Following the FDA's regulatory action on March 29, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its COVID-19 vaccination guidance to give some individuals the option to receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
These individuals include:
The NSU Pharmacy in Davie is offering the Moderna vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccines continue to offer high levels of protection against severe disease, hospitalization, and death—especially for individuals who have received an initial boost. We continue to encourage people ages five years and older who are not yet vaccinated against COVID-19 to get vaccinated as soon as possible and remain up to date on their immunization, including receiving an initial booster dose when eligible.
The horizon for the public health of our nation is a bright one. Reported COVID-19 cases at NSU are at a record low with only one case reported in the last four days out of 22,000 students and 5,000 employees. In addition, the Florida Department of Health indicates the current positivity rate in the state is 5.6% as reported on Feb. 24, with Broward County reporting a rate of 3.5%, Miami-Dade reporting 2.8% and Palm Beach at 4.5%. Additionally, the CDC reports the areas around our location in Denver, along with our Puerto Rico Regional Campus, as a low COVID-19 concern, and on Feb. 25 the CDC released new guidelines reducing mask recommendations significantly.
As such, I have Good News for NSU! Because the forecast for COVID-19 has encouragingly moved consistently from a pandemic to an endemic state, the following mask mandates will change:
Effective immediately, masks are optional everywhere including NSU University School, and all classrooms. Masks, however, may still be required in some clinical operations when treating patients potentially positive for COVID-19, as well as in our facilities in Puerto Rico (where the Commonwealth’s Executive Order shall be followed). Those clinicians treating COVID-19 patients in clinical locations are required to wear properly fitted N95s (Note: KN95s are no longer permitted for those treating patients in healthcare settings).
Faculty and staff with vaccination exemptions from NSU continue to be required to wear a well-fitting mask indoors. Individuals who are more comfortable wearing a mask should feel welcome to continue doing so.
Finally, to continue to protect yourself and others, if you have been exposed to someone who has confirmed COVID-19, the following steps must be followed:
Thank you all for the important role you have played in keeping NSU healthy.
George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D.President/CEONova Southeastern University
As we carefully follow the CDC and Florida Department of Health COVID-19 case reports, we are encouraged to see the numbers of cases dropping rapidly and those getting vaccinated and boosted increasing. On NSU’s campuses, the number of COVID-19 cases have also declined each week since the start of the New Year. For these reasons, the following changes are being implemented.
Effective immediately, masks are now optional when inside most NSU buildings. Masks are still required in classrooms, clinical operations when treating patients, and our facilities in Puerto Rico (where the local laws must be followed). Those treating patients in clinical locations are required to wear properly fitted N95s (Note: KN95s are no longer permitted for those treating patients in healthcare settings).
At the NSU University School masks are still required indoors during school hours.
According to the CDC, if you are not up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines and are aged 2 or older, you should wear a mask indoors. Faculty and staff with vaccination exemptions from NSU are required to wear a well-fitting mask indoors.
Please ensure to:
As mentioned above, NSU has followed the recommended mitigating protocols over the past two years and will continue to vigilantly monitor current conditions and government guidance or recommendations to enhance mitigation efforts. Unfortunately, this pandemic is dynamic and requires all of us to respond to the existing conditions.
For your convenience, we have posted a list of “Frequently Asked Questions” that will be updated regularly, here: www.nova.edu/ehs/cv19-resources/FAQ. George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D.President/CEONova Southeastern University
It is encouraging to see that COVID-19 cases continue to decline each day and projections are strong, which is allowing us to return to our new normal more quickly.
With this in mind, effective immediately, masks will be optional in all outdoor spaces as well as in the Rick Case Arena. Masks will still be required inside all other NSU buildings. Masks will remain mandatory through the end of the Winter/Spring semester in all NSU academic classrooms. Home Test Kits!
If you are not well, or have symptoms, stay home or in your room, and report to COVIDCase@nova.edu.
Thank you for being a Smart Shark and doing your part to keep our community healthy!
