This page was last updated 3/26/20.

Key updates

For students and families

Classes

  • Spring term begins Wednesday, April 1
  • All classes will be delivered remotely. You’ll hear from your faculty by April 1 with information about how your courses will be delivered.
  • The Registrar’s office recently introduced an online-only add/drop process (learn more here). The standard deadlines apply for spring term add/drop.

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition is charged based on original mode of delivery.
  • Fees are currently being evaluated and we will have more information to come.

Housing

  • If you plan to stay in the residence hall, University Housing will consolidate all residents to a central location on April 13 and 14. You will be housed in Arbor Park for the remainder of the term. The rate is $2,156 plus you must choose a meal plan. You must complete the Spring Term Housing Reservation Form by March 25 to indicate your plans to remain living on campus for the rest of spring term.
  • If you’d like to move out of the residence halls, please complete the University Housing Check Out Form by March 25 to avoid spring term charges. You may move out between now and 5 p.m. on April 5.
  • No student will be charged for spring term if they leave housing by April 5 and follow the check-out process. Instructions for Express check out can be found here.
  • More housing FAQs can be found on the University Housing website.

Commencement

  • Commencement will be held in a virtual ceremony this year. It will be held during the same time of 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 13. More details to come on the Commencement website.

Open departments

  • Hamersly Library: please check their website for information about hours and services.
  • Peter Courtney Health and Wellness Center is currently closed due to the governor’s Executive Order 20-12. Please check their website for updates.
  • Werner University Center is currently open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • For other departments, please visit their webpages for information about how to get in touch with them.

Resources

  • Academic Advising is offering remote advising sessions. Please visit their website for details.
  • The Registrar’s office is offering services remotely. Please visit their website for details.
  • Financial Aid is offering remote appointments. Those can be scheduled through the Wolf Connection System or you can call their office at 503-838-8475.
  • Transfer Pathways is offering remote appointments for community college students. Click here to make an appointment.
  • The Writing Center has posted about their services for spring term on their website.

COVID-19 testing

The Student Health and Counseling Center (SHCC) is now offering COVID-19 testing to WOU students. Please call them at 503-838-8313 to get triaged. If they qualify you for testing, they will provide further instructions. They are doing the testing/collecting specimens in a tent behind the SHCC building.

For employees
  • The university is open, and we are all learning together how to work differently.
  • Spring term begins Wednesday, April 1.
  • In accordance with the governor’s Executive Order 20-12, “If businesses can have employees work from home, then they must do so”; this requires those of us who can work from home must.
  • While most departments and employees are working remotely, there are some departments on campus that serve critical functions and need to have workers on site. Critical functions are defined by the President’s Cabinet and referred to in the governor’s Executive Order 20-09.
  • Starting March 24, most campus buildings will be locked and accessible by fob only.
  • Facilities Services disinfect all entrance door handles daily. The department will be monitoring building traffic to deploy resources for cleaning bathrooms and other building areas with the goal of disinfecting most heavily in areas that must be used.
  • If employees need help with telecommuting technology, University Computing Solutions has provided a resource page.
  • Pay documents should be submitted electronically. Please refer to a March 20 email from Human Resources for instructions. 
  • To determine how to use sick time, vacation time or other leave in our current circumstances, please refer to Human Resources’ COVID-19 page.
  • If you would like to report a concern about someone not following social distancing protocols, please report it to Campus Public Safety here.

Communications from President Rex Fuller

March 26: Update from President Rex Fuller and Registrar Amy Clark

Dear campus community,

Just as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected how we offer courses, how we spend our time and how we connect as a community, it also has affected one of Western Oregon University’s most cherished traditions: Commencement.

After deep deliberation, the university has decided to present the 163rd Commencement Ceremony as a virtual event, allowing us to celebrate this important milestone and provide recognition of our students’ hard work and perseverance.

The virtual ceremony will take place at the originally scheduled Commencement time of 10 a.m. June 13. The web-based ceremony will still include addresses from President Fuller and our outstanding student honorees; in addition, customized information about participating grads will be viewable on demand by all “attendees.” In advance of the ceremony, each graduate will receive by mail a commencement program book, a mortarboard (graduation cap), tassel and diploma cover. Diplomas will be mailed to graduates during the summer.

