Updated: April 23, 2020

Dominican University, like schools across the country, is operating under extraordinary conditions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout this challenging time, we continue to focus on embracing our mission and supporting our community. Since the outbreak of the virus, the safety of Dominican students has been our greatest priority.

To combat the spread of the virus, campus was closed abruptly following spring break, resulting in disrupted classes, operations and employment to an extent and duration that we have never experienced. Spring Break trips—international and domestic—were cancelled, as were all Spring Semester events, academic programs, athletic competitions, and end-of-year ceremonies. Students were required to vacate residence halls and faculty and staff began working remotely.

None of this has been easy, but it is important to recognize that Dominican more than survived these first critical weeks because we were as prepared as possible, given the unprecedented circumstance.

Of the 881 classes offered during spring semester, over 200 were already taught remotely or offered in a hybrid format. Between March 12-23, faculty, with the help of IT, moved the other 658 face-to-face classes online. This transition was supported by a robust menu of online teaching resources and ramped up efforts to reach out to, and meet, the needs of faculty, staff and students without the technological equipment demanded for studying and working off campus. In addition, our Division of Student Success and Engagement stepped up to provide online resources for students struggling academically and personally with the change in their circumstances, including a case management tool giving students the opportunity to self-report their own concerns and needs—and those of their families.

The university has now moved from crisis management to sustainability, looking to academic year 2020–2021 and doing all that we can to assure that students and faculty return with confidence and readiness to a safe campus with healthy plans in place to stay safe and healthy. We are confident that, through lessons learned throughout this pandemic, Dominican will build upon our accelerated advances in technology and online learning and support services for students—and renew our call to mission.


Updated: April 22, 2020
Update on Quest Food Management Systems

Quest Food Management Systems has notified Dominican that the company has received its federal Paycheck Protection Program loan and has brought back on its payroll all of its employees for eight weeks, starting Monday, April 20. The company also is continuing to pay its portion of benefits premiums and will allow employees to continue to accrue paid leave during this time.


Updated: April 7, 2020
University Statement in Response to Furlough of Quest Employees

The abrupt closure of campus required to combat the spread of COVID-19 has disrupted classes, operations, and employment to an extent and for a duration that we have never before experienced. Unfortunately, there are many cascading implications of the shutdown — including Quest Food Management Services’ decision to furlough many of its staff who work on our campus.

The Quest staff members are familiar faces on Dominican’s campus and highly regarded by students, faculty and staff. We empathize deeply with their situation. We also understand the financial constraints faced by Quest, because the university, too, is facing financial challenges.

The pandemic is nobody’s fault. There are no perpetrators here, which is why the relief promised from the federal stimulus fund (CARES Act) is so important to us all. Higher education as a sector and service providers like Quest have actively lobbied Congress for this relief.

In the meantime, we appreciate Quest’s efforts to stay connected with and to support temporarily furloughed employees. We recognize the passion of students and faculty advocating on behalf of these employees. While the university is not in the financial position to be able to absorb salaries of Quest’s furloughed staff, we are making a donation to the Quest Care Fund GoFundMe campaign for furloughed workers, and we invite and challenge others to join us.


Updated: April 2, 2020
Coronavirus Case

Dominican University was notified on March 20 that a student tested positive for COVID-19. The student was last on campus on March 5 by the time of notification. The Centers for Disease Control and Illinois Department of Public Health recommendation of a 14-day self-isolation period had passed. Students who might have come into contact with the affected student were notified.

For information on how to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, visit https://www.dom.edu/campus-life/wellness-center/covid-19. We should all operate under the assumption that we are at risk of exposure to the virus and continue to practice shelter in place and physical distancing through April 30, the date recommended by the federal and state governments.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (fever over 100.4 degrees, coughing, and difficulty breathing), please contact your healthcare provider for an assessment of your symptoms and guidance. Students concerned that they or a family member may have symptoms are urged to call the Wellness Center at (708) 524-6229, Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.) or Campus Safety at (708) 524-5999 after hours. They may also self-report on the Coronavirus Reporting tool on myDU. Thank you for your help in keeping our community healthy!

Dominican Answers the Call

Dominican University is donating a substantial amount of personal protective equipment (PPE) to several area medical facilities and first responders, including the St. Dominic Villa at the Mound, Mount Sinai Hospital, Alivio Medical Center, Loyola University Medical Center and the River Forest Police Department. Thanks to those campus departments who contributed equipment—the Borra College of Health Sciences (nursing, physician assistant studies, post-baccalaureate pre-med studies, and simulation lab), chemistry, art, biology, and theater arts. We are reserving a supply of PPE for our own needs.