The start of the 2022 winter semester found us navigating through changes to the CDC guidance, along with the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. Since the peak in Florida on January 9, NSU has been experiencing a rapid decline in reported cases – an encouraging sign that we will soon return to our new normal. Here are some important updates for all Sharks:
As NSU approaches the start of the 2022 winter/spring semester, we are excited to welcome all Sharks back to our campuses in the safest possible conditions, including a continuation of all the mitigation efforts we put in place for the successful fall 2021 semester. However, I am sure that the recent surge of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is at the forefront of your mind, as it is ours. While this new variant is highly contagious, it has shown fewer hospitalizations and deaths, yet it can still make you sick and become very severe, causing hospitalization. As such, we must be vigilant and undertake every effort to stop the spread of this dynamic virus.
NSU’s efforts will be as follows:
NSU will resume all classes in their regularly scheduled format in January (including in-person, hybrid, and online). However, in order to add an extra layer of protection against community spread of the virus, and with an abundance of caution, we will be requiring face masks not only in all NSU indoor facilities, but outdoor locations as well, regardless of vaccination status. For details on specific classes and clinical rotations, please contact your college.
To be as safe as possible, before returning to campus, not only do I encourage you to be fully vaccinated, but I also encourage you to receive a booster shot. We all must do everything we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and its variants, while continuing to live and learn in the safest possible environment. As such, the best way to control the spread is to wear a mask and be vaccinated. Please, I strongly encourage you to get fully vaccinated and receive a booster shot.
In addition to masks and vaccinations, other actions we must take are:
As displayed above, NSU has followed the recommended mitigating protocols over the past two years and NSU will remain on its current opening of classes as scheduled. However, we will continue to vigilantly monitor current conditions and governmental guidance or recommendations to enhance mitigation efforts. I want to impress on you that if circumstances change, we will adapt to the existing challenging situation. Unfortunately, this pandemic, caused by the COVID-19 virus and its variants, is dynamic and requires all of us to respond to the existing conditions.
For your convenience, we have posted a list of “Frequently Asked Questions” that will be updated regularly here: https://www.nova.edu/ehs/cv19-resources/FAQ.
We look forward to seeing you on campus and online this winter, and hope you are enjoying this time with those who are important to you.
The NSU Pharmacy, located in Davie, currently has the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for those interested in getting vaccinated or obtaining a booster. The CDC’s recommendations are detailed below and now allow for a “mix and match” dosing between the three vaccination types for booster shots.
For individuals who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the following guidance has been provided by the CDC for individuals who should seek a booster shot at six months or more after their initial series:
Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine booster shots are also recommended for those who are 18 and older and who were vaccinated two or more months prior to receiving the booster. These individuals may receive a second Johnson & Johnson dose, or a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna dose. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is not currently available at the NSU Pharmacy.
Call the NSU Pharmacy at (954) 262-4550 for an appointment for your COVID-19 vaccination or your flu shot. You can get both at the same time.
Mask Reminder: Those not fully vaccinated are expected to wear proper face coverings at all times when in NSU buildings.
If you have COVID-19, have been exposed to COVID, or have COVID-like symptoms, please contact COVIDCase@nova.edu.
Before the emergence of the COVID-19 Delta variant, I announced that if we reached a 70% vaccination rate across NSU’s campuses that we would end the requirement for face coverings/masks. At the peak of the Delta variant spike this summer, Florida was experiencing more than 27,000 new cases daily, and now that number has dropped to less than 3,000 cases daily, representing a 75% drop in the course of just one month. According to the CDC, high transmission areas are those with equal to or greater than 10% positivity, and recently Florida has been consistently under this rate and declining daily.
This is most welcome news!
Because of this, I am pleased to announce that face coverings for all undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, as well as faculty and staff members and visitors, will no longer be required at any of our campuses or sites, with the exception that masks must still be worn by everyone in academic classrooms. This new policy does not apply to NSU University School. Additionally, faculty, staff, and students in Puerto Rico need to continue abiding by the governor's mask requirements.
Additionally, university-sanctioned travel, which was suspended at the start of the pandemic, is now approved to resume according to university policy. And I am sure many of you will be happy to know that events (which include indoor dining) can now also resume at all our campuses, facilities, and sites.
