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Latest COVID Communication Updates

The NSU vaccination center at the Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus is resuming COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, April 19. Appointments are available from Monday, April 19 through Wednesday, April 21, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The vaccination center will be offering the two-dose Pfizer vaccine.

You can make an appointment for yourself, a family member, or friend by visiting https://nsuclinics.nova.edu/cv19vaccine/index.html. The Pfizer vaccine is available to minors age 16 and up, however they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to receive the vaccine. While at the vaccination center for the first dose, on-site staff will also schedule an appointment for the second dose.

If you are feeling COVID-19 symptoms or think you might have been exposed to COVID-19, please do not come to the site and contact us at: COVIDCase@nova.edu.

Since our April 1st announcement concerning vaccinations, there has been an executive order issued by the governor on the subject and we are currently reviewing all sections of that order.

Additionally, the President’s Office has been hearing from the NSU community in the past few days—some expressing support and others sharing your questions and concerns. All of this is being considered thoughtfully and we will have more details for you by next week.

We have received a lot of interest about these announcements, and we will continue to follow the most current medical science and advice from our world-class health care experts, while also following state and federal laws.

Our priority has always been to save lives, to prevent the spread of COVID-19, to deliver the best educational experience, and to protect our students and employees to the best of our ability.

“Based on the most current medical and public policy information available at the time, we took these steps to protect the health and safety of our students and staff,” President Hanbury said Friday afternoon. “We will continue to follow all state and federal laws as they evolve. We will evaluate how we can best protect our community and follow the governor’s executive order.”

Dear NSU Community of Sharks,

I am pleased to announce that because of your continued efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 and the availability of vaccines generally throughout the state and specifically to NSU by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, NSU intends to resume full in-person classroom learning for the fall 2021 semester/term.

We reached this decision after careful planning and consultation with our health care and operational professionals to ensure that we can indeed return to healthy campuses with appropriate safety precautions in place while implementing new guidelines.

As such, we will continue to follow CDC guidelines and our existing rules (modified as stated below) which follow these guidelines, and advice from our own medical professionals and public health experts. In addition, the availability of the vaccine will enable us to return to a “partial pre-pandemic” environment if we adopt a stringent requirement that all be vaccinated.    

In summary, the following announcement is for all students, faculty, and staff members:

  • ALL NSU STUDENTS, FACULTY, AND STAFF RETURNING TO ANY NSU CAMPUS OR NSU SITE FOR THE FALL 2021 SEMESTER/TERM ARE REQUIRED TO BE FULLY VACCINATED FOR COVID-19 EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1, 2021 (effective JULY 1, 2021 for some Health Professions Division programs, please check with your program director). In the next few weeks, we will produce a formal policy to provide for limited exemptions as recognized under law for students or employees with underlying medical conditions that prohibit vaccination or who have sincerely held religious beliefs (not personal beliefs). A detailed policy will follow in advance of the effective dates, outlining a process for providing your proof of vaccination, as well as how to request consideration for a limited exemption.  
     
  • With the extra protection of widespread vaccination, the NSU community will be able to resume more activities and operations sooner, leading to a more engaged educational and professional experience. To help everyone learn more about vaccines and have your questions or concerns addressed by NSU medical and health care experts, we will be offering a series of Zoom-based “Shark Talk” sessions beginning this spring and shared through all of NSU’s communications channels. 
     
  • To make it even more convenient for the NSU community to receive vaccinations, NSU’s Fort Lauderdale/Davie location is now an official NSU vaccination site, designated and supplied by the Florida Department of Health in Broward County. Any NSU student or employee who is eligible (18+ as of April 5 in Florida) is able to make an appointment online. We continue to cooperate with the State to try to help make vaccinations accessible to NSU students and workers at our regional locations as well, and all NSU students, faculty and staff members are welcome to get their vaccine here at NSU Fort Lauderdale/Davie or through their many local vaccination sites.
     
  • NSU will also keep in place the sanitization protocols that we implemented at the start of the pandemic, including the use of ionization filters that have been installed across our campuses in high-traffic areas.
     
  • NSU dining, sports, and recreation will also resume more of their pre-pandemic, in-person activities and services this fall, while always following the current CDC guidance for safeguarding public health.
     
  • Beginning this fall, BlendFlex capabilities will still exist here at NSU but will no longer be the main “platform” for most classes. Rather, BlendFlex may be an option for some on-ground classes, but only for use under special circumstances or as part of existing hybrid or online program delivery modalities. That said, as was done pre-pandemic, some of our professional undergraduate degrees and many of our graduate programs may continue to offer BlendFlex, hybrid, and/or fully online delivery this fall, while others—particularly those with licensing or clinical requirements—may mandate in-person attendance. Check with your academic adviser if you have questions about your program.
     
  • For NSU employees who may currently be working under the university’s remote work provision, your supervisor will reach out in the weeks ahead to discuss the best arrangements for the summer and fall. Remember: NSU students and employees who will spend any time on our campuses or at our sites beginning this fall are required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 as of August 1st.

The pandemic has presented many challenges over the last year, and we came together to adapt—I am truly proud of the NSU community. It is thanks to your vigilance that we have remained free from significant outbreaks this year.

We have been through a lot together, and I personally look forward to welcoming everyone back to classes and activities on our campuses again this fall.

Fins Up!


George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D.

President/CEO

Nova Southeastern University

Vaccines at NSU Davie Campus

Thanks to a partnership with the Department of Health in Broward County and our amazing volunteers, NSU has had exceptional success completing vaccinations with the Johnson & Johnson single-dose COVID-19 vaccine. Starting Monday, April 5, vaccines at the NSU vaccination location at the Fort Lauderdale/Davie Campus will be open to all NSU students and employees age 18 and up. Vaccinations are by appointment only, so visit https://nsuclinics.nova.edu/cv19vaccine/ to make yours today. Let’s applaud the faculty, staff, and students from NSU’s College of Pharmacy, Office of Innovation and Information Technology (OIIT), the Ron and Kathy Assaf College of Nursing, the NSU senior leadership team, and many others who worked so hard to make this happen. NOTE: Continued vigilance is a must as Florida is experiencing very high positivity rates. We are not discontinuing our COVID-19 practices at NSU sites. Masks remain mandatory along with distancing requirements, regardless of vaccination status.

