Coronavirus Information and University Updates

Coronavirus

For updated information on the return to campus, click here.

Rockhurst University is monitoring the evolving situation regarding the continued spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19, worldwide.  

The immediate result of this is the move of all classes to a remote setting for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. As announced April 30, the University is planning a traditional start to the fall 2020 semester.

We encourage members of the Rockhurst University community to take precautions against the virus, stay aware of the latest information regarding its spread, and follow recommendations regarding travel to infected areas. Faculty, staff and students who are considered under investigation, presumed positive or laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19 are encouraged to report their status with the University through procedures outlined in the "General FAQ" section below.

FAQ

ACADEMIC COURSES

Q. When will on-campus coursework resume? 

A. In an email March 16, Rockhurst University announced that all on-campus classwork would be suspended through the end of the spring 2020 semester. Students will instead continue to complete their coursework remotely via Zoom, with synchronous classes taking place at the regularly scheduled time and asynchronous learning occurring at a time of your choosing. The University is currently planning a traditional on-campus start to the fall 2020 semester.

Q. Where can I find resources that I need to study or research? 

A. There are a number of academic resources available for students. A detailed Greenlease Library Services Continuity web guide outlining remote resources and services is available here.  Consult this guide to find services and appropriate staff to answer your questions. Chat service is available here. Due dates of Rockhurst University-owned materials have been changed for all Rockhurst patrons. The new due date for these materials will be May 19, 2020. Please note, however, that Rockhurst University's patrons will no longer be able to request items through the Rockhurst University, KC-Towers, or MOBIUS catalogs, or use Rockhurst University as a pick-up location. 

The Rockhurst University Bookstore, through Barnes & Noble Education, has announced that it has joined VitalSource in an effort to support students impacted by the recent COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Beginning today and through the remainder of the spring 2020 term, VitalSource will offer free access to eTextbooks for students at BNED campuses that have closed due to COVID-19. A list will be provided soon of eligible schools for this program, please check back to review your schools’ eligibility. In the interim, review the attached “Vital Source Help FAQs” to familiarize yourself with the program and the student experience. For a full list of publishers that are participating, click here. 

Q. Can I still take advantage of the Aylward-Dunn Learning Center?   

A. Yes. The Learning Center will provide tutoring and supplemental instruction sessions remotely via Zoom. 

Q. When can I register for summer and fall 2020 term courses?  

A. The University is delaying when students can begin registering for summer 2020 and fall 2020 classes by one week. Both summer and fall registrations will begin at 7 a.m. on Thursday, April 2.  While no PINS are required for summer course registrations, undergraduate students will need to meet remotely with their advisor to get their fall registration PIN. You may do this via Zoom, Canvas, FaceTime, or phone (graduate student registrations never require a PIN).If you are an academic advisor, then please reach out to your advisees to tell them how you are going to have your advisement meetings. The updated registration schedule may be found here and more information on the registration process here. 

COMMENCEMENT

Q. What are the plans for commencement? 

A. University officials had hoped to host in-person commencement activities in September, pending improving conditions. After exploring a host of options, due to local public health restrictions and the logistical challenges of finding an appropirately sized venue, the University decided to instead conduct a virtual commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020 posted in a live social media ‘watch party’ event at 1 p.m. Saturday, September 19, 2020. More details about the virtual ceremony and steps seniors need to take is available here.

CAMPUS HOUSING

Q. Can I still live in my residence hall, even if classes are taking place remotely? 

A. All University students currently living in university housing were required to move out, with some limited exceptions.  

We recognize that there are a variety of reasons why returning home may be particularly challenging and/or an impediment to some students' ability to successfully complete the semester. Exceptions are being considered for the following circumstances: 

  1. International students for whom returning to their home country may not be an option. 

  1.  Students with concerns for basic needs (e.g., students who use Rockhurst as their primary address, who have concerns about access to food, who have significant financial concerns, who have concerns for health and/or safety, whose home address is in a geographical area where high-speed internet is non-existent/very difficult to access, compromising their ability to consistently and actively engage in online coursework). 

  1. Students who need to physically be in Kansas City to complete outside-of-the-classroom requirements (e.g., internships, clinicals, student teaching, etc.), where these are still available through the partnering organization. 

Students were required to complete a form providing these details to Residence Life and the applications were considered on a case-by-case basis. Those approved to stay on campus for the semester will all be relocated/consolidated in one area/facility with roommate(s) assigned by Residence Life. 

Please visit this page for more information on housing procedures. 

Q. Am I eligible for a refund on charges for the rest of the semester? 

A. Students who were living on campus will receive a 50% refund of their spring semester room charges. Students on meal plans will receive a 50% refund of their unused spring semester meal plan charges. Unused spring semester flex dollars will be refunded in full.

All students who purchased a parking permit will receive a $60 refund of their spring semester parking fee. All students will receive a 10% refund of their spring semester University fee and a 20% refund of their spring semester Student Activity fee.