Faculty and staff members, full- or part-time, with an approved medical or religious exemption from vaccinations, must continue to wear masks while indoors to protect themselves and others. Also, those students, faculty, and staff who must be in an environment where Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is required to be worn, must continue to wear a mask. Finally, anyone who wishes to continue to wear a mask may do so. NSU’s faculty and staff are now 99.7% fully compliant with the mandatory vaccination policy—a great commitment to creating a safer environment in which to learn and work.
On the student front, there has been a positive reaction, though not as much as I had hoped, to voluntary reporting of vaccination statuses. Such actions have resulted in only two campuses surpassing the 70% vaccination rate for students. If all our campuses reach the 70% vaccination rate, we will be able to eliminate the face covering requirements in all classrooms and make them optional. We also continue to encourage students who attend classes at any NSU campus or facility, to voluntarily register in the Vax Max portal so that we may reach the 70% vaccination rate throughout the university.
As previously noted, only two campuses – Jacksonville and Orlando – have reached the 70% vaccination goal and therefore masks will now be optional in the classroom at those two locations. As other campuses reach this goal, they too, will be exempt from the mask requirement in the classroom. Here is a breakdown by campus of the current voluntary vaccination rate:
Only two NSU Residence Halls on the Fort Lauderdale/Davie Campus—The Commons and the Cultural Living Center (CLC)—are below the 70% vaccination rate. Residents of these halls must continue to wear a mask while indoors, in common spaces, and when visiting other NSU residence halls. As in the campus locations, once these two residence halls reach the 70% threshold, face coverings will become optional for them as well.
Although we are lifting most of the requirements, all restrictions may be lifted as we receive greater vaccination rates on all campuses. However, the pandemic is not over. I strongly recommend that if you have not been vaccinated, please get vaccinated today for your safety as well as the safety of your fellow students and associates, and voluntarily register in the Vax Max portal.
NSU will continue to monitor all our campuses and communities, and if there is a spike in new cases, we may have to revisit all safety measures once again.
Thank you for all you have done to keep the pandemic at bay in Shark Nation.
Dear NSU Students,
As you may know, in July, I announced a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for all Nova Southeastern University employees who engage in activities that are in-person at any NSU location. The deadline for compliance was Sept. 20, and exemptions were made available for medical conditions or religious beliefs.
I am pleased to share with you that the results speak for themselves: 100% of full- and part-time faculty have been vaccinated, as have 99.7% of full- and part-time staff. Adding our adjuncts and temporary employees, that’s a total of 4,552 fully vaccinated NSU employees who took the steps needed to help protect you in our classrooms and around our campuses.
You can also do your part to help return our campuses to the pre-COVID “normal” by getting vaccinated and reporting in the Vax Max portal – it only takes two minutes to report. In fact, you can get a Pfizer vaccination right on our campus or visit www.vaccines.gov to find a vaccination site near you.
In July, I announced a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for all NSU employees to ensure the health of all NSU students, faculty, and staff in the face of the continued threat from COVID-19. I am pleased to provide you with this update on our progress.
I am happy to share that 100% of full- and part-time faculty have been vaccinated or granted an exemption, as have 99.7% of full- and part-time staff. Adding our adjuncts and temporary employees, this means that 4,552 of you reported in Vax Max – a monumental achievement in such a short amount of time.
I want to publicly say THANK YOU for stepping up. The response from the NSU Community truly shows your dedication to not only your health, but that of those around you. I also want to thank all the deans, vice presidents, and the Office of Human Resources for coordinating this massive effort. The leadership and integrity demonstrated were second to none.
Many organizations have required COVID-19 vaccinations for employees, but few have achieved what NSU has—and so smoothly and efficiently.
Even as we celebrate this success, we must recognize that the pandemic is still a threat, and I know that everyone in the NSU community will continue to ensure that we create the safest possible environment.
Thank you again for your dedication to achieving this goal. I am proud – as always – to be a Shark today.
George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D.President/CEONova Southeastern University
Two months ago, NSU instituted a policy requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all employees or an approved exemption by Sept. 20, 2021. Since then, more than 95% of full-time faculty and staff members, and more than 87% of all employees (including adjunct faculty and temporary employees) have reported their information into our Vax Max portal. NSU appreciates that its employees have demonstrated a commitment to keeping everyone in our community safe.
