providing quality learning experiences that lead to success in the classroom and beyond.
The University has also decided that face-to-face and hybrid courses will shift to online instruction after Thanksgiving break, beginning November 30, 2020, and final exams and assessments will be delivered remotely the week of December 7-10, 2020. Experiential learning (e.g., clinical educational experiences, internships, field placement, student teaching) are expected to continue in person as placed unless directed otherwise by the placement location or instructor. We made this decision to ensure that, should there be a spike in COVID-19 again in the late fall, the University can remain open but decrease person-to-person contact.
Although courses will be delivered online through the end of the fall academic term, residence halls, dining services, academic support services, library, and offices will remain open. If residential students plan to live on campus and/or use Clarke facilities in their studies, they are encouraged to remain on campus for Thanksgiving week and through the remainder of the fall semester.
Residence Halls/Move-in/CONNECT Orientation
As mentioned in previous communication, Clarke University will provide all residential students with individual rooms during the 2020-2021 academic year. To further ensure the health and safety of our students and their families, we will expand our move-in time periods and move-in will be available by appointment only. The reconfiguring or closing of common spaces, such as lounges, kitchens, and computer rooms, will also better support physical distancing. During the phased reopening of campus, and until further notice, students will not be allowed to have guests or visitors within the residence hall or apartment units. Only students assigned to their residence hall or apartment unit are allowed in each residence hall, and appropriate safety precautions are expected.
Residence Hall Move-In Dates are as follows, and students will receive additional details for appointments for move-in times:
- Saturday, August 8: Men’s and Women’s Soccer, Women’s Volleyball
- Sunday, August 9: Football
- Thursday, August 13: Men’s and Women’s Cross Country
- Thursday, August 20: New Students
- Saturday, August 22: Returning Students
- Sunday, August 23: Returning Students
CONNECT orientation for new students will be held as scheduled, August 20–August 23. Measures will be taken to ensure proper physical distancing throughout scheduled in-person sessions to promote safety for all in attendance. Some activities will take place in a digital format to assist in mitigating risk. It is expected that all new undergraduate students participate in CONNECT. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to seek any necessary accommodations.
Campus Events & Athletics
On-campus events and activities are being evaluated on a case-by-case basis and will require additional guidelines and procedures to ensure safe practices before being approved. If you have questions about specific events, contact Callie Clark at email@example.com or (563) 588-8165. Our spring 2020 commencement remains on the schedule for Saturday, October 3—Homecoming weekend and planning is underway for how best to celebrate graduates, their guests, and the Clarke community safely.
Varsity athletics will resume with practices in mid-August following the guidelines and schedule reductions recommended by the National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). To learn more about the NAIA Fall Sports update and scheduling, click here.
Health and Safety
We have been developing and implementing new policies and procedures to help lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure and spread. The university will continue to follow the latest guidance from the Centers for Diseaase Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) along with state and regional health officials.
To protect the health and safety of our campus community, students, employees, and visitors must:
- Wear applicable face coverings (cloth covering, disposable or cloth mask, face shield) in all university buildings, including classrooms, unless alone in a private office. The university will provide each student and employee two washable cloth masks.
- Follow social distancing guidelines of maintaining at least 6 feet of separation from others on campus when feasible.
Students and employees must not attend classes, activities, or report to work (and report to Health Services or their supervisor) if they develop any symptom(s) consistent with COVID-19 such as cough, difficulty breathing, fever or chills, sore throat, muscle or body aches, loss of taste or smell, fatigue, headache, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.
Resident students will be asked to return home to isolate and recover if they are diagnosed with COVID-19. The university will reserve a limited amount of isolation spaces for students who are unable to do so due to distance or other extenuating circumstances.
Protection for Populations with Vulnerability
Employees who have a medical vulnerability or live with others more vulnerable to COVID-19 are encouraged to contact their supervisor or the Director of Human Resources. Students are encouraged to contact their appropriate college dean or Academic Affairs. The University is committed to addressing specific concerns and/or providing reasonable accommodations, which may include, but not be limited to:
- Allowing remote work or coursework
- Providing workspaces that minimize contact with others (such as a single office or physical barriers)
- Discouraging non-essential travel
- Using online technologies for meetings and events
We are blessed to reside in a community where we have strong local health and medical care providers. MercyOne and Unity Point Finley Hospitals are partnering with Clarke University, Loras College, and the University of Dubuque as we plan to reopen our respective campuses this fall. Their willingness to lend expertise and services give us a greater sense of comfort as we develop our safety guidelines, access testing, and provide care for our students, staff, and faculty.
