April 1, 2020

Good afternoon,

There are three topics we’d like to address today. 

COVID-19 Reminders: Being mindful of your personal health right now is extremely important. The Minnesota Department of Health reminds us to practice personal protective measures such as keeping social distance when in public and washing hands frequently, especially when in public spaces. Stay home when you are sick. Call your health provider before going to the doctor if you have COVID-19 symptoms, which include cough, fever, or shortness of breath.  We also request you notify the college’s Health Services Office at 218.299.3662 if you have been tested for COVID-19 or if you are needing health information. 

Red River: The Emergency Response Team is keeping an eye on the flood forecast for Fargo-Moorhead. While the Red River is expected to hit major flood stage, mitigation efforts over the last several years means that will have less impact than previously. The National Weather Service is expecting a crest of 28.5 feet on Thursday and then a second crest next week of 30.0 feet. These numbers are not a cause for concern for our campus and ERT will continue to watch for changes that may happen. 

Weather: The Fargo-Moorhead region has the potential for a significant winter storm Thursday morning through Friday morning. Several inches of snow along with freezing rain, sleet and ice are predicted. If this system materializes and people who are currently working on campus should not travel to campus, we will communicate in our usual manners those changes. Also, whenever an ice storm is predicted there is the possibility of power outages. This could impact remote course delivery during that time. Instructors and students may wish to take the potential for power disruptions – both in Moorhead and in students’ locations –  into account as they are planning and preparing for their Thursday courses. Again, if the weather or power concerns are pervasive, we will attempt to communicate any changes in our usual manner (e-mail, e2Campus, etc.) 

Bill MacDonald

Emergency Response Team

March 30, 2020

Good Afternoon,

Given the March 25th announcement from President Craft, Concordia will be processing campus housing and meal plan credits to student accounts by April 3, 2020. We have calculated the credit amount by the length of time from March 18th to the end of the semester. If there is an outstanding balance on your account, the credit will reduce the amount you owe. Any remaining credit balance will be available for refund either by direct deposit or paper check mailed to your permanent home address or campus PO Box. You may also leave the credit balance on your account for the following semester (no action required). The credit will not impact your financial aid award for the current semester.

Examples of credits:

Campus Housing

  • Students residing in Traditional Double Occupancy rooms will receive a credit of $750
  • Students residing in Townhouse 2 room apartments will receive a credit of $900
  • A further breakdown of credits by room/apartment type are available here.

Meal Plans

  • Students with a Standard Maroon Plan will receive a credit of $915
  • Students with a Gold Meal Plan will receive a credit of $975
  • In addition, the unused portion of Dining Dollars will be credited
  • A further breakdown of credits by meal plan are available here.

If you departed campus and/or canceled the remainder of your meal plan after March 18th but by March 28th, you will receive a different credit amount from the ones mentioned above, please see the chart here.

If you departed campus and/or canceled the remainder of your meal plan after March 28th, a credit will be determined by the date you terminated service(s) to the end of the semester. This will be calculated on a case by case basis through Residence Life and/or Dining Services respectively.

If you received special permission to stay on campus and/or continue to use your meal plan beyond March 18th, no credit will be issued.

If you live off-campus or have moved off-campus and would like to continue to use your meal plan, you must complete the Off-Campus Student Dining Continued Use form.

To request a credit balance refund (after April 3rd):

  • Log into CobberNet and complete the Credit Balance Refund Request form
  • Select whether to have the credit balance refunded by direct deposit (recommended) or paper check mailed to your permanent home address
  • If requesting a paper check, please be sure your Permanent Home address is up to date in Banner
  • No action is required if you wish to have the credit balance remain on your account

Interest accrual on all student accounts for past due balances will be suspended for April and May.

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns by contacting the Business Office at businessoffice@cord.edu

March 27, 2020

Good afternoon, 

The college is continuing to prioritize the health and safety of the campus community. 

Tonight

Governor Tim Walz’s stay-at-home order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. tonight for two weeks. The college supports public officials’ efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 through proactive social distancing and this stay-at-home order. Under this order employees are expected to work from home. Those employees for whom it is necessary to travel to the college for work may do so. No specific documentation is required to travel to work. 

