Alert

MARCH 27

COVID Information

Please visit the link below for the latest information about the coronavirus outbreak. There are no known cases of the disease at Lebanon Valley College.

Lebanon Valley College has moved all classes to remote learning from Wed., March 18, through the end of the semester. The College remains open for business. Faculty and staff are working remotely. Students must remain off-campus.

Academic Information

Emergency Grading Policy

See the emergency grading policy.

 

March 27, 2020

Dear Students,

We recognize that this past week has been challenging for all of you. We want you to know that LVC is even more committed to helping you attain your educational goals.

You are our priority.

We will continue to develop student-centered practices and innovative ways to support your success, especially given the unique stressors associated with the COVID-19 coronavirus. Many of you have shared your challenges with coaches, academic success specialists, professors, and tutors.

We hear you.

Unusual circumstances call for new policies that take our current environment into account. These policies recognize the extraordinary educational circumstances that we are all facing as a result of making a rapid and unexpected transition due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We crafted an emergency pass/fail policy to meet your needs.

The Academic Affairs team has reviewed multiple models and we have chosen the attached emergency “opt-in” model that we feel will best meet the needs of LVC’s undergraduate community. This emergency pass/fail policy will go into effect immediately and will apply to the spring semester only. In this model, you will earn grades according to the standard LVC grading scale (letter grades), but may then convert that grade to a Pass/Fail designation if you so wish and if you have advisor approval. This model requires advisor approval so that you can understand the degree implications of potentially designating a course pass/fail. For instance, in certain majors your advisor might explain that a pass/fail designation will not make sense if an external accrediting body or graduate school will not recognize a pass/fail course, or if licensure could be prevented or delayed if one decides to pass/fail specific courses. Therefore, choosing to change a course to pass/fail should not be taken lightly and will require the approval of your advisor.

We would like to thank Student Government, President’s Staff, Department Chair’s Council, Faculty Steering Committee, and the Faculty Policy & Budget Committee for their commitment to your success. This emergency policy could not have been approved without these groups. Also, a special thanks to the members of the academic affairs team who researched, listened to your concerns, and crafted the best policy for LVC.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

All the best,

Monica Cowart, Ph.D., LMHC
Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs

Final Exams: Schedule and Modality

Reading days and final exams will be held April 30–May 7 as planned and conducted remotely. Academic affairs is working with faculty to build flexibility into scheduling so that online exams do not overlap. Look for additional updates to be shared in the coming weeks.

Course Registration

Spring 2020 

The deadline for undergraduate students to withdraw from a course or change to/from pass/fail status has been extended to April 29.

The deadline for graduate students to withdraw from a course has been extended to the last day of the course.

 

Summer 2020

Registration is open for summer classes and can be completed through AccessLVC.

 

Fall 2020 & Spring 2021

Undergraduate registration will now occur April 15–23. Course schedules and additional details will be made available ahead of time.

Graduate registration will begin April 13 as originally planned.

Please contact registrar@lvc.edu with any questions.

 

Credit for Internships

Department chairs and advisers are examining credit hours. If a student has not completed enough time at a site, faculty will develop remote-learning options that map to the same learning objectives as articulated in the learning agreement forms each student filled out with their supervisor. For internships and clinicals, departments are communicating directly with students on a case-by-case basis. Students should also reach out to the Breen Center for Graduate Success for best practices regarding working remotely and remote internship opportunities, especially if they are unable to fulfill requirements for existing contracts.

Breen Center for Graduate Success—Career Resources

The Breen Center for Graduate Success will continue to support students in a virtual format with their career readiness:

  • Career Coaching
  • Personal Branding
  • Degree Exploration
  • Graduate School Planning
  • Interview Preparation
  • Professional Development
  • Networking & Job Searching
  • Resume & Cover Letter Writing
  • LinkedIn & Online Presence Reviews

The Breen Center offers appointments using WebEx and Zoom, which are commonly used by business professionals and for virtual interviews. Phone appointments are also available. 

 

Students can complete a mock interview in the Big Interview platform.

Step 1: Go to https://lvc.biginterview.com/ and click Register.

Step 2: Enter your school email address, name, and password, and click Create My Account. (You must use your lvc.edu email address.)

Step 3: You will receive a confirmation email. Click Verify in the email, and you'll be able to start using Big Interview.

 

Follow the Breen Center

Instagram

Facebook 

 

Undergraduate Summer Classes

All currently planned online undergraduate summer courses will continue as scheduled. Updates on hybrid and in-person courses will be provided soon.

Graduate Studies Summer Classes

All currently planned online graduate studies summer courses will continue as scheduled. Updates on hybrid and in person courses will be provided soon.

Summer Research Opportunities

We are currently evaluating how student summer research will be impacted. More information is forthcoming.

Students in non-EST/Different Time Zones

Academic Affairs staff have spoken with the faculty of students who live in time zones other than Eastern Standard Time, and the College is building flexibility into online classes to accommodate these students.

Bishop Library Returns

Students Returning to Campus for Fall 2020

All materials must be returned to the library by the first day of classes, Aug. 31, 2020. Due dates will be extended soon.

 

Seniors

All materials have a due date of May 10, 2020. Library staff are developing a plan for material return and will reach out individually to seniors. Technology returns and other return questions can be directed to Michelle Graby at graby@lvc.edu

 

Interlibrary Loan

Library staff are working on a plan for the return of these materials. More information will be communicated directly to those with checked out items. Questions can be directed to Stacie Allison sallison@lvc.edu.

Academic Support Services Guide (Printable PDF)

New Withdrawal, Pass/Fail, and Registration Dates

The deadline to withdraw from a course or change to or from pass/fail status has been extended to April 29.