We are extremely disappointed we cannot safely have a live ceremony, an event that traditionally has been the high point of each academic year. However, we believe hosting a virtual ceremony at the scheduled time is a better alternative than postponement because we want to celebrate with students and their families during graduation season. We are considering a possible recognition event at Homecoming 2020 in October and will have more details in the future if we move forward with that plan.

We’ve heard from many students and families who are trying to book travel arrangements for a graduation ceremony. In deference to everyone’s ability to plan during these uncertain times, we decided to make the decision regarding a virtual ceremony now rather than wait indefinitely to see whether the pandemic situation improved. Almost all other Oregon public universities have made similar announcements about their commencements.

We recognize that the disruption caused by COVID-19 has touched every aspect of life and that this is not the commencement that graduates, their families and their friends were expecting. However, we hope a virtual ceremony and possible Homecoming event will allow graduates to celebrate their great achievements at WOU during this unprecedented time in history. We imagine this has created some questions for you, so we have included an FAQ at the bottom of this message.

We look forward to standing with all our graduates each year and being a part of this significant life milestone. Although current events prevent us from gathering in person, we remain extremely proud of all that our graduates have accomplished because together we succeed. 

Sincerely,

Rex Fuller and Amy Clark

Virtual Commencement FAQs

Does not having a Commencement ceremony impact my ability to graduate?
No, Commencement is a ceremony recognizing graduates. Actual graduation is the awarding of a degree upon completion of requirements. 

Why are you holding it online instead of postponing it?
We wanted to celebrate with students during commencement season. In addition, when researching virtual commencement options, we were impressed by how we could create an opportunity to truly honor our graduates and their accomplishments in a personalized way. 

Why did you decide this now instead of waiting to see if the pandemic improved?
We also didn’t want students and their families to have to make plans that would likely need to be canceled. Almost all other Oregon public universities have made similar announcements about their ceremonies. 

Can I still order Commencement items such as announcements and a cap and gown?
Yes, you can order these items online to be shipped to you. We encourage you to wear your regalia during the ceremony and in the photograph that you upload for the virtual ceremony. The Wolfstore will have additional information soon about how to order items. We will be sending a complimentary cap and tassel to 2020 grads.

When will I get my diploma?
Diplomas are mailed after the university verifies that your degree requirements are met, typically within two weeks of the end of the term. 

Will I still get a diploma case?
Diploma cases will be mailed to students.

Can I attend a future in-person ceremony?
If gatherings are allowable and advisable, WOU is working to provide a physical celebration at Homecoming in the fall.  

What will happen with department or group ceremonies such as Lavender Graduation?
There will be virtual options for university-recognized alternate ceremonies. More details will come from the departments that host those events. 

Will OHSU students get to participate in the virtual ceremony?
Yes.

March 19: Update from President Rex Fuller

Dear campus community,

After many conversations and deep reflection, we have decided to extend remote course delivery through the entire spring term to combat the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). We feel this is the best solution for our campus because it allows us to keep resources–including residence halls–available as well continue to provide opportunities for a high-quality education during this time of social distancing.

Faculty members are already shifting their course experiences and content to be delivered remotely. Innovative methods are being developed across campus, and we are excited that students will be able to continue to progress towards graduation. Students should expect to hear from their spring term faculty about how their courses will be delivered before classes start April 1. We also are actively working on developing resources, tips and tools to help students navigate this new learning environment.

I recognize this is new territory for all of us. Those of you nearing graduation might be feeling disappointed that your final term will be different than you planned. We are doing our absolute best to make this challenging time as smooth as possible because our highest priorities are your academic success and well-being, as well as the safety of our community. One of our greatest strengths lies in being a community that supports all of our members during both good and uncertain times. We will continue to be there for you.

For WOU employees, we are maintaining the same guidance as my previous email on work-related practices.

I appreciate everyone’s efforts to meet these challenges, and I want to especially thank our faculty for their efforts to move courses to remote delivery on such a scale. I am confident we will be able to continue to serve our students and maintain our high standards of academic excellence while still doing our part to prevent the spreading of the virus.