Tomorrow

Tomorrow (Saturday) at noon all students who are scheduled to leave campus residences will be doing so. The majority of our students in on-campus housing will be leaving for a more permanent residence.

Our goal is for our students to be in the least restrictive and most comfortable environment as possible, especially if they become ill. Oftentimes that is at home. There will still be a small number of students living on campus as this is their permanent address.  Students should take with them what they need for the remainder of the semester including educational materials, medicine and other health-related items. This is not our official move-out so students should take what is needed at this time. 

Employees and Students: Buildings cannot and should not be unlocked for students who have forgotten items. This applies to all campus buildings.

Residence Life will be in communication to all students who lived on campus about when students can go through the move-out process. This will likely be toward the end of the semester to continue our vigilance against community spread of COVID-19. Dining Services will continue their new order-ahead “to go” system. Beginning Saturday, the Knutson Campus Center will be fob access only for hours of operation. If you are picking up meals or getting your mail, remember your fob. 

Next week

Beginning Monday, Lorentzsen Hall will move to fob access only. 

Also, the ITS Solution Center is moving to remote support.

Voicemails left at 299-3375 will be routed to a technician. The technician will follow-up by direct phone calls or e-mail as appropriate.

Hours of support: Sunday: 4-8 p.m.; Monday-Thursday: 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Bill MacDonald
Emergency Response Team

March 25, 2020

5:30 p.m. - Minnesota Governor Tim Walz issued a "stay-at-home" order this afternoon. It is important to note that higher education is exempt from that order and we will maintain operations.  

The governor stated in his executive order that educators and other workers supporting public and private schools may continue in their work. What this means is the college can maintain our online/remote teaching and learning and our business operations at our current level. 

Stated differently, if it is necessary for employees to travel to the college for work currently, they may continue to do so.  Employees who are able to work from home and their duties are not location-bound to the college should continue to work remotely. The “stay-at-home” order begins at 11:59 p.m. Friday, March 27 and will continue for two weeks. Students who are leaving campus after the "stay-at-home" order is in place are fine to do so as they are going to an alternate residence as outlined in the executive order. 

Dining services will remain open in the manner it is currently operating with "to-go" options. It will maintain the current process through tomorrow and will implement a new order ahead process beginning with Friday's meals. 

Bill MacDonald
Emergency Response Team

March 25, 2020

12:20 p.m. - The past two weeks have presented significant challenge and necessary change in the way we teach, learn, and live in community at Concordia College.  I deeply appreciate everyone’s commitment to adapt as we pursue our mission in these times.  I write to you this day to share updates regarding the college’s response to the ongoing challenges of COVID-19.    

Extension of Online Courses: After consideration of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Minnesota and North Dakota, the college has made the decision to extend remote/online instruction through the end of the spring semester. Face-to-face instruction will not resume during this current term. Faculty will continue to work with students in remote/online learning and further identify the various pathways to successful completion of spring courses including final exams and all required coursework.

Residential Life: Concordia is taking an even more aggressive position to support the health and safety of our community as we seek to limit the spread of COVID-19.  As a result, the college directs all students to leave campus by noon on Saturday, March 28. This directive includes those students who are living in on-campus residence halls, apartments, or townhouses.  Details and instructions regarding this process will be shared in a separate communication.  Additional instructions regarding move-out and checkout procedures will be provided at a later date.

It is understood that the campus is the primary home for a small number of Concordia students.  Residence Life staff will work directly with these students.  Please watch for directives from the Residence Life staff to inform this process.

Campus Housing and Meal Plans: The college is working on a plan for determining credits for campus housing and meal plans.  Additional information will be forthcoming.  Updated information will be sent through Cobweb e-mail announcements and posted to the College’s COVID-19 webpage.

Postponement of Spring 2020 Commencement: It is with great disappointment that we announce the postponement of the Spring 2020 commencement ceremony.  The college’s commencement planning team, in conversation with a committee of graduating seniors, will determine potential dates and forms for a different commencement event. Concordia is deeply committed to hosting a memorable event to honor and celebrate all students completing a baccalaureate during the Spring 2020 term. 

We face difficult times that have unsettled all our lives and work. In the midst of that reality, I so highly prize the collaboration and collegiality of our community as we sustain the teaching, learning, and shared mission of Concordia. 

