COVID-19 Updates

The health and well-being of our community is our top priority. This page contains the latest information and resources specific to the PSD community regarding the response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

University Resources

Medical and Wellness Resources

Guides:

PSD Contacts

PSD Key Communications

Dear Colleagues,

As you have seen in recent communications, the University will continue to operate with essential-only personnel and that, even when the stay at home order is lifted, we expect to operate with a low-density of people on campus. Those on campus need to adhere to policies regarding face coverings, social distancing, self-monitoring, and self-reporting. All PSD community members are encouraged to report any issues they see regarding physical distancing and improper PPE; this can be done anonymously through the UCAIR system

The University has convened several working groups to plan for the resumption of activities on campus. Each group includes a member of PSD leadership and has drafted guidelines for a phased return to activity, which are under review and should be disseminated in the coming weeks. PSD representatives on these committees are: 

·Education: Stu Kurtz, Deputy Dean 

·Laboratory research: Aaron Dinner, Deputy Dean 

·Non-lab research: Michael Foote, Deputy Dean 

·Staff: Michael Grosse, Senior Associate Dean 

We expect that, as research begins to ramp up on campus, laboratory-based researchers will phase in first, because of their inability to perform their work remotely. Due to the diversity of PSD laboratory configurations and research needs, each PI will be responsible for completing an individual plan for ramp-up, which will then be reviewed by a departmental committee before submission to the PSD for final approval. The form will be shared with all PIs after it has been finalized by the central administration.  

The PSD has formed a committee with representation from all departments and institutes to develop a form to help PIs structure their individual plans. The committee members are: 

·Aaron Dinner (Chair), Deputy Dean

·Andy Campbell, Deputy Dean 

·Andy Davis, Geophysical Sciences

·Bryan Dickinson, Chemistry

·Margaret Gardel, Physics

·Shan Lu, Computer Science

·Jeff McMahon, Astronomy & Astrophysics and KICP

·David Miller, EFI

·Dan Nicolae, Statistics

·Jonathan Simon, JFI

·Shmuel Weinberger, Mathematics

BSD will hold a town hall tomorrow, Wednesday, May 27 at 2:00 p.m. to review the overall framework for increasing their research. I include the invitation message from Dean Polonsky below, and the agenda, attached. PSD will host our own town hall to review our implementation plan when finalized.

Finally, I want to emphasize that the health and safety of our community remains our top concern. No one will be pressured to work on campus if they are uncomfortable doing so, and there will be no disciplinary or retaliatory action taken against anyone who prefers not to return to work on campus due to concerns about infection. Students who have concerns can contact their department’s student affairs representative or PSD Dean of Students, Bahareh Lampert. Research staff and postdoctoral scholars who have concerns can contact their Human Resources Partner or Divisional Administrator Susan Hearth

Thank you for your continued patience and cooperation,

Stay Scient, Safe, and Sane,

Angela

To: PSD Students and Recent Graduates
From: Angela Olinto, Dean, and Bahareh Lampert, Dean of Students
Subject: PSD Convocation
Date: April 7, 2020

Dear Students,

As President Zimmer announced today, the University will not hold an on-campus Convocation ceremony due to current public health guidance. We understand the disappointment our graduating students and their families may feel about this news, and we are committed to celebrating your amazing achievements this year in a virtual ceremony, as well as next year, when we will welcome you back to campus to participate in the hooding ceremony in person. 

Convocation is an enduring tradition at the University of Chicago, and, more importantly, a well-deserved recognition of our students' tremendous accomplishments. Though we cannot be together on campus this June, we will honor our graduates as a PSD community. In finishing a degree at the University of Chicago, our graduating students have demonstrated enormous resilience and dedication to intellectual challenge. We are so proud of you.

Please reach out to the Dean of Students Office with any questions, and we will be in touch later this Quarter with further details.

Dean Angela Olinto and Dean of Students Bahareh Lampert
Physical Sciences Division

To: PSD Community
From: Angela Olinto, Dean
Subject: Thank You
Date: April 6, 2020

Dear PSD Community,

As we start a Spring Quarter that differs so drastically from the norm, I write to express my gratitude. I know some of our community members are facing incredible challenges—both personally and professionally—during this global health crisis. Despite these circumstances, I have seen remarkable demonstrations of resilience, generosity, and comradery as well as a dedication to continuing to advance science and learning across the Division.

Students, faculty, academics, postdocs, and staff: thank you for your creativity and unwavering commitment to research and education; your flexibility and patience as policies and practices evolve; and your willingness to help and support others. 

Wishing you, your families, and friends health and wellness,

Angela

To: PSD Spring Quarter Instructors and TAs (via Chairs and Directors)
From: Bahareh Lampert, Dean of Students
Subject: Spring 2020 Tasks, Policies, and Resources
Date: April 4, 2020

Dear Students, 

In light of the University’s decision to move to remote learning and teaching in Spring 2020, I write to provide you with additional information about the following:

  • Activating Zoom accounts
  • Recording and privacy policies for remote learning
  • Resources that will be useful when classes begin

Activating and testing your Zoom account

All students have free access to Zoom accounts. You will need a Zoom account and an internet connection to participate in remote learning this quarter. If you are a teaching assistant in the Spring, you received an email from ITS prior to this week with instructions relevant to your setup process.   

Otherwise, if you have not done so already, you should create a UChicago Zoom account in advance of your first class session by navigating to  https://uchicagostudents.zoom.us/, then clicking on the “Sign In” button, which will create the account.  (Please note that even if you already have a free Zoom account, you should Sign In and create a UChicago Zoom account. If you have a free account using your UChicago email address, you will need to cancel that account before creating your new one.). 

After creating a Zoom account, you should start up a meeting to check your audio and webcam. Log into Zoom, then click on “Meetings” in the sidebar, then on “Personal Meeting Room” then the “Start Meeting” button. After clicking on the Start Video icon, look to see that the image is clear and that the green microphone button in the lower-left corner lights up when speaking into the microphone. When finished, you can click on “Leave Meeting” to exit the session.

More information about using Zoom can be found at the IT Services website.

Recording and privacy policy 

Instructors have the discretion to record course sessions, except when recording is required to meet the needs of students granted an accommodation by the Office of Student Disability Services. 

Recordings and transcripts will be made available to students in the relevant course, the instructor, and other necessary University officials. Recordings in which students are personally identifiable will be managed in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

This time-limited policy has been implemented to effectively deliver a remote education while safeguarding privacy and protecting rights in courses and instructional materials. Below is an acknowledgement for students designed to govern the use of any recordings and provide instructors and students with guidance on the use of instructional materials.

By attending course sessions, students acknowledge that:

A. They will not: (i) record, share, or disseminate University of Chicago course sessions, videos, transcripts, audio, or chats; (ii) retain such materials after the end of the course; or (iii) use such materials for any purpose other than in connection with participation in the course.

B. They will not share links to University of Chicago course sessions with any persons not authorized to be in the course session. Sharing course materials with persons authorized to be in the relevant course is permitted. Syllabi, handouts, slides, and other documents may be shared at the discretion of the instructor.

C. Course recordings, content, and materials may be covered by copyrights held by the University, the instructor, or third parties. Any unauthorized use of such recordings or course materials may violate such copyrights. 

D. Any violation of this policy will be referred to the Area Dean of Students.

Resources for Remote Learning

I recommend that you review and bookmark the following pages in advance of the start of Spring Quarter:

Learning Remotely – This website has resources about remote learning, including guidance about technology, best practices for creating a successful learning environment, and frequently asked questions. 

Teaching Remotely – If students have any teaching responsibilities in Spring Quarter, this website provides useful technical and pedagogical guidance. 

DOS Student Resources – You can find general student resources here, as well as links pertaining specifically to Spring Quarter 2020 and COVID-19. 

Financial Assistance - Students who are facing financial challenges or have concerns about outdated technology that does not support video and streaming capabilities or about their access to broadband may apply for assistance through a program administered by the University Bursar. You may contact me at any time to discuss your concerns. More information about this program and the application form is also available on the Bursar’s website.

Note: Requests for COVID-19 related assistance will be considered above and beyond the eligibility criteria governing the emergency assistance program. In other words, students who have received emergency assistance under the program in the past are still eligible for COVID-19 related assistance and, similarly, receiving COVID-19 related assistance now does not disqualify students from applying for future emergency assistance.