Undergraduate registration will now occur from April 15 to April 23. Course schedules and additional details will be made available ahead of time.

The fastest way to reach the Registrar's Office is via email.

Information Technology

Please email solutions@lvc.edu for support.

IT manages all services remotely. Our online resources are not on college servers, and IT has a plan in place to relocate services if needed.

Access to Academic Buildings

In accordance with Governor Wolf's March 19, 2020, announcement, only those staff supporting the few students remaining on campus or supporting critical facilities staff are permitted to enter buildings.

Bishop Library Access and Hours

Textbook Ordering

The summer/fall 2020 book order deadline has been extended until next Monday, March 23. Please submit your orders via Faculty Enlight.

Textbook Rental Returns

Textbook Rental Return

Students can rent their book(s) until May 7, 2020. Rentals can be returned by mail using this form. You will need your username and order ID number. Please contact us at 717-867-6313 or sm8057@bncollege.com if you don’t know your number.

*One label can be printed per account. If you have multiple books, please put them in one box. Book condition will be reviewed on receipt, and they must be returned in saleable condition: no water damage, including but not limited to coffee or soda staining, no torn covers/pages, or damaged binding. Please use padding or paper to protect your books when shipping.

Hands-on Work, Internships, Fieldwork

Please ask the faculty chair of the relevant academic department for information on how you will be able to complete these experiences.

Student Affairs and Residential Life Information

Food Insecurity

Please contact Jen Liedtka (liedtka@lvc.edu) or Renata Willilams (rwilliam@lvc.edu) if you are having difficulty accessing food. Connect with us and we’ll help you find local resources.

Student Employment

Dear Student Employee,

This is an update regarding student employment for the rest of the semester. Please be assured that all hours worked up until this point will be paid, provided that you submitted any hours worked using the online timesheets as you’ve always done.

From March 25 through May 15, the College will only employ students with positions that are deemed essential to operations and can work remotely. This includes, but is not limited to, Peer Tutors and Valley Ambassadors assisting with online chat programming. If your position is considered essential to operations, your hiring supervisor will have already contacted you regarding working remotely.

The College did not reach this decision easily. We recognize that student employment is one of the ways used to assist in paying expenses while enrolled. We look forward to the time when we are all back on campus working together.

Please visit Handshake for employment opportunities this summer and fall semesters.

Feel free to contact the staff in the Breen Center breencenter@lvc.edu if you have questions or concerns and they will be forwarded to the Student Employment Committee.

Sincerely,

Student Employment Committee

Personal Belongings Left on Campus

While most students removed all personal belongings when leaving campus last week, some personal items remain. Our residential life staff is developing a plan for students to return to campus on assigned days and at assigned times. More information will be communicated directly to residential students from the Office of Residential Life.

Residence Hall Key Return

Pro-rated refunds for room and board will be processed after a student’s residence hall key has been received.

Students should place their keys in a padded or cardboard envelope along with a note that contains the following information:

Name
Student ID #
Residence Hall
Room Number

Mail to:

Office of Residence Life
Lebanon Valley College
101 North College Ave
Annville, PA 17003

Residence Hall Selection for Academic Year 2020–21

Students will still actively engage in the annual room selection process. Residential life staff will communicate directly with residential students who have paid their housing deposit to explain the procedure for selecting rooms for the 2020–21 academic year.

Student Leadership Positions for 2020–21

The process will continue online for student leadership positions that were recruiting and interviewing before students departed campus and/or where recruitment and interviewing was planned for later in the Spring semester. Watch for our Updates from the Valley emails for more information.

Will there be virtual community events for students to connect?

Staff in the Center for Student Engagement will continue to connect with students through a variety of avenues (Instagram, Zoom, Slack, etc.). Student leadership and service opportunities (e.g., Student Government, National Society of Leadership & Success, etc.) will continue to engage members of our community. In addition, application and interview processes for leadership opportunities (Mosaic Mentors, First Year Mentors, etc.) will continue through on-line engagement.

Students will receive Updates from the Valley emails with information about opportunities to connect virtually with fellow students and LVC staff.

Community Service Opportunities

Community service opportunities for students are still available. Want to help? See the opportunities.

Counseling Services

For mental health support, contact Counseling Services (717-867-6232).

Counseling Services is open by appointment only (8:30 a.m.–4 p.m., Monday–Friday). In case of after-hours emergency, call Public Safety or 911.

Room and Board Refunds

Yes. Students will not be charged room and board for days the College administration determines residence halls and dining facilities will be closed. A calculation to prorate room and board charges will be based on the number of days the students are in the residence halls. Per our Student Credit Balance Policy, all student account credit balances are refunded to students (or parents if applicable) at the end of the semester once student accounts are reconciled.

Pro-rated refunds for room and board be processed after a student’s residence hall key has been received.

Athletics

The Middle Atlantic Conference has canceled all athletics events through the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year.

NCAA Division III announced an additional season/semester of eligibility for spring sports student-athletes.

First-Year Mentor Application

The deadline for applications for First-Year Mentors has been extended to Friday, March 20. These students will help welcome our Class of 2024 during orientation. Find more info and the application here.

Student Mail and Packages

The mailroom is now closed per Governor Wolf's announcement on March 19, 2020, stating that all non-life-sustaining businesses were to close their physical locations as of 8 p.m. until further notice.

Commencement and Senior Experience

Commencement

Degrees will be conferred to graduating seniors and graduate students on May 9, but Lebanon Valley College’s 151st Commencement has been postponed. The College is exploring options for celebrating these life milestones together with graduates and their families and friends. We will definitely have a traditional ceremony at a later date, as well as a virtual celebration of seniors in May.