Videos for Vigilance

The Undergraduate Student Government Association (USGA) has produced this excellent video to increase awareness during COVID-19. We applaud their efforts to help maintain vigilance as we strive to end the pandemic. Enjoy this short video!

Additionally, our talented and creative undergraduate students have been participating in the #TurnTheTide video awareness competition sponsored by Environmental Health and Safety and Campus Life and Student Engagement. Visit the Diversity Student Council Instagram page to see the work of our students and vote for the winner! Be sure to follow the page, and the video with the most likes will win a prize. Please continue to be a Smart Shark and help us #TurnTheTide.

Voyaging

Are you considering a trip? Have you recently traveled? Be sure to follow CDC Travel Guidance.

If you are not yet fully vaccinated per the CDC criteria (2 weeks post final dose), then it is recommended you get PCR tested within 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.

All University-sponsored international travel continues to be suspended, and no international travel should be planned or scheduled.

  • University-related domestic travel is limited to only essential travel, after all other options are exhausted, for NSU business that cannot be conducted remotely and requires prior approval by NSU’s Chief Operating Officer or Provost. Travel for conferences and academic meetings is not considered essential travel.
  • Any travel to and from NSU’s Regional Campuses must be conducted via car rental.
  • Essential Travel: travel that is required to preserve a university program or interest (such as an ongoing research program) and cannot be postponed without risking certain harm to or loss of the program or interest.

With great confidence, we know that wearing a face covering reduces the chance that you—and others around you—will be exposed to respiratory droplets containing the virus that causes COVID-19. Newly released research from the CDC demonstrates that wearing a cloth face covering over a surgical-style face covering has the potential to reduce exposure to infectious aerosols by about 95% as does wearing a surgical face covering with the ear loops knotted for a tighter fit. The key is how snugly the mask fits.

Tips to Make Your Face Covering More Protective

  • Nose-bridge wires ensure a tight seal. For this reason, the CDC recommends choosing masks with a nose wire, or a metal strip along the top.
  • The CDC's "knot and tuck" technique also reduces air leaks. Check out this how-to video
  • Wearing a cloth face covering over a surgical one can block more than 92% of coughed particles. The surgical face covering acts as a filter while the cloth one helps to ensure a tight seal.
  • When in doubt, check for gaps by cupping your hands around the edges while you breathe in and out. Poor-fitted face coverings will have gaps at the top or bottom, or along the sides. That's why public-health experts advise against using bandanas or scarves as face coverings.

Things to avoid

  • Avoid combining two disposable face coverings. Disposable coverings are not designed to fit tightly and wearing more than one will not improve fit.
  • Avoid combining a KN95 face covering with any other face covering. Only use one KN95 face covering at a time.1

Remember: A good fit is important to maximize overall face covering performance. The best face covering is one that fits properly and is worn properly!

Enjoy this short video on staying vigilant during the pandemic.

1 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/effective-masks.html

Dear Students,

As we approach the end of a fall semester—filled with challenges and changes—I want to take a moment to thank you for your patience, perseverance, and resourcefulness amid this unprecedented COVID-19 crisis. Your determination has been tested, and you have been equal to the task of pressing forward in pursuit of educational excellence with strict attention to the health and safety of yourselves and others. I commend you!

Many of you returned home for the duration of the semester during Thanksgiving break. We hope that your travels have been safe as you rejoined your families. For those of you who stayed put or plan to travel home later, well wishes to you on a safe and healthy return home.

It can’t be said enough, I assure all of you that safety is at the center of every decision we make during the creation of policies and protocols for responding to this pandemic. Your return to campus on January 4th is no exception. In keeping with this commitment, and updated CDC guidelines, please adhere to the following recommendations from public health officials. All returning students to any NSU campus should:

  • Continue to abide by the basic safety tenets of avoiding others if you experience COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Wear a face covering.
  • Maintain physical separation (six feet).
  • Maintain proper hand hygiene.
  • Avoid large congregations.

Remember: Early quarantine can stop the spread of the virus. If you have COVID-19, a known exposure, or symptoms, contact COVIDcase@nova.edu for instructions on how to report your case or visit https://www.nova.edu/ehs/cv19-resources/reporting-covid-19.html

For returning students who live in residence halls, you will be required to take a COVID-19 test on one of the testing dates provided (December 28-January 3), or quarantine for ten days—in your residence hall room—if you return after January 3. If any symptoms develop or your test results are positive, you are required to report them to: COVIDcase@nova.edu. Individuals with symptoms are advised to immediately isolate and seek guidance from their medical provider.

Students who had COVID-19 within 90 days prior to their return date and have fully recovered are exempt from testing and quarantine, but must provide a copy of their positive test results to COVIDcase@nova.edu.

We are working continuously with our health care community partners in an effort to access doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. We will keep you informed as more information becomes available.

As for instruction, NSU will continue its BlendFlex learning model, which provides you with a choice in how you choose to take courses, unless you are in a program that requires clinical rotations, lab work, or other in-person learning. If you have any questions, please reach out to your academic adviser. Face-to-face courses will continue to adhere to guidelines requiring face coverings and physical distancing policies, and synchronous online instruction will continue so that you are learning from a professor in real time, and fully online classes will also continue. You will be able to choose from one or a mix of options and change the format to meet your needs as the semester unfolds.

These accommodations and protocols will help you navigate another semester as safely and thoughtfully as possible. If you have any additional questions, please contact your academic adviser.

 May your holidays be filled with warmth, safety, and wellness.

 

 Fins Up!

  

George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D.

President and CEO

Nova Southeastern University

Dear Faculty and Staff,

 As we approach the end of the fall semester—filled with challenges and changes—I want to take a moment to thank you for your patience, perseverance, and resourcefulness amid this unprecedented COVID-19 crisis. Your determination has been tested and you have been equal to the task of pressing forward in pursuit of educational and professional excellence with strict attention to the health and safety of yourselves and others. I commend you!