Before classes begin, I also want to thank all of you for your hard work, patience, and flexibility at the end of last quarter and as Spring Quarter begins. This quarter will pose unique opportunities and challenges, and the Dean of Students Office is here to help if you have any questions or concerns. Please feel free to email psd-dos@lists.uchicago.edu at any time. If you would like to have an informal check-in session with a PSD staff member, we’d be delighted to hear from you, so please sign up using this form.

I hope you all have an engaging and productive quarter. I look forward to hearing about your experiences.

All best,

Bahareh

To: PSD Community
From: Angela Olinto, Dean
Subject: Pass/Fail Grading Option for the Physical Sciences Division
Date: April 3, 2020

Dear PSD Community,

We recognize that the COVID-19 public health crisis presents a unique set of challenges to our students, including childcare responsibilities, mental and physical health concerns, and technical obstacles for remote learning. With these concerns in mind, we are increasing the flexibility of our current grading practices to help support students. This includes expanding the availability of pass / fail options for the Spring Quarter.

For the Spring Quarter of 2020, the following grading options are available to students in the Physical Sciences Division:

  • For courses taken to fulfill the requirements of a Major or Minor in the Physical Sciences Division, students in the College may request to take up to two courses as pass / fail with the consent of their instructors. Students must then submit a petition to their department to have those courses count toward Major/Minor requirements by Friday of Week 9. For more information about grading options in the Core and electives, view the communication from Dean John Boyer and Dean of Students Jay Ellison.
  • PhD students in the Physical Sciences Division may request to take up to two courses as pass / fail for the Spring Quarter with the consent of the instructors. Students must request through their Department to have those courses count toward degree requirements by Friday of Week 9.
  • Because Master’s programs are shorter-term and coursework constitutes a larger proportion of the educational plan, Master's students in the Physical Sciences Division may request to take one course as pass/fail for the Spring Quarter with the consent of the instructor. Students must request through their Department to have those courses count toward degree requirements by Friday of Week 9.
  • All students may petition for pass / fail options beyond those listed above if they face additional personal difficulties.

While formal grades remain important to many students as they pursue academic and personal goals, we recognize that other students have compelling reasons to select a pass / fail option. Graduate students are encouraged to direct questions to the Director of Graduate Studies if there are concerns about making satisfactory academic progress. 

These options are intended to satisfy the diverse needs of our current academic term only and do not imply a precedent for future policies.

Departments and programs will provide additional guidance on the grading options in the coming weeks.

All the best,

Angela

To: PSD Staff
From: Susan Hearth, Divisional Human Resources Administrator
Subject: Human Resources Guidance on Essential-Only Order
Date: March 20, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

With the ever-changing landscape of our work at the University, I’d like to provide you with some information and resources. All resources mentioned in this email are available on the PSD COVID-19 Updates web page.

Pay and Leave Time Related to COVID-19

Casey Cook’s March 19th email announced additional paid time off related to coronavirus for staff employees. There is a newly drafted Temporary Policy on Pay and Leave Time Related to COVID-19 and FAQs.

Remote Work Guidelines & Best Practices

If you haven’t already done so, please fill out the attached PSD Temporary Remote Work Agreement and submit it to your manager for approval. With Dean Angela Olinto’s announcement of the PSD only allowing essential personnel to be on campus as of 5:00 p.m. Saturday March 21st, we need a document for every PSD employee who will be either be completely working remotely or partially working remotely. Please either sign the document electronically or send email approvals. All approved Temporary Remote Work Arrangements should be sent to Susan Hearth

Additionally, There is a UChicago Remote Work Guidelines & Best Practices for staff and Guidelines for Self-Isolation available on the PSD COVID-19 Updates web page.

The PSD HR group is available to answer any questions or concerns.

Key contacts during the campus closure include:

You can also refer to the PSD website for links to additional resources and information, including the University's coronavirus update page and the Spring Quarter websites.

The health and safety of the PSD community is our top priority. Thank you for your cooperation and flexibility in these efforts.

Stay well,

Susan

Attachments: PSD Temporary Work Agreement, Self-Isolation Information, COVID-19 Bank FAQs

To: PSD Community
From: Angela Olinto, Dean
Subject: Implementing essential-personnel only in PSD
Date: March 20, 2020

Dear PSD Community,

With the announcement of Governor Pritzker's stay-at-home order, PSD will be implementing the essential-personnel continuity plans established by each unit.