Senior Ceremonies and Recognition

The donning of the Kente & Lavender, departmental honors, and student leadership awards ceremonies will be held virtually. Academic affairs and department chairs are developing a format, and scheduling is in progress.

Senior presentations will be hosted by academic departments.

Students will receive information from academic departments about honor society registration and dues.

Athletics Honors

The All-Sports Banquet is canceled. Seniors will still receive their letter awards.

Studio Art Thesis Exhibition

The studio art thesis exhibition planned for the Suzanne H. Arnold Art Gallery will be converted to an online format so that artists, faculty, staff, and families can connect and comment. Dates and times to come.

Regalia

Regalia will not be ordered at this time, and students will not be charged. When Commencement is rescheduled, College Store staff will order regalia, and communicate payment and delivery information.

Events

Inquiry

Inquiry will be held remotely in April. Academic Affairs has identified a remote-conference model that will work well for the event and enable student researchers, faculty, staff, and families to connect and comment. Dates and times are being scheduled to maximize participation. Students are encouraged to reach out to the Breen Center for Graduate Success if they would like to practice or learn best practices regarding virtual presentations.

New Student Advising Days

New Student Advising Days scheduled for May 14, 16, and 19 will be moved to an online format. In-person opportunities may occur later in the summer.

Advancement Events

The following events have been canceled. LVC will contact invitees as soon as the celebrations are rescheduled or reimagined:

March 29—Annual Scholarship Brunch

April 17—Pedestrian Bridge Dedication

April 18—Thomas Rhys Vickroy Society dinner

Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Annual Meeting

The MAC annual meeting scheduled for May 5 at LVC has been canceled.

Summer Programs and Camps

The College is continuing to monitor public health guidelines and will determine whether to hold summer camps when more information becomes available.

Staff Remote Work Information

College Business Hours

The College will remain open with modified business hours (8 a.m.–4 p.m.). Faculty and staff are working remotely, with only those essential personnel reporting to campus who support the few students remaining in campus residencies or who must maintain critical facilities systems.

Employees should follow LVC's normal vacation and sick-leave policies.

COVID-19 Staff Remote Work Policy

Campus Mail and Packages

Lebanon Valley College’s mailroom is closed for drop-off and incoming packages (including Amazon, FedEx, UPS, etc.) until further notice. The mailroom will continue to receive mail as long as the CDC and other public health organizations deem it safe to process mail. The mailroom will process incoming mail five days a week until volume no longer requires this schedule or it becomes unsafe to staff the mailroom five days a week.

Student Mail

Students Remaining On-campus—Any remaining students approved to live on campus will be able to receive mail. These students must contact public safety to gain access to the Humanities building during the hours of Noon—2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to pick up their mail.

 

Campus Mail

Live-in Staff—Staff who reside on campus must contact public safety to gain access to the Humanities building during the hours of Noon—2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to pick up their mail from the CSE mailbox.

Vendor invoices—The mailroom will open all mail containing vendor invoices. The invoice will be scanned to a shared network folder. Business office personnel will review and distribute vendor invoices to budget managers or the individuals identified on the invoice via email. Once the invoice is received electronically from business office personnel, processing the invoice should follow the procedures outlined in the Invoices, Requests for Payments (RFPs), and Travel Expense Vouchers section of the Business Services Procedures document. 

Incoming checks—Mail will be opened in the mailroom.  Images of checks and enclosed documents will be scanned and emailed to the respective departments for account coding.

All other mail—All other mail will be sorted and placed in the department mailbox for retrieval at a later time.

IT Support

Please email solutions@lvc.edu for support.

COVID-19 IT Resources

Business Services Procedures

Please see all Business Services Procedures here. These will continue to be updated as circumstances evolve.

P-Card Activity and Reconciliations

The majority of p-cards issued to employees will be frozen and any charges will be denied until the college is back to normal operations. There will be an approved list of p-cards that will continue to be active during this time. Those approved users will be notified by the business office. P-cards not approved for activity during this time will be “turned off” by March 26, 2020. If you are not a holder of a p-card that is approved for continued activity and have a need to make a purchase using a p-card, please contact your division leader or Todd Latshaw at latshaw@lvc.edu for guidance.

Holders of p-cards who currently have charges outstanding and who reconcile their p-cards using the PNC Bank application, please continue to reconcile your p-card electronically using the application. P-card users who DO NOT reconcile their p-card using the PNC Bank application, please follow the below procedures:

  • Scan or take a picture of your reconciliation that includes a description of the expense and the coding
  • Scan or take a picture of all receipts supporting each expense. For meals, be sure to include a scan or picture of the itemized receipt and attendees
  • Attach the reconciliation and all receipts to an email and send to your supervisor/budget manager for approval
  • If budget managers approve the expenses, he/she should email his/her approval to p-cards@lvc.edu 
  • When taking a picture of your reconciliation and receipts, please use portrait orientation; otherwise, the images will be sideways, making it difficult to review the information
  • Contact Trish Hocker or Todd Latshaw for copies of p-card statements

Payroll Processing

Payroll will be processed with no change to the existing schedule.  Individuals receiving pay through ACH will continue to receive pay through ACH. Checks will continue to be mailed to individuals receiving pay via a check, which comes with an additional cost to the College. Individuals receiving pay via a check are strongly encouraged to sign up for ACH.

A Message from Ann Hayes, March 15, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

In preparation for this week’s shift to remote work for many of us, please note the following:

Those who took their desktop computers home, please do not bring them back to campus. Each department will be meeting in the morning to review remote expectations and answer questions you may have. You can attend the 1 p.m. work-from-home training remotely using WebEx.  COVID-19 IT Resources

If at any time you want to work on campus or go to your office, you must notify your supervisor and Human Resources hayes@lvc.edu. Depending on your building, you may need to contact Public Safety (717) 867-6111 to open the door for you.