It can’t be said enough, I assure all of you, faculty and staff, that your safety is at the center of every decision I make during the creation of policies and protocols for responding to this pandemic. Your return to campus on January 4th is no exception. In keeping with this commitment, and updated CDC guidelines, please adhere to the following recommendations from public health officials. All returning faculty and staff to any NSU campus should:

  • Continue to abide by the basic safety tenets of avoiding others if you experience COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Wear a face covering.
  • Maintain physical separation (six feet).
  • Maintain proper hand hygiene.
  • Avoid large congregations.

Remember: Early quarantine can stop the spread of the virus. If you have COVID-19, a known exposure, or symptoms, contact COVIDcase@nova.edu for instructions on how to report your case or visit https://www.nova.edu/ehs/cv19-resources/reporting-covid-19.html

For returning faculty and staff (with the exception of those who have been or will be working remotely), we welcome your return to campus, provided that you are not exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, have not socialized outside of your household, and have not engaged in higher-risk travel.

 If you have socialized or traveled, you must quarantine for ten days or provide a negative PCR test result. The test must be taken after any socializing outside the household or after travel, and dated no longer than 72 hours from the date that you report to campus. Faculty and staff must isolate while waiting on test results. Visit https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/testing-sites/ for convenient free testing options in your county. These sites often expedite testing for those associated with education.

Quarantine is not required if a faculty or staff member has tested positive for COVID-19 within 90 days prior to their return date and has fully recovered. However, those with symptoms should begin self-isolation immediately for ten days after symptom onset and consult with a medical provider to determine whether you may have been re-infected with COVID-19. Contact COVIDcase@nova.edu to report all exposures.

 We are working continuously with our health care community partners in an effort to access doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. I will keep you informed as more information becomes available.

These accommodations and protocols will help you navigate another semester as safely and thoughtfully as possible. If you have any additional questions, please contact your college or unit COVID Coordinator or Human Resources Contact.

May your holidays be filled with warmth, safety, and wellness. Fins Up!

 

George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D.

President and CEO

Nova Southeastern University

Dear NSU Community,

I am writing today with an important update, and a reminder about our academic calendar and the holidays. As such, I encourage you to read this communication and its links thoroughly, and if you have any questions, reach out to your dean, vice president, or supervisor.

As recently announced, we are closer than ever to discovering and distributing vaccines and effective therapeutics for COVID-19, and at NSU we have also been successful thus far at controlling the spread of this deadly virus—better than most universities. However, the holidays are upon us, and many of us want to celebrate with our families and friends, but this desire to gather and socialize must not make us complacent and forget what we have practiced in order to control the spread of this pandemic.

Now is not the time to put down our guard; we must remain steadfast. For example, it has always been a tradition to have holiday celebrations at NSU, but we will not hold them in-person this year. I encourage student groups and departments to use Zoom and find creative ways to get together virtually. In addition, we have expanded our guidelines and established mandatory procedures for your return after the New Year as follows:

Firstly, in consultation with all of NSU’s deans and vice presidents, we will be implementing additional guidelines to further protect the NSU community over the holidays. These are based on CDC guidelines as well as NSU’s medical and public health care professionals. These guidelines include the simple but effective practices of wearing face coverings, maintaining hand hygiene, and keeping physical distance, as well as special recommendations from the CDC for Thanksgiving and other holidays.

The following guidelines on returning to any NSU venue are expected to be followed for your safety, and the safety of our entire NSU Family. In an effort to comply with these guidelines, I’ve granted an extended holiday from Dec. 23 at 5:00 p.m. through Jan. 3, with classes beginning on Jan. 4, 2021.

Due to the ease with which COVID-19 can spread in groups and social settings, the CDC is encouraging everyone to celebrate remotely for Thanksgiving and continue to limit socialization and gatherings. I know this is a foreign concept to us all, but it is essential if we are to continue controlling the spread as we have done thus far.

Everyone is expected to return to class and work on Jan. 4, 2021. However, if over the holidays you have been socializing outside of the CDC guidelines, or using mass transportation including airplane travel, you must self-isolate for 14 days before you resume in-person activities on any NSU campus or venue. Students living in off-campus apartments/houses, residence halls, or commuters living at home, immediately upon return, must self-isolate in their room and coordinate with the Office of Residential Life while taking their classes remotely.

For students, faculty, and staff who must work, participate in student activities, conduct lab work, or perform clinical rotations during this period of time, per CDC guidelines, we recommend that you do not socialize or use mass transportation, including airplane travel. If you do not follow these guidelines, you must self-isolate for 14 days before you can return to work, labs, or rotations.

Faculty and staff members who must report to campus/site workspaces on Jan. 4 but have traveled or gathered, and therefore require a 14-day self-isolation period, must obtain approval from their dean or supervisor in order to work remotely during isolation.

Secondly, as I announced this summer, in an effort to avoid unnecessary holiday travel back and forth to various NSU campuses, the last day for traditional, on-ground undergraduate classes, and some graduate classes, will be next Friday, Nov. 20. All classes, except those requiring clinical rotations, lab work, or other on-site activities, will resume the fall semester remotely. Some graduate, professional, and health care programs will continue through on-ground or hybrid instruction using the BlendFlex model through the end of the fall semester/term due to accreditation, licensing, or clinical requirements. If you have a question about your courses, please consult with your adviser or dean’s office, and please refer to the travel guidelines below.

Finally, as you make your travel plans for 2021, remember that NSU will not observe a traditional spring break in 2021 and the winter/spring semester will end one week early. For example, classes scheduled to end on May 2 will now end on April 25. Please check with your college for your program’s specific plans.