Facilities and Buildings
Facilities Management is developing and implementing building-specific plans for reduced room capacity and/or social distancing in common areas (e.g., entrances, stairwells, hallways, restrooms, meeting rooms, classrooms). This may include:
- Installing plexiglass barriers
- Rearranging furniture to support physical distancing
- Limiting occupancy in communal areas, some areas may be closed
- Designating specific doors for entrance-only and exit-only
- Designating one-way or divided hallways for foot traffic
Any changes made will follow Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and fire code requirements.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
Facilities Management will continue to follow CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting, including the frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high touch surfaces in public places. We have significantly expanded the number and location of hand sanitizing stations (distributed and restocked by Facilities Management) which will be available at the entrances of each university building and in many other high traffic areas.
Current Campus Happenings
As mentioned in a previous message, although campus has been closed, a lot has been happening while most of us have been away. Our abundant summer flowers are in full bloom, and many spaces are being renovated or receiving a facelift. The Alumnae Lecture Hall renovation will be completed mid-summer, and the faculty offices previously located in Mary Josita Hall have been relocated to renovated spaces in Eliza Kelly Hall and Catherine Byrne Hall. Work on and around Terence Donaghoe Hall to weatherproof and prevent leaks occurring in the lower level is nearing completion, the formerly named Compass and Career Services newly named Center for Career, Compass, & Lifelong Learning has a new and more conveniently located entrance, and the Kehl Center court floor resurfacing and restriping is underway.
Still to Come
We will assuredly have more to share in the coming weeks and will be responsive to changes in the COVID-19 landscape and guidance and/or mandates that may be issued to us. What does not have to change, however, is the strength of Clarke University’s compassionate, caring community.
We know from nature that a pride of lions remains safe, healthy, and resilient through intense collaboration, members holding each other accountable, and each fulfilling its role in support of the pride as a whole. Similarly, when we return to Clarke we should expect to adapt to new ways of living and working together, such as wearing protective face coverings and practicing physical distancing and heightened hygiene not only for ourselves but also for everyone with whom we are connected—on and off campus. Clarke University can model the way through this pandemic much as we have lived our core values of education, freedom, justice, and charity for over 176 years.
Continue to be well, stay well, and pray for us all,
Information for Clarke University Residential Students for the 2020-2021 School Year
June 2, 2020
As part of our ongoing efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 and the priority of the well-being of our students, Clarke University has made the decision to provide all residential students with individual rooms during the 2020-2021 academic year.
We have reviewed availability in our residence halls and have the space to allow each residential student an individual room in Mary Benedict (MBH) and Mary Josita (MJH) Halls. Mary Frances Hall and the Catherine Dunn Apartments already include individual student rooms. The extra fees normally associated with a single room in MBH and MJH will be waived for this academic year due to the pandemic.
Students do not need to take any additional steps to receive a private room beyond completing the standard housing application. No further action is required by students who have already submitted the application. Students will receive housing assignments in the near future via email from Brenda White, Director of Residence Life.
Eligible students will still have the option to request to live off-campus.
We will continue to follow CDC recommendations regarding cleaning and disinfecting campus buildings. Residence Halls will be cleaned and disinfected before move-in. Following move-in, the custodial staff will continue to clean and disinfect residence hall public spaces and community bathrooms. Resident students will be receiving information about the new protocols that will be in place to help keep our residence hall community healthy and safe.
Please direct any questions to Brenda White, Director of Residence Life at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CARES Act Emergency Relief Funding
Posted May 22, 2020
Clarke University has received funding through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) authorized by the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The University has signed and returned to the Department of Education the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution will distribute, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. The University has been authorized to receive $384,342 to provide direct emergency checks/direct deposit grant to college students whose life and education have been disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak. A total of $384,342 has been distributed to students in the form of Emergency Financial Aid as of May 22, 2020.
As of May 22, 2020, The University has distributed $384,342. The University estimates that approximately 800 students are eligible to receive these funds under Title IV Section 484 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus, is eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants provided for by the CARES Act.
Clarke calculated the distribution based on the criteria listed below.
- Full-time undergraduate students that have completed a FAFSA while at Clarke received $500.
- Students who had an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of $5,576 or below (Pell grant eligible) received an additional $443.
Clarke has distributed funds to 576 students. 356 students received $500, 219 students received $943.
Student communication email regarding HEERF was sent to the students on 5/19/20. Click here to view the communication.
CU Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) & End of Semester Update 8
May 13, 2020
Dear Students and Employees of Clarke University,
As we approach the end of the 2019-2020 academic year, we wanted to send a message regarding future communication as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 landscape. Throughout the summer, we will continue to communicate with students and employees via Clarke email.
As of May 13, 2020, there have been 13,298 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Iowa, 235 of those being in Dubuque County. There are still no reported cases on the Clarke University campus. We continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis and will share important updates and information as necessary. You may also follow along with Iowa updates here.
Since early March, the COVID-19 leadership team has been meeting regularly and will continue to meet throughout the summer months to ensure further communication, and ultimately, steps to move us toward a safe return to campus.
We commend everyone for working so quickly and adaptively to move spring and summer instruction and all necessary work to an online format, and also realize that we miss being able to see each other in person. For those of you looking forward to returning to Clarke next year, we are planning to reopen campus and return to normal operations in the fall so long as we are allowed by state and local officials. We understand that normal may look different than in the past and are taking steps to move in the direction of keeping our students and employees safe and healthy upon the return to campus.
Spring has arrived at Clarke – flowers are blooming, trees coming to life, and updates around campus have begun. The Alumni Lecture Hall renovation is underway, faculty offices being renovated in Eliza Kelly Hall and Catherine Byrne Hall are almost complete, work around Terence Donaghoe Hall to weatherproof and prevent leaks occurring in the lower level is off to a good start, a redesigned entrance to the Compass area has been completed, and soon the Kehl Center court floor will receive a facelift.
Student groups have been able to meet online and planned virtual events to replace some that would have taken place on campus. The Tenth Muse Literary Magazine staff moved forward with their event, inviting individuals that submitted and will have their works published, read them live via Zoom and Facebook Live.
On Thursday, May 7, we all celebrated #ClarkeDay. While we were not able to celebrate on-campus, the event saw the most online social engagement that we’ve witnessed in past years while raising money for our students’ success and some urgent needs. Alumni, students, and employees posted photos, selfies, donated money, and celebrated coming together for such an important day.
Our academic affairs, enrollment team, and faculty have been busy registering current and new students for next fall. Online CU Registration events have been successful thus far, with the events reaching capacity at this point. Virtual campus visits are off to a great start and we continue to reach future Clarkies in new ways, while still making sure they get to have the Clarke experience.
Clarke’s CareerPLUS program is designed to provide professional development opportunities will launch a pilot program beginning June 1, with a full roll out in July. Three 4-week micro courses will be offered each term with a focus on leadership, communication, conflict management, navigating change, data analysis & interpretation, and diversity & inclusion.
As stated in a previous email, we are still offering online summer courses, but regular summer housing will remain unavailable. A message regarding protocol and scheduling for students to return safely to campus to gather the remainder of their belongings still in campus housing was sent to students from Brenda White.
As we close the 2019-2020 academic year, all of you remain in our thoughts and are included in our prayers for a successful conclusion to this most challenging semester. We send special congratulations to all of you who are graduating and look forward to celebrating with you all in person this fall. Wherever you are you are never far from Clarke, and if it should ever feel otherwise, let us know so we can respond. Please stay safe and well, and remember we are stronger together. One Clarke, One Community.
Thom D. Chesney, Ph.D.
CU Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Update 7
Dear Students and Employees of Clarke University,
As of March 30, 2020, there are 424 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Iowa, 21 of those being in Dubuque County. There are still no reported cases on the Clarke University campus. We continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis and will share important updates and information as necessary. You may also follow along with Iowa updates here.
Since it first became clear that this pandemic could and would impact our community, Clarke University has taken steps to keep our students and employees as safe and healthy as possible while sustaining instruction and other operations. A hard optimist, I recall thinking just a few weeks ago what a relief and joy it would be to return to normal later this spring. Unfortunately, that will not be the case for an extended period.
Our preparedness has revealed our strength and resilience in the face of this global crisis; as such, Clarke University will move to providing only essential services on campus, while the remainder of faculty, staff, and student workers will work virtually from home, by close of business, Wednesday, April 1, 2020 and expect to continue to do so through the remainder of the spring semester. Exceptions for instructional continuity in areas, where without some on-campus work classes cannot be sustained, will be coordinated and communicated through Susan Burns, Vice President for Academic Affairs, by April 1. Contact her directly to seek approval or more information.
Clarke University continues to follow guidance from and pray for the City of Dubuque Public Health Department, Iowa Department of Public Health, and the US Centers for Disease Control. Should decisions and actions from any of these require changes to our operational plan, you will receive those in another message like this one.
During this shelter at home period, all university offices will continue to provide services and can be reached via the following contact information:
Business & Finance
Campus Store/Mail Room
Mail Room only open on Wednesdays 8-11 a.m.
Visitors must go to the mail room to pick-up mail. There will be no delivery service.
Vice President for Institutional Advancement
Marketing & Communication
563-588-6385 (Kathy & Thom voicemail)
Engagement & Intercultural Programs
Vice President for Student Life
During this new phase, please continue to monitor your email, explore and experiment with the full range of what Microsoft Teams can do, and stay regularly connected with your students and colleagues not only for your day-to-day work, but also to monitor their well-being. It is important to ask “How you are doing?” with empathy and the expectation that the responder may not answer, “Fine.” Working apart will not drive us apart if compassionate caring continues to be a part of our culture. Keep too in your thoughts and considerations our colleagues and students who have no options other than to remain on campus to do their work and continue their studies, respectively.
Finally, for now, and because not all the news is bad, I hope you will continue to share in abundance the a-ha moments in your classrooms and virtual spaces, our core values in action at work and in the community, and the lighter side of creating life/work balance under less than ideal circumstances. (I share my home office with 4 dogs. Let your imagination take it from there.) Send your good news to email@example.com or by texting 815-297-4618.
I close this message with some adapted words from one of my favorite Irish folksongs of all time. I hope it strikes a chord with you too—with or without a glass in your hand.
Here’s a health to one and all—to the big and to the small
to the rich and poor alike—unknown or friend;
and when we return again may unknowns be turned to friends,
and may peace and joy be with you until then!
CU Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Update 6
March 26, 2020
Dear Students and Employees of Clarke University,
As of today, March 26, 2020, there are 179 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Iowa, six of those being in Dubuque County. There are still no reported cases on the Clarke University campus. We continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis and will share important updates and information as necessary. You may also follow along with Iowa updates here.
During this time of virtual instruction and communication, we would like to take a moment to share some of the good we are spreading via digital communication and on social media.
Show your Clarke Pride digitally
- We invite everyone to join in celebrating Pride Fridays every Friday! Wear your Clarke gear tomorrow, Friday, March 27, snap a selfie, and post to social media – tag us, use #clarkeuniversity, or send photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Bring Clarke to your mobile device and computer! The Marketing staff has designed and shared Clarke computer and mobile wallpapers that you can downloaded here.
- Share the ways you are communicating with friends, colleagues, professors, classmates, etc. by sending to email@example.com or by texting 815-297-4618. We want to show everyone how you are all making the best of the current situation. Check out these Clarkie’s in action – Women’s Soccer and Basketball, Music, Art + Design, Athletic Training and Wednesday Wisdom with Thom.
- Congratulations to student-athletes Makenna Haase ’21, Morgan Pitz ’21, Darius Lasley ’20, and Keith Johnson ’22, on receiving All-American Honors. Learn more at clarkepride.com.
Room and Board Adjustments
Adjustments will be provided to students who are no longer living in campus housing due to the transition to remote instruction for the remainder of the semester. If you were unable to return to campus to remove your belongings, but have been in contact with Residence Life, you will be eligible for these adjustments. Adjustments for residence halls and meal plan will be calculated on a prorated basis adjusted for financial aid as appropriate, and will follow the same schedule as Clarke University’s published tuition refunding policy.
For students who left campus housing on or before Monday, March 24, 2020, the adjustment will be 40% of room and board costs, adjusted for applicable financial aid. Students that leave campus housing after that date will have their refund further prorated based on their move out date. Students that continue to live in campus housing after Sunday, April 19 will not be eligible to receive these adjustments.
Adjustments will be applied to a student’s account balance, and account credits and/or checks will be available after record processing. Once adjustments have been posted to a student’s account, the payment plans will adjust accordingly. We appreciate your patience as we work our way through this process. Adjusted amounts should start showing up on student accounts by Friday, April 3. Questions should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Course/Lab Fee and Graduation Refunds
Given courses have not been cancelled and commencement will be rescheduled (date to be announced soon), course fees and graduation fees stand as posted.
Please remember, Clarke University is prohibiting all non-essential, university-sponsored, international or domestic travel by employees and students, including all student organizations, effective immediately. Students and employees are also strongly encouraged to weigh any personal travel plans seriously and to follow all CDC guidelines. Anyone returning from any international travel or cruise is required to self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to the university. The same is recommended for anyone who has visited an area with a confirmed virus case and who believes they may have been exposed. If employees have questions regarding travel, please work with the area vice president.
Please remember the health warnings we have heard since this situation began. Wash your hands, take care of yourselves, and if you are an older adult and/or have high-risk health concerns or live with someone who has those concerns, please stay home. Even if you do not experience COVID-19 symptoms yourself, you may unknowingly spread it to others you care about. We are asking for your best effort on all fronts.
Know what to do if you experience symptoms.
Tammy Moore, Director of Health Services, sent out some great information yesterday regarding steps you should take if you think you may have the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19).
- The most commonly reported symptoms are fever, body aches, a cough, and sometimes shortness of breath.
- If you have these symptoms, stay home and isolate yourself away from roommates and family members.
- Please call # 2-1-1 which is the Iowa Coronavirus hotline or your primary care provider.
- For more specific health symptom questions and local opinion, you can call Medical Associates Acute Care at 563-584-3455 or Unity Point Urgent Care at 563-589-4960.
Please refer to Tammy’s email for further information.
