Office of the President

Effective 5 p.m., face-to-face instruction suspended

President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz M D sitting in a chair posing for a portrait

icon of a calendarMarch 11, 2020

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Effective 5 p.m., face-to-face instruction suspended
President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz M D sitting in a chair posing for a portrait
To the Oakland University community,

With the State of Michigan declaring a state of emergency based on confirmed cases of COVID-19, we, at Oakland University, are taking a range of measures to protect and maintain the safety and health of our community.

Following the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Michigan State Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), Oakland County Health Division, and Oakland University public health safety experts, we are taking actions that are intended to slow the spread of the virus and protect the health of our community.

We recognize that these actions will be disruptive and create challenges for many, and will have financial implications for the University. However, the health and safety of our community is our focus at this extraordinary time.

  • In-person instruction will be suspended at 5 p.m. today and will be replaced by remote learning, effective on Monday, March 16.
  • All courses currently delivered online will continue as scheduled.
  • Remote learning will continue through the end of the semester (April 25).
  • Students in labs and clinical programs will be contacted directly by their department. We are working with faculty and staff on laboratory and performance classes, and will provide additional information in the upcoming week.
  • Students with limited or no available internet access should contact the Office of the Provost at [email protected].

  • During this period, the on-campus residence halls and apartments will remain open. If you have questions, please contact [email protected]
  • We will continue to provide dining services.
  • We strongly encourage the practice of social distancing, self-monitoring for COVID-19, and taking preventive health measures as promoted by the CDC.
  • Counseling services will be provided at Graham Counseling Center.
  • Health and medical services are available through the Graham Health Center.

  • The university is suspending all university-sponsored domestic and international air travel effective immediately until further notice.
  • A faculty or staff member who believes that they have an important business reason to travel by air can request a waiver through the appropriate vice president. But, please be advised that such waivers will be rare.
  • Nonessential travel by other means (bus, van, car) is strongly discouraged.
  • The university strongly advises to avoid personal travel to areas with documented cases of the COVID-19 virus. If you do travel, you might be required to be quarantined.

  • We are suspending all university-sponsored events, effective immediately through April 25, including those hosted by registered student organizations and involving external visitors.
  • For purposes of this suspension, gatherings of 50 or more attendees will be postponed or canceled.
  • Where possible, organizers are encouraged to explore ways of conducting the event through live streaming or other technologies.
  • A faculty or staff member who believes that they have an essential business reason to hold an event can request a waiver through the appropriate vice president, but such waivers will be rare.
  • A final decision regarding holding Commencement ceremonies will be made at a later date. At that time, communications (email, webpage posts) will be distributed.

  • At this point, all summer study abroad programs are under review, and are not canceled.
  • If a decision is made to cancel, students will be reimbursed by the University for any expenses that are not reimbursable from other sources.
  • Students should check with their academic advisor about alternative coursework for the summer.

  • Research activities will continue at this time.
  • If you are engaged in research, please watch for follow-up communications.

  • All other campus operations will continue at this time and campus will remain open.
  • As a reminder, Oakland University has a flexible-work arrangement procedure, which may be utilized when approved by a supervisor. Here’s the link:
  • The university highly recommends students, staff and faculty actively self-monitor for symptoms related to COVID-19.

We continue to ask everyone in our community to follow the CDC recommendations for preventive actions:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • 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 using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
I want to remind everyone that Oakland University is an inclusive and welcoming community. We must remain vigilant and true to our values, and continue to respect each other and the diversity of people who make our community such a special place. We will not tolerate any type of discrimination or derogatory remarks toward any particular group or person.

At this exceptionally challenging time for our campus, we must work together to protect the health and well-being of our Oakland University community. In times like these, I have no doubt in the abilities, perseverance and commitment of our faculty, students and staff to collaborate as we navigate this unfolding, and difficult situation.

Our deepest appreciation for all of you coming together to serve the best interests of our community. I would like to thank the hardworking Coronavirus Response Task Force that has spent countless hours addressing this evolving situation.

Wishing everyone good health,


Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, M.D.
President, Oakland University

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