Our BlendFlex teaching model is quite an effective tool. Having educational options has been one of the keys to encouraging enrollment continue to deliver top-notch instruction. For those of you learning remotely, we worked to make your online experience—whether synchronous or recorded—adaptable to your needs. Students, faculty, and staff, who have participated in the BlendFlex face-to-face teaching experience have seen firsthand the many enhancements we’ve made to keep them protected. Class sizes are smaller. Physical distancing is emphasized. Signage for safety abounds and disinfection of our facilities has increased. Please refer to NSU’s Coronavirus website for the most current guidelines, including for NSU-sponsored travel.

As Shark Nation moves forward, remember: We are all in this together, and together we will dominate! Stay safe, happy, and healthy through the holiday season.

George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D.
President and CEO
Nova Southeastern University

 

ADDENDUM:

For additional information on CDC guidelines, visit www.cdc.gov

Please see current CDC guidelines on socialization here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/personal-social-activities.html

For many of us it's hard to believe that it's already October! And very soon it will be time to visit family for Thanksgiving or make plans to host visitors. This time last year we went about making our arrangements without giving it a second thought, but now under the shadow of a pandemic there are many more factors to consider. Here are a few things to contemplate if you need to travel this holiday season.

  • Are there many cases of COVID-19 at your destination? Check ahead of time with the health department of the locality that you are planning to visit to get the latest figures on infections.
  • Avoid contact with others while on the journey, as much as feasible.
  • If traveling by automobile plan to make as few stops as possible, but stop driving if you become drowsy.
  • Be sure to pack cloth face coverings, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes in an easily accessible spot so that you can use them during the trip as necessary.
  • If you feel unwell before you travel, modify your plans.

Visit the CDC’s COVID-19 travel web page for more valuable information when planning your trip. The CDC also provides Thanksgiving tips.

Is NSU travel approved?

All university-sponsored international travel continues to be suspended, and no international travel should be planned or scheduled on behalf of NSU.

  • University-related domestic travel is limited to only essential travel. This may include air travel after all other options are exhausted for NSU business that cannot be conducted remotely. Such travel must receive prior approval by NSU’s Chief Operating Officer or the Provost. Travel for conferences and academic meetings is not considered essential travel.
  • Any travel to and from NSU’s regional campuses must be conducted via car rental.
  • The Office of Business Services will work with NSU departments to communicate travel requests and approvals. 

And the winners are …

We are so excited by the amazing participation from all the NSU Sharks voting for their favorite fabulous face coverings! Join us in congratulating these fabulous faces!  We have Starbucks gift cards for each of you along with a bag of swag!

Most Fashionable Employee Face Covering: Mable White Jones

Employee with Most Shark Spirit: Rod Colas

Student with Most Shark Spirit: Emma Gardner

Best Student Face Covering: Allison Osborne

Most Fashionable Student Face Covering: Catherine Weber

COVID-19 Question of the Week

Q: Is it possible to have the flu and COVID-19 at the same time?

A: Yes. It is possible to test positive for flu (as well as other respiratory infections) and COVID-19 at the same time.  Please consider getting vaccinated for the flu this season to reduce the chances of getting influenza.

If you have a Question of the Week, please submit it to COVIDcase@nova.edu

Dear NSU Community,

I am thrilled to hear reports about how well the semester is unfolding for those of you who returned to face-to-face classes (with face coverings and physical distancing), as well as those of you choosing to learn remotely or through the BlendFlex model. Thank you for following NSU’s “Return of the Sharks” policies to help keep our campuses safe during the pandemic. These policies will be ever-more important as we enter flu season, and as such, I encourage you to get your FREE flu vaccine shot early to protect yourself and others (I already got mine!).

As I announced this summer, in an effort to avoid unnecessary holiday travel back and forth to various NSU campuses, the last day for traditional, on-ground undergraduate classes will be Friday, Nov. 20. All classes, except those requiring clinical rotations, will conclude the fall semester remotely. Some graduate, professional, and health care programs will continue through on-ground or hybrid instruction through the end of the fall semester/term due to accreditation, licensing, or clinical requirements. If you have a question about your courses, please consult with your adviser or dean’s office.

As in years past, I’m pleased to extend the winter closure again this year. The university will be closed with limited operations beginning at 5:00 p.m. on Dec. 23 through Jan. 3, returning on Monday, Jan. 4. NSU Health Clinics will remain open during the break with reduced operations. Students and employees with rotations should consult with their supervisor or program chair for specific information. In addition, in an effort to eliminate unnecessary travel, we will be suspending spring break this year. In lieu of a full spring break, there will be no classes on Friday, March 5, 2021 (note: some programs may need to alter this date based on testing requirements), and we will end the winter/spring semester one week early on Sunday, April 25, 2021.

Following the winter closure, the university will reopen on January 4, 2021 and we will continue to follow all current health guidelines. Those of you who are able to remain online for 14 days after returning to your campus are encouraged to do so in order to help prevent any possible spread of the virus. If you feel any flu-like symptoms, please self-isolate and reach out to your medical provider. Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should report their result to covidcase@nova.edu as well as to your college or supervisor.

George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D.
President and CEO
Nova Southeastern University

August 17, 2020

Welcome Back Sharks

After a summer filled with uncertainty and anxiety, I am thrilled to welcome back our new and returning students, faculty, and staff! I hope you were able to make the best of your summer break and that you, your family, and friends stayed healthy and cheerful.

As we press to ensure not only your safety, but that of the entire Shark community, we are prepared for a healthy Return of the Sharks this 2020-2021 academic year. I want you to know that NSU has been working tirelessly to provide abundant protective measures aimed at identifying, addressing, and mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

Mandatory Return of the Sharks training is available for students in Canvas, and in NSU Careers (formerly Shark Talent) for faculty and staff. Thank you to those of you who have already completed the training. We look forward to 100% participation soon.

