MAY 1, 2020
I am pleased to inform you that NSU will open the residence halls and resume in-person classes for the fall 2020 semester/term under our regular schedule at all campuses, with most programs having either July or August start dates. This, of course, is subject to the Governor of Florida’s executive orders at the time of opening, as well as CDC and local government directives.
Recommendations and protocols from NSU’s internationally recognized medical health professionals, along with guidelines from the CDC, state, and local health departments, have enabled us to be well prepared for your safe return to campus later this summer.
Along with helping all NSU students to fulfill their academic dreams and aspirations, your health, well-being, and safety continue to be our top priorities. NSU’s core values are foremost as we plan for this return to campus, which focuses on our diverse community of students, faculty and staff, and the provision of the appropriate learning environments that will be key to successful matriculation—but with careful attention to include special arrangements, choices, and support along the way.
For the fall, our fully online course offerings remain online and our hybrid courses will remain hybrid. As stated, we are planning to make face-to-face classes and labs available for the fall semester/terms, taking into account proper use of physical distancing, face coverings, and other safety protocols. However, should public health restrictions or best practices change, or if a student would prefer not to attend a class in person, the student will have a choice to attend this class via synchronous online delivery. Please note, there may be some clinical programs, studios, experiential courses, clinical hours, or labs where online delivery is not feasible or permissible by accrediting boards, but those will be specific cases.
College deans will be communicating with their students to provide more information and options for each program.
The world is hoping for a cure or vaccine soon to counter this invisible enemy; however, while we hope for the best, we must still make plans for today, and, as such, we are adding more details to our Return to Campus plans and special arrangements each and every day. As fall start dates draw nearer, we will provide additional updates as you finalize your plans to rejoin us later this summer.
Keep swimming forward as all SHARKS do because that is what NSU continues to do—and has done for more than 56 years. Fins Up!
APRIL 21, 2020
As promised, I am continuing to reach out to you with information as decisions are made and developments arise related to the effects COVID-19 has had on NSU and the NSU community. Since I wrote to you last week, we have made some decisions about commencement ceremonies. Also, in addition to the Federal government’s “CARES” stimulus package authorized by Congress and President Trump, we launched the NSU COVID-19 Student Support Fund in an effort to provide additional assistance for those students who are in need.
One of my great joys as your President is to shake your hand as you walk across the Commencement stage. Unfortunately, that will not be feasible this May or June. Instead, I look forward to experiencing this important milestone with you when we are able to schedule various ceremonies at a later date or, for some of our professional degree recipients, via remote events. Please be assured that your degree will be officially conferred, as usual, based upon your satisfactory completion of all degree requirements, as sanctioned by NSU faculty, and as approved by NSU’s Board of Trustees.
Even though we always have held commencement ceremonies to publicly witness and celebrate the hard work you perform to achieve your academic goals, our graduates receive their diplomas and degree credentials via FedEx to the address provided on your degree application form.
As to the commencement ceremonies regularly scheduled for May or June, we are evaluating the best way to hold a live celebration of your academic achievements later this year when it is suitable to have groups assembled. Please stay tuned for updates from your dean.
For those of you receiving professional degrees, your dean will reach out to you with further information as it may be required for you to attend a digital event in order to be given your oath.
As I am sure you have seen in the news, the federal government’s national CARES Act assures that funds will be made available for colleges and universities in order for them to offer some financial support to eligible students who have experienced direct financial or other hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We were recently informed that NSU will be awarded $3.5 million intended solely for NSU students who are currently enrolled in the winter semester/term and can document financial hardship due to the pandemic. Although we are in receipt of the notification from the federal government, as of today, NSU has not yet received the funds nor have we been given a date when they will be released. We have, however, set up the necessary protocols for the online application, document review, and distribution of these funds once they do arrive.
In addition to the government funding, we created a university-based fund—the NSU COVID-19 Student Support Fund—that is being contributed to by alumni, faculty, staff, fellow students, past NSU donors and friends. Please watch and share this video appeal that I made to help those students in need. One hundred percent of these donations will be available, in addition to the Federal CARES Act funds, to provide access to more financial assistance to students who are suffering from COVID-related hardships.
To apply, and qualify, for federal or NSU COVID-19 Fund financial assistance, eligible students will need to complete an online application form and provide appropriate, supporting documentation to be considered for these funds. In order to ensure regulatory compliance and equity in their distribution, I appointed an NSU Federal CARES Act/COVID-19 Student Support Fund Committee, led by Dr. Stephanie G. Brown, vice president for Enrollment and Student Services. The committee will review the applications to assess eligibility for federal or NSU funds and then determine award amounts to be distributed.
The committee will be posting additional application details and criteria on the ESS financial aid webpage no later than Monday, April 27. While the committee will begin to review applications as they come in, no awards can be distributed until the federal funds are received by the university by the government.
