MTCC building with tulips along street

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

This website contains up-to-date information regarding university plans and policies as well as important information regarding COVID-19 from government authorities.

Updated April 28, 2020

Campus Communications

At Illinois Tech our top priority is always the health, well-being, and support of all our community members. As public health officials continue to monitor developments regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), university leaders are working closely with the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) to actively monitor and plan for contingencies on a day-to-day, hour-to-hour basis.

—Alan W. Cramb, President, Illinois Institute of Technology

This website contains up-to-date information regarding university plans and policies as well as important information regarding COVID-19 from government authorities.

Call 312.567.5810 for university updates regarding COVID-19 which is monitored from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. CST

Hawks 4 Hawks Hardship Fund

Hawks 4 Hawks Hardship Fund

Contribute to the Hawks 4 Hawks Fund which provides direct financial assistance to Illinois Tech students in crisis situations. 100% of funds are directed to helping students facing unexpected hardships, such as meeting the cost of housing or travel assistance. Make a contribution today!

Most Recent University Communication (April 28, 2020)

Dear Illinois Tech Scarlet Hawks,

We are now more than six weeks into our shelter-in-place conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope and trust that you are all safe and well with your families and friends, or here at Illinois Tech in our residence halls, but we know these are challenging and stressful times for you. Our hope is that you are managing these challenges well. Our purpose today is to communicate a number of items that we hope will be of help and solace to you.

Completing Classes This Semester

In large part we have heard very positive reports from most of you that classes are going well online. Our faculty have worked hard to deliver their courses with learning outcomes that are just as good as if you were on campus and in the classroom. Most students have expressed the sentiment that they are just as pleased with the content and delivery as they were before the lockdown. Our Office of Digital Learning has worked hard to train all of our faculty and to disseminate best practices in online learning. We believe that these learnings and experience will enable us to augment in-class teaching in the future with online complements (such as flipped classroom content and synchronous recitation sections) that will enhance your coursework at Illinois Tech. Many faculty members are also going to online assessments and exams, and some are also examining by video through oral face-to-face exams. We believe your education and learning this semester did not miss a beat despite the crisis.

We have also added a question about this semester’s online transition efforts to the student class survey. I want to emphasize that the university takes this feedback very seriously and that we will use this information to further improve what we believe is a very strong education, especially as online education is further developed moving forward. So I urge all students to participate in this effort and provide your feedback. This is your chance to give your perspective on what went well and what did not. I also think that this is a great time to identify classes that were great online experiences, so that they can be emulated.

Pass-Fail Undergraduate Policy

With the unanimous approval of the SGA leaders, the University Faculty Council, and the Office of the Provost, all grading in undergraduate classes reverted to pass-fail for this semester only. There were many reasons for this: (1) we know many students would face challenges during the roughly six weeks from March 20 to May 10, including acclimating to the new environment, slow internet at home, family challenges including parent or guardian job loss, and other issues; (2) pass-fail would not harm any student’s GPA; and (3) most or all medical schools and many graduate schools indicated they would accept pass-fail in this semester provided it was institutional policy. We did allow graduating seniors only to request that they receive letter grades. We also approved a modest number of petitions from students who requested letter grades and could demonstrate real harm due to the pass-fail policy.

We also emphasize that this pass-fail policy applies only to this semester, when a transition to online delivery was forced on faculty and students alike in an unanticipated fashion. Moving into summer and beyond, all classes, including any online classes, will be developed and offered in a fashion where letter grades will be awarded, as usual.

Virtual Commencement Ceremonies

In late March we announced that, due to the shelter-in-place order, Illinois Tech would hold a virtual commencement ceremony on May 16, 2020. Following the university-wide virtual commencement on Saturday, May 16, at 10 a.m. CST, individual colleges, schools, and academic units will also hold their own recognition ceremonies. Please stay tuned for additional details from both the university and the schools, colleges, and units.

I should note that all of our graduates from the academic year 2019–2020 are very warmly invited to join us in May 2021 for our on-campus commencement celebration.

Summer Courses

Many departments have increased summer course offerings in order to provide students with enhanced learning opportunities this summer, and all students are invited to reexamine the summer schedule if they have not looked at it recently. As of today, all summer classes will be held online and will be graded. We believe these classes will be excellent learning experiences for students, and we encourage all of you to seriously consider taking these classes to catch up, to lighten your load in the fall, and to keep your minds sharp this summer. All students are eligible for the same financial aid for these summer classes that you enjoy during the academic year.

Support of Students with Unanticipated Financial Hardships Due to COVID-19

We are pleased to note two important efforts to support many students with unanticipated expenditures and financial hardship due to COVID-19. The first is that, as part of the CARES Act, Illinois Tech will be participating in distributing additional financial aid to students who have unmet financial need. The second is that, through the generosity and support of our alumni and supporter network, our Hawk 4 Hawks program is now providing additional resources for impacted students. Both of these efforts are being coordinated through the usual financial aid process, and students do not need to do anything beyond participating in their usual review with the Office of Financial Aid.

Fall Semester 2020

As of today, the university is anticipating that we will be back on campus, at full force, with in-person classes, labs, and studios for the fall semester 2020. While there is no guarantee, our best understanding is that individual states will begin to reopen as the pandemic subsides throughout the country, hopefully in the next two months. We should note that we are still on track to have a newly renovated 10-story residence hall this summer with the opening of George J. Kacek Hall on the north end of our residential portion of campus. We are also pleased to announce that work is already beginning on Kacek Hall’s neighbor, Cunningham Hall, which may open as early as next year. Thus, the university is well on its way to completing the rejuvenation of our housing stock. These two residence halls and their renovations were made possible by very generous gifts from our donors.

Sincerely,

Peter Kilpatrick
Provost

Nick Menhart
University Faculty Council Chair

University Instruction Moving Online After Spring Break

Effective March 23, all academic classroom instruction will move online until further notice. We strongly encourage students planning to depart for spring break to make plans not to return to campus until further notice and finish the semester from home, if at all possible. While classroom instruction may be possible in the future, all courses will also be taught online until the end of the semester to allow remote students to complete the semester.
 
Students who do not have the option to return home will be able to return and to stay in university housing, and the university will remain open to provide essential scholarly, health, and food services.

University Travel Policy

Consistent with CDPH guidance, it is university policy that any student, faculty member, or staff member returning from any location with a substantial incidence of COVID-19—such as CDC-designated countries of risk or domestic locations such as greater New York City, Seattle, and San Francisco/Sacramento—must stay home and monitor their health for 14 days.
 
Students who fall into this category should notify the Office of the Dean of Students at 312.567.3081 or dos@iit.edu. Faculty and staff who fall into this category should notify the Office of Human Resources at 312.567.3318 or hr@iit.edu. Students, staff, or faculty impacted by this policy should work with their supervisors or instructors to determine the appropriate work-from-home or study-from-home plan.

University Coronavirus (COVID-19) Contact Policy

As a matter of university policy, if students, faculty, or staff should come into contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 OR have a fever of over 100.5 degrees or other symptoms consistent with COVID-19, they must stay home and monitor their health for 14 days. Students who fall into this category should notify the Office of the Dean of Students at 312.567.3081 or dos@iit.edu. Faculty and staff who fall into this category should notify the Office of Human Resources at 312.567.3318 or hr@iit.edu.

Watch On-Demand: Webinar on New Safety Guidelines for Re-opening IFSH Labs

Illinois Tech’s Institute for Food Safety and Health (IFSH) hosted a special webinar on “Workplace Safety Considerations During an Emergent Infectious Disease” on April 23.

The online seminar is available here on-demand, and features a behind the scenes walk-through of the decision-making and strategies used in developing new safety guidelines for re-opening IFSH labs for critical work during a novel viral pandemic.

Featured Speakers

Deena Awad, Senior Support Scientist, Microbiology, IFSH
Awad has a degree in Food Science with a focus on Food Microbiology from Michigan State University, where she worked in aflatoxin research as an undergraduate. She comes to the Illinois Tech side of IFSH after almost five years with FDA as an ORISE Fellow focusing on leafy greens and sprouts safety research. In her free time, Deena works with shelter dogs and runs the Big Dog Program for a Chicago-area dog rescue.

Yun Wang, Ph.D., Senior Scientist/Biosafety officer, IFSH
Yun Wang is currently a Senior Scientist and Biosafety Officer at the Institute for Food Safety and Health. She was a Research Biochemist at U.S. Food and Drug Administration from 2013 to 2019. She received her Ph.D. in Biosystems Engineering from the Michigan State University in 2014. The major goal of her research is to ensure public health through novel detection and diagnosis approaches. Her research mainly focuses on pathogen and toxin detection, rapid disease diagnosis, and genetic study of food-borne pathogens.

Communications Sent to Illinois Tech Community

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring an outbreak caused by a new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Based on current information, the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV to the general American public is considered low at this time.

According to the CDC recommendations, if you have traveled to Wuhan and feel sick with a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should:

  • Seek medical care immediately. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms. Student Health and Wellness can be reached at 312.567.7550 and Mercy Hospital's Emergency Department can be reached at 312.567.2000.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

Sincerely,

Katherine Stetz
Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Illinois Institute of Technology

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

I am writing to update you that the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) advises that the health risk of Coronavirus 2019-nCoV to the general public remains low, both in the United States and in Chicago.

While there appears to be low risk in Chicago at this time, the university is not authorizing official student, faculty, or staff travel to China, per the U.S. Department of State travel advisory issued on January 30, 2020.

The university is in continuous coordination with the CDPH, as well as state and national authorities, and we will continue to share important information as it becomes available.

Following is the CDPH’s up-to-date guidance for universities and colleges, including where to find the latest updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

2019 Novel Coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, is a new respiratory virus identified in December 2019 as the cause of an outbreak in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. 2019-nCoV has resulted in thousands of confirmed cases, including cases outside China. The first case in the United States was announced on January 21, 2020, and the first case in the Chicago area was announced on January 24, 2020, in a person who had traveled to Wuhan, China. The latest situation summary updates, including the number of cases identified in the United States, are available on CDC’s web page 2019 Novel Coronavirus, Wuhan, China.

Currently, the health risk to the general public from novel coronavirus remains low, both in the U.S. and in Chicago. Measures are being developed to prevent the spread of illness in Chicago and, at this point, there is NO need for students to take any special precautions. The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) takes new viruses very seriously, is monitoring the situation carefully, and will rapidly communicate any changes in this guidance.

Chicago students do NOT need to change their behavior in any way. CDPH does NOT recommend:

  • The use of masks or gloves
  • Any change in daily travel routines
  • Social distancing
  • Avoiding mass gatherings
  • Missing classes and work

As with any respiratory virus, students can protect themselves and others by taking everyday preventative actions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

If you recently traveled from China and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should seek medical care right away. Please call your medical provider in advance, so they are prepared to see you.

For more information, please visit www.chicago.gov/2019-nCoV or www.cdc.gov/coronavirus, email coronavirus@chicago.gov, or call 312.746.4835.

Sincerely,

Katherine Stetz
Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Illinois Institute of Technology

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

I am writing to inform you that the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued the following update regarding students, faculty, and staff returning from mainland China on or after February 3, 2020.

Consistent with this advisory, it is university policy that any student, faculty member, or staff member returning from mainland China on or after February 3, 2020 should not come to school or work for 14 days after the return date.

Students who fall into this category should notify the Office of the Dean of Students at 312.567.3081 or dos@iit.edu. Faculty and staff who fall into this category should notify the Office of Human Resources at 312.567.3318 or hr@iit.edu. Students, staff or faculty covered by this policy should work with their supervisor or instructors to determine the appropriate work-from-home or study-from-home plan.