Be safe and well,

William Craft
President
Concordia College

March 24, 2020

ITS – Assistance Hours

Online learning began yesterday with ITS working to support this new process.  In addition to phone/e-mail support from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, ITS will also add phone support from 4 to 8 p.m. on Sundays. Contact pcsupport@cord.edu or (218) 299-3375.

Student Resource List

There is a new list of helpful resources for students in CobberNet.  Please see how various campus offices are working with students in this new online environment.

Bill MacDonald
Chair, Emergency Response Team

March 20, 2020

Good afternoon,

As COVID-19 cases increase around the country we have one reminder: practice spatial distancing.

The college has made great strides this week reducing the number of people on campus through students moving off site, telework and moving academic classes online. Along with all these efforts, it is important to understand the reasons we practice spatial distancing. All should be maintaining a six-foot distance between one another. We will still have personal conversations, but please maintain a healthy distance and do not congregate in groups. Why is this important to us? Limiting contact will impact the ability for the virus to spread not only to you, but to others. Public health officials are putting these measures in place to slow the transmission rate of COVID-19.

One academic note, as we move to online/remote learning on Monday, ITS will be available 8 a.m to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. Team members can be reached at pcsupport@cord.edu and 218-299-3375 to help facilitate this transition as questions arise.

Bill MacDonald
Chair, Emergency Response Team

March 19, 2020

Good afternoon,

People throughout the college are working diligently on moving classes to online platforms for Monday and employees are easing into a new normal for regular business operations.

One note, it’s important to look at the resource documents in CobberNet.cord.edu/covid-19. The resources are located just below the most recent message. Those informational pieces are being e-mailed to their intended audience, but could give others on campus a broader view of what is happening. For instance, students received good information on Student Support earlier this week which might be helpful for other audiences to know. The FAQs are also being updated with relevant information for this point in time.

Thank you for your attention to these communications.

Bill MacDonald
Chair, Emergency Response Team


March 18, 2020

Good afternoon,

Today’s update has two main points: Social distancing/illness and facility access.

Social distancing/illness: As a reminder, people should practice social distancing, remaining 6 feet away from others during in-person encounters and limiting in-person encounters. People who are ill should stay home. If anyone on campus is contacted directly by a student who has been tested for COVID-19 or is planning to be tested and it is unclear if the student has notified the Health Services Office, please connect with Katie Nystuen in Health Services Office at 218.299.3662 to voice your concerns for the student. The Health Services Office can then follow-up with the student AND be the one point of contact for that student.

Facility Access
The following are the updated facilities hours for the coming weeks.

Academic Buildings
(Including ISC, Memorial Auditorium, Hvidsten)
Fob access only for employees beginning Thursday 8 a.m.

Administrative
Lorentzsen*
Monday- Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Knutson Center/Dining Center
Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, 9:30 am. – 7 p.m.

Note: Dining Services is moving to a “to-go” format beginning with dinner 3/18.

Residence Halls
Fob access only for students remaining on campus.

Library
Fob access only; Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Olson Forum
Closed March 19 – April 12.

Welcome Center 
Fob access only March 17 – April 12.

Bill MacDonald
Chair, Emergency Response Team

*Edited to remove an administrative office that should not have been included.


 

March 17, 2020

Temporary Telecommuting and Flexible Work Arrangements

Effective no later than March 18, 2020 at 5 p.m. 

To continue the college’s participation in the community response to COVID-19, Concordia College is directing employees, including those in Bemidji, whose job duties are conducive to working from home to do so. We recognize there are some positions at Concordia that require employees to be physically present in the workplace. Supervisors will be in communication with employees regarding necessary presence on campus and will work with them to identify any possible flexible work arrangements. Concordia College will continue to monitor guidance from public officials and the need for remote work arrangements. Employees should not assume any specified period of time for telework. The college may require employees to return to regular, in-office work at any time. Please contact Human Resources with questions regarding the implementation of this action. 

Emergency Response Team

President’s Cabinet


March 16, 2020

Good afternoon,

Here are the latest updates regarding Concordia COVID-19 preparedness. 