Please change your outgoing voice message on your office phone to the following. You may change your voicemail remotely by dialing (717)-867-6500 and following the prompts.

"Hello, you have reached [NAME/TITLE]. LVC has transitioned to a temporary remote work schedule through, with limited personnel on campus. I am out of the office but will check voicemail regularly. Please leave a message and I will return your call as soon as possible. If this is an emergency, please call Public Safety at (717) 867-6111 or call 911."

The Mailroom will be open and hours will be posted soon.

31 students have been permitted to remain living on campus through the term. Student Affairs will have two staff members in the CSE daily and one in Shroyer Health Center.

 Empty your office refrigerators of perishable items. Turn out all lights. Unplug anything that doesn’t need to be plugged in, and water your plants.

I cannot thank you enough for your flexibility and creativity as we all adapt to a new way of working to keep the College open for business. 

Ann Hayes
Senior Director of Human Resources and  Title IX Coordinator

Staff Remote Work Announcement, March 13, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

I want to share with you the plans for helping you stay healthy and safe while providing continuity of business for the College in the next couple of weeks.

Exempt and non-exempt staff with the ability to perform their jobs remotely (as approved by their division leader) will begin to work remotely on Wed., March 18, with an anticipated return to campus on Wed., April 1.

Non-exempt staff who cannot perform their jobs remotely (facilities services staff, public safety officers, health services staff, residential life staff, as well as a few other positions) will be expected to perform their jobs on campus using best practices for a healthy and safe work environment.

The College is committed to providing those working remotely and on campus with the resources and training necessary to complete their work with the same high level of effectiveness as always. If you need a computer or equipment to fulfill your job responsibilities, please contact IT.

All staff, whether working remotely or on campus, will continue to receive their regular pay (based on their normal schedule). Please see the College’s Emergency (COVID-19) Staff Work Policy for more details.

The College’s regular vacation and sick leave policies remain in effect during this time.

Please see below for the schedule and next steps for March 16-18.

Mon., March 16

  • All staff should report to work as usual. Your division leader will provide details about meeting schedules, individual and team work plans, priorities, and report-outs.
  • A session on remote work expectations and technology will be held for staff who will be working remotely at 1 p.m. in the Miller Chapel Sanctuary. IT services will also provide an online option for training. Please plan to attend, and bring your laptop if you have one.
  • K-12 schools in Pennsylvania are closed. If childcare responsibilities prevent you from reporting to work, please notify your supervisor and use a personal day or vacation day.

Tues., March 17

  • Those approved to work remotely should stay home to set up and test any hardware or software needed. Contact IT if you need help. If your technology works, begin working remotely.
  • Staff who will be working on campus should report to work at their regular time.

Wed., March 18

  • All staff who have been approved to work remotely should begin doing so, following best practices for remote work. Please do not contact IT on this day; IT staff will be fully devoted to helping faculty successfully implement online learning.
  • Staff who will be working on campus should report to work at their regular time.
  • President’s Staff will continue to monitor the situation and update you if the planned April 1 return-to-campus date changes.

We deeply appreciate your flexibility and commitment to LVC. This is a time for us all to show the world how great the LVC experience can be, even in times like we have never before experienced.

Be well,

Ann Hayes
Senior Director of Human Resources and Title IX Coordinator

Health and Safety Information

Capital BlueCross Free Teleheath

Capital BlueCross is waiving the member cost share of telehealth services from eligible in-network (including BlueCard) providers through April 15. Telehealth allows patients to connect with their providers by phone or videoconference and is not limited to a specific platform or app. CBC will also cover the total claim cost and waive member cost share on their Virtual Care medical and behavioral health visits for those plans who offer the benefit, until April 15. Visit here to learn more.

Shroyer Health Center

Students needing remote health support should call the Shroyer Health Center at (717) 867-6232.

 

Hours

10 a.m.-3 p.m., Monday-Friday

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, and diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms or feel unwell. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems, or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illnesses.

What should someone do if they have COVID-19 symptoms or have come into contact with someone with COVID-19?

Anyone with Symptoms

Avoid contact with others, clean and disinfect surfaces, practice good hygiene, rest, drink plenty of fluids, and get good nutrition.

For emergencies, call 911.

 

Students

  • LVC has partnered with WellSpan Health System to provide 24-hour, 7-day-a-week access to a doctor through the convenience of a video appointment using your smartphone, tablet, or computer. If you need medical attention or advice, first visit the WellSpan Online Urgent Care registration page. Use registration code “LVCStudent."
  • See your primary care physician or urgent care center.

 

Faculty and Staff

Seek immediate medical care and do not come to work. Capital Blue Cross members: "Capital Blue Cross will cover diagnostic testing in full with no member cost share and is waiving prior authorizations for diagnostic tests and covered services that are medically necessary and consistent with CDC guidance for members diagnosed with COVID-19."

If you are home from work with an illness for more than three days, you will be asked to provide LVC human resources with a return-to-work note from your physician clearing you to come back to campus. 

Capital BlueCross is waiving the member cost share of telehealth services from eligible in-network (including BlueCard) providers through April 15. Telehealth allows patients to connect with their providers by phone or videoconference and is not limited to a specific platform or app. CBC will also cover the total claim cost and waive member cost share on their Virtual Care medical and behavioral health visits for those plans who offer the benefit, until April 15. Visit here to learn more.

How is LVC assessing people with exposure concerns?

Faculty and staff who think they may have been exposed to or come into close contact with someone who has been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their primary care physician and self-quarantine for 14 days.