While CDPH continues to advise that the immediate health risk of novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV in Chicago remains low, everyone can do their part to help us respond to this emerging public health challenge.

Following is the latest specific guidance for students from the Chicago Department of Public Health:

Due to recent acceleration of 2019-nCoV transmission across China and in accordance with current federal guidance, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) recommends the following:

  • Any student returning from mainland China on February 3, 2020, and onward should not attend school for 14 days after the return date.
  • Absences for this purpose should be excused.
  • Family members of these students should not attend work if they also traveled to mainland China.

This interim guidance is effective as of February 3, 2020, and does not apply retrospectively to students who have been in China during the previous 14 days and are already in the U.S., or those being managed as part of a contact investigation.

Students who returned from mainland China prior to February 3, 2020, can remain in school. Students who returned from mainland China between January 21, 2020-February 2, 2020, and develop respiratory symptoms including fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, should seek medical care right away. Please call your medical provider in advance, so they are prepared to see you. The CDPH recommends avoiding travel to China. The latest travel updates are available on the CDC’s web page Traveler’s Health.

For more information, please visit www.chicago.gov/2019-nCoV or www.cdc.gov/coronavirus, email coronavirus@chicago.gov, or call 312.746.4835.

Sincerely,

Peter Kilpatrick
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Illinois Institute of Technology

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

While the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) continues to advise that the current health risk presented by coronavirus to the general public remains low both in the United States and in Chicago, Illinois Tech administration and staff are actively monitoring the situation so that we may be able to effectively respond to emerging situations as they arise.

During the cold and flu season, everyone can do their part to help provide a healthy campus for your fellow Scarlet Hawks.

The following is the latest guidance from the CDPH for helping prevent the spread of respiratory illness:

As with any respiratory virus, you can protect yourself and others by taking everyday, common sense actions:

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Remember that it is also flu season, and CDPH recommends getting vaccinated, taking everyday, preventive actions to stop the spread of germs, and taking flu antivirals if prescribed. For more information, see www.chicago.gov/flu.

Consistent with CDPH guidance, it is university policy that any student, faculty member, or staff member returning from mainland China on or after February 3, 2020 should not come to school or work for 14 days after the return date.

Students who fall into this category should notify the Office of the Dean of Students at 312.567.3081 or dos@iit.edu. Faculty and staff who fall into this category should notify the Office of Human Resources at 312.567.3318 or hr@iit.edu. Students, staff or faculty covered by this policy should work with their supervisor or instructors to determine the appropriate work-from-home or study-from-home plan.

For more information, please visit chicago.gov/2019-nCoV or cdc.gov/coronavirus, email coronavirus@chicago.gov, or call 312.746.4835.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Katherine Stetz
Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Dear Colleagues,

I want to let you know that I am working with staff and faculty leaders to develop contingency plans to address the spread of the coronavirus.  Specifics, of course, will depend on how events unfold, but our plans will seek to cover the range of possible scenarios.

Most immediately, we are working to roll out a set of procedures for you to record your classes in anticipation that some students may be unable to attend in person.  We will let you know once those plans are in place.  I know that some of you have reasons against recording classes under usual circumstances, but I believe in this case there are good reasons to temporarily suspend that policy.  In particular, students who are not feeling well will feel more comfortable staying home, which should have the further effect of providing some comfort to other students about the health of those sharing the room.

We are also developing options for faculty to record and upload lectures and to interact with students remotely (synchronously and/or asynchronously).  These will become particularly important should we have to close the building or, short of that, if any faculty members are affected and unable to teach in person.  For exams, we already have established methods for administering exams remotely, if necessary, although those of you who give closed-book exams may need to consider other options this exam period.

More information soon.

Anita

Anita K. Krug
Dean and Professor
Chicago-Kent College of Law
Illinois Institute of Technology

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

At Illinois Tech our top priority is always the health, well-being, and support of all our community members. As public health officials continue to monitor developments regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), I want to assure you that university leaders are working closely with the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) to actively monitor and plan for contingencies on a day-to-day, hour-to-hour basis.

While CDPH currently advises that the virus is not spreading widely in the United States at this time and the immediate health risk to the general public from the virus causing COVID-19 remains low both in the U.S. and in Chicago, we are actively working on plans for university operations across a variety of potential scenarios to ensure that we will be ready to implement and communicate any measures as needed.

In light of these global health concerns, it is even more critical that we, as members of an inclusive and caring community, continue to treat our fellow Scarlet Hawks with respect and support. It is especially important to show this support and care for community members from countries presently experiencing a wider occurrence of COVID-19. We will support, respect, and value all of our community members, and continue to celebrate the rich tapestry of diversity here at Illinois Tech.

In accordance with CDPH guidance, individuals and communities such as ours can take steps to help minimize the risk of COVID-19 spread:

  • If you are unwell and have a fever, do not return to work until 24 hours after your fever has reduced below 100.4F.
  • Practice everyday preventive actions such as performing frequent hand hygiene, washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (especially when hands are visibly soiled), or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol; covering your cough and sneeze; avoiding ill people; and staying home when sick (except to seek medical care). These simple actions can prevent the spread of many illnesses, including COVID-19. For more information, see CDPH’s Guidance for Individuals and Households.
  • It’s currently flu and respiratory disease season. CDPH recommends getting a flu vaccine and taking everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of illness. Go to your doctor, pharmacy, or ChicagoFluShots.org to learn where to get a flu shot.
  • Help reduce the spread of rumors. Let people know that viruses cannot target people from specific populations, ethnicities, or racial backgrounds. Being of Asian descent does not increase the chance of getting or spreading COVID-19.
  • Fight stigma and fear by supporting people who may be coming back to school or work after traveling internationally or completing a quarantine or isolation period for COVID-19.

Consistent with CDPH guidance, university policy states that any student, faculty member, or staff member returning from any country with a Travel Alert Level 3 should stay home and monitor their health for up to 14 days. Students who fall into this category should notify the Office of the Dean of Students at 312.567.3081 or dos@iit.edu. Faculty and staff who fall into this category should notify the Office of Human Resources at 312.567.3318 or hr@iit.edu. Students, staff, or faculty impacted by this policy should work with their supervisors or instructors to determine the appropriate work-from-home or study-from-home plan. Travelers returning from any country with a Travel Alert Level 2 are also encouraged to monitor their health but do not need to limit their movement or activity.

Lastly, as we head into spring break, we urge students, faculty, and staff to take a careful look at any planned travel in light of this evolving situation. Before embarking on or returning from any international travel, please visit the U.S. Department of State’s coronavirus travel advisory website for further information. Traveling is a personal decision, and if anyone is not comfortable traveling on university business at this time, then they may choose not to travel.

For more information, please visit chicago.gov/2019-nCoV or cdc.gov/coronavirus, email coronavirus@chicago.gov, or call 312.746.4835.

Thank you, and please help us to ensure a safe, healthy, and welcoming campus for all.

Sincerely,

Alan W. Cramb, President
Illinois Institute of Technology

Dear Students,

I want to share with you the contingency planning we have underway for dealing with possible effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on our community. Our first priority, of course, is the health and safety of students and other members of the Chicago-Kent community, and that concern is at the center of our planning.

  • We are implementing a plan for recording classes, where feasible, and posting the recordings for students to access from outside the school. (Our current intention is to have these arrangements in place upon our return from Spring Break, which begins at the end of next week.) Our hope is that this will make any student who is not feeling well more comfortable staying home, which should also provide comfort to other students about the health of those around them.
  • In the worst-case scenario, where we need to close the building and suspend live class meetings, we will work with faculty to continue providing instruction through a variety of options, which will likely vary depending on the type and size of the class, instructor teaching methods, and other considerations. Among the options will be recording and posting class lectures; synchronous (i.e., real-time) class sessions using Zoom or similar technology; and online discussion groups.
  • For exams, we are prepared to administer them through expanded use of our existing procedures for take-home exams, which allow for students to download exam questions and upload answers remotely to a secure part of our website.

We plan to post information and plans, as they develop, on the Law School’s homepage (www.kentlaw.iit.edu). In addition, we will have an online form available upon our return from Spring Break that you can use to notify us if you will be absent from school. (You can submit the form multiple times if and as you have updates about your circumstances.) If you will be missing class in the next week, please email Dean Sowle (ssowle@kentlaw.iit.edu).

In his recent statement to the IIT community, President Cramb stressed the importance of showing support and respect for community members from countries experiencing the greatest effects of the coronavirus. I join him in encouraging all members of our community to act reasonably and with compassion toward one another and to resist the spread of unfounded rumors about the virus and its effects on specific populations, ethnicities, or racial groups.

In closing, I’m sharing, below, information from President Cramb’s recent statement about steps you can take to minimize the risk of infection and about the university’s policy concerning international travel by students, faculty, or staff.

Steps you can take to minimize the risk of infection:

  • If you are unwell and have a fever, do not return to work or school until 24 hours after your fever has reduced below 100.4F.
  • Practice everyday preventive actions such as performing frequent hand hygiene, washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (especially when hands are visibly soiled), or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol; covering your cough and sneeze; avoiding ill people; and staying home when sick (except to seek medical care). These simple actions can prevent the spread of many illnesses, including COVID-19. For more information, see the Chicago Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) Guidance for Individuals and Households.
  • It’s currently flu and respiratory disease season. CDPH recommends getting a flu vaccine and taking everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of illness. Go to your doctor, pharmacy, or ChicagoFluShots.org to learn where to get a flu shot.
  • Help reduce the spread of rumors. Let people know that viruses cannot target people from specific populations, ethnicities, or racial backgrounds. Being of Asian descent does not increase the chance of getting or spreading COVID-19.
  • Fight stigma and fear by supporting people who may be coming back to school or work after traveling internationally or completing a quarantine or isolation period for COVID-19.

University policy on travel: 

Consistent with CDPH guidance, university policy states that any student, faculty member, or staff member returning from any country with a Travel Alert Level 3 should stay home and monitor their health for up to 14 days. Students who fall into this category should notify the Office of the Dean of Students at 312-567-3081 or dos@iit.edu. Faculty and staff who fall into this category should notify the Office of Human Resources at 312-567-3318 or hr@iit.edu. Students, staff, or faculty impacted by this policy should work with their supervisors or instructors to determine the appropriate work-from-home or study-from-home plan. Travelers returning from any country with a Travel Alert Level 2 are also encouraged to monitor their health but do not need to limit their movement or activity.

Lastly, as we head into spring break, we urge students, faculty, and staff to take a careful look at any planned travel in light of this evolving situation. Before embarking on or returning from any international travel, please visit the U.S. Department of State’s coronavirus travel advisory website for further information. Traveling is a personal decision, and if anyone is not comfortable traveling on university business at this time, then they may choose not to travel.

For more information, please visit chicago.gov/2019-nCoV or cdc.gov/coronavirus, email coronavirus@chicago.gov, or call 312-746-4835.

All best to each of you.

Dean Krug

Anita K. Krug
Dean and Professor
Chicago-Kent College of Law
Illinois Institute of Technology

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

The following is a video message from Provost Peter Kilpatrick and me sharing our ongoing response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Keeping our community members safe, supported, and well informed has been and always will be our university’s top priority. We are actively working on plans for university operations across a variety of potential scenarios to ensure that we will be ready to implement and communicate any measures as needed.

President and Provost video to the Illinois Tech community

Today, the university is launching a new web page to help our campus community stay informed about COVID-19 as the situation progresses. The direct link to the new page is www.iit.edu/COVID-19.