Clarke University continues to follow guidance from the City of Dubuque Public Health Department, Iowa Department of Public Health, and the US Centers for Disease Control. The university will remain open and sustain normal daily operations to the extent possible.
CU Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Update 5
March 18, 2020
Dear Students and Employees of Clarke University,
As of today, March 18, 2020, there are 29 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Iowa. There are still no reported cases on the Clarke University campus, in Dubuque, or Dubuque County. We continue to monitor the situation and will share additional updates as it impacts our current actions.
Clearly, we are experiencing unprecedented times. Having closed campus for weather in the past and developing responses for hundreds of issues in between, I never could have anticipated that any of us would face a challenge like the one we are facing now with COVID-19.
Clarke University began under difficult, uncertain circumstances and has survived for more than 176 years through countless challenges. Through it all, our community always pulled together. Today, we must do so again.
Our team has been making real-time, hard decisions that we know have widespread effects on the lives of our students, colleagues, and Clarke community, and we are keeping the wellbeing of everyone at the forefront.
As the pace and reach of the pandemic in the United States only continues to grow, the magnitude of what we are dealing with increases. We continue to follow guidance from the City of Dubuque Public Health Department, Iowa Department of Public Health, and the US Centers for Disease Control. Clarke University will remain open to sustain essential operations to the extent possible.
It remains imperative that we promptly, accurately, and wisely implement best practices to:
- Create social distancing between individuals.
- Consider and creatively implement work-from-home flexibility for all employees (faculty, staff, and student employees) unless their work requires them to be physically present on campus.
- Protect our students, employees, and the community as a whole.
- Ensure the safety and security of our infrastructure here at Clarke.
With that in mind, I have a number of important updates:
Guidance for Students
Virtual instruction will continue
- For the remainder of the semester, classes will continue through virtual instruction. Faculty and support staff are working diligently to ensure we can sustain the academic experience that best supports learning online. I trust their ability to make good decisions about meeting our high academic standards and continuing to go the extra mile for each student.
- As a community of learners, please be patient with yourselves and your instructors during this transition and shifted planning on teaching and learning. Ask thoughtful questions and seek assistance from your faculty and academic support services. Expect they will do the same of you.
- Students will receive more information about their classes from their instructors as previously stated on or about March 23, 2020. As a reminder, for experiential learning opportunities that take place off campus, such as internships, clinical education and rotations, student teaching, etc. (unless the organization, host, or instructor says otherwise), students should expect to participate as normal. Contact your instructors and/or advisors if you have questions.
- For general academic questions, please contact the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Susan Burns at email@example.com.
Residence Hall closures
- To contain the potential risks and spread of COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to close the residence halls and require all students to check out of by 9 p.m. on Sunday, March 22. All students currently living in Clarke housing will shortly be contacted by the Residence Life Office with instructions on how to properly check out and move out of their respective residences. Students not currently on campus are also asked to retrieve their belongings by 9 p.m. on Sunday, March 22. Those in need of an extension for moving out must immediately contact the Residence Life Office at 563-588-6622 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We are making every effort to maintain safety amidst some flexibility.
- Students with extenuating circumstances that would require them to remain on campus will be asked to note their intention on a housing registration form that will be e-mailed to all residential students’ Clarke e-mail addresses. Requests will be reviewed within 24 hours of receipt and a decision communicated through email. Your request must be approved by Residence Life to remain on campus. For those students who must remain on campus, you will be limited to your respective hall with no outside guests until further notice.
- While the University will ensure that we have sufficient residence hall rooms available for students who have no other alternatives, we will be consolidating housing for all remaining students to one residence facility.
- None of us can predict how long the present situation may last, and if you remain on campus you might be here for some time with very limited services. For example, dining services will continue to operate for those students who remain, but on a limited basis. Additional information about dining services and restricted hours for other offices will be shared separately by email.
- For residential students, we are exploring the potential for refunds of room and board for the remainder of the semester. We will have guidance on next steps as soon as possible, and that information will be sent separately to affected students by email.
- If you have questions about housing, please contact the Residence Life Office at 563-588-6622 email@example.com.
Guidance for Employees
- Faculty, as noted above in the student information section, for the remainder of the semester, classes will continue through virtual instruction. Support staff are still available to support your transition to online instruction. I also advise you to be patient with yourselves and your students during this transition and shifted planning on teaching and learning. Know that academic support services through the MARC will continue to be available, and I encourage you to reach out to the staff if that area if you have questions.
- Employees who are able to continue their work remotely from home are encouraged to do so beginning no later than Monday, March 23, 2020. A separate message from Jody Pfohl, director of human resources, will provide employees and their supervisor’s guidance on how to arrange for a remote work schedule and expectations. At this time, if your responsibilities don’t allow you to work remotely and you choose not to come to work, you may use vacation time. Please contact your supervisor or vice president with any questions.