What happens if there is a case of coronavirus or an outbreak on campus?

If a case of coronavirus or an outbreak occurs on campus, the College will receive assistance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. We will also communicate across channels including via email, web, text messaging, social media, and the College’s emergency system if necessary to inform the community about the situation, action items, and next steps.

Contact campuswellness@lvc.edu if you have any questions or concerns about LVC’s preparedness for COVID-19.

Should my travel to affected areas be reported to the College?

Yes. Please notify the College using campuswellness@lvc.edu if you have traveled to any affected region of the world since Feb. 1, 2020. List your dates of travel and the places you visited during that time.

What is LVC doing to maintain cleanliness of facilities?

LVC housekeeping officials are monitoring European and U.S. CDC websites and attending webinars, including one on Friday, March 6. The speaker is an expert on virus transmissions and diseases who covered proper responses and protections of individuals in school settings. Based on the presentation, LVC is already doing everything possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in terms of housekeeping. 

Our cleaning staff, and Metz staff, continue to concentrate on high-touch areas and use appropriate cleaning supplies and equipment. It has been recently discovered that hand sanitizer is not effective unless "the alcohol by content" level is above 60%. LVC uses sanitizer in all its dispensers that is 70% (the solution used in medical facilities).

Are LVC students studying or traveling in affected regions?

By March 6, 2020, all LVC students who were studying or doing clinical rotations in Italy will have returned to the U.S. These students are self-quarantining at home and will complete their studies online from home. 

Other study abroad programs and other LVC-sponsored international travel are under consideration for suspension or postponement. We are evaluating travel advisories, safety, healthcare systems, and disruption to academic progress. Final decisions will be communicated to all participants.

What happens if a student cannot finish an abroad program?

LVC policy does not allow students to study abroad in countries designated Level 3 (warning) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some programs allow students to finish their studies online if in-person classes are suspended. If a program does not provide an online option, LVC will work with affected students to teach out the rest of the coursework online and/or on-campus following any required self-quarantine period.

What happens if travel restrictions prevent international students from going home?

LVC staff are in regular contact with international students and will provide on-campus housing as needed if students are unable to return home in the summer.

Community Messages

A Message to Families from Dr. Bob Mikus, March 25, 2020

Dear Lebanon Valley College Families,

I hope this letter finds you healthy and safe, wrapped in the comfort of loved ones during these uncertain times. Over the years I have had the privilege of meeting many of you, whether in person, over the telephone, or via email. During the past few weeks, my family communications have focused on the College’s response to and planning of the COVID-19 situation. This letter is different. It serves to affirm how life at LVC, while certainly different in the remote environment, remains centered on supporting the growth and development of the most valued members of our community—our students.

I write this letter from a quiet room at my house, not the active and exciting environment of the Center for Student Engagement as I am accustomed. It is a different experience. It will require flexibility and patience. It will require concerted effort to remain connected with my colleagues, my students, my friends. And as I struggle with this new experience, it is my hope that your students will understand that they are not alone. We will persevere and come through this as a stronger community—it is the LVC way!  

While preparing my thoughts for this letter, I asked my own college student, “What is most concerning about this COVID-19 pandemic? Are you worried about connecting with friends…transitioning to a new and different learning modality…re-evaluating your study abroad plans? The answer received was surprising: “I’m not worried about myself. I’m worried about the economy, dad, and the families who will struggle as a result.” Shocked as I was at this reply, it should not have surprised me. It reflects the caring, thoughtful, and reflective nature of this generation. Our students—your sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, grandchildren—are among the most kind and caring students with whom I’ve worked during my 27-year career. I’ve come to know and appreciate a collective selfless spirit, thinking of others more often than themselves. At times such as these, we must continue to foster that selflessness, that care and concern. It is the framework within which our LVC community has evolved for more than 150 years.

This COVID-19 uncertainly impacts each of us differently. However, I assure you that there remains familiarity and commonality throughout LVC. Our talented and skilled academic support team is working tirelessly to ensure that our connections with your students remain engaging, meaningful, and purposeful. Please encourage your student to remain connected to their LVC faculty and staff, their roommates and friends. Engagement opportunities are thriving! Student Government continues to meet regularly. Our Service and Volunteerism Program has identified opportunities for students to serve while away from campus. Coaches continue to support their student-athletes through virtual coaching and advising. Twice each week your students receive “Updates from The Valley,” a newsletter highlighting ways to stay engaged with LVC (and more opportunities are in the works!). I encourage you to ask your student each day how they connected with a professor, a classmate, or staff member. Such personal connections are important for our students, as well as our staff. Our faculty and staff are eager to reconnect and advance the deep and meaningful relationships we have with your student.  

As we move through this situation in the coming weeks, please be assured of the collective commitment of our LVC community. I welcome the opportunity to connect with you, our families, to ensure the best possible experience for your child in these uncertain times. Please accept my gratitude for the trust you’ve placed in us to guide and shape the growth and development of your student. It is a profound privilege and distinct honor to play a small part in the transformation of your student during the most incredible years of their lives!

Finally, we created a new email for you and our students to have any questions answered. Please email information@lvc.edu and the appropriate person will respond as soon as possible.  

Stay safe and be well!

Best,

Robert L. Mikus '90, Ph.D. 
Interim Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students

A Message from President Thayne, March 20, 2020

Dear Students and Families:

I want to begin this letter by saying thank you to all LVC students and families for your heroic efforts in response to the COVID-19 crisis. I deeply regret the necessity of having to ask students to leave campus. Thank you for your determination and, frankly, your grit to do what is necessary to safeguard your health and the health and wellbeing of all LVC students and campus community members. To date, there are no reported cases of COVID-19 in the LVC community.