This website will contain up-to-date information regarding university plans and policies as well as important information regarding COVID-19 from government authorities. Additional links to external resources are also provided.

In addition to our new university website, you can access these resources:
chicago.gov/2019-nCoV or cdc.gov/coronavirus.

Thank you, and please help us to ensure a safe, healthy, and welcoming campus for all.

Sincerely,

Alan W. Cramb, President
Illinois Institute of Technology

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to update you on our planning for contingencies relating to the Coronavirus. As I noted in my email to students yesterday morning (below), our plan is to begin recording classes and to work with faculty to ensure instructional continuity in the event the building closes, among other things. Below is a brief summary:

  1. Recording classes at the law school. Beginning the Monday after Spring Break, all classes at the law school will be recorded, to reduce pressure on students who are not feeling well. We are developing work-arounds for the few classrooms that presently lack recording technology. Only students in a recorded class and the faculty member will have access to the recordings; a link to the recording for any particular class will be available to relevant parties on our website, and class members will be notified by email when a new recording is available. All recordings will be deleted at the end of the semester.
  2. Remote instruction. In the event we need to close the building or if you need to be in self-isolation due to possible exposure, then we ask you to hold your classes through online means, whether synchronous (in real-time with student participation) or asynchronous (posting lectures, supervising online discussion groups, etc.), or a combination of the two. Over the course of the next week, the technology team will be sharing with you instructional materials for using the technology described below. They will post this information on a training site to provide updates and suggestions on an ongoing basis. Note: This timeline assumes that we would need to convert to remote instruction no sooner than the Monday after Spring Break. In the event that the building must close or you need go into self isolation sometime in the coming week, we will provide guidance on how to deal with any lost class time (for those who are unable to begin remote instruction immediately).

Asynchronous class meetings: Panopto is the primary means at the law school for recording and distributing lectures and associated slides. In addition, both TWEN - which many of you already use - and Blackboard provide asynchronous discussion forums and means of communicating with students, collecting student work, and sharing content (readings, syllabus, links, videos). Google applications do as well. Among other things, Google Docs can be used for asynchronous discussions; Google Forms is a good option for conducting polls and collecting assignments; and you can share files quickly using Google Drive. All of these options will be described in greater detail on the training site.

Synchronous class meetings: Google Meet and Skype for Business are our primary resources here. Google Meet is fairly straightforward to use, especially since Google added some additional capabilities specifically in response to Coronavirus concerns. One of its important new features is an increase in the maximum number of participants in any session, from 30 to 250, which thereby will allow larger classes to use it. Skype for Business (for which the law school has a license) also has a maximum group size of 250. In addition to allowing synchronous class meetings, Google Meet sessions can be viewed later in case any students are unable to participate in the live session. Either of these options may be helpful also for inpidual meetings with students, in lieu of office hours.

We recognize that different types of courses have different needs and requirements and, therefore, that the solutions need to take these differences into account. In this regard, experiential courses present particular challenges. Deb Ginsberg, our leader for instructional technology, has already reached out to instructors of some of these courses. However, I invite you to contact her anytime to discuss approaches for addressing any special needs your courses may have or if you would like to set up a course website or have questions about any of the technologies noted above.

I greatly appreciate your working to be prepared for developments as they arise.

All the best,

Anita

Anita K. Krug
Dean and Professor
Chicago-Kent College of Law
Illinois Institute of Technology

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Out of an abundance of caution and in keeping with university policy, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) is directing a student who just returned from a country with significant incidence of the coronavirus (COVID-19), but who is not currently reporting any symptoms, to stay in their on-campus home and monitor their health for 14 days. Please be assured that the university is coordinating with the CDPH and will continue to follow its direction in all related matters. 

I want to remind the university community that, consistent with CDPH guidance, university policy states that any student, faculty member, or staff member returning from any country with a Travel Alert Level 3 should stay home and monitor their health for 14 days. Students who fall into this category should notify the Office of the Dean of Students at 312.567.3081 or dos@iit.edu. Faculty and staff who fall into this category should notify the Office of Human Resources at 312.567.3318 or hr@iit.edu. Students, staff, or faculty impacted by this policy should work with their supervisors or instructors to determine the appropriate work-from-home or study-from-home plan. Travelers returning from any country with a Travel Alert Level 2 are also encouraged to monitor their health but do not need to limit their movement or activity. 

Also, as a matter of university policy, if students, faculty, or staff have had contact with someone who has been diagnosed with the coronavirus, they should stay home and monitor their health for 14 days. As above, students who fall into this category should notify the Office of the Dean of Students at 312.567.3081 or dos@iit.edu. Faculty and staff who fall into this category should notify the Office of Human Resources at 312.567.3318 or hr@iit.edu

As we continue to actively monitor the evolving local, national, and global situation stemming from the coronavirus (COVID-19), I want to communicate the additional steps that our university and its exceptional facilities team are taking to help maintain a safe and healthy campus environment. 

In an effort to help students, faculty, and staff stay healthy and avoid the spread of any respiratory illnesses, including the common cold or flu, we have purchased and are deploying disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, and tissues across campus to augment the hand sanitizer stations normally seen in our buildings. In the coming days, you will notice these items placed in central areas of campus buildings and in the entrances of residence halls, office suites/floors, and academic areas across all of our campuses. We have also arranged with our custodial contractors to increase the level and frequency of cleaning of doorknobs, elevator buttons, and other surfaces that could transfer the virus. This cleaning is done with a disinfectant. 

Finally, CDPH guidance reminds us that you can help us maintain a healthy and safe campus by practicing everyday preventive actions such as:

Performing frequent hand hygiene, washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (especially when hands are visibly soiled) or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol; covering your cough and sneeze; avoiding ill people; and STAYING HOME WHEN YOU ARE SICK (except to seek medical care). These simple actions can prevent the spread of many illnesses, including COVID-19. For more information, see CDPH’s Guidance for Individuals and Households.

You can also limit the spread of germs if you avoid touching elevator buttons and doors with your bare hands, using gloves or a sleeve instead, and using electric door opener buttons where applicable.

As always, I encourage you to visit our new website www.iit.edu/COVID-19. This website contains up-to-date information regarding university plans and policies as well as important information from government authorities regarding COVID-19.

For more information, please visit chicago.gov/2019-nCoV or cdc.gov/coronavirus, email coronavirus@chicago.gov, or call 312.746.4835.

Sincerely,
 
Katherine Stetz, Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Illinois Institute of Technology

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

I’m writing today to share that university leaders continue to closely follow developments related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and are preparing plans to ensure our students’ academic success while safeguarding the health and safety of all university members.

In keeping with that commitment, the university today is instituting the following measures and policies:

  • Study Abroad
    • Faculty-led study abroad programs for spring 2020 will be discontinued.
    • We strongly urge students planning on a spring study-abroad trip with a third-party contractor to reconsider their travel plans in light of the evolving situation.
  • University Travel
    • Consistent with Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance, university policy states that any student, faculty member, or staff member returning from any location with a substantial incidence of the coronavirus (COVID-19) should stay home and monitor their health for 14 days. Students who fall into this category should notify the Office of the Dean of Students at 312.567.3081 or dos@iit.edu. Faculty and staff who fall into this category should notify the Office of Human Resources at 312.567.3318 or hr@iit.edu. Students, staff, or faculty impacted by this policy should work with their supervisors or instructors to determine the appropriate work-from-home or study-from-home plan. Students, faculty, and staff should take this policy into account when considering spring break travel plans.
  • College, Department, and Unit-sponsored Visits
    • We are asking all university colleges, departments, and offices to consider rescheduling visits from non-university visitors to reduce the risk to our student, faculty, and staff communities.
  • Spring Break
    • As our university prepares for spring break, students should consider traveling with all essential items should a timely return to campus become challenging.

We understand that these policies may impact many of our day-to-day activities, but the university’s primary concern will always be protecting the health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty. We all look forward to returning to business as usual, but in the meantime, we appreciate your cooperation with all policies and measures designed to help safeguard our community.

As always, I encourage you to visit our new coronavirus (COVID-19) website www.iit.edu/COVID-19. This website contains up-to-date information and communication regarding university plans and policies as well as important information from government authorities regarding COVID-19.

For more information, please visit chicago.gov/2019-nCoV or cdc.gov/coronavirus, email coronavirus@chicago.gov, or call 312.746.4835.

Sincerely,

Peter Kilpatrick
Provost, Illinois Institute of Technology

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
 
University leaders continue to meet on a continuous basis to actively monitor and plan for potential effects of the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. As a community, we will work diligently to continue to uphold our academic mission while also taking appropriate action aimed at protecting the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff.
 
As I’m sure you are aware, circumstances could change quickly over the coming days and weeks, and university leaders are working to prepare contingency plans for a number of possible developments.
 
As we plan, it is important to note that our university will remain open so that we are able to continue our academic mission and to provide needed services to students, especially for those living in our housing. This includes, but is not limited to, administration and leadership, academic units, Student Health and Wellness Center, Public Safety, Facilities, Maintenance and Custodial, and Food Services. Our residential students will be able to remain in university housing during this semester, as many do not readily have other options at this time.
 
Planning for Online Instruction
 
The university is planning to ensure that we continue to meet our core academic mission and that all students will complete this semester, and those slated to graduate in 2020 will be able to do so. Online or remote course delivery will be available as an option for individual students who are unable to return to campus for any reason after our spring break. If warranted by future developments, the university will move all academic classroom instruction online after spring break.
 
This means faculty will be prepared to deliver their courses remotely after we return from spring break on March 23. It is important to note that we are not announcing such a decision for all students today, but only that we will prepare for moving instruction online for all students if it should become necessary.
 
As with normal academic operations, individual faculty will have the authority to deliver courses online in the way that they think is best. The university currently offers a wide variety of delivery and assessment options, ranging from Blackboard Collaborate Ultra to video conferencing via Zoom to traditional email, as well as evaluation tools such as Examity. Put simply, each faculty member will have the discretion to determine how to deliver classwork and make assessments for exams and other assignments. This discretion will extend to how to administer experiential learning activities, such as studios and labs, but campus facilities needed for those activities are anticipated to remain open.
 
Spring Break and University Travel Policy
 
For students presently making plans or leaving on spring break, we encourage you to take with you essential items—including books and other needed academic materials—and to make appropriate preparations should you not be able to return to campus for all or part of the remainder of the semester.
 
Consistent with Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance, it is university policy that any student, faculty member, or staff member returning from any location with a substantial incidence of COVID-19—such as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-designated countries of risk or domestic locations such as greater New York City, Seattle, and San Francisco-Sacramento—should stay home and monitor their health for 14 days.
 
Students who fall into this category should notify the Office of the Dean of Students at 312.567.3081 or dos@iit.edu. Faculty and staff who fall into this category should notify the Office of Human Resources at 312.567.3318 or hr@iit.edu. Students, staff, or faculty impacted by this policy should work with their supervisors or instructors to determine the appropriate work-from-home or study-from-home plan.
 
Students traveling to those areas may wish to consider staying home with their family after spring break and returning to campus when appropriate after communication with the Office of Student Life.
 
Should you come into contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 OR have a fever of over 100.5 degrees or other symptoms consistent with COVID-19, you must stay home and monitor your health for 14 days. Notification of such contact should be made as noted above.
 
Official University Travel
 
Given the rising incidence of COVID-19, all university-sponsored air and train travel is suspended until further notice. This includes class activities, athletic endeavors, and conference attendance.
 