I hope that you remain well and continue to take all necessary precautions as you continue to live, study, and work where you are.
Stay strong, Sharks!
APRIL 14, 2020
I hope this note finds you safe and well as we move into another week under the stay-at-home directives from our governmental and health care leaders. This incredible transition in a short period of time has, rightfully so, caused many people anxiety, and has produced a lot of questions from students, faculty, and staff members. In my effort to stay in touch with you and respond to you in the timeliest fashion possible, today I have updates to share: 1) grading policy; 2) housing and meal credits and/or refunds; 3) Zoom’s and NSU’s security measures necessary to provide privacy protection for students and faculty.
In order to respond to this issue correctly, and since NSU has more than 152 academic programs of which 80% are graduate and professional, significant due diligence was undertaken by the Provost and me. As such, we asked each of the NSU deans to engage in conversations with many of their students, faculty, accreditation agencies, and academic peers to thoroughly explore this issue. We’ve heard many opinions on all sides of this topic. After careful consideration, our deans agree that we will honor our existing traditional grading system for this semester/term.
However, all the deans and faculty recognize that one semester/term does not make or unmake a student and his or her overall academic standing. Let me assure you that NSU undergraduates holding NSU scholarships will not be in jeopardy of losing their scholarship based solely on their GPA in this one semester/term. And, as always, assessments of dual admit status toward NSU graduate programs will continue to take into consideration more than one-semester/term variation in a student’s academic performance. Finally, for those looking forward to NSU’s other graduate school applications in general, you can expect that all of us will be having to use even greater judgment and discretion in assessing graduate and professional school candidates for next year.
Any questions should be directed to your department chair or dean.
Although our residence halls continue to remain open for those who need them, I have authorized Enrollment and Student Services to issue:
Applicable housing credits/refunds will be prorated to coincide with NSU’s announcement that the remainder of the winter semester would be held fully online.Enrollment and Student Services will begin reaching out to students starting next week outlining the details of their credit or refund. Please allow a few days for these computations to be finalized, but questions can be answered by emailing: ESSStudentAccounts@nova.edu or by calling (954) 262-5200 or (800) 541-6682, ext. 25200.
In closing, many of you also contacted me last week to inquire about the security of the Zoom platform. I asked our technology officers to reach out to the FBI and the Zoom corporation, and I am confident in the security measures we have in place. Such measures range from a robust encryption system for all Zoom meetings to requiring only authenticated NSU users be permitted to join classroom meetings. We will continue to monitor and upgrade our Zoom platform, and you can find Zoom resources here.
As always, I will stay in contact with you as we have new information to share. I am confident that brighter days are ahead for both our nation and our university.
Stay safe. Stay well.
APRIL 7, 2020
Thank you for everything you do—from teaching courses, to enrolling new students for the summer and fall, to making sure the enterprise continues to function successfully.
Even though I believe everyone is working hard remotely, we have experienced some “glitches” in these first two weeks. I’ve been hearing from students who are having difficulty transitioning to the online format, and I want to make sure that if you need help reaching your students in this new way of teaching, you know how to access those resources.
I ask you to extend your compassion in these trying times. Take that extra moment to coach your students who are struggling. Take a moment to reach out to team members who might be dealing with extra stress in their life; then take a moment for yourself.
It is more important than ever for faculty members to be in-tune with your students.
As students learn to “live their new normal,” we need to be hyper-focused on organization and flexibility of learning styles. Our most successful professors have adapted their curricula to meet the needs of our students—including recording live classes so that those who are unable to attend in real-time due to schedules for childcare and eldercare, time zone differences, and so many other variables that have been thrust upon us. Helping our students be successful remains our number one priority. Here is some help:
Remember to check NSU’s COVID-19 webpage for the latest updates, and visit the Office of Human Resources COVID-19 webpage for personnel-related information.
I can’t stress enough to please take care of yourself. While we can’t hold class in-person, go to the gym, or gather with your friends, we can still be well. Here are a few of the many resources available to help us all feel a sense of normalcy in what is most certainly not a normal time.
Employee Assistance Program
For Veterans Coping with PTSD
While we remain in a remote work situation, I encourage everyone to find ways to exercise and keep yourself active. This can be as simple as taking a walk down the street (keeping six feet distance!) or doing jumping jacks in your living room. There are also many resources available on NSU’s Learning and Organizational Development web page.
Working remotely for the last two weeks, the NSU community has come together in these unprecedented times to continue to deliver on our promise of high-quality education and community service.
Thank you for all that you do, and be well.
APRIL 1, 2020
We are living in unprecedented times. I reach out to you today as your president, and as a parent and grandparent. While we limit in-person contact, I’ve never felt more connected to you. The NSU community continues to demonstrate flexibility, leadership, and capability in providing our students, patients, and families with what you need—for today and for the future.
Recent projections by state and national health officials make it clear that our preparations to deliver all spring/summer courses fully online were well-measured. We are ready to maintain the continuity of your academic progress in this evolving public health and social environment.
TO THAT END, I AM ANNOUNCING TODAY THAT IN ADDITION TO CURRENTLY RUNNING COURSES, ALL 2020 SPRING AND SUMMER COURSES, WHICH BEGIN BETWEEN MARCH 30 AND MAY 18, WILL BE OFFERED FULLY ONLINE.
COVID-19 is still a fluid situation. As the situation evolves, decisions will be made in consultation with medical experts in the best interest of you, your classmates, and our colleagues.
Should the COVID-19 situation stabilize sooner than expected, the option to participate in face-to-face learning, labs, and clinical activities may become possible again. Specific decisions will be made by, and communicated from, college deans and program heads.
You can feel confident to register for NSU’s spring and summer courses.
Unique circumstances between colleges and programs—particularly those involving final years of study and/or licensing, labs, or clinical requirements—will be taken into consideration. I ask that you work with your program chair or dean to help you navigate those situations.
Finally, I’ve heard you loud and clear on a number of other topics, such as commencement, pass/fail grading, and possible housing and meal plan credits. I am in continuous contact with NSU’s deans, faculty members, and students as we weigh the options before us. I expect to provide additional information about these plans in the days ahead.
For now, most NSU faculty and staff members will continue to work remotely to support the normal operations of the university, except for those positions requiring an on-site presence.
Thank you to our students, faculty and staff members for your commitment, collaboration, and spirit of community. You are doing an amazing job to support each other and ensure that we continue to deliver on our mission. I thank you for that!
After all, we are Sharks. We keep swimming forward and nothing stops us. Fins UP!
MARCH 27, 2020
Many of you have reached out to me and expressed your concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as your appreciation for the university’s response. Your dedication to NSU gives me strength. The incredible collaboration taking place to remain successful is monumental.
I am confident by what I have witnessed in this first week of being fully online, that NSU is well prepared to fulfill our mission. I am encouraged and uplifted daily by stories of innovative teaching and working at NSU—and I’ve heard even more enthusiastic stories from our students, who are all online and doing well.
When NSU suspended classes on March 13 to encourage the physical separation between people and eliminate large gatherings, I hoped that we would be able to resume some sense of normalcy after April 17. However, I am informed by Dr. Elaine Wallace—the head of NSU’s COVID-19 task force—and other public health officials, that the requirement for physical separation will remain at least through the remainder of this semester.
Therefore, I am announcing tonight that NSU will remain fully online through the remainder of the 2020 “winter term” for all undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. We will continue to monitor the advice of national and local public health experts to determine if we will transition to residential classes for the summer term, and we will be in touch so you can plan.
Many decisions remain to be made. As we make those decisions, I will be sure to communicate them with you in a timely manner. I am currently discussing with university leadership about how to handle our commencement ceremonies, pass/fail grading options, and all of your most important questions.
I will have more answers for you soon. I know that these topics are important for you and our broader university community. These decisions are not made lightly or without significant thought and study. Please continue to stay connected for further information.
Be well, be safe, and keep practicing social distancing (six feet!).
MARCH 22, 2020
On Monday, March 23, NSU resumes all class delivery—now fully online—while many of us begin to work remotely. Some of you, whose work functions require it, will continue to work on campus, but there will be fewer people around. Welcome to our “new normal,” for now.
As we transition to learning, teaching, and conducting our daily business fully online, I again want to say thank you for your ongoing patience and dedication. NSU was in the vanguard of distance and online learning, and we are prepared to meet our students’ needs today as we have in the past.
Many are saying that we are in an “era of uncertainty.” I assure you today, as your president, that I am confident we will continue to swim forward—like a shark—and be stronger than ever.
I enjoy interacting with you in person, and in the spirit of social distancing, I put together a short video message for you.
Please continue to find operational updates on the university’s COVID-19 information page. As always, the best resource for your questions and concerns are your deans, vice presidents, and supervisors. Also, employees can find important updates from the Office of Human Resources here.
And for when your students have questions, Dr. Brad Williams compiled a resource guide for students to help them continue to receive support and be academically successful. It’s essential to me that you can all receive the support you need to keep NSU fully operational and able to serve our students, patients, and extended community.
Whether you are in your office or working remotely come Monday—based on direction from your supervisor—I am sending you a big FINS UP as we go fully online tomorrow. Together, we are ONE NSU.
MARCH 20, 2020
I want to start by thanking you, the NSU community, for your dedication and all of your efforts to rise to the challenges we are facing today with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The health, safety, and well-being of our NSU community remains my highest priority. The current situation, particularly in Broward County, is rapidly evolving. We continue to closely monitor and incorporate guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and our own Pan-NSU Coronavirus Task Force, led by the dean of the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Elaine Wallace.
It’s essential that NSU remains operational so that we may continue to fulfill our mission for our students, patients, alumni, and extended community. In preparation to resume all classes—fully online—on Monday, March 23, our faculty remain laser-focused on meeting our students’ needs via video instruction, live chats, teleconferences, and other digital connections, all in accordance with CDC guidelines. Our recruiters and admissions staff continue to shape next year’s academic class, and our coaches are creating innovative training and conditioning regimens for our student-athletes.
Student support services (including admissions, registration, financial aid, and academic advising), as well as human resources, OIIT, and all other administrative services will remain fully operational during the COVID-19 disruption. Please refer to the Office of Human Resources COVID-19 web pagefor important details.
For the last several days, we have tested our capabilities to deliver our curricula and university business in a remote working environment, and we have been very successful. Therefore, beginning at 5:00 p.m. today, I am authorizing a broader application of our enhanced Telework Policy so that all faculty and staff—other than clinical or critical personnel for the operations of the university—shall perform their duties remotely in the days to come. As such, emergency clinical and critical on-site operations for the continued operation of the university will remain in place.
Some employees whose work functions require it and are critical to the operations of the university, will continue to work on campus or in their offices, as assigned by their supervisor. Other faculty and staff members, who are authorized by their supervisors to work remotely under NSU’s Telework Policy, should prepare today in order to resume work remotely beginning on Monday, March 23, 2020.
Remember, if you feel ill, please stay home and use your sick days. As always, practice social distancing and maintain CDC-recommended hygiene standards, such as washing your hands and keeping surfaces clean. Please review the CDC and NSU COVID-19 web page for tips.
Thank you for remaining calm and for continuing to serve our students and our community. Many people depend on the university – and you – and I commend us all. Stay well, and I will keep you informed with further updates as they develop.
As NSU adapts to today’s ever-changing conditions, here are some operational updates to help you understand how various university units are managing their policies and practices to ensure that we can all remain fully operational while best ensuring the safety, health and wellbeing of our people and our institution.
MARCH 17, 2020
The continued spread of COVID-19 requires Nova Southeastern University to be pragmatic, act quickly, and take proactive steps to ensure our shared safety and the safety of the community at large. To that end, NSU will be making adjustments to its clinical operations.
NSU will close the following clinical locations as of noon on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, for the next two weeks:
NSU Medical Clinics – Only scheduling sick, pre-op and hospital discharge patients, all others will be rescheduled at a later date.
For those patients using NSU for prescription refills, please call 954-262-4100.
NSU clinical staff are contacting those patients who had previously scheduled appointments to notify them of these changes.
Please continue to monitor NSU’s dedicated web site nova.edu/coronavirus for all the updated information, prevention tips, how to cope with the stress this situation may be causing and more.
MARCH 14, 2020
As I promised in my previous communication to you on Thursday night, I want to keep you up-to-date on the rapidly evolving coronavirus pandemic. Here are the latest updates:
NSU is taking decisive and informed action to respond to concerns about the coronavirus while ensuring the continuity of our academic and institutional mission. As such, today’s updates might not be tomorrow’s answers, but we continue to monitor and adapt to the ever-changing situation. I will keep you posted.
MARCH 13, 2020
NSU, which has always been in the vanguard for online education, will begin all classes online on March 23. The university’s campuses will remain open and all employees and staff will maintain regular work schedules.
NSU wants to support its employees in making the best choices for themselves, their families and the University community in response to COVID-19 disruptions.
The safety and security of our NSU community is the most important thing, and so it is out of an abundance of caution that we are taking these steps. All of these precautions are based on the recommendations of NSU’s world-class health care experts and operational teams who are leading NSU’s COVID-19 preparedness committee.
Please monitor your email and the special information page on the NSU website dedicated to COVID-19 information for updates.
Thank you for your cooperation in making this transition to keep our community safe and healthy. Remember to wash your hands frequently and cover your coughs and sneezes. NSU will send further communication on COVID-19 as there is new information.
NSU’s Shark Preview Weekend for March 12-14, 2020 will continue as planned. Although there are no known cases of the virus among the NSU community as of March 11, 2020, NSU places the highest priority on the health and safety of its students, faculty, staff and campus visitors. We want to ensure our future and current Sharks remain safe and healthy during this time.
Out of State Students Who Requested Housing
Tri-County Students Who Requested Housing
In order to assure continued safety within our community, we ask the following:
Remember that you are part of a community that is being proactive and is actively engaged in preparedness. Refer any questions or concerns to your respective deans or unit administrators. They have all been advised of proper channels of collective communication.