  • HEALTH: Do not come to campus if you are ill. Stay home. If you have a fever and symptoms such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your doctor. Students should also alert Concordia’s health services if being tested for COVID-19. Also practice proper handwashing and physical distancing in your in-person conversations (remain 6 feet apart.)
  • CLEANING: The college is maintaining its intensive cleaning regimen in high touch areas, including doorknobs and drinking fountains.
  • INSTRUCTION: As a reminder, Concordia is not holding class March 16-20 to prepare for the online/remote instruction beginning March 23. Information will be forthcoming from Academic Affairs and faculty members on the ways in which this new instruction will be delivered.
  • COMMUNICATION: We will continue to communicate as much as possible. Please understand, as we work with personal health situations we need to maintain confidentiality.

Thank you for everyone’s diligence as we continue to work together in the unprecedented times.

Bill MacDonald
Director, Public Safety
Chair, Emergency Response Team


9:50 p.m. - March 15, 2020

Dear Concordia Students, Faculty, and Staff,

In light of the decision this morning by Governor Tim Walz of Minnesota and this evening by Governor Doug Burgum of North Dakota to close public schools in their states, and in light of today’s newly issued Centers for Disease Control guidelines on group gatherings, I write to tell you that Concordia will not hold classes this Monday and Tuesday, March 16 and 17. 

The plans for students to depart from campus will continue as noted in the March 13 announcement. Students planning to leave must do so no later than noon on Wednesday, March 18.

Additional information regarding college operations will be forthcoming as needed. Please monitor the College’s webpage for updates.

With thanks for your calm and deliberate response to the challenges before our community,

William Craft
President


2:30 p.m. - March 15, 2020 (Student Message)

This morning, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz provided an update announcing the closure of all K-12 schools in the state for a period of time beginning Wednesday, March 18.
 
Concordia's plan, announced on Friday, March 13, 2020, regarding instruction, residence life, and business operations, remains in effect.  
 
The College's emergency response team continues to assess the fluidity of the situation.  We will update communications on a regular and ongoing basis.  We ask that employees and students continue to use CobberNet as the primary source for updates.


March 13, 2020

These past weeks have been challenging for all as institutions of higher education have responded to the reality of COVID-19. In commitment to the health and well-being of the Concordia College community, to our ongoing academic mission, and to the general effort to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, Concordia College is moving to a higher level of response to this global health concern.

Instruction: The college is planning a shift from in-person to remote/online instruction for a period of time this spring term. Concordia will hold in-person classes on campus Monday and Tuesday, March 16 and 17. This will provide an opportunity for faculty and students to transition to new modes of teaching and learning. On-campus classes will be canceled March 18-20. Remote/online instruction will begin on March 23. Currently, the college plans to resume campus in-person instruction on Monday, April 13. During the intervening time, the college will continue to evaluate this rapidly evolving situation.

Residence Life: The college strongly encourages students living on campus to leave the residence halls by noon on Wednesday, March 18. Should students have a need to stay on campus, they may request to do so and Residence Life staff will work to accommodate them. Additional guidance will be provided in a later communication to all students. Dining Services will post modified hours and venues on its webpage as necessary. Students may return to the residence halls on April 12.

Events: The college is suspending all events, excluding academic instruction, as of 5 p.m. today, March 13, 2020. This includes both college-sponsored and hosted events.                           

Academic Assistance and Support: The college will provide academic and student support services. More details will be shared next week.

Calendar Summary

  • March 16-20: Classes canceled*
  • March 18: Residential students depart campus by noon
  • March 23: Remote/online instruction begins
  • April 9-12: Revised Easter recess
  • April 12: Return to residence halls
  • April 13: Return to in-person classes (subject to continual evaluation)

Travel: All non-essential college travel, domestic and international, will be suspended March 18 through April 12. Exceptions must be approved by divisional vice presidents. Personal international travel is strongly discouraged.

College Business Operations: At this time, the college intends to remain open for regular business operations. Office hours may change and some services may be limited.

Campus Facilities: Details regarding utilization of campus facilities are still in discussion. The college will continue communicating decisions as they are made and continue to update our COVID-19 webpages.

The college will continue to update the COVID-19 webpages with information for students, faculty, and staff.