Events

Lastly, given what we currently understand about the spread of COVID-19 through large crowds, any university-sponsored event on or off campus with 100 individuals or more will be suspended until further notice. This includes, but is not limited to, seminars and colloquia, audience attendance at athletics events, and third-party events. Consistent with CDC recommendations, we encourage all students, faculty, and staff to approach any events with fewer than 100 people with care. Although we do not currently have plans to change the 2020 Commencement ceremony, we will continue to evaluate as this situation evolves, and we will communicate any changes to students, faculty, and staff.

As always, we encourage you to visit our new coronavirus (COVID-19) website www.iit.edu/COVID-19. This website contains up-to-date information and communication regarding university plans and policies as well as important information from government authorities regarding COVID-19.
 
For more information, please visit chicago.gov/2019-nCoV or cdc.gov/coronavirus, email coronavirus@chicago.gov, or call 312.746.4835.
 
Sincerely,

Alan W. Cramb
President, Illinois Institute of Technology

Peter Kilpatrick
Provost, Illinois Institute of Technology

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
 
Due to the rising coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we are writing to share a number of important policies and actions that we are pursuing to make sure that the university continues to meet its academic mission while protecting the health and safety of its students, staff, and faculty. 
 
Online Instruction for All Academic Classroom Instruction
 
First, effective March 23, all academic classroom instruction will move online until further notice. We strongly encourage students planning to depart for spring break to make plans not to return to campus until further notice and finish the semester from home, if at all possible. While classroom instruction may be possible in the future, all courses will also be taught online until the end of the semester to allow remote students to complete the semester.
 
Students who do not have the option to return home will be able to return and to stay in university housing, and the university will remain open to provide essential scholarly, health, and food services.
 
The University Will Remain Open
 
We have many students, both domestic and international, who are staying in our housing, do not leave during spring break, and do not have alternate accommodations. In addition, due to recent travel restrictions, it may not be possible for a number of students to leave this country.  Some students who have left on spring break may return after spring break as they have no other options. These students will be able to remain in our housing, and we must ensure that needed services continue for them. Also, we have a significant number of graduate students who conduct research on our campus and may live either in our housing or in the surrounding area that must continue their research projects to be able to graduate on time.
 
We also have many staff functions that are outward facing: the work today of leadership, admissions, and advancement, for example, is necessary for future success. Our facilities and public safety personnel are also very important to the proper functioning of the university. Our faculty must continue their scholarship and be prepared to teach online. Thus, the university will remain open.
 
It is not known how long this health crisis will continue, but the university must be prepared to return to normal operations as soon as possible. 
 
Current Conditions
 
At present, the university doesn’t have a confirmed case of COVID-19. If that changes at any point, we will notify the university community. There are a number of people from the university who are asymptomatic but are in self-quarantine, as per university policy, because they either traveled to any area of high incidence or were in contact with someone who was later diagnosed with COVID-19. The university has notified the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) about these individuals.
 
Continuing Education
 
We are committed to ensuring that all students graduate on time and that all students receive full credit for this semester’s courses. And we are grateful to the faculty and staff working diligently to move instruction and assessment online to make sure we keep this commitment. 
 
As with normal academic operations, individual faculty will have the authority to deliver courses online in the way that they think is best. The university currently offers a wide variety of delivery and assessment options, ranging from Blackboard Collaborate Ultra to video conferencing via Zoom to traditional email and teleconference, as well as evaluation tools such as Examity. Put simply, each faculty member will have the discretion to determine how to deliver coursework and make assessments for exams and other assignments. This discretion will extend to how to administer experiential learning activities, such as studios and labs, but campus facilities needed for those activities are anticipated to remain open.
 
It is anticipated that doctoral students and other graduate students who are conducting research in laboratories will be able to continue their research assuming proper safety protocols are followed, including minimizing the number of people in a lab at any given time and practicing social distancing when in the lab (see below).
 
Social Distancing Best Practices
 
For students, faculty, and staff who remain on campus, we encourage you to practice social distancing, which, according to the Centers for Disease Control, includes:
• Remaining away from congregate settings, which are defined as crowded public places where close contact with others may occur, such as shopping centers, movie theaters, and stadiums
• Avoiding mass gatherings
• Maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible
 
University Travel and Coronavirus Contact Policies
 
Consistent with CDPH guidance, it is university policy that any student, faculty member, or staff member returning from any location with a substantial incidence of COVID-19—such as CDC-designated countries of risk or domestic locations such as greater New York City, Seattle, and San Francisco/Sacramento—must stay home and monitor their health for 14 days.
 
Students who fall into this category should notify the Office of the Dean of Students at 312.567.3081 or dos@iit.edu. Faculty and staff who fall into this category should notify the Office of Human Resources at 312.567.3318 or hr@iit.edu. Students, staff, or faculty impacted by this policy should work with their supervisors or instructors to determine the appropriate work-from-home or study-from-home plan.
 
As mentioned earlier, students traveling to those areas may wish to consider staying home with their family after spring break and returning to campus when appropriate after communication with the Office of Student Life. If such students do return to campus, they will need to self-quarantine for a 14-day period.
 
Further, should you come into contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 OR have a fever of over 100.5 degrees or other symptoms consistent with COVID-19, you must stay home and monitor your health for 14 days. Notification of such contact should be made as noted above.
 
As always, we encourage you to visit our new coronavirus (COVID-19) website: www.iit.edu/COVID-19. This website contains up-to-date information and communication regarding university plans and policies as well as important information from government authorities regarding COVID-19.
 
For more information, please visit chicago.gov/2019-nCoV or cdc.gov/coronavirus, email coronavirus@chicago.gov, or call 312.746.4835.
 
Sincerely,
 
Alan W. Cramb
President, Illinois Institute of Technology
 
Peter Kilpatrick
Provost, Illinois Institute of Technology
 
Nick Menhart
Chair, University Faculty Council, Illinois Institute of Technology

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

In light of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we want to again ask everyone in our university community to proactively practice social distancing strategies. While, at present, the university doesn’t have a confirmed case of COVID-19, practicing social distancing will not only protect your own health, but also very well may protect the health of friends and family members who may be more at risk. 

Social Distancing Best Practices

Moving all of our classes to online instruction is our most effective social distancing action. Elimination of in-class contact and the necessity of travel by students to our university locations will reduce the opportunity for transmission of any virus. Online education will be available throughout the semester for all students and all classes, even if classroom education is resumed at some future time. Starting on March 23 there will be no classes at our physical campus locations.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), social distancing is defined as: 
●    Remaining out of congregate settings (public places where close contact with others may occur, such as shopping centers, movie theaters, stadiums) 
●    Avoiding mass gatherings 
●    Maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible

The CDC also recommends the following steps for the workplace:
●    Increasing physical space between workers at the worksite
●    Staggering work schedules
●    Decreasing social contacts in the workplace (e.g., limit in-person meetings, meeting for lunch in a break room, etc.)

Given what we currently understand about the spread of the coronavirus through large crowds, any university-sponsored events on or off campus with 100 individuals or more have been suspended until further notice. 

Additionally, all university-sponsored air and train travel is suspended until further notice. This includes class activities, athletic endeavors, and conference attendance.

Students Are Not Required to be on Campus for Classes or Labs

To be clear, despite the fact that we anticipate making experiential learning facilities (including labs, studios, and other resources) open and available throughout the remainder of the semester, students will NOT be required to utilize these facilities in person to complete their coursework. This applies to IPRO as well as other labs and experiential learning classes.

These facilities will remain available at the discretion of instructors for students who choose to utilize them. Put simply, students will not be required to stay or return to campus to complete a studio, lab, or IPRO in person. We will ensure that you can finish your semester remotely.

As the university moves to deliver alternative methods of instruction after March 23, any student who believes that he or she may need a reasonable accommodation in connection therewith is urged to contact the university’s Center for Disability Resources at disabilities@iit.edu or 312.567.5744.   

External Events Are Suspended

Additionally, all outside events have been canceled on campus regardless of size, out of an abundance of caution. 

As always, we encourage you to visit our new coronavirus (COVID-19) website: www.iit.edu/COVID-19. This website contains up-to-date information and communication regarding university plans and policies as well as important information from government authorities regarding COVID-19.
 
For more information, please visit chicago.gov/2019-nCoV or cdc.gov/coronavirus, email coronavirus@chicago.gov, or call 312.746.4835.
 
Sincerely,

Alan W. Cramb
President, Illinois Institute of Technology

Peter Kilpatrick
Provost, Illinois Institute of Technology
 

As you saw yesterday, the university announced that we will be moving all academic instruction online until further notice. Although students are strongly encouraged to make plans not to return to campus, the residence halls and Greek houses will not close. The Commons dining hall will also not close. The hours of operation for all food venues can be found online along with the spring break hours of operation.

Again, any student who can go home for the remainder of the semester is encouraged to do so. If you plan to stay home for the remainder of the semester, please fill out this form. If you are traveling during spring break and do plan to return to your residence hall community, please fill out this form

Student Belongings
For students who are currently living on campus, have not left yet, and do not plan to return: Please box up the belongings you are leaving and place them on your side of your room. Please put your name and current room number on each box. 
For students who have already left campus and do not plan to return for the remainder of the semester: Illinois Tech staff will be boxing up your belongings. All items will be stored by Illinois Tech. 

UPass
As of now, the Chicago Transit Authority has not issued any information indicating that your UPass will not work. You can expect your UPass to work until May 10, 2020.

Student Travel
At this time, as per Chicago Department of Public Health guidance, any student returning to campus from any location with a substantial incidence of the coronavirus (COVID-19)—such as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-designated countries of risk or domestic locations such as greater New York, Seattle, and San Francisco/Sacramento—must stay home and monitor their health for 14 days. If you will be returning to the residence halls or Greek houses, please email dos@iit.edu so we can communicate specific instructions upon your return.

Food Service
The Commons, Global Grounds, and 10 West will be open regularly for the remainder of the semester. The hours of operation for each venue may vary. Please check the Illinois Tech Culinary and Hospitality Services website for up-to-date information.

Family Communication
A message to parents and family members was sent via email yesterday. However, if you are able, please feel free to forward appropriate communication to your parent(s) and/or family members to ensure that they are “in the know.”

Thank you for your patience as we continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation from the national to the local level. The university will continue to keep the community updated. For the most up-to-date information regarding Illinois Tech’s response to COVID-19, please visit https://www.iit.edu/COVID-19.

Please send any questions to dos@iit.edu.

Sincerely,
Katherine Stetz
Vice Provost, Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
 
As we continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-recommended precautions regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, I am writing to advise you of additional measures and policies our university will be enacting in response, particularly as the CDC recommends that all of their precautions be implemented for at least the next eight weeks. While, at present, the university does not have a confirmed case of COVID-19, our intention is that these proactive measures will help minimize risk.
 
Commencement Cancellation
 
Following public health guidance and best practices from peer institutions, the university will limit all meetings and gatherings to 10 people or fewer for the next eight weeks. As a result, we have made the very difficult decision to cancel the in-person, on-campus 2019–2020 commencement ceremonies. This applies to our university-wide Commencement Ceremony and all individual college-level ceremonies. 
 
Importantly, this decision applies only to the ceremonial aspects of the Commencement Ceremony. As mentioned last week, all degrees and all class credits will still be awarded at the end of the spring semester. As president, I will still confer degrees on Saturday, May 16, 2020, in a virtual ceremony. Additionally, all graduating students will be invited to return to campus to walk in future commencement ceremonies. Because commencement will not be held this year, all graduation fees will be refunded to students who have already paid the fees. Details on how to watch the virtual Commencement Ceremony will be forthcoming in a future communication.
 