Please continue to check the WOU COVID-19 resources page for updates and remember, together we will succeed!

Sincerely,
Rex Fuller

March 13: Update from President Rex Fuller
Dear campus community,

In the past 24 hours, there has been a significant development that affects our planning. Late last night, Gov. Brown announced a statewide closure of Oregon K-12 schools from March 16 through March 31. This decision affects many students, faculty and staff who have children attending Oregon schools.

We continue to take a proactive approach to supporting statewide efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19. If you are exhibiting any symptoms of illness, please stay home and seek appropriate medical treatment.

Additional and continuing steps are below.

Child Development Center
Because of Gov. Brown’s K-12 closure announcement, our childcare center is closed as of Monday, March 16 and will tentatively reopen Wednesday, April 1.  

Winter 2020 final exams
We have canceled all in-person final exams and class meetings next week. We recognize this could be challenging for some courses, but we need to maximize health and safety for everyone. 

Faculty have a number of options available, including:

  • Putting the exam online
  • Having work distributed via email
  • Offering incomplete (I) grades
  • Grading based on the work that has been completed up to this point

Faculty will determine the method that works best for each of their classes and send their students an email that communicates the plan for next week. This email will go out no later than noon Saturday, March 14.

Academic Innovation will be providing faculty support to transition to online and remotely delivered final exams and class meetings. Faculty should use the Request for Assistance with Remote Instruction Form to contact Academic Innovation to request support for this transition.

Spring 2020 classes
Spring term classes will begin April 1, not Monday, March 30. Almost all spring 2020 courses will begin by being delivered online or remotely. Then, we will re-evaluate our social distancing measures periodically throughout spring quarter. We will provide another update on this no later than April 15. Tuition for spring 2020 courses will be charged based on the original mode of instruction in your schedule.

We ask for your patience as our faculty work to adjust their spring courses and communicate with their students about how courses will be offered. Students are encouraged to contact their faculty with any questions they have about course delivery.

Housing and dining
Campus residence halls will remain open during this time in order to reduce the need for students to travel home if they are unable to travel at this time. University Housing has limited temporary spaces available for roommates who would like to separate and limit their contact with others. 

Students who can go home are strongly encouraged to do so. Students who leave should take whatever personal or academic items they want but do not need to check out of their rooms.

During this time, the Valsetz Dining Hall be open with limited hours for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The seating area will be closed, and all food will be takeout only. Please see the University Housing website for more details about housing and dining.  

Student and campus services
Many departments on campus will adjust their services to provide them via phone, email, video chat and other methods to limit face-to-face interactions. We appreciate your flexibility and understanding. 

Human Resources
If feasible, telecommuting for all employees (including students) is permitted if approved by their supervisor and the appropriate vice president for their area. In approving telecommuting, care should be given to ensuring the university continues to meet its mission. Please review the telecommuting guidelines and application/agreement for information.

Payroll services will be unchanged.

If you have questions about accrued leave or other human resources matters, please contact Judy Vanderburg (vanderj@wou.edu) or Heather Mercer (mercerh@wou.edu).

As additional information is available, we will continue to update wou.edu/coronavirus. Additionally, I want to let you know a deep cleaning will take place during spring break. Our staff will clean in accordance with practices recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. These efforts will enable us to open for spring term on April 1.

Our employees continue to work diligently to make our efforts align with guidance from the governor and public health officials. I know this is stressful time for all of us; I am confident that we will support each other throughout this process.

I appreciate your patience and flexibility as we enter uncharted waters. I encourage you to share this information with your families.

Sincerely,

Rex Fuller

March 12: Update from President Rex Fuller

Dear campus community,

As promised, I am writing with additional information about our response to COVID-19, particularly in light of Governor Brown’s executive directives released late last night and this morning. First, and most importantly, consistent with the Governor’s executive action informed by guidance from Oregon Health Authority experts, we are not closing campus at this time.   You may view Governor Brown’s press release here.