In one week, you have been asked to move from the residence halls, convert to online classes, leave daily contact with friends, and sacrifice the truly special, personal quality of the LVC experience. I know that for many students and families, this was done at considerable personal sacrifice. 

I spoke with faculty members at a virtual meeting yesterday and heard from them and many students and families the depth of disappointment that is being felt. I feel it personally, I can assure you. What you have achieved despite that disappointment is all the more astonishing. I am very aware of the stress caused by these abrupt changes and ongoing uncertainties. LVC is a community that is at its best in an emergency and when we all need to pull together in the same direction. The COVID-19 crisis has certainly brought out our best. 

Last night Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf issued a statewide Emergency Declaration that effectively closes all LVC buildings and campus-based operations. The declaration is open-ended. The CDC had previously recommended no gatherings of 50 or more for the next eight weeks. The State Department has issued the highest level travel alert for any and all international travel. Almost all of our study abroad students and faculty conducting international research have returned or are returning to the U.S. Social distancing is still the only effective safeguarding measure and we must all participate in slowing and stopping the spread of the virus for the benefit of the communities of which we belong. LVC will do its part.

I am announcing with this letter that all classes for the spring semester will be taught remotely, including final exams. LVC will not resume any campus-based instruction, campus-based residency, or campus-based student activity for the spring semester. This includes athletic competitions, student performances, research presentations, exhibitions, and recognitions. We will, however, work intensively to develop alternative and virtual means of designing presentations and recognition. I know you will have many questions. Please see the below information for more details. 

For seniors, this leaves the question of Commencement. There is no current information to suggest that there will be any positive change in policies and practices around social distancing by May 9. I can fully commit to you that we will have a Commencement ceremony at some date in the future. Regrettably, I must inform you that we will not have a traditional Commencement Ceremony on May 9. Personally, I would like nothing better than to hand out diplomas in person, to send you off with my fondest best wishes for your future. Instead, our challenge is to work together to create an alternative plan for recognition. I am convinced that we can–with your contribution of ideas–find ways to honor the seniors and recognize student accomplishments. On Monday, I intend to get started on this commitment.

We are definitely going to get through this crisis. This is a moment in time and, for all of us, an invitation to demonstrate compassion and kindness toward one another, to retain our optimism while being realistic. The LVC signature is the close, respectful relationships we build between faculty and student, student and student, and among all of us. This must now become a virtual signature as well. Everyone is part of this learning community. We expected to continue remote instruction with the simplest organization of efforts, to learn as we go, and to refine as we learn. Your questions and ideas will be part of the refinements we make as we go along in all areas of college life.

Thank you for responding so well and flexibly to this urgent and serious situation. I repeat my strong encouragement to spend time each day in self-care, to schedule time for self-care. I am very proud of you and very grateful for each and every one of you.

Warmly,

President Lewis Thayne

A Message to Faculty and Staff from President Thayne, March 16, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

Today we venture together into uncharted waters. In the past 72 hours, we have moved all students out of the residence halls, prepared to complete all classes online, and planned to move all offices to online services. Our objective now is to make the conversion from face-to-face instruction and in-person work to fully remote and online—and to make that conversion as seamless as possible, as rapid as possible, and as simple as possible. 

From everything I have seen—and considered as a whole —we are prepared. It’s inevitable that there will be bumps in the road, and many unanticipated questions are sure to arise. I am confident we will address these challenges together and learn valuable lessons.

The agility, competence, and determination of so many over the last several days has been incredibly impressive. The College has been able to implement complex and difficult decisions quickly by keeping our students at the center of all our efforts. Our highest priority is the safety and security of our students, of all employees of the College, and of the communities with which we interact.

In this crisis, it is essential that we maintain a shared sense of mission and of community. Ann Hayes, Monica Cowart, and Dave Shapiro will continue to communicate about the logistics of remote learning and working. Starting tomorrow, Molly O’Brien-Foelsch will share with the campus community a once-daily update on COVID-19-related matters. Part of each day’s communication will be an opportunity to acknowledge truly heroic efforts by our colleagues.

I am very proud of what we have done so far. I have no doubt that our response going forward will reflect the resilience and grit, the ethos of care and of determination that characterize the LVC community. Please remember to begin with self-care and to connect (remotely) with your friends and family.

Warmly,

Lewis

Limited Campus Building Access, March 16, 2020

Most College buildings will be locked down for safety and security reasons and they will also be placed into an ECO mode for energy savings.

Staff working remotely must obtain permission from their supervisors and Human Resources before entering academic buildings.

Faculty, including emeriti faculty, should communicate with department chairs and obtain permission from Provost Cowart or Dean Harris and Human Resources before entering academic buildings.

Students are not permitted in academic buildings.

A Message to Faculty, March 15, 2020

Colleagues,

The situation with the COVID-19 virus is changing rapidly, and based on new guidelines just released by the CDC, we are switching to fully online trainings for Monday and Tuesday. The links for Monday’s sessions are provided below. 

We are also making a slight shift in the afternoon schedule. The Main session will still start at 9 a.m., but the afternoon sessions are going to run concurrently starting at noon. All sessions will be recorded, so please choose one technology session to participate in at noon, and then you can view the other sessions once they have been posted. We’ll let everyone know when recordings are available.

We appreciate your patience and support as we work through all of the challenges with this very fluid situation.