Limiting Gatherings to 10 Individuals
 
Limiting all meetings to no more than 10 individuals will help minimize the risk of spreading the coronavirus (COVID-19) and, as such, we encourage the use of audio and video conferences for all students, faculty, and staff meetings whenever possible. As a reminder, the CDC recommends social distancing, so all individuals participating in in-person meetings and gatherings should maintain a safe distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) between themselves and others. This also means that the meeting capacity for any room should be set to ensure that all participants can follow the recommended social distancing of 6 feet.
 
In-Person Campus Resource Availability
 
Given these new limitations on groups of 10 individuals or more, our physical library facilities will not reopen following spring break. However, library staff will be available to students, faculty, and staff virtually, and additional online resources will be provided to accommodate this distance learning environment.

Additionally, Keating Sports Center will remain closed following spring break in accordance with this new guidance.
 
Limiting Time on Campus
 
As a reminder, students are encouraged not to return to campus following spring break if possible, and no student will be required to return to campus to complete a studio, lab, or IPRO in person. However, students who do not have the option to return home can return or stay in university housing. The university will, of course, remain open to provide essential scholarly, health, and food services. 
 
Students who plan to stay home for the remainder of the semester must fill out this form. Students who are traveling during spring break and do plan to return to their residence hall community must fill out this form
 
Subject to supervisor approval, staff are encouraged to work from home when possible, or to take vacation and/or sick time as appropriate. The university’s work-from-home policy is still in effect, and all work-from-home scenarios must be arranged and documented with your direct supervisor and the Office of Human Resources.
 
As always, we encourage you to visit our coronavirus (COVID-19) website: www.iit.edu/COVID-19. This website contains up-to-date information and communication regarding university plans and policies as well as important information from government authorities regarding COVID-19.
 
For more information, please visit chicago.gov/2019-nCoV or cdc.gov/coronavirus, email coronavirus@chicago.gov, or call 312.746.4835.
 
Thank you for your cooperation,
 
Alan W. Cramb
President, Illinois Institute of Technology
 
Peter Kilpatrick
Provost, Illinois Institute of Technology

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

I am writing today to share the news that a student in Stuart School of Business has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). This is the first confirmed case of COVID-19 at the university.

Following university policy and guidance from public health authorities, the student is in self-isolation off campus. 

Based on what we currently know, the student was last at the university on Thursday, March 12, and was asymptomatic. At this time, we understand that within the last 14 days the student was present on the Downtown Campus (Conviser Law Center) and Mies Campus, in particular IIT Tower, Stuart Building, and Keating Sports Center. The university has been and will continue conducting extensive cleaning in these locations to further limit the risks.

We are in the process of identifying and reaching out to students, faculty, and staff whom we have reason to believe may have had direct contact with this individual. We have been in communication with the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) regarding this situation, and all community members who are notified that they have been in direct contact with this individual will be advised to self-quarantine for the next 14 days.

Federal and state law prevents us from identifying the student, but as noted above, the university is working to notify anyone who had direct contact with this individual so that they may take appropriate action to self-quarantine.

As a reminder, if you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, self-quarantining is important to protect the people in your lives who might be more vulnerable to the virus. University policy requires that individuals in contact with someone with COVID-19 stay home and monitor their health for 14 days. 

As always, we encourage you to visit our coronavirus (COVID-19) website: www.iit.edu/COVID-19. This website contains up-to-date information and communication regarding university plans and policies as well as important information from government authorities regarding COVID-19.
 
For more information, please visit chicago.gov/2019-nCoV or cdc.gov/coronavirus, email coronavirus@chicago.gov, or call 312.746.4835.
 
Thank you for your cooperation,
 
Alan W. Cramb
President, Illinois Institute of Technology

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
 
We continue to work in conjunction with public health officials to enact policies and procedures that address our top priority: protecting the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. As we work to do our part in slowing the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), I also want to reassure every member of the Illinois Tech community that our commitment to our academic mission remains unwavering.
 
Returning to Campus After Spring Break
 
Public health officials in the State of Illinois and City of Chicago have expressed grave concerns about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), and as discussed below, they have taken, and are expected to continue to take, aggressive actions. In light of these current circumstances, the university must strongly urge students NOT to return to campus following spring break. No student is required to return to campus to complete a studio, lab, or IPRO in person. 
 
Students who have absolutely no other option but to return to the university must understand that they will be returning to a very different campus environment. The number of COVID-19 cases is increasing daily, and we already have had the first student identified with COVID-19. We already have a number of students still living in housing, most of whom had nowhere else to go, and we are concerned about their future health. All but the most basic university services will be limited. In particular, the university’s libraries, Keating Sports Center, and other recreational facilities will remain closed to protect the health and safety of faculty, students, and staff. No classrooms will be open. Although food services will be operating, selections will be limited, and students should expect grab-and-go service only in lieu of normal dining services. Additionally, because of government social-distancing guidelines, the campus shuttle will not operate for the remainder of the spring semester. 

In accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, gatherings of more than 10 people will not be allowed. Further, you must be aware that orders issued by the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago have closed bars, restaurants, theaters, and other entertainment venues. There has also been talk, but not yet action, indicating that state or city officials may issue mandatory lockdowns or shelter-in-place orders that will severely restrict people’s movements. However, the university believes you need to be aware that the possibility of such lockdowns has been discussed. 
 
Returning to Campus in a Self-Quarantine Situation

Any student who does return must immediately identify themselves and should anticipate being quarantined.

Additionally, students, faculty, or staff who come into contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 OR have a fever of over 100.5 degrees or other symptoms consistent with COVID-19 must do the same. 
 
Students who fall into either of these categories must notify the Office of the Dean of Students at 312.567.3081 or dos@iit.edu. Faculty and staff who fall into this category must notify the Office of Human Resources at 312.567.3318 or hr@iit.edu.
 
If any returning students should fall into either of the above categories, they must remain in self-quarantine for 14 days. During this time, meals will be provided in a safe and sterile way, but in-person social interaction will be severely limited to help protect the safety of the whole campus community.
 
Campus Deep-Cleaning Procedures

In addition to moving all classroom activity online and implementing social distancing practices, our campus facilities and maintenance teams have increased their custodial operations in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, which includes continual deep-cleaning of public, commonly touched spaces. 
 
Janitorial service increased cleaning beginning in late February, and since March 6, the university directed its custodial vendor to initiate further enhanced and targeted cleaning measures, consistent with CDC guidance for cleaning and disinfecting procedures and use of antiviral products. Among other things, this has resulted in additional and more regular cleaning of bathrooms, elevators, and other commonly touched surfaces.
 
While buildings that house essential services will remain open to support the critical needs of students, we have closed classrooms to ensure that our custodial teams can focus their efforts on spaces that are currently in use.
 
Critical Communications from Administrators to Our Community

Understanding that this is an evolving situation, we will continue to communicate any updates to policies and procedures primarily via email, which will then be shared on our COVID-19 website: www.iit.edu/COVID-19. This website contains up-to-date information and communication regarding university plans and policies, as well as important information from government authorities regarding COVID-19.
 
Should you know of any member of our community who is NOT receiving these critical updates at the moment, please have them contact the Office of Technology Services immediately at supportdesk@iit.edu or 312.567.3375.
 
As always, any emergent situations that present a clear and present danger to our campus community will also be communicated via Rave as well. We encourage students, faculty, and staff to sign up for Rave alerts via their my.iit.edu portal, if they have not already done so.
 
Testing for COVID-19
We have had several questions regarding the availability of COVID-19 testing. We continue to work with the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) on these matters, and currently, CDPH is issuing the following guidance with regard to testing:

Do I need to get tested for COVID-19?

No Symptoms:

  • If you don’t have any symptoms, you do NOT need to be tested for COVID-19.

Mild Symptoms:

  • If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19, contact your health care provider early, even if your illness is mild. Your health care provider will evaluate your health and decide whether you need to be tested.
  • If you are NOT at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19, you do NOT need to be evaluated in person and do NOT need to be tested for COVID-19. Keep in mind that there is no treatment for COVID-19 and if you are mildly ill, there is no need to call your health care provider. You should stay home away from others.

Severe Symptoms:
If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or difficulty waking up
  • Bluish lips or face

For more information regarding testing and the latest public health guidance from the City of Chicago, please visit chicago.gov/2019-nCoV or cdc.gov/coronavirus, email coronavirus@chicago.gov, or call 312.746.4835.
 
Thank you for your cooperation,

Alan W. Cramb
President, Illinois Institute of Technology

Dear Staff Colleagues,

I would like to thank each of you for the incredible resolve, diligence, and concern that you have shown during this challenging time.

Our university is a special community, dedicated to the idea that we can advance Chicago and the world by making a rigorous and quality education available to all who seek it. This commitment to our students is what unifies and connects us. It makes us unique, even among other universities. I don’t have to tell you that the needs of our students and our university have never been as challenging as they are now. But, after witnessing your ingenuity, creativity, and unfailing dedication this past week, I know that we, as a community with a common mission, are more than capable of meeting any challenge we face.

Our administration continues to work with public health officials to enact policies and procedures that will address our top priority: protecting the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. Given the environment and your importance as community members, I am announcing several new policies meant to help you and your families during this difficult time.

Supporting Time Away from Work for Employees

As you know, we have encouraged as many of our staff members as possible to work from home, and I thank all of you who remain committed to your work even though you're unable to come to campus. I also thank those who are still in the office for your commitment and your diligence in practicing safe social distancing. We know that many of you are parents and are juggling childcare and remote learning while also continuing to do important work for our university. We also recognize this is simply a stressful time for all of us. 

Because of that, I encourage as many of you as possible to take some time away from work, when  possible. Everyone should take one day a week of vacation to provide time to focus on your physical and mental health, your children, and all of your family members at this time. To facilitate this, I am directing all supervisors to be extremely flexible in approving vacation for their employees. This means, for example, that any request for vacation should be approved unless the person’s absence will significantly impair the university’s ability to maintain essential services. We should all consider working only four days and taking one day as vacation during this crisis. I cannot direct you to do this but I believe this is important at this time. It is why we accrue vacation: to allow us to refresh and recover.

Allowing Time Off from Future Accruals

Further, we are enacting a temporary policy that will allow anyone at a zero balance for time off to go negative and draw down from future accruals (i.e., borrow future time). This policy will be in place between now and June 30, 2020, and will allow staff members at zero balances to go negative up to the maximum accrual they would earn between the time of the request and the end of this calendar year. Any staff member interested in utilizing this policy should reach out to the Office of Human Resources at hr@iit.edu or to any direct member of the human resources team for support in understanding the options available to you.

Establishing COVID-19 Leave Time for Those Impacted by a Diagnosis

We are also immediately enacting a second temporary policy that applies to staff members who are diagnosed with COVID-19, who need to take time off to care for a family member diagnosed with COVID-19, or who are directed by their health care provider to self-quarantine. Eligible individuals will be allowed to take up to 10 days off before utilizing any of their current time off balances or leveraging the policy referenced above, which allows a staff member to go negative on time off balances. This policy is also in place through June 30, 2020.

Chartwells Lunch for On-Campus Essential Staff

Finally, anyone who continues to work on campus will receive free lunch from Chartwells in the Commons on days in which they must be on-campus.

Parking Restrictions Lifted Temporarily

Parking enforcement will no longer be issuing tickets for those who still need to work onsite at the university.

Shipment of Sanitary Masks for Essential Use from Illinois Tech Employees in China

In a much-appreciated demonstration of support and solidarity, our colleagues in Illinois Tech’s China office are shipping sanitary masks to our campus to assist with protecting the health and safety of community members.