The campus is taking a proactive approach to supporting global efforts to limit the spread. These steps are the socially responsive approach and fits our values and the guidelines provided by the Governor, the Oregon Health Authority and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC).  

  • Finals for winter term will be held as scheduled unless students receive specific information from their faculty.
  • Campus residence halls will remain open during spring break, with the standard fee waived, reducing the need for students to travel home if they are unable to or uncomfortable with traveling at this time. Valsetz Dining Hall will be open with limited hours for breakfast, lunch, and dinner over spring break. Please see the University Housing website.
  • Most classes for spring term, starting March 30, will be offered remotely, which includes but is not limited to online solutions for a minimum of two weeks. This will be continuously evaluated. Faculty will notify students regarding how their individual courses will be delivered.
  • We will not sponsor or host any gatherings with more than 250 people. This restriction is effective until April 8 and will be revaluated prior to that date.
  • Gatherings for fewer than 250 will be in spaces that accommodate at least twice the number of attendees to maximize our adherence to social distancing.
  • Maintain a distance of at least three (3) feet between employees in offices and at worksites, including essential meetings.
  • Limit all non-essential meetings of twenty (20) or more individuals, including after-work functions.
  • Non-essential WOU-sponsored travel is suspended. We recommend that students, staff and faculty stay local as much as possible, and limit their personal travel.
  • Employees will be permitted to work remotely, where feasible, and with approval from your supervisor. (see here)

Looking ahead to spring term, faculty have been urged to create alternative methods for teaching courses. To assist in this effort, the campus expanded our support for online offerings. More details concerning this will be sent to faculty today and I am confident that this will enable the campus to greatly expand on-line offering in spring term.

I am enormously grateful to employees for working diligently to make our efforts for increased social distancing a reality and to those who continue to support our students during this stressful time. In my years at Western, I have appreciated how focused our community is about supporting each other and that stands even truer today. 

As additional information is available, we will continue to update wou.edu/coronavirus. I also understand that some of the points above may have prompted additional questions so we have added an FAQ section to the webpage. If you have additional questions or comments, there is a form to submit them on our coronavirus webpage

Also, we have scheduled a livestreamed forum (with captioning and interpreters) for Monday, March 30 where we will be providing additional information about spring term and available to answer your questions. I will email you details about that as soon as it’s available.

I appreciate your patience and flexibility as we enter uncharted waters in this COVID-19 situation. I encourage you to share this information with your families.

Sincerely,

Rex Fuller

Coronavirus update and resources

Western Oregon University is closely monitoring information about the coronavirus (COVID-19). On Thursday, March 26, WOU learned one of our students has tested positive for COVID-19. Polk County Public Health will contact anyone believed to have been exposed.

We understand members of our Wolves family may be concerned about coronavirus, so we put together information and resources for you. This page is not intended to be all-encompassing or to provide medical or legal advice. Please be sure to check the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) links below for the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus as information on this virus is rapidly evolving.

For general information on novel coronavirus, call 211 or text 898-211 between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m., seven days a week. It’s not an automated message, so you might have to wait for a response. If you are having a medical emergency, call 911.

Supporting an inclusive community
WOU is an inclusive community with members from all over the world, and we have members who travel all over the world. With this in mind, please remember that the risk of coronavirus is not connected with race, ethnicity or nationality.

On March 8, public health experts at the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and education officials with the Oregon Department of Education and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission issued guidance and best practices (view guidance as a Word document or PDF) from public health experts to schools, colleges and universities for decision-making concerning the novel coronavirus in Oregon. Please visit the Higher Education Coordinating Commission and Oregon Department of Education webpages for additional information.

Prevention and Treatment

Prevention

The steps you can take to protect yourself from the coronavirus are similar to avoiding the common flu (influenza) and other respiratory diseases. The current understanding is that coronavirus spreads through person-to-person contact (within about 6 feet) by respiratory droplets or contaminated hands as a result of coughing, sneezing or touching an object that has the virus on it then touching one’s mouth, nose or eyes.