- Employees who are unable to report to work because their health symptoms led them to engage in self-isolation should contact their supervisor and Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org to document the beginning date of their self-isolation.
- If able, student workers may work from home as well. Students, please contact your supervisor for more information. For student workers who cannot do their work remotely, there will be additional opportunities for virtual work-study employment. A separate message will be sent soon about those opportunities.
- If you have young children at home, now that the state’s public and charter K-12 schools are closed, we know you may be unable to commit to a full day of work. We understand that and thank you for your best efforts. Do what you can, take care of your family, and we will all emerge stronger.
- Many of our employees (including students) may have specific questions and concerns about compensation. We are actively working on guidance for all categories of employees and expect to provide that soon. In the meantime, know this: Clarke University will do everything possible to keep you “whole” from a compensation standpoint.
- Employees (faculty and staff only) will continue to have access to their offices and teaching spaces. Consult with your supervisor or area VP with questions. The revised hours, subject to change, are as follows:
- Hours of In-person Operation
- Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 8-11 a.m.
- Tuesday, Thursday: 1-4 p.m.
- Hours of Virtual Operation
- Weekdays: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
- Hours of In-person Operation
- Given all forms of instruction will be virtual for the remainder of the semester, all events on campus will also be cancelled or postponed. We are currently exploring options for how to honor our graduates and celebrate their achievements in light of a likely postponement of Commencement. Future communications will provide more information on what is decided. This is among the most difficulty decisions we have to make. Expect to hear more soon via email communication.
- All athletic and recreational facilities on campus, including the Robert and Ruth Kehl Center and Dorice and Corbin McNeill Wellness Center, are closed until further notice.
- Please remember the health warnings we have heard since this situation began. Wash your hands, take care of yourselves, and if you are an older adult and/or have high-risk health concerns or live with someone who has those concerns, please stay home. Even if you do not experience COVID-19 symptoms yourself, you may unknowingly spread it to others you care about. We are asking for your best effort on all fronts.
Finally, thank you. I wish I had better words to express my appreciation. Countless individuals across our Clarke family are working around the clock, volunteering to help others, supporting each other, and going above and beyond. There have been moments of raw emotion, frustration, and exhaustion which show how human and imperfect we are and these expressions not only expected but also are welcomed under the circumstances.
We begin our meetings with community prayer and use our mission and core values of freedom, education, justice and charity as the lens through which we make our decisions. Together, I believe we will like those who preceded us at Clarke overcome the challenges this unique situation poses for all of us. I know this is a lot and will be difficult. Please reach out if you need help or support.
I continue to be the only recipient, reader and responder to email@example.com (email) and direct messaging via @thomchesney (Twitter), in the event that you feel I am the best audience for your reply.
Be well, stay well, and pray for us all,
Thom D. Chesney
CU Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Update 4
March 16, 2020
As of today, March 16, 2020, there are 23 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Iowa. There are still no reported cases on the Clarke University campus, in Dubuque, or Dubuque County. We continue to monitor the situation and will share additional updates as it impacts our current actions.
The health of Clarke University students and employees remains our top priority as we navigate the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We are recommending the following precautions and practices to help contain and prevent the spread of illness.
This is an extension of the items covered in Update #3.
The University recommends implementing social distancing guidelines to minimize the possible spread of the disease among our community. Please refer to the attached PDF document.
We will print and post these around campus, but feel free to also print and post in your area and/or office. For the health and well-being of everyone, when you see opportunities to help educate others, please do so.
- Students are allowed to use common spaces on campus including labs, studios, etc. so long as spacing of individuals at least 6 feet apart is an option and common spaces and shared items are cleaned as necessary before and after leaving the space.
- Certainly no more than 10 people in one common space per U.S. government recommendation and/or please use the social distancing recommendations as posted in each area. Look for signs and updates in areas that you may visit – conditions may change from day to day.
- The first floor weight room in the Kehl Center will be closed.
- As stated previously, our residence halls will remain open. If students have changed their plans regarding their residence hall stay, they should contact Brenda White by phone at (563)588-6622 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clarke University is prohibiting all non-essential, university-sponsored, international or domestic travel by employees and students, including all student organizations, effective immediately. Students and employees are also strongly encouraged to weigh any personal travel plans seriously and to follow all CDC guidelines. Anyone returning from any international travel or cruise is required to self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to the university. The same is recommended for anyone who has visited an area with a confirmed virus case and who believes they may have been exposed. If employees have questions regarding travel, please work with the area vice president.
Given the recent mandates from governors of Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin, we are working with our employees to accommodate K-12 schools being closed for the next 2-4 weeks. We are also working to address employee needs in caring for family members who may be ill or have underlying health conditions. The University is working to accommodate these situations, without creating a financial burden on our employees and their families. We are allowing the use of vacation time, as well as sick time, to be used in caring for family members. Please work with your area vice president if you are concerned that you may run out of paid leave, so additional accommodations can be considered.