Finally, I again encourage all of you to take time off, and I am pleased to enact these temporary policies that will allow all of our staff members, regardless of current time off balances, to take time to focus on themselves and their families.

As always, we encourage you to visit our new coronavirus (COVID-19) website: www.iit.edu/COVID-19. This website contains up-to-date information and communication regarding university plans and policies as well as important information from government authorities regarding COVID-19.

For more information, please visit chicago.gov/2019-nCoV or cdc.gov/coronavirus, email coronavirus@chicago.gov, or call 312.746.4835.

Sincerely,

Alan W. Cramb
President, Illinois Institute of Technology

To All Illinois Tech Faculty, Staff, and Students,

The university is announcing a temporary shift in academic policy to move to an enhanced PASS/FAIL grading modality this semester. This was broadly supported by both the faculty in a special UFC meeting today, as well as the SGA in their efforts to poll students and develop a position through the student governance process.  

In implementing this policy, we recognize the stress experienced by both students and faculty in moving all courses online this semester, as well as the anticipated challenges in the coming weeks associated with the global COVID-19 pandemic. We understand that for some classes, some students, and some faculty, the usual letter grade scale would still be possible and desirable. However, this is not the case for all, and it is not possible for any of us to know the specific situation faced by everyone in any class. In adopting a uniform policy, we place a premium on fairness and consistency across the university. Employers and graduate schools will clearly recognize this semester as “the COVID-19 crisis” semester and a uniform presentation of P/F grades on transcripts will make it clear that this was the result of this event only, and thus will not reflect negatively on any student.

The following is the specific policy that will be implemented:

All undergraduate courses will move to PASS/FAIL grading for the Spring 2020 semester. Graduating seniors only may petition for letter grades to be entered. Accommodation will be made in academic standing, probation, and graduation reviews. In those cases, quality performance information from instructors will be part of the review to judge where necessary. Chicago-Kent College of Law, Stuart School of Business, the Institute of Design, and the Graduate College will shortly announce their own policies and the basis for those policies.

We anticipate that all future semesters will be run according to standard grading policies, including any enhanced online classes in the summer semester.

Peter Kilpatrick
Provost and Senior Vice President    

Nicholas Menhart
University Faculty Council Chair

Eric Scott
SGA President

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
 
As you may already know, Governor J. B. Pritzker today issued a stay-at-home order for the state of Illinois, effective at 5 p.m. tomorrow, March 21. We are sharing the information below based on the governor’s initial public announcement, and we will update the university community as necessary. I trust that everyone in the university will abide by these restrictions for the health and safety of our city and state. 

What a Stay-at-Home Order Means for Students, Faculty, and Staff

Effective tomorrow evening at 5 p.m., all Illinois residents, including students, faculty, and staff, will be expected to remain in their homes until April 7, with the exception of certain essential personnel or travel for essential services. Grocery stores, pharmacies, medical facilities, and restaurants offering takeout/delivery options will remain open during this time, but City of Chicago facilities, including all parks and libraries, will be closed until further notice. The order also allows individuals to go outside for the purpose of fresh air and exercise, provided that, while outside, individuals follow social distancing practices. 

On-Campus Students

For on-campus students, this means that your movements will be restricted to the dorms, dining facilities, The McCormick Tribune Campus Center (MTCC) and travel for essential services listed above, but we urge students to stay in their rooms to the extent possible. 

University administrators have planned for contingencies in which students’ movement is restricted to dorms. Meals will be served as grab-and-go in The Commons for students to take to eat in their rooms or in keeping with social distancing guidelines. 

No Students to Return to Campus

To abide by the governor’s order, students who are currently away from campus cannot return to campus. If you are presently in Illinois, you must stay in your home. If you are outside Illinois, please follow the guidelines of state and local authorities. As a reminder, no students will be required to return to campus to complete a studio, lab, or IPRO in person for the remainder of the semester.

Faculty and Staff Restrictions

With the exception of staff who have been designated as necessary to maintain essential services, all staff should be working from home or utilizing vacation and/or sick time, per earlier communications. Supervisors will personally notify any employees designated for essential services, but please feel free to contact your supervisor with any questions.

As always, we encourage you to visit our coronavirus (COVID-19) website: www.iit.edu/COVID-19. This website contains up-to-date information and communication regarding university plans and policies as well as important information from government authorities regarding COVID-19.
 
For more information regarding testing and the latest public health guidance from the City of Chicago, please visit chicago.gov/2019-nCoV or cdc.gov/coronavirus, email coronavirus@chicago.gov, or call 312.746.4835.
 
Thank you for your cooperation,
 
Alan W. Cramb
President, Illinois Institute of Technology

Today, Friday, March 20, 2020, in accordance with Governor Pritzker’s shelter-in-place order, Illinois Tech is requiring that all research labs and facilities must be completely shut down no later than 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, 2020, which is the date and time that the order takes effect. No faculty, staff, or students will be allowed into research labs and facilities unless they are approved by the university as “essential staff”. At this time, the order is set to be in place until April 7, 2020, but it may be extended. Thus, we are unable to identify exactly how long this closure will remain in place.


If any faculty member has strong reasons (e.g., health and life safety, research relevant to urgent medical research, sensitive research that is at a critical stage) that their research lab or facility should not be shut down, they must appeal to Vice Provost for Research Fred Hickernell, hickernell@iit.edu, who will consult with Provost Peter Kilpatrick to reach a decision. With their appeal, faculty members should provide all relevant details in support of their position, as decisions will be made based on the order’s restrictions and applicable facts and circumstances of the research.


As you prepare to shut down your labs, please consult the following resources:
●    Research Contingency Planning Guidance
●    Resources for Research During COVID-19

Each faculty member should take all safety precautions in shutting down their labs. If you have any questions, please contact Cindy Chaffee, cchaffee@iit.edu.

We will continue to provide updates, and additional information will be posted on Illinois Tech’s website under Resources for Research During COVID-19. Please check the website regularly. 


If you have any questions, please contact Fred Hickernell at hickernell@iit.edu and Domenica Pappas at pappas@iit.edu.


Thank you,

Fred J. Hickernell
Vice Provost for Research

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

As we resume our academic programs today, we are keenly aware that we begin our work in a different local, national, and global context. With that, I want to highlight a few programmatic changes that we have enacted over the last days and weeks to ensure that we are all able to continue the critical work of our university in as safe and healthy a manner as possible.

Moving to Online Instruction
Effective today, March 23, all academic classroom instruction has been moved online until further notice. While classroom instruction may be possible in the future, all courses will be taught online until the end of the semester to allow remote students to complete the semester. As a reminder, no students should return to campus to complete a studio, lab, or IPRO in person for the remainder of the semester.

Essential Services Remain Open for Those Remaining on Campus
We have directed students to not return to campus until further notice and to finish the semester from home, if at all possible. 

However, students who do not have the option to return home will be able to return and to stay in university housing, and the university will remain open to provide essential scholarly, health, and food services. 

Any student who does return must immediately identify themselves and should anticipate being quarantined. Additionally, students, faculty, or staff who come into contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 OR have a fever of over 100.5 degrees or other symptoms consistent with COVID-19 must do the same. 
 
Students who fall into either of these categories must notify the Office of the Dean of Students at 312.567.3081 or dos@iit.edu. Faculty and staff who fall into this category must notify the Office of Human Resources at 312.567.3318 or hr@iit.edu.

Abiding by Governor J. B. Pritzker’s Stay-at-Home Order
Effective Saturday, March 21, all Illinois residents, including students, faculty, and staff, are expected to remain in their homes through April 7, with the exception of certain essential personnel or for travel for essential services by order of the governor.

For on-campus students, this means that your movements will be restricted to the dorms, dining facilities, The McCormick Tribune Campus Center (MTCC), and travel for essential services listed in the order, but we urge students to stay in their rooms to the extent possible. Meals will be served as grab-and-go in The Commons for students to take to eat in their rooms or in keeping with social distancing guidelines. 

On-Campus Facilities
With the exception of the student service areas, including MTCC, dining facilities, and dorms, all academic spaces outside of IIT Tower are closed in compliance with the statewide mandate.

The university’s libraries, Keating Sports Center, and other recreational facilities will remain closed to protect the health and safety of faculty, students, and staff. Additionally, because of government social-distancing guidelines, the campus shuttle will not operate for the remainder of the spring semester. 

In light of this, research labs and facilities are closed for the duration of the governor’s order. No faculty, staff, or students will be allowed into research labs and facilities unless they are approved by the university as “essential staff.” At this time, the order is set to be in place through April 7, but we appreciate your flexibility in the event that this order is extended.

Working from Home
With the exception of staff who have been designated as necessary to maintain essential services, all staff should be working from home or utilizing vacation and/or sick time, per earlier communications. We are also encouraging staff to take vacation time as needed, especially as many of us have increased personal and family demands during this challenging time.

Commencement
Following public health guidance and best practices from peer institutions, the university has limited all meetings and gatherings to 10 people or fewer for the next eight weeks. As a result, we have made the very difficult decision to cancel the in-person, on-campus 2019–2020 commencement ceremonies. This applies to our university-wide Commencement Ceremony and all individual college-level ceremonies. 
 
Importantly, this decision applies only to the ceremonial aspects of the Commencement Ceremony. As mentioned last week, all degrees and all class credits will still be awarded at the end of the spring semester. As president, I will still confer degrees on Saturday, May 16, 2020, in a virtual ceremony. Additionally, all graduating students will be invited to return to campus to walk in future commencement ceremonies. All graduation fees will be refunded to students who have already paid the fees. Details on how to watch the virtual Commencement Ceremony will be forthcoming in a future communication.

Pass/Fail Grading
On Friday, March 20, we announced a temporary shift in academic policy to move to an enhanced PASS/FAIL grading modality for undergraduate students this semester. This was broadly supported by both the faculty in a special UFC meeting, as well as the SGA in their efforts to poll students and develop a position through the student governance process.  

However, it is important to note that graduating seniors, and only graduating seniors, may petition for letter grades to be entered
 
As always, we encourage you to visit our coronavirus (COVID-19) website: www.iit.edu/COVID-19. This website contains up-to-date information and communication regarding university plans and policies as well as important information from government authorities regarding COVID-19.
 
For more information regarding testing and the latest public health guidance from the City of Chicago, please visit chicago.gov/2019-nCoV or cdc.gov/coronavirus, email coronavirus@chicago.gov, or call 312.746.4835.
 
Thank you for your cooperation,
 
Alan W. Cramb
President, Illinois Institute of Technology

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
 
I am writing to inform you that a Chicago-Kent College of Law student has tested positive for the coronavirus, the second confirmed case of COVID-19 at the university.

In accordance with university policy, the student has been in self-isolation off campus. 

The student reports that they were last at Conviser Law Center (CLC) on March 11, and they believe, based on their activities, that they were likely exposed to the virus a couple of days after they were last on campus. 

Per published guidance from the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), anyone who may have had contact with someone who has the coronavirus should self-quarantine for 14 days. Given that the student was last on campus on March 11, today is the last day of this 14-day period.  

University staff are in the process of identifying and reaching out to students, faculty, and staff whom we have reason to believe may have had direct contact with this individual. If you are not contacted, that means that the university has no reason to believe that you were in direct contact with the student. We also have been in communication with the CDPH regarding this situation.

Federal and state law prevents us from identifying the student, but as noted above, the university is working to notify anyone who had direct contact with this individual so that they may take appropriate action to self-quarantine.

The university has been and will continue conducting extensive cleaning at the CLC to further limit the risks. 

As a general reminder, if you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, self-quarantining is important to protect the people in your lives who might be more vulnerable to the virus. University policy requires that individuals in contact with someone with COVID-19 stay home and monitor their health for 14 days from the date of contact. 
 
As always, we encourage you to visit our coronavirus (COVID-19) website: www.iit.edu/COVID-19. This website contains up-to-date information and communication regarding university plans and policies as well as important information from government authorities regarding COVID-19. You are also welcome to call 312.567.5810 for university-related information regarding COVID-19.

For more information, please visit chicago.gov/2019-nCoV or cdc.gov/coronavirus, email coronavirus@chicago.gov, or call 312.746.4835.
 
Thank you for your cooperation,
 
Alan W. Cramb
President, Illinois Institute of Technology

Dear Faculty and Staff,

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, Human Resources is working diligently with our benefits vendors to provide additional resources and support for members of the Illinois Tech community. I would like to highlight the features that provide more support to our community.

Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Health Plan: Effective Wednesday, April 1, the university will be adding MDLIVE virtual visits access for all currently covered members. This allows members to access MDLIVE physicians 24/7/365 or by appointment for a variety of non-emergency physical and behavioral health needs. MDLIVE physicians are able to diagnose certain conditions that do not require lab tests and to prescribe medications if appropriate. They may be able to prescribe refills of current medications for those unable to reach their primary care doctors. PPO plan members’ MDLIVE visits will be subject to the regular $20 copay, and HDHP members’ visits will be subject to the deductible and coinsurance. All members will receive new BCBS ID cards due to this change. Please click here for additional information.

Please note that MDLIVE physicians cannot diagnose COVID-19 virtually. However, they can assist members by discussing symptoms and providing telemedicine support. MDLIVE physicians can also refer individuals with severe cases to emergency departments for testing, in accordance with current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Please be aware that not all in-network providers are connected through MDLIVE. If a member would like to set up a virtual visit with their current provider and that provider is not connected through MDLIVE, their provider must offer telehealth visits in order for the member to set up a virtual visit.

Note: students covered under the Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan have access to telehealth services through Aetna. These services have been broadened during the COVID-19 crisis. Click here for additional information.

BCBS has made a Coronavirus Digital Toolkit available. All Illinois Tech employees have access to the toolkit, regardless of benefit elections. For additional support and resources, any member of the Illinois Tech community can contact the Coronavirus Support and Resources Hotline toll free at 1.844.244.7657. Please note that this hotline is staffed from 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday.

LifeWorks Employee Assistance Program also has a COVID-19 Toolkit available to Illinois Tech employees and their families. The toolkit does not require login credentials. Additionally, LifeWorks continues to be available for any necessary short-term counseling services, legal assistance, financial assistance, and more. Access information is available on the HR Portal Employee Assistance Program benefits page.

For additional information on resources related to our other benefit plans, such as dental, vision, and commuter benefits, please visit the HR Portal COVID-19 Benefits page.

As always, we encourage you to visit our coronavirus (COVID-19) website: www.iit.edu/COVID-19. This website contains up-to-date information and communication regarding university plans and policies as well as important information from government authorities regarding COVID-19.

For more information regarding testing and the latest public health guidance from the City of Chicago, please visit chicago.gov/2019-nCoV or cdc.gov/coronavirus, email coronavirus@chicago.gov, or call 312.746.4835.

Thank you for your continued service and support to our university community.

Alan W. Cramb
President, Illinois Institute of Technology

Dear Students,

I want to take a moment to recognize the incredible resolve and resilience that you have shown during these difficult times.

During these challenging days for our community and the wider world, I know many of you are looking to the future with some apprehension and a lot of uncertainty. I want you to know that the university stands with you during this time.

Every faculty and staff member, every food and custodial partner, and every public safety officer is dedicated, to the best of their abilities, to protecting your health while advancing your academic endeavors. We are all here because we believe in your potential and want to contribute to your growth and future success. I am thankful for everyone who continues to work every day under these challenging circumstances to support and protect our students.

I am deeply heartened by the strength, determination, and adaptability that all of our students have demonstrated as we negotiate what each new day brings. It was one week ago that all classes were moved online, and to date, this transition seems to be going well. However, as previously communicated, any student who believes that they may need a reasonable accommodation in connection therewith is urged to contact the university’s Center for Disability Resources at disabilities@iit.edu or 312.567.5744.

We are working to provide additional support resources to our students during this time. As a result, today I am announcing that Aetna will be waiving all student member fees for Teledoc general medicine, mental health, and dermatology visits through June 4, 2020. This will allow Illinois Tech’s student Aetna members to access Teledoc physicians 24/7/365 or by appointment for a variety of non-emergency physical and behavioral health needs. While COVID-19 diagnoses are not available via telehealth, Teledoc physicians are able to diagnose certain conditions that do not require lab tests and to prescribe medications, if appropriate.

In addition, Aetna Health offers 24/7 remote support through the Student Assistant Plan (SAP). The SAP is a 24-hour hotline available for students to call if they need information or just want to talk to someone. The toll-free hotline is 1.877.351.7889. A variety of online information about local resources and global issues can be found at lifecare.com/aetnasap. The school ID is IIT.

Students can also email the Student Health and Wellness Center at student.health@iit.edu to schedule an appointment with a counselor.

On behalf of the faculty, staff, and administrators at Illinois Tech, I want to thank each and every one of you for your incredible spirit of unity. We are all in this together.

Sincerely,

Alan W. Cramb
President, Illinois Institute of Technology

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
 
Today Governor J. B. Pritzker announced the extension of the state-wide stay-at-home order for Illinois through April 30. We are sharing the information below based on the governor’s initial public announcement, and we will continue to update the university community as necessary. As with the initial order, I trust that everyone in the university will abide by these restrictions for the health and safety of others in our city and state. 

What a Stay-at-Home Order Means for Students, Faculty, and Staff

All Illinois residents, including students, faculty, and staff, will be expected to remain in their homes through April 30, with the exception of certain essential personnel or for travel to obtain essential services. Grocery stores, pharmacies, medical facilities, and restaurants offering takeout/delivery options will remain open during this time, but City of Chicago facilities, including  libraries and Chicago Public Schools, will be closed until further notice. With the exception of lakefront parks and trails, which have been closed, the order also allows individuals to go outside for the purpose of fresh air and exercise, provided that, while outside, individuals follow social distancing practices. 

On-Campus Students

For on-campus students, this means that your movements will be restricted to the dorms, dining facilities, The McCormick Tribune Campus Center (MTCC), and travel for essential services listed above, but we strongly urge students, for their own safety, to stay in their rooms to the extent possible. 

University administrators have planned for contingencies in which students’ movement is actually restricted to dorms. Meals will continue to be served as grab-and-go in The Commons for students to take to eat in their rooms or in keeping with social distancing guidelines. 

No Students to Return to Campus

To abide by the governor’s order, students who are currently away from campus cannot return to campus. If you are presently in Illinois, you must stay in your home. If you are outside Illinois, please follow the guidelines of your state and local authorities. As a reminder, no students will be required to return to campus to complete a studio, lab, or IPRO in person for the remainder of the semester.

Faculty and Staff Restrictions

With the exception of staff who have been designated as necessary to maintain essential services, all staff should be working from home or utilizing vacation and/or sick time, per earlier communications. Supervisors have personally notified any employees designated for essential services, but please feel free to contact your supervisor with any questions.

As always, we encourage you to visit our coronavirus (COVID-19) website: www.iit.edu/COVID-19. This website contains up-to-date information and communication regarding university plans and policies as well as important information from government authorities regarding COVID-19. You are also welcome to call 312.567.5810 for university-related information regarding COVID-19 which is monitored from 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. CST.
 
For more information regarding testing and the latest public health guidance from the City of Chicago, please visit chicago.gov/2019-nCoV or cdc.gov/coronavirus, email coronavirus@chicago.gov, or call 312.746.4835.
 
Thank you for your cooperation,
 
Alan W. Cramb
President, Illinois Institute of Technology

Dear Illinois Tech Students and Faculty,
 
On March 20, the university announced a new, temporary posture toward its grading policy due to the unique circumstances that we are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The framework for our grading policy had significant input from SGA leadership, the student body through a survey conducted through Facebook, the University Faculty Council, and the Office of the Provost. In the last two weeks, we have received a great number of communications from both students and faculty about our policy. On Friday, the University Faculty Council reviewed and approved the final form of these policies for our campus, which will be in effect for the spring 2020 semester. The full grading policy and FAQs concerning it are at https://www.iit.edu/COVID-19/pass-fail-policy-faq. The following is a summary of the policy, but please review the policy and the answers to the FAQs carefully for a full understanding of its terms.
 
In the Undergraduate College, all undergraduate students will be graded on a pass-fail basis. Graduating seniors may request that they receive grades this semester by navigating to this website and completing the form: https://iit.secure.force.com/form?formid=217935. Graduating seniors do not need to provide a reason for submitting the request; they must merely check the box that they are graduating in May 2020. All other undergraduate students may also petition to receive grades if they believe the pass-fail policy will cause substantive negative impact on them. Specifics on the petition process, including the criteria under which petitions will be evaluated, are set forth in the policy and answers to the FAQs. We encourage these students to consult with their academic advisers before submitting a petition. Specific criteria for petitioning for grades may be found on the Illinois Tech COVID-19 website at https://www.iit.edu/COVID-19/pass-fail-policy-faq. The deadline for filing a petition is Sunday, April 12, 2020.

Students of the Institute of Design will also be graded on a pass-fail basis. These students will have the same petition rights as non-graduating undergraduates, and their petitions will be evaluated pursuant to the same criteria. However, these students must file the same form of petition as a student in the Graduate College. Again, the submission deadline is Sunday, April 12.
  
Students of the Graduate College and graduate students in Stuart School of Business and the College of Architecture will continue to receive letter grades for all courses. These graduate students may also petition to be graded pass-fail if they can demonstrate they will experience a negative impact due to their special circumstances. Again, specifics on the petition process, including the criteria under which petitions will be evaluated, are set forth in the policy and answers to the FAQs. Petitions must be submitted on or before Sunday, April 12, 2020. Graduate students may submit a petition through the G701 Form. Graduate students should consult their academic advisers and submit their petitions by email to their graduate advisers, who will forward the petitions to Graduate Academic Affairs.
 
In Chicago-Kent College of Law, all students will be graded pass-fail for the spring 2020 semester in all of their courses. Any student who believes that the mandatory pass-fail policy will have a negative effect on them in the manner specified below may file a petition for letter grades to be entered for all of their spring 2020 classes. (For the avoidance of doubt, students cannot petition to receive letter grades for only select classes.) Variance petitions will be granted only if receiving letter grades is a requirement for the students’ external education funding or in similar unusual circumstances. Petitions that meet this standard will be granted; petitions that do not will be denied. Petitions must be submitted to variance@kentlaw.iit.edu by Sunday, April 12, 2020.
 
Co-terminal students will be governed by undergraduate policies and, in the spring 2020 semester, will be graded pass-fail. As discussed above, students may petition if they believe they have significant and demonstrable reasons for doing so. For shared courses, co-terminal students will have a letter grade assigned for the master’s programs, and this will be converted to an S or U grade for the undergraduate program.
 
These policies are now set for the spring 2020 semester only, and our normal policies will be in place for summer 2020 and fall 2020. Again, I urge you to review the policy and the answers to the FAQs so that you have a full understanding of how the new policy will be implemented. We also request that all students and faculty respect the deliberative process that led us to this policy and engage with faculty, staff, and administrators in a respectful and professional manner.
 