Students may have their Cost of Attendance (a figure used in the calculation of financial aid) adjusted to reflect these refunds. This may also affect some students’ institutional financial aid. Students with grant and scholarship aid, from all sources, that exceeds the costs of tuition and standard fees may have their aid adjusted, which may reduce their refund. Students on a full scholarship (including room and board) are ineligible for a refund. Resident assistants and others receiving financial aid to support housing or meal plan costs will have their financial aid adjusted and are also ineligible for a refund.

All refunds will first be applied to outstanding account balances. Any remaining amounts resulting in a credit on the student’s account will be refunded via check. More information on the refund process will be communicated next week. Students can expect to receive their refund check no later than April 30.

NOTE: To ensure refund checks are received in a timely manner, students should make sure the university has their current mailing address which can be updated in Rockweb.

NOTE: Students on a payment plan should make their scheduled April 1 payment – payment plan adjustments resulting from the above refunds will be effective for May 1 payments.

Mindful of the additional stress this disruption has placed on our students, student workers (Federal Work Study and non-Federal work study) will be paid for their scheduled hours between March 16 and May 8. Please allow up to four weeks for these payments to be processed and received via direct deposit or paycard replenishment.

For those wishing to support our students who are facing unexpected expenses due to the coronavirus, please consider giving to the Rockhurst “Love in Action” Emergency Fund. Students needing assistance can learn more here.

Q. What will happen with housing applications for next year? 

A. Information will be forthcoming about changes in housing applications for next year. 

Q. Will Dining Services be available? 

A. Rockhurst Dining Services is only operating on a limited basis to provide meals for the students who will remain on campus.

UNIVERSITY TRAVEL

Q. How will scheduled University-sponsored travel be affected? 

A. University-sponsored air travel is suspended through the end of August. 

If a student or employee travels to a country with a CDC level of 3 or higher, or while during their international or domestic travel has come into contact with a person who has the coronavirus (or suspected to), they are required to immediately report this to the University, self-quarantine, and stay away completely from all University property, events and people for at least 14 days. 

CAMPUS EVENTS AND OPERATIONS

Q. Are all events on campus canceled? 

A. For now, yes. The University is adhering to the "stay at home" order issued by the city of Kansas City, Missouri. All events in the month of March have been canceled, as well as all Center for Arts and Letters events through April.

Q. What about student activities? Are there any opportunities to stay connected while students are learning remotely? 

A. Social distancing measures have made in-person meetings and activities difficult. However, student organizations are encouraged to stay engaged as much as possible — information is being sent out in the weekly “Campus Life Happenings” emails. If you are not currently receiving that, email Angie Carr to be adding to the list at angie.carr@rockhurst.edu. Campus Ministry is also offering Cura Communities — small group gatherings held via Zoom and facilitated by a campus minister. 

The Kansas City Jesuit community is also offering daily virtual Mass at 5:15 p.m. Monday through Friday and on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. via YouTube. To access the livestream, click here a minute or two before Mass is scheduled to begin. The screen ought to appear when it is time for the Mass to start, and the live streaming will begin automatically. Each Mass will remain available on YouTube until midnight each night. 

Q. Is campus open for visits?  

A. The Office of Admissions continues to operate remotely during Kansas City’s stay-at-home order. All admissions events, including campus visits, are being held virtually or rescheduled. All prospective students and families can continue to contact Rockhurst Admissions by phone at 816-501-4100 or by email at admissions@rockhurst.edu, and registration for all virtual admissions events can be done by going to rockhurst.edu/visit.

Q. Are campus amenities such as the MAC open? 

A. Due to the "stay at home" order issued by the city of Kansas City, Missouri, and surrounding communities, the Convocation Center gym, the Massman workout facility, and the MAC are closed.

FOR FACULTY

Q. I need assistance in setting up my remote coursework — where can I go for help? 

A. The eLearning Team and the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning are offering ongoing support for faculty teaching remotely to ensure instructional continuity, including one-on-one sessions and webinars. Find additional resources here and here. 

Q. Are there any guidelines for faculty with supervisory roles? 

A. Yes. Please visit this page for relevant information related to COVID-19 for faculty and staff.

FOR STAFF

Q. Will the university still match my retirement contributions? 

A. Rockhurst University leadership has been working to devise plans to address the financial impact of COVID-19 for FY21. After extensive consideration and implementation of various expense savings measures, the University is suspending employer matching contributions in its 403(b) plan effective August 2020. The University intends to restart employer matching contributions as soon as its financial position allows. This measure is one of many designed to help the University navigate these uncertain financial times while maximizing its ability to protect employee’s jobs and livelihoods.

The University matching contribution to the 403(b) plan will stop beginning with the August 7, 2020 paycheck. The suspension of the University’s matching contributions to the 403(b) plan will take place automatically and no action by participants is required. Employees may still contribute to the 403(b) plan, and no adjustments are required if a participant wants to continue withholding the same amount each month. Participants can also increase or decrease their contributions at any time.

Loans and hardship withdrawals are still available from participant’s 403(b) accounts. In addition, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) passed by Congress offers some relief from the economic effects of COVID-19.  Visit TIAA at https://www.tiaa.org/public/learn/prepare-unexpected/guiding-you-through-turbulent-times/cares-act to learn more. 

Questions should be directed to Human Resources.