As we set a course for a successful semester, I want to stress that we are all in this as a team, and we must work together vigilantly during these trying times. Here are a few reminders:

  • In order to ease the burden on the new face covering requirement, NSU is providing two branded face coverings to every student and faculty/staff member. Fully online students will be receiving their face coverings by mail. In-class and BlendFlex students will get their face coverings from their college. Employees can acquire their coverings from their college/unit.
  • The most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your friends is to wear a face covering. It is mandatory to wear a face covering when on campus, both outdoors and indoors. When you step out of your car, walk onto campus, get into a Shark Shuttle, etc., your face must be covered.
  • Practice physical distancing.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often.
  • Monitor your health condition before coming into contact with others on campus. If you feel ill, stay home. If you test positive for COVID-19, please notify your college/unit COVID-19 coordinator, your supervisor, and/or your HR contact. You can also self-report in the iShark App or by emailing: covidcase@nova.edu.
  • If you see others not adhering to protocols, there’s no harm in gently reminding them of their responsibility.
  • Remember: We are Sharks. We are strong, intelligent, and adaptable.
  • If you have questions, please ask them.

One exciting development at NSU that has emerged during this crisis has been our educational evolution in the form of the BlendFlex educational model. BlendFlex allows for in-class instruction, synchronous remote instruction, and online taped lecture instruction. Students have the option of selecting any of these teaching methods or choosing a mix of them. BlendFlex also will mean a reduction in class sizes to encourage physical distancing. This type of instruction will be a game-changer now and in the future for our students both near and far.

Recently, the Times Higher Education Young University Ranking 2020: Golden Age ranked NSU 51th among higher education institutions – the highest new entry for international rankings among 308 universities across the globe! This ranking was based on our teaching, research, citations, international outlook, and our industry income. We look forward to continuing to deliver such exemplary education standards that are recognized worldwide.

As we enter a brave new world in education, NSU stands ready to foster your ability to pursue your dreams and do so in the safest environment possible. I implore you to explore our vast resources on your path to academic achievement.

Please review the Return of the Sharks Student Guide and Faculty & Staff Guide to familiarize yourselves with procedural changes and protocols put in place to promote the health and wellness of the NSU community.

Finally, I want to thank everyone who helped prepare NSU for the fall term—from those innovating in the classroom and online, to those preparing our facilities across the state and in Puerto Rico, to those planning for additional health measures and on-site COVID-19 testing for residential students.

Stay safe and stay healthy! Fins up!

JULY 13, 2020

NSU Supports Our International Students

We at Nova Southeastern University pride ourselves on our commitment to serving our diverse student population. Students from across the world call NSU home and are part of our Shark DNA. As members of Shark Nation, our international students are as much a key to our success as an educational institution as we are a factor of their success in providing them with the tools for future accomplishments in their chosen fields of study.

As Nova Southeastern University prepares to welcome students back to campus this fall, the COVID-19 crisis has been a concern not just to NSU’s international students, but to students on campuses across the nation and world.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) announced new visa limitations that would forbid international students from living in the U.S. if their higher education institutions operate solely online. These government sanctions, manifested in new guidelines from the Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), have sparked nationwide outrage.

NSU would like to take a moment to emphasize our support for you, our international students; you are an invaluable part of the NSU community’s educational and cultural fabric.

NSU has implemented a BlendFlex hybrid model of instruction that has well-positioned us to continue to enroll and support F-1 visa international students this fall. While fully online classes would disqualify international students from staying in the country based on current guidance, BlendFlex courses – which offer in-class as well as synchronous remote instruction – are not considered online courses. Under our current strategy, international students will be able to take a mix of BlendFlex and online courses to further their studies here.

At NSU, we treasure and support our diversity – international or otherwise – that we have on our campuses. To that end, we are confident and committed to retaining and assisting our international students by providing adaptable and exemplary educational opportunities that prioritize their health, safety, access, and success.

If you have any questions, please reach out to NSU’s Office of International Affairs at: intl@nova.edu or +1-954-262-7240.

JUNE 26, 2020

Message to Students from NSU President Dr. George Hanbury:

I hope you and yours are in good health and good spirits. As we all have been navigating through the “new normal” for the past few months, I realize that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on your lives.

I want to assure you that we have been working hard making physical changes and implementing recommended protocols by the CDC, state, local, and our own medical and public health experts to welcome you back and provide an environment that will help stop the spread of COVID-19 and allow you to continue your educational journey,  in the safest ways possible.

When you arrive on campus, you’ll see changes that have been made to keep everyone safe as possible – from increased signage to the addition of more hand-sanitizing stations to the installation of safety plexiglass – all to keep students, faculty, staff, and visitors safe and healthy.

The Return of the Sharks website contains detailed information about what we have done, and what we are continuing to do related to COVID-19.  For example, recognizing that you may feel uncomfortable having on-campus classes and now wish to remain online—we have made preparations so you can do so. The choice is yours, and you can change your method throughout the semester/term so you can continue your education at NSU however you feel safest; that is priority #1. 

Every classroom has been equipped with cameras, microphones, and screens so that NSU’s faculty may teach both in the classroom and remotely. There may be some exceptions, however, for certain labs or clinical requirements, and you can talk with your academic adviser or program chair to see if these pertain to your educational program. Our goal is to work with you to meet your needs. We understand these are unprecedented times, so we wanted to be as flexible as possible, for you.

Please note that the last day for traditional, in-person undergraduate classes will be Friday, Nov. 20. Those traditional undergraduate courses will conclude in the fall semester fully online. Some undergraduate in-person health care and nursing programs will continue in-person or through hybrid delivery.

While we have made numerous preparations and are taking as many precautions as we can, there is still one thing that is beyond our control—your role in all of this. Whether you return to campus, stay online for the fall semester/term, or opt for a hybrid delivery model, you still must do your part and follow all of NSU’s Return of the Sharks protocols to help everyone stay healthy.

Remember, continue washing your hands – for a minimum of 20 seconds – as often as you can, with soap and water. If you cannot wash your hands, utilize hand sanitizer, either your own or from one of the numerous stations you will find on campus. A face covering will be required at all times while you are on campus or at an NSU location this fall. And, most importantly, if you feel ill, you cannot come to any NSU campus or building — stay home, or in your resident hall room, and contact the COVID-19 case manager at: covidcase@nova.edu.