Thank you all for the extraordinary manner in which you have risen to the occasion in this challenging and unprecedented time. I am proud to be a Scarlet Hawk!
 
Sincerely,
 
Peter Kilpatrick
Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, Illinois Institute of Technology

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

As our city and state continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, we must do our part to help slow the spread of the coronavirus throughout Chicago.

As a reminder, it is our responsibility as a community of concerned and conscientious individuals to take the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-recommended social distancing practices seriously. Based on what we know about this disease, these measures are the most important actions we can take as individuals to help slow its spread, flatten the curve, and ensure the health and safety of those at risk.

Use Face Coverings in Common Areas

In accordance with new CDC guidance, we recommend and urge you to wear a cloth face covering in all common areas of the university and in public. This is especially important to reduce the spread of the coronavirus from asymptomatic individuals who may not be aware they are contagious.

This video from the CDC shows how you can use household items to make your own face covering.
Going forward, the university expects all staff, faculty, and contractors to wear face coverings or masks while on campus. Like many other entities, the university has been working to procure face masks for distribution to students, faculty, and staff; please be aware that this high demand likely means that it will take more time than normal to get face masks delivered to us. Until then, please refer to and act in accordance with the CDC’s guidance regarding face coverings.

Social Distancing Best Practices

In addition to moving classes online and promoting work-from-home for faculty and staff—which are the biggest social distancing measures our university can take—social distancing is required for all those still on our campus and should be followed by everyone. As defined by the CDC:

Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home. To practice social or physical distancing:

  • Stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people
  • Do not gather in groups
  • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings

In addition to everyday steps to prevent COVID-19, keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools we have to avoid being exposed to this virus and to slowing its spread locally and across the country and world.

Tips for Social Distancing

  • Follow guidance from authorities where you live.
    • If you need to shop for food or medicine at the grocery store or pharmacy, stay at least 6 feet away from others.
    • Use mail-order for medications, if possible.
    • Consider a grocery delivery service.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others, including when you have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store.
    • Stay at least 6 feet between yourself and others, even when you wear a face covering.
  • Avoid large and small gatherings in private places and public spaces, such as a friend’s house, parks, restaurants, shops, or any other place. This advice applies to people of any age, including teens and younger adults. Children should not have in-person playdates while school is out. To help maintain social connections while social distancing, learn tips to keep children healthy while school’s out.
  • Work from home when possible.
  • If possible, avoid using any kind of public transportation, ridesharing, or taxis.
  • If you are a student or parent, talk to your school about options for digital/distance learning.

As always, we encourage you to visit our coronavirus (COVID-19) website: www.iit.edu/COVID-19. This website contains up-to-date information and communication regarding university plans and policies as well as important information from government authorities regarding COVID-19. You are also welcome to call 312.567.5810 for university-related information regarding COVID-19. Calls are monitored from 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. CST.

For more information regarding testing and the latest public health guidance from the City of Chicago, please visit chicago.gov/2019-nCoV or cdc.gov/coronavirus, email coronavirus@chicago.gov, or call 312.746.4835.

These are short-term sacrifices for long-term benefits.

Thank you for your cooperation,

Alan W. Cramb
President, Illinois Institute of Technology

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
 
Yesterday Governor J. B. Pritzker announced the extension of the state-wide stay-at-home order for Illinois through May 30. We are sharing the information below based on the governor’s initial public announcement, and we will continue to update the university community as necessary. As with the initial order, I trust that everyone in the university will abide by these restrictions for the health and safety of others in our city and state. 

What a Stay-at-Home Order Means for Students, Faculty, and Staff

In general, all Illinois residents, including students, faculty, and staff, will be expected to remain in their homes through May 30, with the exception of certain essential personnel or for travel to obtain essential services and for certain other specific authorized activities as noted below. The residence halls are still scheduled to close on May 9, 2020. Students who planned to move out of the residence halls will be allowed to do so, and the Office of Residence Life will be sending instructions for move out on Monday. Please note, the move-out process will be structured and coordinated to conform to applicable public-health guidance, and all individuals moving out shall move out in strict conformance with the established process. Grocery stores, pharmacies, medical facilities, and restaurants offering takeout/delivery options will continue to remain open during this time, but City of Chicago facilities, including libraries and Chicago Public Schools, will remain closed until further notice. While the governor announced a phased-in reopening of state parks, the order also allows individuals to go outside for the purpose of fresh air and exercise, provided that, while outside, individuals follow social distancing practices. 

Required Face Coverings

Governor Pritzker yesterday announced a new requirement that anyone over 2 years old wear a mask or face covering when in a public place and unable to maintain a distance of six feet from others. 

Additional Business Openings

Under yesterday’s regulations, greenhouses, garden centers, nurseries, and animal grooming services will be allowed to reopen, and retail stores not designated as essential will also be able to reopen but only to fulfill phone and online orders for curbside pickup and delivery.

On-Campus Students

University housing will remain open for students who cannot travel home at this time. Students who need to live on campus should submit a housing contract for the summer through MyRoom in the myIIT portal. For students who plan to remain on campus through May, this means that your movements will be restricted to the dorms, dining facilities, The McCormick Tribune Campus Center (MTCC), and travel for essential services listed above, but we strongly urge students, for their own safety, to stay in their rooms to the extent possible. 

Meals will continue to be served as grab-and-go in The Commons through May 9, 2020. Meal service hours after May 9 will be posted soon.
 
No Students to Return to Campus

To abide by the governor’s order, students who are currently away from campus cannot return to campus, except to remove personal items. As mentioned earlier, the Office of Residence Life will be communicating shortly on the process to remove personal items from the residence halls. As noted, the move-out process will be structured and coordinated to conform to applicable public-health guidance, and all individuals moving out shall move out in strict conformance with the established process. No one should arrive on campus to move out until they have been notified of when they may do so. If you are presently in Illinois, you should conduct yourself in accordance with the governor’s order. If you are outside Illinois, please follow the guidelines of your state and local authorities. As a reminder, no students will be required to return to campus to complete a studio, lab, or IPRO in person for the remainder of the semester.

Faculty and Staff Restrictions

With the exception of staff who have been designated as necessary to maintain essential services, all staff should be working from home or utilizing vacation and/or sick time, per earlier communications. Supervisors have personally notified any employees designated for essential services, but please feel free to contact your supervisor with any questions.

As always, we encourage you to visit our coronavirus (COVID-19) website: www.iit.edu/COVID-19. This website contains up-to-date information and communication regarding university plans and policies as well as important information from government authorities regarding COVID-19. You are also welcome to call 312.567.5810 for university-related information regarding COVID-19; this number is monitored from 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. CST.
 
For more information regarding testing and the latest public health guidance from the City of Chicago, please visit chicago.gov/2019-nCoV or cdc.gov/coronavirus, email coronavirus@chicago.gov, or call 312.746.4835.
 
Thank you for your cooperation,
 
Alan W. Cramb
President, Illinois Institute of Technology

Dear Illinois Tech Scarlet Hawks,

We are now more than six weeks into our shelter-in-place conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope and trust that you are all safe and well with your families and friends, or here at Illinois Tech in our residence halls, but we know these are challenging and stressful times for you. Our hope is that you are managing these challenges well. Our purpose today is to communicate a number of items that we hope will be of help and solace to you.

Completing Classes This Semester

In large part we have heard very positive reports from most of you that classes are going well online. Our faculty have worked hard to deliver their courses with learning outcomes that are just as good as if you were on campus and in the classroom. Most students have expressed the sentiment that they are just as pleased with the content and delivery as they were before the lockdown. Our Office of Digital Learning has worked hard to train all of our faculty and to disseminate best practices in online learning. We believe that these learnings and experience will enable us to augment in-class teaching in the future with online complements (such as flipped classroom content and synchronous recitation sections) that will enhance your coursework at Illinois Tech. Many faculty members are also going to online assessments and exams, and some are also examining by video through oral face-to-face exams. We believe your education and learning this semester did not miss a beat despite the crisis.

We have also added a question about this semester’s online transition efforts to the student class survey. I want to emphasize that the university takes this feedback very seriously and that we will use this information to further improve what we believe is a very strong education, especially as online education is further developed moving forward. So I urge all students to participate in this effort and provide your feedback. This is your chance to give your perspective on what went well and what did not. I also think that this is a great time to identify classes that were great online experiences, so that they can be emulated.

Pass-Fail Undergraduate Policy

With the unanimous approval of the SGA leaders, the University Faculty Council, and the Office of the Provost, all grading in undergraduate classes reverted to pass-fail for this semester only. There were many reasons for this: (1) we know many students would face challenges during the roughly six weeks from March 20 to May 10, including acclimating to the new environment, slow internet at home, family challenges including parent or guardian job loss, and other issues; (2) pass-fail would not harm any student’s GPA; and (3) most or all medical schools and many graduate schools indicated they would accept pass-fail in this semester provided it was institutional policy. We did allow graduating seniors only to request that they receive letter grades. We also approved a modest number of petitions from students who requested letter grades and could demonstrate real harm due to the pass-fail policy.

We also emphasize that this pass-fail policy applies only to this semester, when a transition to online delivery was forced on faculty and students alike in an unanticipated fashion. Moving into summer and beyond, all classes, including any online classes, will be developed and offered in a fashion where letter grades will be awarded, as usual.

Virtual Commencement Ceremonies

In late March we announced that, due to the shelter-in-place order, Illinois Tech would hold a virtual commencement ceremony on May 16, 2020. Following the university-wide virtual commencement on Saturday, May 16, at 10 a.m. CST, individual colleges, schools, and academic units will also hold their own recognition ceremonies. Please stay tuned for additional details from both the university and the schools, colleges, and units.

I should note that all of our graduates from the academic year 2019–2020 are very warmly invited to join us in May 2021 for our on-campus commencement celebration.

Summer Courses

Many departments have increased summer course offerings in order to provide students with enhanced learning opportunities this summer, and all students are invited to reexamine the summer schedule if they have not looked at it recently. As of today, all summer classes will be held online and will be graded. We believe these classes will be excellent learning experiences for students, and we encourage all of you to seriously consider taking these classes to catch up, to lighten your load in the fall, and to keep your minds sharp this summer. All students are eligible for the same financial aid for these summer classes that you enjoy during the academic year.

Support of Students with Unanticipated Financial Hardships Due to COVID-19

We are pleased to note two important efforts to support many students with unanticipated expenditures and financial hardship due to COVID-19. The first is that, as part of the CARES Act, Illinois Tech will be participating in distributing additional financial aid to students who have unmet financial need. The second is that, through the generosity and support of our alumni and supporter network, our Hawk 4 Hawks program is now providing additional resources for impacted students. Both of these efforts are being coordinated through the usual financial aid process, and students do not need to do anything beyond participating in their usual review with the Office of Financial Aid.

Fall Semester 2020

As of today, the university is anticipating that we will be back on campus, at full force, with in-person classes, labs, and studios for the fall semester 2020. While there is no guarantee, our best understanding is that individual states will begin to reopen as the pandemic subsides throughout the country, hopefully in the next two months. We should note that we are still on track to have a newly renovated 10-story residence hall this summer with the opening of George J. Kacek Hall on the north end of our residential portion of campus. We are also pleased to announce that work is already beginning on Kacek Hall’s neighbor, Cunningham Hall, which may open as early as next year. Thus, the university is well on its way to completing the rejuvenation of our housing stock. These two residence halls and their renovations were made possible by very generous gifts from our donors.

Sincerely,

Peter Kilpatrick
Provost

Nick Menhart
University Faculty Council Chair