Sincerely,

Dr. Marc Harris, Dean of Faculty

Dr. Monica Cowart, Provost

 

9 a.m.—Main Presentation

 

Noon—Technology Sessions

VoiceThread—Jen Kuntz

WebEx—Mike Zeigler

TechSmith Relay—Andy Marsh

Canvas Course Structuring and Tools—Jasmine Bucher

A Message to Administrators and Staff, March 15, 2020

Colleagues,

The situation with the COVID-19 virus is changing rapidly, and based on new guidelines just released by the CDC, staff who will be working remotely will begin doing so tomorrow. All on-campus meetings scheduled for tomorrow are canceled. Staff who will continue to work on campus (facilities, residential life, public safety) should report as usual.

Attached are two policies we wanted to review with you tomorrow, the Staff Work Policy in Response to Coronavirus COVID-19 and Guidelines for Supervisors Managing Remote Staff. Please familiarize yourself with both policies.

Supervisors, please ensure that your remote staff is ready and able to begin working remotely. Please also establish a communication schedule.

If you need to come to the office to pick up documents, files or close up your office, please do so.  

As a reminder, you can attend the 1 p.m. work-from-home training remotely using WebEx. | COVID-19 IT Resources

We appreciate your patience and support as we work through all of the challenges with this very fluid situation.

Please contact me with questions.

Ann Hayes
Senior Director of Human Resources and Title IX Coordinator

 

A Message to LVC Families from Provost Cowart, March 15, 2020

Dear LVC Families,

We recognize that this has been a particularly challenging time for families and students as we all attempt to navigate the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of us are still trying to process all the sudden changes occurring in Pennsylvania, across the U.S., and around the world. It is in uncertain times like these that you can be even more confident in your decision to have your student attend LVC. I am reaching out to assure you that the College remains committed to offering the first-class education for which we are known. 

We have taken immediate action and implemented several measures that will ensure our students have uninterrupted course work and have access to all the academic support services that you expect from LVC. My team has been working around the clock with our faculty and other key campus leaders so that we are ready to address the comprehensive needs of our students as we shift to remote learning on Wednesday. 

I would like to share some of the action steps we implemented in the past week so that Wednesday’s transition to online learning will address the needs of our students:

  • Faculty forums occurred last week to identify immediate technology needs and to discuss how all course learning objectives would be met remotely, despite the content area, in case we needed to move teaching online.
  • We reached out to accrediting bodies and colleges around the U.S. that have already taken their programs online to get direction on how to offer labs and other forms of experiential learning in a potentially new format while preserving learning objectives.
  • Two intensive trainings are scheduled for Monday, March 16, and Tuesday, March 17, to help our faculty convert all aspects of their courses to online/remote modalities. These trainings include workshops on WebEx, Canvas, VoiceThread, and other technology solutions. Professors also are working individually with instructional designers to create course-specific online content that maximizes student learning outcomes.
  • We are not just switching to online instruction. We are making all of our academic support services available remotely. This includes tutoring, individual Academic Success appointments, advising, accommodations, transcripts, resume review, mock interviews, library assistance, and all other academic support services. We are distributing a resource guide to all students, faculty, and families so that everyone knows what steps to take and who to contact to receive the support that is needed on a variety of issues. Since all of our current academic support services will be offered remotely, our students will continue to benefit from the individualized attention that students and families expect from LVC.
  • The deadline to withdraw from a course or change to/from pass/fail status has been extended to April 29. This gives students additional flexibility. The best way to reach the Registrar's Office is via email: registrar@lvc.edu.
  • Undergraduate registration is April 15–23. Course schedules and additional details will be made available ahead of time.
  • We have taken steps to ensure that seniors will not have any graduation disruptions.

As always, my office is here to support you and your student. This resource guide includes contact information for all of our academic student services. If you are unsure about whom to contact to address a specific concern, then please email Beth Julian, assistant dean of student success and retention at: julian@lvc.edu or findyoursuccess@lvc.edu.  

As circumstances evolve, please know that we are adapting our support services and our instructional techniques accordingly. Frankly, seeing our faculty, staff, and administrators come together this past week to creatively problem solve has shown me the pure strength of the LVC community. 

In these difficult times, know that we are here for you and your student. I have never been so proud to be a member of this community. To quote our CIO, Dave Shapiro, in a faculty forum from last week “We are here for you…We’ve got this!” and we promise you that we will continue to put the needs of our students first in everything we do.

Sincerely,

Dr. Monica Cowart
Provost & Vice President of Academic Affairs

Community Message from President Thayne, March 12, 2020

Posted March 12, 2020, 7 p.m.

Dear LVC Community,

Yesterday, the World Health Organization assessed that COVID-19 is a pandemic. Last night, the U.S. Department of State issued a Level 3 Global Health Advisory (Reconsider Travel), and President Trump addressed the nation about curbing the spread of COVID-19. Today, Governor Tom Wolf recommended significant social distancing and no mass gatherings of 250 people or more for two weeks starting tomorrow, March 13, as a proactive measure to prevent sustained community spread of the disease. Given these and other new developments, the Critical Incident Team strongly recommended that Lebanon Valley College move all classes to remote learning from Wed., March 18, until Thurs., April 9. I have accepted their recommendation to protect the health and well-being of our students and follow precautionary measures. During this period, we will evaluate continuously and assess whether or when we will resume face-to-face classes.