You can find a current list of postponements and cancellations at https://www.clarke.edu/news/cu-coronavirus-2019-ncov-updates/. Have an event to add to the list? Send your event cancellations/closures toOfficialCUCommunication@clarke.edu.
These decisions were made to prioritize health and safety and lessen the spread of virus. We continue to follow guidance from the City of Dubuque Public Health Department, Iowa Department of Public Health, and the US Centers for Disease Control. The university will remain open and sustain normal daily operations to the extent possible.
On a personal note
As a Catholic university which considers its mission and core values in decision-making, we are sensitive to the stressors, concerns and questions of everyone who is part of the Clarke family and want to hear and address them. You may respond to this message or share directly with a university employee if you prefer. Caritas brings our community together in good times and difficult times alike and has sustained Clarke University for over 176 years.
CU Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Update 3
March 12, 2020
While cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) have increased in Iowa, as of March 12 there are no reported cases on the Clarke University campus, in Dubuque, or Dubuque County. Neither the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) nor Dubuque County are currentlyrecommending community social distancing measures.
However, for the safety of our students and employees, Clarke University will suspend on-campus face-to-face instruction for two weeks following spring break due to coronavirus concerns and move to virtual forms of instruction for a period expected to span March 23 through April 5, 2020. On-campus face-to-face instruction is scheduled to resume on April 6.
As noted in the information that follows, students may remain on campus throughout this time period or return after spring break to resume class virtually. Unless notified otherwise by the university, all students with one or more face-to-face classes are expected to be on campus for their restart on April 6.
We understand how disappointing and disruptive this is to students and employees alike. This decision was made to prioritize health and safety and lessen the spread of virus. We continue to follow guidance from the City of Dubuque Public Health Department, Iowa Department of Public Health, and the US Centers for Disease Control. The university will remain open and sustain normal daily operations to the extent possible. Additional guidance for supervisors and employees will be shared in the near future.
- Spring Break will occur as scheduled from March 14–22, and residential students must decide now whether to remain on campus or return after the break.
- Students who are staying must register with Brenda White, Director of Residence Life by Friday, March 13 at 4:30 p.m. to continue access to their residence hall or campus apartment during this time.
- If you plan to remain at home or off campus to continue your learning virtually, be sure that you take your learning materials and devices with you. You are expected to have reliable internet access in order to continue your classes online.
- Beginning March 23 and expected to continue through April 5, classroom, lectures, discussion sections, seminars, and other similar classroom settings will move to virtual instruction to the greatest extent possible. Students will receive additional information from their instructors on or about March 23 regarding adjustments to their classes, assignments, and exams.
- For experiential learning opportunities that take place off campus, such as internships, clinical education and rotations, student teaching, etc. (unless the organization, host, or instructor says otherwise), students should expect to participate as normal. Contact your instructors if you have questions.
- During the suspension of on-campus face-to-face classes, students may choose to stay home or return to their residence hall, off-campus housing, or another location. Please make the choice that is best for your own personal health and safety. Residence hall students must notify Brenda White if they will also be staying in the halls at any period of time between March 23 through April 5.
- The Clarke campus will remain open to serve students and employees who rely on services such as the library, MARC, and athletics facilities. The Kehl Center will, however, be closed to the outside community from March 23 through April 5.
- Essential services in Student Life such as Health Services, Counseling, and Campus Ministry will be uninterrupted for the duration of this change and will also provide services via phone and internet when appropriate.
- Some academic and student support services may be available in person or via phone and online.
- Student workers should continue to report to work or contact their supervisor if they will not be available.
Assistance for Faculty
- Staff in the Academic Affairs and Information Technology offices are available to assist faculty with migrating classes to an online format.
- Additional information and updates will be emailed to faculty from the Vice President of Academic Affairs.
- Because the campus is open to employees, faculty are welcome to continue to access office and learning spaces for work related to virtual instruction.
Additional Employee Information
- All non-faculty employees should report to campus for work at their regular times. No employee vacation or leave days have been suspended or postponed.
- The university is preparing employee options for virtual work, where appropriate. Please direct your questions and requests to your supervisor in the meantime.
On Campus Events and Athletics
- We are currently evaluating all large events scheduled on campus from March 13 through April 5 for continuation, postponement or cancellation, and will communicate changes as they are made.
- Athletic contests and practices will be similarly evaluated on a daily basis, and are subject to change. Athletes should stay in close contact with their coaches.
- We encourage members of the Clarke community to strongly consider deferring non-essential personal international travel during spring break and in the months ahead.
- If you are traveling, please be sure to monitor the risks at your destination and at travel points to and from. Please read the information here, provided by CDC regarding travel out of the country.