We are in uncharted waters, but the good thing is we’re all in it together. And together, we’ll be able to make our way through and, like our mascot the Mako shark, keep swimming forward.

I look forward to seeing you on-campus or online this fall!

 

MAY 26, 2020

Message to Faculty and Staff Members from NSU President Dr. George Hanbury:

During most of the spring semester, NSU has weathered an unprecedented crisis, which has required us all too often to exercise creativity, resilience, and versatility. I would like to extend a huge thank you and an enthusiastic “Fins Up” for all of your hard work to ensure that our students continue to receive a high-quality education, uninterrupted in their journey to thrive and fulfill their academic dreams and aspirations during this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

To our dedicated and passionate faculty who continued to teach remotely while adhering to NSU’s Core Values, and to those faculty members who adapted quickly to new learning modalities – a BIG Thank You! You have excelled and your work has been both encouraging and inspirational. I also wish to commend all our administrative staff—especially those who needed to remain working on-site—for the commitment, courage, and strength you have demonstrated over the past months. Because of your efforts, and working as a team, we can truthfully say, “WE NEVER CLOSED!”

As to the future, which changes daily, I will keep you informed and continue to keep your health, safety, and well-being a priority as NSU deftly navigates through uncharted and often stressful waters. As such, we will be providing detailed plans and protocols for a phased and thoughtful return to all campuses during the Summer and Fall terms, including but not limited to:

  • As stated in previous communications, we will provide in-person, hybrid, and online courses as originally scheduled for the Fall term, in the modality preferred by the student, while adhering to all CDC and local health department guidelines;
  • To prepare for continued remote classes for fall, we will install multiple cameras and high-tech audio-visual equipment in more than 700 classrooms so that faculty members and students will be able to fully participate in their classes, simultaneously, whether online or face to face.
  • Faculty members who are assigned to teach in-person classes and staff whose work supports students and is more effectively performed on-site may be asked to return to the workplace for fall terms. However, if a faculty or staff member needs to remain isolated, and is not ill, every effort will be made so that they may be able to perform their duties and responsibilities remotely. Your dean or vice president will be having these discussions with you.
  • Those employees currently working remotely should continue to do so unless they receive specific direction from their supervisor.
  • Finally, some students who must meet clinical requirements in their health professional programs and their related faculty and staff members, will begin returning in June and July. They will receive guidance from their dean and professional supervisors this week

So, please stay tuned for subsequent updates from me as we formalize the detailed plans and protocols for a phased and thoughtful return to all campuses

MAY 1, 2020

Returning to Campus

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!

Message from NSU President Dr. George Hanbury:

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.   

 

Commencement

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.

 

Federal Cares Act and NSU COVID-19 Student Support Fund

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!

Message from NSU President Dr. George Hanbury:

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.

  1.  Grading Policy

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.

  1.  Housing and Meal Credits/Refunds 

Although our residence halls continue to remain open for those who need them, I have authorized Enrollment and Student Services to issue:

  • Prorated housing rollover credits, which will be applied to the next academic year for continuing students (or you can elect to receive a refund); and
  • Prorated housing refunds for graduating students.
  • Students with a remaining balance on their SharkDining accounts will be able to roll over any remaining credit balance to next year or elect to receive a refund.
  • Students receiving a residential assistance scholarship for full room and board will not receive a credit or refund since these funds originated from the university.
  • Students receiving a university scholarship that included an award toward room and board may not receive a credit or refund since these funds originated from the university.

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.

  1.  Zoom and NSU’s Security Measures

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.

Message from NSU President Dr. George Hanbury to NSU Faculty and Staff:

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: 

  • Please refer to Interim Provost Chenail’s email from Sunday, April 5, 2020 11:51 a.m. for additional guidance on academic solutions.
  • Your first point of contact, if you have any questions or concerns, should be your program chair and/or dean.
  • Engage with the Learning and Education Center where faculty from diverse disciplines can connect and learn from one another, so you can perform at your highest level for your students.
  • Be kind and mindful that everyone is in a different situation, and know that extending one gesture of kindness to someone might be the touchpoint that turns their day around. 

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.

 

Health of the Mind and Body

Employee Assistance Program 

  • The EAP is a confidential, free resource staffed 24/7 by professional counselors who can provide direct support and referral to other support services to help you deal with situations that seem overwhelming. The EAP is available to all NSU employees and every member of their household. All NSU employees may access this service – you do NOT need to be enrolled in the NSU ICUBA insurance plan to use this benefit. You may access services online at resourcesforliving.com or by phone at 877-398-5816 (press option 1 for EAP services). The Employee Assistance Program username is ICUBA and the password is 8773985816.

For Veterans Coping with PTSD

Managing Stress

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.

Message from NSU President Dr. George Hanbury:

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!

Message from NSU President Dr. George Hanbury:

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!). 

FINS UP!

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. 

 

Message from NSU President Dr. George Hanbury:

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.

 

Operational Updates

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.