Essential personnel for research labs means the fewest number of people needed to conduct activities that are required to preserve samples/equipment or functionalities critical to the long-term preservation of a lab or project. Other essential personnel include those whose roles are necessary to maintain the safety of our facilities and prevent serious negative consequences. 

Chairs, Directors, and PIs have identified essential personnel for their area and have provided that list to Deputy Dean Aaron Dinner. Starting tomorrow, Saturday, March 21 at 5:00 p.m., only essential individuals should access buildings on campus and only for their required maintenance activities. All others who are not on this essential list, please do not come to campus. We will monitor keycard readers and follow up with any non-essential visitors to our buildings. Plan to gather all materials you might need for teaching, work, or research from labs and offices by 5:00 p.m. Saturday, March 21.

Finally, if your lab has PPE that could be of use by medical personnel, please donate. Individuals willing to help process COVID-19 tests in the lab should complete this form.

Key contacts during the campus closure include:

You can also refer to the PSD website for links to additional resources and information, including the University's coronavirus update page and the Spring Quarter websites.

The health and safety of the PSD community is our top priority. Thank you for your cooperation and flexibility in these efforts.

With all the best,

Angela

To: PSD Spring Quarter Instructors and TAs (via Chairs and Directors)
From: Bahareh Lampert, Dean of Students
Subject: Technical and Pedagogical Training Sessions for Spring 2020
Date: March 20, 2020

Dear Spring Quarter instructors and teaching assistants,

We write with updates on the main forms of support for faculty and TAs as they prepare for teaching remotely.

Confirmation Required: All Spring 2020 instructors of record have automatically been assigned Zoom accounts for remote instruction.  If you are a Spring 2020 instructor who has not yet received a Zoom account, please let Sharon Bryant know. Instructions about how to activate your UChicago Zoom account are attached.

Technical Training:  Additional sections have been added to the training registration website (currently through 3/27) for online Zoom and Canvas for Remote Teaching training.  The training sessions are being offered for instructors and teaching assistants. To register for a session, go here and click on “Training.”  The training page includes an asynchronous (recorded) training class, and there are also learning resources online to help individuals get started on their own.  Training sessions will continue until after the start of the quarter.  

Pedagogical Frameworks:  The Chicago Center for Teaching will offer three training sessions next week (through 3/27).  You may sign up at Pedagogical Considerations for Remote Teaching.  Note that this is not a technical training, but rather a forum for discussing the pedagogical issues of remote teaching.  The aims of the session are to:

1. Introduce general pedagogical principles and considerations for a transition to remote teaching. 

2. Model several asynchronous and synchronous teaching and learning strategies.

3. Provide a space for instructors to ask questions and think together about how to meet this distinctive pedagogical challenge.

The CCT can also offer this session for your department as a whole if you would like for the workshop to be focused more on your program’s specific teaching concerns. To arrange for this, please email Joe Lampert.  Finally, attached please find a document from the CCT with Pedagogical Guidance for Remote Teaching.

Thank you,

Bahareh

Attachment: Pedagogical Guidance for Remote Teaching, Activate your UChicago Zoom Account

To: PSD Students
From: Bahareh Lampert, Dean of Students
Subject: PSD DOS Spring Check-Ins with Students
Date: March 17, 2020

Dear Students, 

In recent days, we have faced a number of changes and new challenges. The Dean of Students Office remains committed to serving as a resource for you as we navigate these changes together. Perhaps the most profound change is the commitment to social distancing. As a community, we have rapidly made changes to accommodate social distancing into our everyday lives, and we sincerely appreciate your cooperation in this public health effort.

COVID-19 requires social distancing in terms of physical proximity, but we as a community should work together against the effects of social isolation. For many of you, interacting with peers, faculty, post-docs, and staff is an invaluable part of your educational experience at the University. Although we cannot replicate that experience Spring Quarter, we do want to offer additional avenues for emotional and social support. Spring Quarter presents an opportunity for our community to grow stronger and demonstrate a commitment to each other’s well-being in an intentional way.

To this end, the PSD Dean of Students Office will be offering optional check-ins (via Zoom, phone, or email) for students during Spring Quarter. These check-ins will generally last 15-30 minutes and will be led by a PSD staff member. You can use the check-ins to discuss how your classes and/or research are going, ideas for coping with social distancing, or anything else you would like to discuss. We would be delighted to hear about your average days during this period. The conversations don’t need to be about anything in particular. 

If you would like to sign up for one or more check-ins, please sign up at this link:  https://forms.gle/mexBgv5m5sBhuVAQ9. All requests will be kept confidential, and you can sign up or cancel at any time.   

Please let us know if you have any questions and thank you for your continued commitment to our community.

All the best,

Bahareh

To: PSD Students
From: Bahareh Lampert, Dean of Students
Subject: Spring Quarter Funding - Normal Schedule - COVID-19
Date: March 16, 2020

Dear Students,

This morning, Provost Lee sent out a message to all members of the University community announcing that the beginning of Spring Quarter will be delayed until April 6, 2020. You can view that email here: https://coronavirusupdates.uchicago.edu/mar-16-email-update/.

If you are receiving a stipend or have an assistantship for Spring Quarter, the timing of your payment will NOT be impacted by the delay of the start of courses.  Neither pay nor pay schedules will be affected by delaying the start of Spring Quarter by one week.

If you have any additional questions, your student affairs administrators will be a great resource here.  And of course, the Dean of Students Office can answer questions as well.

All best,

Bahareh

To: PSD Postdocs
From: Angela Olinto, Dean
Subject: Additional guidance regarding coronavirus (COVID-19)
Date: March 16, 2020

Dear Postdocs,

I wanted to write to provide information and guidance for our community’s response to Coronavirus/COVID-19. The situation is ever-evolving, and I appreciate your patience and flexibility during this difficult time. Our Chairs, Directors, and faculty are developing continuity plans to account for a number of contingencies, including high levels of absenteeism and closures.

As of now, the campus remains open for research activities. We encourage you to work remotely if possible and recognize that you may have child care responsibilities at home. Please collaborate with your supervisor or program director to determine the structure and schedule of your work during this time. Complete the Flexible Work Arrangement document attached and return it to your supervisor or program director.

For those whose research cannot be accomplished remotely, we encourage social distancing in labs and offices and the use of virtual meetings if applicable. Anyone who feels unwell should stay home. Those with reason to believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 should self-quarantine for 14 days.

I recognize that this is a challenging time for all members of our campus community, and it is important that we continue to support one another. This is a time when we are reminded of how connected we are and how critical it is to take care of ourselves and others both physically and emotionally. As we face these challenges together, please find a number of resources that may help you navigate the coming weeks below:

Resources:

If you have other questions, please reach out to your unit administrator or our office.

Sincerely,

Angela

Attachment: PSD Temporary Work Agreement

To: PSD Staff
From: Angela Olinto, Dean
Subject: Additional guidance regarding remote work
Date: March 14, 2020

Dear Colleagues, 

I write to provide additional information following President Zimmer and Provost Lee’s message and guidance from the University HR community.

We encourage remote work where possible, starting Monday, March 16. I am including a copy of the PSD Temporary Remote Work Agreement. Please submit this form to your manager for approval. You and your manager will collaborate to determine the structure of your schedule, tasks, and deliverables during this time. The university recommends and supports Microsoft Teams, for general collaboration, chat, and productivity; and Zoom for video- and tele-conferencing. Understanding how to use these tools will be important, even if you are not working remotely. LinkedIN Learning, available to all at UChicago, provides training videos on Teams, Zoom offers video tutorials, and the working remotely resource page includes more helpful tools.

For those whose roles and responsibilities cannot be accomplished remotely, we encourage social distancing in labs and offices and use of virtual meetings if applicable. Anyone who feels unwell should stay home. Those with reason to believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 should self-quarantine for 14 days.

The PSD HR group is available to answer your questions and concerns.

The health and well-being of our community is our first priority. We will continue to share new developments and guidance as they arise. I appreciate your flexibility and commitment to ensuring that PSD operations continue during this challenging time.