The deadline to report that you are fully vaccinated or to receive an approved exemption is Sept 20. Information about NSU's exemption policy for documented medical conditions or deeply held religious beliefs can be found here.
We are nearly at the finish line and can achieve this goal by next week’s deadline. If you are fully vaccinated but haven’t reported your status yet, it only takes two minutes to complete the form at the Vax Max portal.
If you have COVID-19 or have been exposed to COVID-19, please contact COVIDCase@nova.edu.
The course of the COVID-19 pandemic is about to change thanks to the welcome news that the FDA has given full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Millions of Americans have already been safely vaccinated, so if you haven’t been vaccinated yet, you can join them by visiting www.vaccines.gov to find a vaccination site near you. Getting vaccinated helps keep all Sharks in our community safe.
Once you’re fully vaccinated, please take a moment to visit https://nsuvaxmax.nova.edu and report your status. All NSU employees are required to report that they have been fully vaccinated by Sept 20, unless they have received a waiver. To be fully vaccinated by the deadline, you need to receive your final vaccine dose no later than Sept 6.
For the Fort Lauderdale/Davie Campus:
The Department of Health vaccination site is on campus located at 7901 SW 36th Street, Suite 209 (Behind Wells Fargo).
Hours of Operation (as of April 1, 2022):
Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.Monday-Thursday: 12:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Millions of Americans have already been safely vaccinated, so if you haven’t been vaccinated yet, you can join them by visiting www.vaccines.gov to find a vaccination site near you. Nova Southeastern University encourages all students to get vaccinated to help keep all Sharks in our community safe.
Once you’re fully vaccinated, please take a moment to visit https://nsuvaxmax.nova.edu and voluntarily report your status. Reporting helps us reach the goal of having 70% of on-campus students vaccinated. Getting to that goal means we can have a better on-campus experience with no face coverings and more events and activities.
NSU has been busy all summer readying our campus locations for the “Return of the Sharks.” To prepare you for a healthier fall, I wanted to share the latest information on NSU policies related to the ever-evolving landscape of COVID-19.
Medical and health policy experts agree that the safest path forward is to be vaccinated against COVID-19, so I continue to encourage all students to get vaccinated and I have mandated that all employees be fully vaccinated by Sept. 20. Students on the Fort Lauderdale/Davie Campus can receive a vaccine on our campus, and everyone can find a location by visiting: www.vaccines.gov.
Remember, according to the CDC and NSU’s medical experts, vaccination is the best way for a safer and interruption-free university experience for all of us. As always, NSU closely monitors the public health conditions in our communities, and we are hopeful that with rising levels of vaccination reporting on the Vax Max portal we will be able to revisit our safety policies and protocols as appropriate.
Thank you for doing your part to keep the Shark community healthy this fall.
In a recent email, I outlined NSU’s new policy mandating that all faculty and staff be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by September 20, 2021. As the Delta variant spreads throughout the country, NSU has established this requirement to protect the health and safety of all members of our community.
If you have already been vaccinated, please visit our NSU Vax Max portal and answer a few questions to report that you have been vaccinated. Faculty and staff who have already reported that they have been vaccinated do not need to take any further action. If you have not yet been vaccinated, you need to receive your final dose no later than Sept 6.
If you intend to request an exemption due to either a documented medical condition or a deeply held religious belief, you can find additional information on the process here. Any employees who do not register their completed vaccination status or receive an exemption by September 20, 2021 will be placed on unpaid leave for up to 45 days. Any employees who have not registered their fully vaccinated status in the Vax Max portal by the end of the 45-day period will be consulted with by their supervisor and HR representative regarding next steps.
We are taking this action as a university to ensure the safety of everyone on our campuses as well as allowing us to have an on-campus experience with fewer safety restrictions. Your cooperation is appreciated and essential to accomplishing this goal.
Thank you and Fins Up,
Please don’t be a statistic for the new ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated.’
Although I look forward to meeting the 70% voluntary vaccination reporting threshold so that we can all be unmasked in the fall, I’m more concerned for the health and safety of all students, faculty, and staff. Therefore, I strongly encourage you to get vaccinated. I have seen too many serious hospitalizations and deaths of people who wish they had taken this deadly pandemic more seriously and received one of the readily available vaccines. It’s been proven that being vaccinated has almost a 100% guarantee that you won’t die from COVID-19. So, please get vaccinated and voluntarily report on the Vax Max portal to help us reach that 70% threshold by August 1.