  • Direct Deposit is strongly recommended. All employees are encouraged to participate in the electronic direct deposit program for their payroll and employee reimbursements. Should there be any disruptions in mail or other services as a result of developments surrounding COVID-19, direct deposit will ensure a reliable method to receive payroll payments. Any employees who are currently receiving a paper paycheck (employees who are NOT already signed up for direct deposit), can access the following link to sign up for this free service on the Payroll web page.
  • Business Services and Accounts Payable will be working with active vendors who have not submitted the necessary documentation to receive payments via ACH, and are currently being paid through paper check, to encourage their participation in the ACH process. For those employees who are involved in submitting vendor payment requests/manage vendor relationships, please work with your vendors accordingly to ensure they submit the necessary information to Accounts Payable. The Vendor Direct Deposit Form is accessible at https://www.nova.edu/accounts-payable/forms/index.html.
  • Facilities and housekeeping reassures everyone that special crews and additional staff are continuing to keep campus facilities clean and maintained per CDC and other public health guidelines. While main campus buildings are currently open, with classes suspended and resuming online only on Monday, there may be some classrooms that are locked after cleaning to allow cleaning crews to focus their efforts only on in-use spaces and common areas. Cleaning staff are provided with extra training and protective gear as needed, given their particular assignments.
  • OIIT reminds NSU employees to only open and use our VPN connections when it is essential for your current work transaction. Please do not leave VPN open if you are not actively using it. Zoom is the preferred meeting platform for NSU but remember that you can also use the NSU conference call platform when that type of connection will suffice. A hot line for technical questions is 954-262-0070 and additional tech staff have been assigned to serve your needs. 
  • Regional Campus locations remain fully operational, but with all classes resuming fully online on Monday, these locations are no longer accessible to walk-ins. Regional campus staff are working remotely and remain connected with current and prospective students through phone, digital meeting platforms, email and web. Please go to nova.edu/campuses to check for contact info.
  • NSU Libraries, including the Alvin Sherman Library and all other locations, are fully operational online to support students, faculty and library users. Administrative staff are working remotely or on site only as needed. Most of the libraries’ extensive collection has been online for more than 10 years and we’ve provided library services to distance and regional campus students for more than 25 years. For current information, see http://lib.nova.edu/virtual.
  • NSU Clinics and Pharmacy are open in a limited capacity and with a focus on maintaining essential continuity of care and providing emergency services. Clinic cleaning and protection protocols are all in full accordance with CDC guidelines to protect clinical staff and patients. Administrators are working remotely with some rotations accessing clinic offices when work functions require on-site activities. Clinics are expected to add telehealth services in the coming days. Please call your clinic office or check their website for details.
  • All Human Resource functions are fully operational to provide employees with uninterrupted payroll, benefits and other workplace support services. Be sure to check regularly at the special OHR COVID-19 web page on the Human Resource site for updated details, tips, resources and FAQs.
  • NSU Business Services and Mailroom continue to operate to ensure that you will receive mail and deliveries, as well as meeting special supply needs for researchers, health care operations and providing meal deliveries to any students who remain in residence halls. All other food or regular dining outlets on campus are suspended at this time.
  • NSU Research operations, including the Center for Collaborative Research (CCR), the Ocean Campus and our many research centers and projects, remain fully operational including maintaining essential on-campus or location-specific facilities and providing access and support for all active researchers and projects to ensure research integrity and continuity.
  • The NSU Museum of Art closed to the public Wednesday, March 18, but remains fully operational with employees working on site as needed or remotely. Please check out the virtual exhibit link or visit the webpage at nsuartmuseum.org
  • As a reminder, all NSU-related travel is suspended. If you believe pending travel is “essential,” please seek approval first from your dean or vice president. They can then submit the request to Dr. Ron Chenail (deans) or Dr. Harry Moon (vice presidents) for approval before any travel funds or expenses will be authorized to be issued or reimbursed.

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. 

  • Davie Dental Clinic – Operating in a reduced capacity;
  • North Miami Beach Dental  Relocating existing appointments to Davie;
  • Covenant Village Medical Clinic Relocating existing appointments to Davie;
  • All Eye Care locations  Closed, except for emergency eye care at Davie;
  • Rehabilitation, Speech – Language Pathology, and Audiology Clinics  Closed;
  • Psychology and Brief Therapy Closed;
  • Mailman Segal Clinics (Developmental Assessment, Feeding Disorders, Challenging Behavior and Pediatric Dental) – Closed. 

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.

Message from NSU President Dr. George Hanbury:

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:

  • Today, the university learned, and the Broward County Health Department has confirmed, that there is a total of six positive COVID-19 cases involving individuals with an NSU affiliation, all of whom had traveled internationally to Ireland prior to travel restrictions for Europe and the U.K. (Ireland and the U.K. were only added to the U.S. travel ban as of today).
  • At this time, to our knowledge, no other NSU student, faculty or staff member has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • NSU’s medical and health care experts, under the guidelines established by the Broward County Health Department, interviewed the Study Abroad students and have counseled these travelers, as well as any students, faculty or staff members believed to have been in close contact with them, to self-isolate, and NSU has provided many services to support them.
  • NSU suspended all classes on Thursday, March 12, at 11:59 p.m. Classes will resume on Monday, March 23, with fully online delivery.
  • Residential Life and Housing is assisting students to leave all residence halls, transitioning to their homes or off-campus housing by no later than 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 15.
  • The university is working with all individuals who are not able to travel home to ensure that that they have a housing option.
  • We continue enhanced cleaning measures that were put in place more than a month ago for all residence halls and throughout the university’s public spaces.
  • The NSU community has been provided with posted reminders from the CDC on how to conduct ourselves in the safest and most hygienic manner possible. For a reminder, visit: https://www.nova.edu/coronavirus/prevention.html
  • As of Friday, March 13, NSU University School and the Mailman Segal Center suspended all in-person classes for students in their early childhood and Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12 programs until April 13.
  • The university remains open and operational with appropriate measures in place to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the community.
  • All employees and staff should maintain regular work schedules as directed by their supervisors. The Office of Human Resources will issue a follow-up email later today to all employees that will provide further guidance, including answers to frequently asked questions. 

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.

Effective as of 11:59 p.m., March 12, 2020, all university classes are suspended until Monday, March 23, 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. 