Thank you,

Angela

Attachment: PSD Temporary Work Agreement

To: PSD Faculty
From: Angela Olinto, Dean
Subject: Additional guidance regarding coronavirus (COVID-19)
Date: March 14, 2020

Dear Colleagues, 

Following the message from President Zimmer and Provost Lee and a subsequent meeting with the University HR community, I would like to offer some additional guidance.

Staff, graduate students, and postdocs should work with their supervisors and PIs to make arrangements to complete work from home whenever possible. Labs and campus remain open, and experimental research may continue.

When on campus or in labs, follow recommended social distancing and hygiene protocols, such as dispersed placement at lab stations, frequent hand washing, and increased wipe-down of equipment and surfaces. Anyone who feels unwell should stay home. Those with reason to believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 should self-quarantine for 14 days.

Spring Quarter instructors of record should register for remote teaching training if unfamiliar with Zoom. 

I attach a message from Provost Lee and Dean Boyer regarding Winter Quarter final exams. 

I will continue to share new developments and guidance as they arise. The health and well-being of our community is our first priority. Thank you in advance for your cooperation in these efforts.

Thank you, 

Angela

Attachment: Message about Final Exams

To: PSD Students
From: Bahareh Lampert, Dean of Students
Subject: Winter 2020 Final Exams Online and Study Spaces
Date: March 14, 2020

Dear Students,

I hope you are well and taking good care.

I write with two important updates. 

Winter 2020 Final Exams:

Attached please find a message from the Provost’s Office regarding Winter quarter final exams.  The letter states that “final examinations should be administered and evaluated online or through remote mediums, such as take-home exams.”  It will be up to each individual faculty member to determine the best way to administer and evaluate online or remote exams, and they will contact students directly about these plans.

Additional Spaces for Study:

In order to help students practice the suggested social distancing measures, the University is making additional study spaces available. In addition to the Regenstein Library A level and 1stfloor, please find below a comprehensive list of campus locations with extended hours for immediate use:

William Eckhardt Research Center – 1st Floor & Meeting Room 161

Saturday 14-Mar 8:00 am – 11:00 pm

Sunday 15-Mar 8:00 am – 11:00 pm

Monday – Friday 16 Mar - 20 Mar 8:00 am – 11:00 pm

Reynolds Club & Hutchinson Commons*

Saturday 14-Mar 8:00 am – Midnight

Sunday 15-Mar 9:00 am – Midnight

Monday – Friday 16 Mar - 20 Mar 7:00 am – Midnight

* These spaces will be dedicated to study when not in use for dining or for early voting.

1st Floor Classrooms in Harper Memorial Library & Stuart Hall*

Saturday 14-Mar 8:00 am – 10:00 pm

Sunday 15-Mar 9:00 am – 11:00 pm

Monday – Friday 16 Mar - 20 Mar 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm

* The Cox Lounge in the basement of Stuart Hall is also open for studying.

We encourage you to make use of these spaces and follow best practices for social distancing.

As a reminder, the Arley D. Cathey Learning Center in Harper Memorial Library is now open 24 hours a day through exam week.

Cathey Learning Center in Harper Memorial Library

Saturday 14-Mar 24 Hours

Sunday 15-Mar 24 Hours

Monday – Thursday 16-Mar-19-Mar 24 Hours

Friday 20-Mar Closes @ 4:30 pm

If you have any questions or concerns, do let me know.  The PSD Dean of Students office is here to support you. 

All best,

Bahareh

To: Winter Graduates
From: Bahareh Lampert, Dean of Students
Subject: Remote teaching and learning student survey
Date: March 13, 2020

Dear students, 

As we prepare to move to remote teaching and learning for Spring Quarter 2020, the PSD Dean of Students Office would like to gather information about your access to technology.

Please complete this brief survey: https://forms.gle/jGYRgnWdfqLnZkPe9

You will need to log in using your CNET ID and password to submit responses. Your responses will be kept confidential.

Please complete the survey by 3/18/20.

All best,

Bahareh

To: PSD Community
From: Angela Olinto, Dean
Subject: Updates on coronavirus (COVID-19)
Date: March 12, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

As you have read in the communication from President Zimmer and Provost Ka Yee Lee this morning, the University is moving to remote learning for undergraduate and graduate classes for the entire Spring Quarter of 2020.

In collaboration with the University and the Chairs and Directors, we have taken several steps to protect the health and safety of our community and to plan for academic and administrative continuity.