- Until further notice, all Clarke-sponsored travel of any type must be reviewed at the VP level.
All Students and Employees
- Dining Services is scheduled to resume operations on Sunday evening, March 22.
- Continue to help prevent the spread of all viruses, including influenza and COVID-19 by:
- Covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your upper arm/elbow
- Cleaning your hands frequently washing with soap and warm water for at least 20 second and/or using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content
- Containing germs by staying home when ill or when you are concerned that you may have been in contact with another sick person
We continue to monitor and prepare for additional cases in Iowa and will adjust the university schedule or classes as needed. Please check our COVID-19 webpage for updates and other information.
Keeping Clarke University safe is our top priority. Thank you for your efforts over the past several weeks to protect your health and the health of our campus community.
We will continue to send official updates about COVID-19 through email. Be sure to check yours daily.
Thom D. Chesney, Ph.D.
Clarke University President
Health Services • (563)588-6374 • email@example.com
Security • (563)588-6393
IT Help Desk • (563)588-6390 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Residence Life (Brenda White) • (563)588-6622 • email@example.com
MARC • (563)588-8133 • firstname.lastname@example.org • marc.clarke.edu
Registrar • (563)588-6314 • email@example.com
For information on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), you may also call 211.
CU Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Update 2
March 10, 2020
We continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely with the City of Dubuque Public Health Department, Iowa Department of Public Health, and the US Centers for Disease Control.
Currently, there are eight confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus in Iowa. There have been no confirmed cases in Dubuque or at Clarke University.
Governor Kim Reynolds stated at a press conference this morning that it doesn’t appear that community spread is taking place at this time. Assessment is ongoing on a daily basis. Washing hands, covering coughs, and staying home when sick was emphasized!
March 16 – 20 is our spring break week. If you are traveling, please be sure to monitor the risks at your destination and at travel points to and from. Please read the information below, provided by the Iowa Department of Public Health regarding travel out of the country and virus prevention.
We will continue to keep you updated. Thank you for checking your Clarke email during spring break.
If you have questions regarding this information, please contact Health Services at (563)588-6374 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Iowans Returning from Countries Affected by COVID-19 Urged to Self-Isolate
The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) requested Iowans returning from a country where novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading to voluntarily self-isolate for 14 days following their return. Areas in this travel notice currently include:
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
Individuals returning from affected areas are asked to stay home and monitor their symptoms for 14 days and if they become ill and need to seek medical care, they should call ahead to their doctor’s office and inform them of their recent travel. “We recognize staying at home for 14 days is an inconvenience, but it is an important way to limit the spread of a variety of illnesses, including COVID-19.”
There are things all Iowans can do to help prevent the spread of all viruses, including influenza and COVID-19:
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your upper arm/elbow
- Clean your hands frequently with soap and water
- Contain germs by staying home when ill
Residents should prepare for the potential of COVID-19 in the same way they prepare for severe weather or other events that could disrupt their normal routine. This includes making a plan and discussing it with your family.
Symptoms of the COVID-19 in people who have been exposed can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. The symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying.
For information and updates related to COVID-19, visit https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus and follow IDPH on Facebook (@IowaDepartmentofPublicHealth) and Twitter (@IAPublicHealth).
Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Update 1
March 4, 2020
At this time, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus at Clarke University or in the state of Iowa. Clarke University will continue to monitor this evolving public health situation.
We will continue to send updates as the Iowa Department of Public Health and the US Center for Disease Control provides us with new information.
What is novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?
2019-nCoV is a newly identified coronavirus that is causing an outbreak of pneumonia illness. It was first identified in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Since then, the virus has been identified in multiple other countries, including cases in the U.S.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), human coronaviruses are common throughout the world and usually cause mild to moderate illness in people. This new virus is a public health concern because:
- It is newly identified, so much is still unknown about it.
- Two other human coronaviruses, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, have caused severe illness.
What is the risk?
The CDC considers this new virus a public health concern based on current information. However, the immediate health risk to the general US public is considered low at this time. The CDC and the World Health Organization are closely monitoring the situation and providing ongoing guidance.
Symptoms and transmission:
Symptoms may be flu-like, ranging from mild to serious, and include:
- Difficulty breathing
Person-to-person spread is occurring. It is spread by droplet within six feet or touching contaminated surfaces.
There is no vaccine to prevent this virus, and the CDC advises that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
Here are everyday actions to help prevent 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 a 60% plus alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home 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.
- Before you go to a doctor’s office, acute care center or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
- Campus Health Services staff is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. You can call 563-588-6374 during these hours. If you leave a message we will get back to you as soon as possible.
- Avoid contact with others.
- STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK!
If you have questions regarding this information, please contact Health Services at (563)588-6374 or email@example.com.