Be assured that Concordia College will continue to teach and support our students, albeit in different ways during a time when we strive to fulfill our mission through a complex and dynamic set of circumstances. We encourage students to focus on their academic goals, to follow recommended practices from the CDC and Minnesota Department of Health, and to show care for their friends, families, and neighbors.

*Schedule change 3/15/20


March 12, 2020

Students, Faculty and Staff,

At this time, there are no known cases of COVID-19 in Clay County or on campus.

Here is the process that would happen if a person in our community tested positive for COVID-19: the medical provider who tested the person would contact public health officials. Public health would notify the college and give us recommendations of next steps for our campus community.

As always, remember everyday preventative actions to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, such as staying home when sick; appropriately covering coughs and sneezes; cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces; and washing hands often with soap and water. The college will continue to update as the situation evolves.

Bill MacDonald
Director, Public Safety
Chair, Emergency Response Team


7:10 a.m. -  March 12, 2020

The Emergency Response Team (ERT) is continuing to monitor national, regional and local developments regarding COVID-19.  ERT is working closely with the guidance of the Minnesota Department of Health and the CDC. The team will now begin meeting daily to process new information and retool contingencies in this very fluid situation.

As of March 11, guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health do not direct Minnesota colleges or universities to move to fully online instruction.  While Concordia is not moving to online instruction at this time, Dean Susan Larson is working with faculty to prepare for remote/online instruction if the need arises.

A new Frequently Asked Questions document is now available through the campus intranet. The college will be adding a COVID-19 site for external audiences in addition to our internal site.

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 cases and this evolving health situation visit the Minnesota Department of Health or the CDC.

Bill MacDonald
Director, Public Safety
Chair, Emergency Response Team


March 6, 2020

As you are aware, the number of cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, is growing in the United States. While as of March 6, there were no cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota or North Dakota, Concordia has been preparing and creating contingency plans to keep members of our community healthy, while working to ensure teaching and learning is ongoing.

  • Concordia’s Emergency Response Team, led by Public Safety Director Bill MacDonald, is monitoring this worldwide phenomenon. The Emergency Response Team will meet weekly, and more frequently when necessary, to assess current information and prepare for potential impacts to Concordia’s programming and operations. 
  • Public Health Officials are stressing personal hygiene is of utmost importance. Proper handwashing, covering coughs, and staying home when feeling ill are paramount.

  • According to the CDC, symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you have these symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have recently traveled to an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19 call your healthcare provider.

  • Most importantly, if students have recently traveled to one of the countries designated as Warning Level 3 by the CDC (as of March 6: China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea) they must call Concordia’s Health Services Office at (218) 299-3662 upon their return to the United States and prior to returning to campus. If faculty or staff have traveled to one of these countries, they must contact Human Resources upon their return to the United States and prior to returning to campus. Public health guidelines require travelers returning from one of these countries to stay home for 14 days and practice social distancing.

Moving forward, the Emergency Response Team will communicate with the college community on a regular basis about COVID-19. Thank you for being mindful of the messages you will receive from our Emergency Response Team.


January 31, 2020

The college wants you know about the viral respiratory illness called Novel Coronavirus. The virus originated in Wuhan, China and has spread to multiple countries including the United States.  Concordia staff are working to be prepared and proactive as the World Health Organization evaluates the ongoing situation. 

At this time, there are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Minnesota and North Dakota.  The College has been in communication with Clay County Public Health and utilizing information from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control in order to follow best practices related to community and public health.  It is important for the campus community to know that key staff members are monitoring the situation closely and collaborating with local public health officials in an attempt to keep the campus healthy. 

Here are facts you should know.

  • Again, there are no confirmed cases of this virus in Minnesota or North Dakota.
  • As of Jan. 31, there are only 6 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the United States
  • The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states transmission is from person-to person
  • People who have traveled to China and present with fever, cough or shortness of breath should call their healthcare provider.
  • The CDC recommends these everyday habits to help prevent the spread of viruses which also includes influenza.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
    • 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.
    • Practice good self-care including eating and sleeping well.

If you have questions regarding your health or need information about local healthcare providers contact Concordia’s Health Services Coordinator Katie Nystuen at 299-3662.