·        Student support: Our Dean of Students, Bahareh Lampert, has sent a message to students outlining resources and asking students to contact her if acute concerns arise regarding housing, food access, or well-being. If you know of a student who needs support, please reach out to the Dean of Students Office.

·        Teaching remotely: The University is preparing trainings on Zoom web conferencing and other aspects of teaching remotely. In the meantime, we are communicating with departmental IT and PSD's IT group about readiness.

·        Working remotely: We are also working with HR and preparing departments for updates onUniversity decisions about alternative work options for staff. The University plans to send additional staff-specific communication in the coming days.

·        Research and lab continuity: Our Chairs and Directors are developing continuity plans to prepare for possible campus restrictions or closures that may affect research and labs. We expect more guidance to come soon.

·        Facilities: New soap dispensers with a larger capacity are being installed throughout buildings and soap dispensers are being checked more frequently by cleaning staff. Cleaning staff are also using Virex (an anti-germ disinfectant) on surfaces and door handles.

·        Events: In accordance with the University’s guidance, we have decided to postpone the Winter Quarter graduation reception, scheduled for March 20, and the Staff Awards Ceremony, scheduled for April 14. Your department will be in touch about decisions regarding scheduled events within your unit.

We recognize that there are still many unanswered questions, and we will continue to work with the administration and chairs and directors to keep you informed. We thank you for your patience and calm as we work together during this time.

Sincerely,

Angela V. Olinto

To: Winter Graduates
From: Bahareh Lampert, Dean of Students
Subject: Winter 2020 graduation ceremony canceled
Date: March 9, 2020

Dear Students,

We have been closely following the evolving situation with coronavirus (COVID-19), and have decided out of an abundance of caution and for the safety of our community and visitors to cancel the Winter Quarter Graduation Reception scheduled for March 20.

Although there are relatively few confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, public health officials have said that the continuing growth of cases is likely and large public events can pose an added risk, especially those with travelers from many locations. In addition, travel advisories and flight availabilities have been changing recently with little notice. This uncertainty, the size of our event, and concerns in our community all contributed to our decision to cancel.

We look forward to celebrating your accomplishments in the spring ceremony. Please share this information with your families and friends and let them know we hope to welcome them soon.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

All the best,

---

Bahareh Lampert

Dean of Students

To: PSD Community
From: Angela Olinto, Dean
Subject: PSD updates on coronavirus (COVID-19)
Date: March 9, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

Like many of you, I share a deep concern for how the coronavirus (COVID-19) will continue to impact our global and University communities. I recognize that there have been and will continue to be disruptions in our families, travel, work, and studies, and I assure you that PSD will be a partner in helping to resolve issues that arise during this difficult time.

We are closely monitoring developments with the virus and working with central administrationand our departments to ensure we are prepared for a range of contingencies. We invite you to visit coronoavirusupdates.uchicago.edu for up-to-date information and FAQs. Please emailcoronavirusinfo@uchicago.edu if you have specific questions.

As we approach spring break, please review the University travel guidelines communicated inProvost Ka Yee Lee's March 3 email, the University's COVID-19 information page, and the CDC’s travel notices for the latest information. If you need to reschedule travel, we suggest reaching out to your airline, accommodations, and/or travel agency. Many airlines are offering waivers to reschedule travel to certain destinations or opportunities to cancel flights with funds applied to future travel. For scheduling future business travel, we recommend you review CDC guidelinesand book through the University's preferred travel agency, Fox World Travel, which automatically recycles unused non-refundable United and Southwest tickets.

Finally, I reiterate the message from Ka Yee C. Lee, Provost, and Kenneth S. Polonsky, Executive Vice President of the University for Biology and Medicine: We must continue to support each other during this time and take steps to promote physical and mental health and wellbeing. Students, please contact Student Health Service at 773-702-4156 or reach out to 773-702-9800 if in need of immediate counseling care. Faculty and staff, please contact the Staff and Faculty Assistance Program, which provides support, counseling, and other resources. The CDC has posted a list of precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 here. Further health information is available from UChicago Medicine and CDPH.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to coronoavirusinfo@uchicago.edu and our office with questions and concerns.

Sincerely,

Angela V. Olinto