In a recent U.S. Senate hearing, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said: “Each death is tragic and even more heartbreaking when we know that the majority of these deaths could be prevented with a simple, safe, available vaccine.” This pandemic has taken too many lives already, which is why it’s critical that we protect ourselves and everyone around us by getting vaccinated.
If you have not yet been vaccinated, you can visit the U.S. government portal www.vaccines.gov to find a vaccine site near you. Additionally, free Pfizer vaccinations are available at the Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus. Run by the Florida Department of Health, the vaccination site is located at 7901 SW 36th Street, Suite 206 (Behind Wells Fargo), in Davie. It is open from noon to 8:00 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays and 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on weekends.
Wherever you get a vaccination, please remember to voluntarily report your status on our portal. August 1 is only a few days away and knowing how many of our on-campus students have been vaccinated ensures that we can plan the safest and most comfortable experience for our NSU community this fall.
At the start of the pandemic over 16 months ago, I committed to you that we would avail ourselves of all feasible strategies and resources to ensure the safety of our NSU campus community. Since that time, we have met the challenge by pivoting to flexible online learning modes, implementing remote work options, providing new safety measures, making available personal protective equipment, introducing new hygiene and social distancing protocols, and responding to the individualized needs of students, faculty, and staff.
Planning for the start of the 2021 fall semester/term, we are facing the renewed challenge of the rise of the Delta variant, which has dramatically increased the number of COVID-19 cases across the country, particularly in South Florida. In response, I must consider what more we could be doing to maintain the safety of our employees and students across our various locations, workspaces and teaching/learning environments.
After due consideration of the limited options available to us, I have decided to require that all NSU employees (full- and part-time faculty and staff, adjunct faculty, and temporary employees) be vaccinated against COVID-19. The mandatory vaccination policy and the process for requesting an exemption due to documentation of a medical condition or deeply held religious reason may be accessed here.
The policy will be effective August 1st and requires that employees complete their vaccination by September 20, 2021 and report their status into the NSU Vax Max portal by or before that deadline date.
This provides employees with a two-month period to obtain either the one-shot Johnson & Johnson or the two-shot Moderna or Pfizer vaccines and allow for the two-week period thereafter for antibodies to develop in order to be considered fully vaccinated.
Employees who previously entered their completed vaccination status in the Vax Max portal are already compliant with the mandatory vaccination policy and do not need to take any further action.
Employees who do not complete their vaccination by September 20, 2021, and do not receive an exemption, will be given the option to convert to unpaid leave status for up to 45 days to consider the vaccination options or request an exemption.
As many other business leaders and educational leaders have done around the country, I take this step in the interest of providing for the greatest measure of safety and protection for our NSU community—and in the desire to enable us to return to a more secure quality of life with fewer safety restrictions in the coming year.
Dear New and Returning Sharks:
According to the CDC, the Delta variant of COVID-19 is highly contagious and deadly – but only to those age 12 and above who have not been vaccinated.
NSU continues to take steps to ensure a healthy and safe campus environment as we approach the fall 2021 semester. We strongly encourage Sharks to vaccinate to maximize safety among our NSU community. In addition, NSU’s Undergraduate Student Government Association is offering an amazing array of weekly prize drawings between now and August 1 for those students who have voluntarily registered their vaccination status here.
If 70-80% of our on-campus students voluntarily report that they have been vaccinated, we can return to campus this fall with no masks and more events and activities. It only takes two minutes to report your status, so if you are already fully vaccinated, register today and help us have a better fall semester.
NSU will approximate what the CDC refers to as “herd immunity status” that allows the university community to interact “mask free” for fall 2021. In the event we do not achieve 70% to 80% participation by August 1, all NSU community members will be required to wear masks when inside any university building. As a reminder, we are excited to have residential in-person classes resume regardless of meeting our goal.
To date, nearly 7,900 students university wide have voluntarily reported their vaccination status. To that I say, thank you! We appreciate you doing your part to promote a safer NSU.
We are getting closer to the end of summer, but there is still time to get vaccinated and voluntarily report your vaccination status. NSU students, faculty, and staff can get free vaccinations at the Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus. The Florida Department of Health is running a vaccination site at 7901 SW 36th Street, Suite 206 (Behind Wells Fargo), in Davie.
No appointments are needed, and the site is open from noon to 8:00 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays and 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on weekends. The site offers the Pfizer vaccine, and you can get your second shot at the site if your first Pfizer shot was administered elsewhere. Please note that if your first shot was a vaccine different from Pfizer, you cannot get your second shot at this site.
I personally look forward to the day when I can walk across campus, enter any building, and see the dozens upon dozens of Shark smiles as in pre-pandemic times. August 1 will be here before we know it. Don’t delay in voluntarily registering your vaccination status here.
If you’ve been vaccinated, click here to voluntarily report your vaccination status to NSU and support the efforts of your student government.*
Just sign in with your NSU ID, and then it’s as simple as answering a few quick questions.
At the present time, if 80% of on-campus students on any campus are vaccinated by August 1, we can have a return to normal with NO MASKS.
Please note: All classes that were face-to-face before the pandemic will return to face-to-face this fall (without BlendFlex) and we expect our students to attend.
Do your part and click today to help us make Fall 2021 look more like Fall 2019.
*The information you submit is private and secure; we will not share your information with other entities or organizations, except in connection with our response to the pandemic to public health agencies, or when legally required to do so.
NSU is excited to host a new vaccination site at the Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus run by the Florida Department of Health (DOH) beginning Tuesday, May 25. This free vaccination site is open to all residents 12 years of age and older, offering the two-dose Pfizer vaccine. No appointment is needed. The NSU-run vaccination center will conclude their appointments on Wednesday, May 26, and we applaud NSU’s College of Pharmacy and the Ron and Kathy Assaf College of Nursing and all the many volunteers who made the NSU vaccination site a tremendous success. If you received your first dose of Pfizer at the NSU vaccination center, you can obtain your second dose at the DOH site located at Rolling Hills 7901, Suite 206. Please note that if you received a vaccine different than Pfizer, you will not be able to receive your second dose at this site.
New Location:The DOH site is located at 7901 SW 36th Street, Suite 206 (Behind Wells Fargo), in Davie.
In light of updated guidance from the CDC, NSU has updated its travel policy for faculty and staff. Please see the revised guidance below and consult with your dean or vice president if you have any questions.
The CDC has issued Travel Health Notices which have been updated for those individuals who are fully vaccinated. Acknowledging the risk associated with travel, especially flying, and that some travel is required to further the mission and critical work of NSU, the following guidance has been provided.
All University-sponsored international travel is suspended for those not vaccinated, and requires approval from the NSU’s Chief Operating Officer or Provost for those who are fully vaccinated.
After travel, those fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine or a vaccine authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization will:
After travel for those unvaccinated will:
For all travel, NSU recommends limiting out-of-state travel, avoiding travel to high-risk locations, and taking all precautions when a person does travel.
Employees are discouraged from taking personal or professional travel that may bring them to areas in which COVID-19 is particularly prevalent. If you do, we ask that you check the prevalence of COVID-19 in the area you are visiting and use great caution. This CDC web page is a helpful resource to assess COVID-19 prevalence.
NSU may modify this guidance as deemed necessary.
As always, my main goal and concern is the health, safety, and welfare of NSU students, faculty, and staff. NSU was hoping for the ability to require vaccinations where possible to further protect the NSU community. However, due to a new Florida law, NSU is unable to maintain such a policy. NSU always follows the letter and spirit of the law and we must do that as the law goes into effect on July 1, 2021.
Therefore, we are NOT requiring vaccinations for NSU students, faculty, and staff, as was announced back on April 1, before the legislation was passed. Nonetheless, with additional safeguards in place, NSU has its best opportunity to return to normalcy this fall.
The Florida law permits purely voluntary vaccine programs. In fact, it is the policy of the state to encourage voluntary vaccinations as the governor and the Florida Department of Health (DOH) made millions of doses of all three vaccines available throughout the state so far this year. The governor and DOH made voluntary vaccine dispensing locations very convenient for anyone over 16 years of age to receive the inoculations. More than nine million Floridians (and more than 147 million Americans) have already received at least one dose.
NSU applauds the governor and the state for this mammoth effort to protect so many of our fellow citizens. Additionally, NSU has sites not only on our Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus but also at select regional campuses where you can receive the vaccine easily and conveniently. If you would like to make an appointment to get vaccinated, click here.
Like the state of Florida, we are striving for a high voluntary vaccination rate for the NSU community to enable NSU’s campuses to return to normalcy this fall, which is everyone’s wish. According to recent reports, the higher the vaccination rate, the lower the mitigation measures that are required.
We have developed a voluntary program called NSU Vax Max to encourage the whole NSU community to voluntarily receive the vaccine on or before August 1. The NSU Vax Max program is designed to help us reach a voluntary, aspirational goal of 100% of those who can receive the vaccine. We will set a minimum threshold—based on our best assessments of public health guidelines—of 80% of our on-campus students who have reported that they were voluntarily vaccinated in order to return to normalcy this fall on each of NSU’s campuses. The vaccination rate will be measured for each campus separately.
The NSU Vax Max program will call for purely voluntary disclosure with supporting documentation that the student has been fully vaccinated, so NSU may calculate the percentage of the on-campus NSU student community reaching this goal. Upon achieving this threshold for voluntary vaccination status on or before August 1, we can then return to campus this fall with that feeling of normalcy that everyone wants so desperately.
If we achieve this 80% threshold, a “return to normalcy” means: NO MASKS.
I believe our NSU Vax Max voluntary program goal is achievable. We can meet this threshold if NSU on-campus students and others in the NSU community—who are able and willing to receive the vaccine—will do so and voluntarily let us know so we can reach the vaccination goal.
Click here to voluntarily report your vaccination status. It is quick and easy.
If NSU does not reach the voluntary threshold goal of 80% through the NSU Vax Max program by August 1, the campus will maintain its current mitigation measures to best protect the health, safety, and welfare of our students, faculty, and staff.
I believe we can do it. We can get to, and even exceed, that 80% threshold of voluntarily vaccinated on-campus students by August 1 and return to the in-person learning environment and on-campus lifestyle we all treasure and miss so much. I will keep you posted should circumstances or regulations change.
I promised to you in an earlier email that I would provide an update on April 15 regarding how the 2021 commencement season would be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our plan to honor our 2021 graduates at the Hard Rock Stadium was designed to protect the health, safety, and welfare of our students, families, faculty, and staff members. I am pleased to inform you that we will move forward with the commencement ceremonies and I’m glad that we will be able to celebrate together in-person and online worldwide.
The dates for the ceremonies and access to the day-of livestream via web will be available at: www.nova.edu/commencement.
Along with this good news, I must also share the bad news, which is that the positivity rates in the state of Florida overall—as well as the individual rates in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties—are ranging between 7 and 8.25 percent, which is well above the 5 percent rate we had all hoped for back in January. The safety of all participants is our paramount concern, so we must limit the number of guests at the in-person commencement ceremonies.
After consulting with our NSU health care experts, we will be capping the maximum number of guests each graduate may invite to up to 4 people and each graduate’s guests will be seated together in their own respective “pod” to maintain social distancing. In line with CDC guidelines, such as wearing a face covering, pods will be spaced out with at least 6 feet of distance between them. Concessions cannot be offered due to the high positivity rate, so all attendees should plan accordingly. We will make complimentary bottled water available, as well as full-length ponchos for the graduates in the event of inclement weather. Access to public areas, such as restrooms, will be carefully managed to allow for social distancing.
This last year has been difficult, and I look forward to celebrating our new Shark graduates’ accomplishments. While we cannot accommodate unlimited guests as originally intended, I am delighted that we can celebrate your achievements together, in the presence of family and friends worldwide via livestream.
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:
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.
George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D.
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.
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.
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
Things to avoid
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.
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:
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.
President and CEO
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:
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!
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 CEONova Southeastern University
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org as well as to your college or supervisor.
August 17, 2020
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:
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
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: email@example.com or +1-954-262-7240.
JUNE 26, 2020
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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:
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
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.