Q. Are staff required to continue working on campus? 

A. As of Tuesday, March 24, only staff performing essential functions are allowed on campus in accordance with the "stay at home" order issued by the city of Kansas City, Missouri, and several surrounding communities. 

Q. Are there any special guidelines for supervisors as it relates to COVID-19?  

A. Yes. Human Resources has issued special guidance for staff in supervisory positions here. 

INFORMATION FROM THE REGISTRAR

SPRING SEMESTER SERVICES DURING THIS TIME:

Registration questions/issues can be resolved remotely through the following processes during normal business hours:

Other questions – contact Rockstop Offices:

 

To contact Deans/Directors of Advising:

College of Arts and Sciences                                                                               

        Rob Hamilton – Assistant Dean/Director of Academic Advising  

        Robert.Hamilton@Rockhurst.edu                                                                                  

College of Business, Influence, and Information Analysis 

          Paul Nunez - Director of Undergraduate Advising 

          Paul.Nunez@rockhurst.edu 

          Jonnae Hill-Director of Graduate Business Advising 

          Jonnae.Hill@rockhurst.edu  

College of Health and Human Services   

           Terry Forge - Director of Academic Advising    

           Terry.Forge@rockhurst.edu   

  Research College of Nursing    

            Camelia Williams – Registrar 

            Camelia.williams@researchcollege.edu    

Other process changes during the current spring semester: 

  • Registration Dates: Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 registration opening dates are delayed by one week. Both Summer and Fall registrations will begin on Thursday, April 2, at 7 a.m.  Remember that summer course registrations do NOT require a registration PIN.   
     
  • Registration Problems: Pre-requisite errors while enrolling: email the “error” to the Professional Advisor (see email contacts above) of your college for assistance. Your Rockhurst email will serve as your “student’s signature.” Emails will be answered in the order in which they are received.
    • Withdrawals for full term classes: The withdrawal deadline for full term courses is extended-last date to withdraw from full term courses is now Monday, April 13.   
    • B Session Course Drop Deadline: The B session drop deadline for 100% refund is Monday, March 30. The B session withdrawal for 50% refund is Monday, April 6.  
    • Withdrawal process change: To withdraw from a course(s) - From your Rockhurst email account, send one email to these three recipients: your instructor, your advisor and registrar@rockhurst.edu  indicating from which course(s) you wish to withdraw. Emailing these three individuals replaces the normal walk-in withdrawal process.

GENERAL FAQ

Q. Should I report to the University if I believe I have contracted coronavirus?

A. Yes. Students, faculty and staff members are asked to report to the University if they fit one of the following descriptions:

Person under investigation: Any person who is under investigation for having the virus that causes COVID-19, or who was under investigation but tested negative for the virus.
Presumptive positive case of COVID-19: Anyone who has tested positive for the virus, but testing was conducted at the local or state level. Currently, presumptive positive cases must have a sample undergo confirmatory testing at the CDC.
Laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19: Anyone who has tested positive for the virus at the CDC laboratory.

Please report your status by sending an email to illnessreport@rockhurst.edu. The University will contact you by phone to learn some additional details about your situation and arrange for follow-up. The intent of this information sharing is twofold:

First, it is our desire to care for our fellow companions during this challenging time.
Second, the University has a desire to take reasonable steps to notify individuals from the Rockhurst community who may have been exposed – and also do a deeper cleaning of any spaces that you may have occupied while infected.

Our follow-up process with those who might make a report to us has been reviewed, approved, and applauded by the Kansas City Department of Health. Only a limited number of RU staff members will have access to the information that is shared with us on a need-to-know basis – the proper and respectful use of your personal information is important to us.

Q. I’m experiencing anxiety/fear/depression as a result of these events — where can I go for help? 

A. The University has a number of resources for students, faculty and staff experiencing difficulties as a result of changes and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. If you are a student, you can contact the Counseling Centerfor help and if you are a faculty or staff member, confidential assistance is available through the Employee Assistance Program. See also "Top 10 COVID-19 Anxiety Reduction Strategies," published by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

Missouri Partners in Prevention also provides two relevant programs. The first is Ask Listen Refer (ALR), an online suicide prevention training program for colleges and universities that teaches users to recognize the warnings signs of suicide, understand risk and protective factors and respond to and get help for someone in need. Training for Ask Listen Refer also has a training for all Missourians available here.

Also available is the Missouri Alliance of Collegiate Recovery Organizations (MACRO), providing virtual recovery resources and support for students that respects physical distance (not social isolation) and allows online spaces for students in recovery to gather.

HEALTH WATCH: HERE TO HELP

Stuck at home and need to burn some energy? RU staff is here to help with some health tips and workouts you can do from home!


The following email messages containing information about protocols and best practices have been shared with campus:

CARES Act Information

University Updates

As part of each update, the University is also sharing videos, reflections, poems and prayers in the hope of providing comfort to the community. Those Mission Moments are here.

Community Messages

Faculty and Staff Messages

Please continue to monitor your Rockhurst email, social media channels, and our website for the latest information regarding the University’s response to the coronavirus.

In addition, the following resources are available to help prepare or respond to coronavirus: