NSU Update from President Downs - Response to COVID-19: March 24, 2020

Image of NSU logo and COVID-19 information



From NSU President Tim Downs:


Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

As we move forward in this unprecedented time of the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to make difficult decisions in the best interest of our campus community and the public. Today, the Board of Regents has determined that all South Dakota public universities will transition classes online for the duration of spring semester. This decision, in response to the governor’s newest executive order, includes postponing graduation ceremonies until further notice.

Students with spring housing contracts will receive pro-rated refunds (expected in April) for housing, meal plans and parking. A webpage with details on refunds is currently being developed and will be shared soon. Please reach out to your academic advisors with questions or concerns about courses or registration. Also, Residence Life will be reaching out to coordinate the move-out process, in accordance with CDC guidelines for social distancing. A small number of students with special circumstances may remain in residence halls for now. On-campus events are canceled or postponed through May 15, and campus remains closed to the public.

While this wasn’t an easy choice to make, we know it was the right one, as cases of the virus continue to spread through our state, including Brown County. Our focus has always been, and will continue to be, on the health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff.

However, I know this news hits hard for some of you – particularly our seniors, who have worked diligently for the chance to walk across that commencement stage. You should be proud of your achievements at Northern. I am proud of each of you, as are your professors and advisors.

I am also extremely proud and grateful for the patience and adaptability of our entire campus community during this constantly changing situation. I remain confident in that campus community despite the current uncertainty, and I look forward to continuing our shared educational mission of providing an excellent student experience for everyone at Northern.

For now, I ask that we all do our part to help flatten the curve by following CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19. For more information, please visit covid.sd.gov or northern.edu/coronavirus.

Again, thank you. Stay safe and healthy, and go Wolves!

Dr. Tim Downs