Be sure to follow these simple precaution measures. These are the same precautions you should take during flu season:

  • Cover your mouth with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing and avoid coughing into your hand.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. They may have symptoms including fever over 100.4℉ (38℃), cough and/or shortness of breath/difficulty breathing.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
  • If you’re sick, stay home. Talk to your professor(s) or supervisor(s) about missing work or class. 
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds after using the bathroom, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
  • If you use a tissue for sneezing, blowing your nose or coughing, throw it away immediately.
  • Disinfect and clean surfaces that are frequently touched in your home, office and other areas using household cleaning products according to the label instructions.

We also recognize that the coronavirus may be causing stress. Here are some resources to help you manage stress on our mental health promotion website

When to seek treatment

You should call your healthcare provider/county public health agency/Student Health and Counseling Center and identify yourself as having flu-like symptoms particularly:

Call 911 if you’re experiencing shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

If you have a weakened immune system, contact your primary care provider for additional instructions.

If you’re instructed to self-quarantine, you can read more about that on this CDC webpage.

Resources for the WOU community

Students

WOU students taking a minimum of one credit in Monmouth can call the Student Health and Counseling Center (SHCC) to get assessed over the phone at 503-838-8313. SHCC is open Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Area hospitals:

If you’re a student employee on campus, you may be eligible to use sick time. Please visit WOU’s student employee policy here and read section “VI. Leave” to learn how to use this benefit.

Connecting to WOU technology resources from home
Learn how to connect to VDI, VPN, WebX, network drives and more on this webpage by University Computing Solutions.

Employees

Area hospitals:

If you are unable to come to work and want to use sick time, please contact your supervisor or the Human Resources office.

Connecting to WOU technology resources from home
Learn how to connect to VDI, VPN, WebX, network drives and more on this webpage by University Computing Solutions.

For faculty
Looking for resources to deliver your course remotely? Please visit our instructional resiliency webpage, developed by Academic Affairs.

International students, study abroad and visiting scholars

International students and visiting scholars

Please contact the Study Abroad and International Exchanges office at 503-838-8425, global@wou.edu or visit them in Maaske Hall if you have any questions about your stay in the United States as a WOU student or visiting scholar or your ability to travel to your home country.

Study abroad

Please contact the Study Abroad and International Exchanges office at 503-838-8425, studyabroad@wou.edu or visit them in Maaske Hall if you have any questions about whether coronavirus has affected your study abroad program.

National Student Exchange

Please contact Student Affairs at 503-838-8221, or maciase@wou.edu, or visit room 203 in the Werner University Center if you have any questions about whether the coronavirus has affected your domestic study-away program. For health and safety information regarding NSE domestic study-away, visit: https://nse.org/exchange/health-safety/.

Student and Employee travel

Until further notice, WOU-funded travel to international destinations that the CDC has deemed a level 2 or higher on the travel health notice is banned. See the most up-to-date list of these countries on the CDC website.

At this time, WOU-funded domestic travel is currently permissible on a case-by-case basis; however, travelers should monitor conditions in the travel destination carefully before departure. 

WOU cannot ban or restrict travel on personal time. However, we encourage our employees and students to closely monitor the CDC website for the most updated information. If you choose to travel, internationally, to an area which has confirmed cases of the Coronavirus, please know that you may be subject to health screening and possible quarantine upon re-entry to the United States. WOU employees should speak with their supervisor prior to personal travel in order to plan for the possibility of extended absence.

Campus dining

Some changes have been made to on-campus dining options. If you have questions about these changes or dining on campus, email dining@wou.edu. 

At Valsetz Dining Hall

  • The salad bar is now being served at the Spotlight Station for lunch and dinner
  • The Carbo Center is now being served at the Spotlight Station for breakfast
  • The waffle bar will be closed until further notice
  • Soup is now being served at the Sensible Station
  • Pizza is now being served to our customers
  • Condiments are available upon request at the Grill and Spotlight Station

WUC Grill/Deli 

  • The salad bar is closed until further notice
  • Request condiments at the WUC Grill

Allegro and Press

  • They are now toasting bagels for you
  • Drip coffee will be served to you
  • Personal cups will not be used

Wolfstore

Rental Returns/Buyback

The due date for winter term rental textbooks has been extended to April 20th.  