Students and Classes

  • Beginning at 11:59 p.m. today, Thursday, March 12, 2020, NSU has approved a special one-week class suspension for all students, including those in fully online programs. There will be no penalty or academic repercussions during this week without classes.
  • All classes will resume online only beginning on Monday, March 23, 2020. Faculty members will work with students to complete coursework by the end of the semester/term.
  • There will be no face-to-face classes after Thursday, March 12, through at least April 17. Students will receive information on how to resume courses in the coming days, so please frequently monitor your MyNSU email.
  • Residential students are strongly encouraged to leave the residence halls until face-to-face instruction resumes, which is scheduled for April 17.
  • During this period (Friday, March 13 through Friday, April 17), all SharkDining and recreational facilities will be closed and faculty and staff should make alternative plans.
    • Closures will include, but not limited to: the RecPlex, Campus Life, Shark Shuttles, commuter lounge, poster printing, tutoring and testing, as well as other student services.
  • This class delivery change does NOT apply to clinical rotations and research. Any graduate or professional students participating in clinical rotations, practicums, graduate internships, or research activities should contact their Dean’s Office.
  • Federal Work Study students, and students employed under the Student Employment Program, will continue to be paid during this period based on their regular work schedule, even if they are not on site.
  • Updated March 13, 2020: As of Friday, March 13, NSU University School has made the decision to suspend all in-person classes for students in Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12 until April 13th. The school’s Alternative Educational Plan will commence on Monday, March 23. Additional information will be communicated to parents from the school in the coming days.
  • Updated March 13, 2020: In our attempt to keep your children and families safe and well, we have made the decision that as of Monday, March 16, all educational programs at the Mailman Segal Center (Parenting Place, Baudhuin Preschool, Infant and Toddler and Preschool Programs, Starting Right, The Academy, and Preschool Plus) are suspended until April 13. As more information is available, we will communicate further with our families.

Housing, Events, and Campus Life

  • NSU is taking decisive and informed action to respond to concerns about the coronavirus while ensuring the continuity of our academic and institutional mission. The university remains open and operational with appropriate measures to protect the health of the community.
  • As such, to minimize social contact, residential students are strongly encouraged to depart their residence halls by Sunday, March 15, 2020.
  • All residential students should coordinate with the Office of Residential Life and Housing regardless of whether they choose to stay or leave by registering here: https://opinio.nova.edu:443/opinio/s?s=18617. We will communicate further information as it becomes available.
  • The University is following all guidelines, including those from the CDC, the Florida Department of Health, and the Broward County Health Department’s broader set of recommendations, which may include self-isolation for students in some circumstances.
  • All Athletic events are suspended until further notice, pursuant to direction from the NCAA’s Board of Governors.
  • There will be no events or gatherings of more than 50 people at any university locations through at least April 17, in response to federal and state guidelines as well as Broward County’s recently issued state of emergency.

Travel

  • As of today, all NSU-related travel outside of the continental U.S. is suspended.
  • As a reminder, all non-essential NSU travel has also been suspended within the continental United States, as determined by your Dean or Vice President, and approved by the Provost.
  • If you are currently traveling internationally and return with symptoms, we recommend that you self-isolate for 14 days and consult with a medical professional.
  • If you are currently traveling internationally and return without symptoms, we recommend that you self-isolate for 3 days and consult with a medical professional if symptoms arise.

Campus and Off-Site Operations

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. 

  • At this time, the university remains open. Employees should maintain their regular schedules unless otherwise informed by their supervisor.
  • All of our clinical health centers remain open at this time.
  • NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale will remain open. All events or groups scheduled through April 17 with more than 50 people will be postponed or canceled. Please consult the museum's website nsuartmuseum.org for updates.
  • NSU Libraries will remain open, but all library events will be suspended until April 17.
  • Employees should not feel compelled to come to work while ill because they have no available paid sick leave and may lose pay. Please review the email sent by the Office of Human Resources to all employees on 3/12/2020 for more details.

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.

Previously Shared Information Below

Health Clinics

  • All of our clinical health centers remain open at this time. Triage is occurring prior to entry into our clinics to minimize patients with COVID-19 symptoms co-mingling with other patients.
  • We are not aware of any clinic patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • No clinical location on campus is providing COVID-19 testing at this time.
  • If it is deemed necessary, you will be referred to the closest testing center.

Facilities

  • NSU’s campuses are clean and safe. The Office of Facilities Management and our janitorial partner, ABM, are taking extra measures to ensure the university’s campuses are clean and safe.
  • High-touch surfaces like doorknobs, door touch plates, door handles, the top of chair backs and armrests, table tops, faucets and light switches are cleaned with a medical grade disinfectant at least once a day.
  • Extra hand sanitizer dispensers have been added to the campus
  • CDC health care/viral protection posters have been placed around campus.

Faculty, Administrators, and Staff

  • 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. Employees should not feel compelled to come to work while ill because they have no available paid sick leave and may lose pay.
  • Additional information on operationalizing sick leave will be communicated shortly to the all employees, the President’s Council, and the university’s HR Contacts.
  • If you are feeling any symptoms of illness that would require you to miss work, please contact your supervisor or HR contact. Do not come to work if you are ill.
  • All NSU staff should obtain training on the Zoom videoconferencing platform (see email from OIIT dated Feb. 14, 2020). Zoom is an excellent way to conduct meetings remotely.
Shark Preview Weekend (Future Students)

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

  • Due to the developments surrounding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), students who are not traveling alone to Shark Preview Weekend, meaning they are traveling to campus with their families, must stay with their families in their lodging accommodations rather than staying overnight with our student hosts on campus.
  • Students traveling to campus alone will still receive airport transportation and housing accommodations.

Tri-County Students Who Requested Housing

  • Due to the developments surrounding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we cannot provide the overnight experience in our residence halls for local students.

Be Prepared

In order to assure continued safety within our community, we ask the following:

  • All members of the NSU community should register for “NSU alerts.” Registration can be found at https://www.nova.edu/emergency/notification/registration-process.html.
  • Do not travel to Level 3 countries (as of now, China, Iran, Italy, South Korea)
  • If you have been in close contact with anyone who has traveled to a Level 3 country, please identify yourself to your supervisor; you may be asked to self-quarantine.
  • Be familiar with all items on NSU’s dedicated COVID-19 web page.
  • Read all updated emails from the university thoroughly.

Stay Healthy

  • If you are symptomatic, your doctor will determine if you have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and whether you should be tested.
  • Do not go to an NSU clinic as we are not testing on-site at this time.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 20-seconds or more and do this regularly and frequently. Use hand sanitizer (60% alcohol) if you cannot access soap and water.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing in the bend of your elbow or into a tissue (and throw the tissue away).
  • Regularly disinfect commonly touched surfaces or items with a cleanser that is at least 60% alcohol.

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.

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