  • All in-person classes are canceled Mon., March 16, and Tues., March 17, for faculty to complete preparations for remote instruction. Existing online classes will proceed as planned. Face-to-face classes are expected to resume on April 14.
  • Students must vacate residence halls and houses by Sunday, March 15, at 1 p.m. and take all belongings with them.
  • Clarification as of March 13: Only those students who have been approved to remain living on campus past March 15 are permitted to enter campus buildings or facilities. Commuting students and those who live off-campus are not permitted to enter or use campus buildings or facilities until such time as in-person classes resume.
  • Students will receive instructions from their professors about how to proceed with their courses. Classes will be held through April 29 as planned, and our regular final exam schedule remains in effect.
  • Seniors will graduate on time if they fulfill all course requirements. Students will complete all their academic requirements remotely. Learning outcomes will not change, even though the mode of delivery will. Faculty will assess students according to the outcomes outlined in syllabi.
  • Student support services, including advising and tutoring, will be available remotely. Counseling services will be available remotely for in-state students. If you need mental health support, call 717-867-6232 or email falk@lvc.edu.
  • Students will not be charged room and board for days the College administration determines residence halls and dining facilities will be closed.
  • All College-related domestic and international travel is prohibited until further notice unless approved by Provost Cowart or President Thayne.
  • LVC Live, our admitted student day, has been postponed. No admission visits or campus events are permitted until further notice.
  • The College will remain open with modified business hours (8 a.m.–4 p.m.).
  • The Middle Atlantic Conference has suspended conference and non-conference athletic contests, on- or off-campus, March 16–30. Athletes should leave campus with all other students and await notification on the next steps from the Athletic Department.
  • The Arnold Sports Center is closed.
  • Study abroad programs and other LVC-sponsored international travel are under consideration for suspension or postponement. We are evaluating travel advisories, safety, healthcare systems, and disruption to academic progress. Final decisions will be communicated to all participants.
  • All internships for credit, clinicals, and student teaching assignments will continue if the host institution is open for business.
  • We will communicate as far in advance as we can about Inquiry, Commencement, New Student Advising Days, and other end-of-semester events.
  • Please direct inquiries about COVID-19 and the College’s preparedness to 717-867-6555 or campuswellness@lvc.edu.

I am very grateful for the commitment and flexibility of our faculty and staff members, especially the many hours of work and difficult decisions made by our Critical Incident Team. I also want to thank those faculty, staff, students, and parents who emailed their support and guidance. This is an unprecedented time. LVC is a resilient institution. As circumstances change, we will adjust. What will not change is Lebanon Valley College’s commitment to students. We will continue to update the below FAQs and communicate regularly.

Sincerely,

President Thayne

Community Message from President Thayne, March 11, 2020

Posted March 11, 2020, 8:45 p.m.

 

Dear Campus Community,

As of today, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the PA Department of Health are recommending that colleges and universities without identified cases of COVID-19 in their community remain open. There are no identified cases in our community. Given this fact and current guidance by public health officials, LVC will continue to deliver classes in-person. Faculty will maintain office hours and college offices will work their normal schedules. 

The COVID-19 situation could change at any moment. Many colleges and universities in Pennsylvania have opted for online-only delivery of courses. We are monitoring the situation closely and have discussed with the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees options to consider. If we decide to move to online learning, we will communicate this immediately.  

Lebanon Valley College’s critical incident team meets daily to prepare for potential impacts on the College. I encourage you to review the FAQs below and bookmark this page to stay informed of updates. Please direct inquiries about COVID-19 and the College’s preparedness to 717-867-6555 or campuswellness@lvc.edu.  

LVC Live—our admitted student day scheduled for this Saturday, March 14—will take place as planned. It is one of the most meaningful experiences for prospective students and their families. 

I expect there will be a need for frequent updates, so please be alert to changes in circumstances. 

Sincerely, 

President Thayne 

Community Message from Dr. Bob Mikus, March 4, 2020

Last update: Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Posted March 4, 2020

The following FAQs outline the actions Lebanon Valley College is taking regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). There are no reported cases of COVID-19 on the Lebanon Valley College campus, and no one is self-isolating, as of March 11, 2020. A college-wide team is monitoring the situation and planning for several scenarios should the virus affect campus. The team is following PA Department of Health guidelines and regularly monitoring Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, and World Health Organization information. 

A few important items to note:

  • Students: LVC has partnered with WellSpan Health System to provide 24-hour, 7-day-a-week access to a doctor through the convenience of a video appointment using your smartphone, tablet, or computer. If you need medical attention or advice, first visit the WellSpan Online Urgent Care registration page. Use registration code “LVCStudent."
  • COVID-19 symptoms include fever, fatigue, dry cough, and difficulty breathing. Some may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, or diarrhea. If you have these symptoms, please call Shroyer Health Center at 717-867-6232 before using walk-in services. 
  • Students who need mental health support should visit counseling services in the Shroyer Health Center. Walk-in appointments are Mon.–Fri., 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and students may also call for appointments (717-867-6232).
  • Public safety is always available at 717-867-6111. Call 911 in an emergency.
  • Faculty and staff who experience symptoms or who have come into contact with those experiencing symptoms should contact their primary care physicians. If you have symptoms for more than three days, you must provide LVC human resources with a return-to-work note from your physician clearing you to come back to campus.
  • Stay home to rest if you are ill.
  • If you have traveled to a location where COVID-19 has been reported since Feb. 1, 2020, Lebanon Valley College requests that you make the College aware by emailing campuswellness@lvc.edu. Provide the dates and locations of your travel. We also request you avoid unnecessary travel anywhere the disease has been reported.
  • PA Dept of Health can be reached at 877-724-3258.

The College will continue to provide updates as this situation evolves.

Dr. Bob Mikus
Interim Vice President of Student Affairs & Dean of Students
Chair of the LVC Critical Incident & Emergency Management Team

Prevention Tips

Everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating. 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 with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact (at least three feet) with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, avoid crowded spaces, including classes and public events, or stay home. Please contact your professor directly if you need to miss a class or your supervisor if you need to stay home from work.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with the bend of elbow or tissue, then throw the tissue in a closed trash container.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, including cell phones, keyboards, and other devices.