Spring Term Textbook Sales

In-person sales: The Wolfstore has limited physical access to customer service window transactions only. 

Online orders: These are encouraged through the Wolfstore website: http://books.wou.edu/SelectTermDept

Online and phone orders can be shipped to you or picked up at the customer service window. 

The Wolfstore is currently open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can visit their website or call them at 503-838-8300.  

Graduation fair

The graduation fair has been postponed and will be rescheduled with dates to be announced.

Resources

For the latest information on coronavirus, please visit the following resources.

For medical support, please visit the resource most appropriate to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

For students

Q: When does spring term start?
A: Wednesday, April 1.

Q: I live on campus and I’d like to stay in the residence halls over spring break. Is that possible?
A: Yes. There’s a form to fill out in your Housing portal. The typical fee for spring break housing has been waived.

Q: I live on campus. Can I continue to live on campus during spring term?
A: Yes, you can continue to live in your residence hall room.

Q: Will there be any campus dining options open over spring break?
A: Valsetz will be open with reduced hours during spring break. Breakfast will be 8-9:30am, lunch 11am-1pm and dinner 5-7pm. There will be limited options available. The other retail dining locations will not be open during spring break.

Q: How will my tuition be impacted if classes go to online vs. face-to-face?
A: Tuition will stay based on the original method of delivery.

Q: Why do I have to pay fees if all my classes are online?
A: Because delivery methods will be evolving and services are still available, fees will continue to be charged based on the original mode of delivery.

Q: How can I get my spring term books from the Wolfstore?
A: You can place an order online or over the phone. They have limited physical access to the store to their customer service window. Please visit their website for more information.

Q: What’s the deadline to return my textbook rentals to the Wolfstore?
A: The Wolfstore has extended the due date for winter term rentals from March 20 to April 20.

Q: Will there be any change to Hamersly Library hours or services?
A: Please visit the library’s COVID-19 webpage for the most up-to-date information. 

Q: I don’t have a home computer or iPad to do my coursework. Is there one I can rent?
A: The library has some devices to check out to students. Please visit their COVID-19 webpage to learn more.

Q: Is Commencement still happening?
A: Commencement will be held virtually during the same time of 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 13. 

Q: Is the Peter Courtney Health and Wellness Center open?
A: Please visit their webpage for the latest information.

Q: Is Academic Excellence Showcase taking place as planned?
A: The in-person event is not happening this year due to safety and social distancing needs. Alternative plans to celebrate student scholarship are being developed.

For employees 

Q: What does non-essential travel mean?
A: Please work with your supervisor/coach/adviser/faculty member to determine if the travel is essential to your work.

Q: I’d like to work remotely. How do I do that?
A: The Human Resources office has telecommuting guidelines and a telecommuting application. Please talk to your supervisor to determine if telecommuting is feasible for your work then fill out the application. Human Resources is processing these quickly. This option is also available to student employees if their supervisors agree it’s feasible.

Q: Will there be a disruption to payroll?
A: No. Everyone will get paid on the standard schedule.

Q: What kind of leave do I use if I’m staying home from work to care for a child?
A: Please contact Human Resources for guidance on using leave.

Q: Are there resources to help me deliver my courses online or remotely?
A: Yes. Please visit the instructional resiliency webpage created by Academic Affairs.

For all

Q: How do we maintain social distancing if our job involves a lot of one-on-one meetings or I’d like to use services that involve one-on-one meetings/appointments (e.g., advising)?
A: We encourage students and employees to use alternative methods like phone calls, video chats or messaging. We understand this isn’t ideal, but social distancing is critical at this point.

Q: Does the university have the technology to make all of this happen?
A: We have increased WiFi capacity and are providing data cables to plug directly into the network jacks. UCS is also working to increase the capacity of VDI connections for those accessing remotely. Please visit the remote access webpage to learn how to connect to services like VPN, VDI, network drives and more.

Q: Is the WOU Food Pantry open?
A: Please visit their webpage for the latest information.

For prospective students

Q: Will Admissions events be impacted?
A: All in-person visits, including tours, are suspended until April 17. Visit the Admissions website for additional information.

Is there something not covered here? Please let us know.