Implementing Remote Work

Because of the continued spread of the coronavirus, Dominican is now strengthening its remote-work policy. Faculty and staff may come to campus only after advance permission from their managers and coordination with Campus Safety. We should all operate under the assumption that we are at risk of exposure to the virus and continue to practice shelter in place and physical distancing through April 30, the date recommended by the federal and state governments. Please contact the Support Center if you need resources for working remotely.

Commencement Update

Plans are being made for a rescheduled commencement, including Candle and Rose, on campus, an option that has student support. The commencement committee is discussing several possible dates, including the Labor Day weekend, September 5–7, and the Long Weekend, October 23–25. Several ceremonies will be held over the weekend to accommodate students and their guests. More information will be shared with the community as soon as it is available.


Updated: March 19, 2020  Translate: Español

Dear Dominican Community:

In an effort to adhere with public health guidelines regarding the Coronavirus‎ and to comply with area shelter-in-place orders, Dominican University is significantly reducing on-campus operations and discouraging foot traffic, beginning Friday, March 20 through Friday, April 3. The campus will be closed to the public and access to buildings will be available by door card only. Campus Safety is fully staffed and available to respond to your needs.

In addition to Campus Safety, departments required for the continuation of basic campus operations include Student Life and Residential Life, Office Services (8:30-4:30), dining services (for residential students and essential staff only) and janitorial services -- Personnel in all other departments will be working remotely and online.

While the library is closed, electronic resources are available via the website and reference assistants are working over phone, email, and chat.

IT has equipment for check-out and information will continue to be shared on the Support Center site, which is where you can submit a work order for any support needed.

Academic and personal support‎ services can be accessed through Canvas, and the new Stars Connect team is online.

The university is continually reassessing this fluid situation and will make‎ necessary adjustments after April 3rd. Regular status updates will be provided to the Dominican community.


March 19, 2020

Dear Dominican Parents:

Let me begin by thanking you for your patience. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the safety of Dominican students has been our first priority, followed by a single-minded focus on the transition to online course delivery and academic support. We have been communicating extensively with students about this transition, but I know that you, too, have questions, which is why I am writing. 

Please know that this is a fluid situation, with the university having to make rapid changes at the directives of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) ‎and state and local governing bodies. Today, for instance, Dominican further moved to a skeletal staffing plan and reduced campus access to comply with local “shelter in place” ordinances.

‎To give you a sense of the magnitude of our challenge, this past week, the Dominican faculty has moved over 650 classes to an online format. There are glitches, of course, but, overall, I am confident that the quality of the coursework remains strong --- and that faculty members are continuing to provide students with the relationship-centered experience that is so distinguishing of a Dominican education. It will take a few weeks for all of us to adjust, but, if we work together, the possibilities for online learning are exciting.

During this time, I encourage you to encourage students to take full advantage of all the academic and personal support‎ services, also available online. A student self-report form can be found on MyDU. Technology questions should be directed to the Support Center. Academic coaching is available for those struggling with the online format, as well as counseling support in a tele-health format through the campus Wellness Center. Our advising office will be using Zoom conferencing to meet with students about summer/fall 2020 registration. Online classes will not affect students’ financial aid awards.

As you know, most Dominican resident students were asked to move out of the residence halls and return home. It was a startling request, on the heels of spring break, but we had no alternative given the threat of a rapidly spreading virus. Remaining resident students are now required to “shelter in place” --- for their own safety. And, yes, the university will partially reimburse families for spring housing. Again, I ask your patience, as we sort through these costs --- by mid-April, at the latest.

It was heart wrenching for our student athletes, especially our seniors, to arrive back from spring break tournaments to hear that our Northern Athletic Collegiate Conference (NACC) had cancelled all remaining athletic competition for the spring semester. There was no alternative here, either. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has provided spring athletes with an additional season of eligibility, which is some solace.

I know graduating students are concerned about Commencement. As directed by the Governor of Illinois, all Dominican University events of more than 50 people have been cancelled for the next eight weeks. We are currently in discussion about rescheduling our two May 10th Commencement Ceremonies until later in the summer. A final plan will be communicated in April.

All of this is disruptive and stressful for students‎ and families, alike. It is beyond what anyone could have imagined; at the same time, the Dominican community is resilient --- and hopeful. Faculty and staff are focused on students’ wellbeing and success. Campus Safety is fully staffed and available to respond to any and all community needs.

Thank you for your confidence and patience. We will get through this together.

Sincerely,

Donna M. Carroll
President


March 12, 2020

Colleagues and Students:

While there are currently no active cases of COVID-19 within our Dominican community, in recent days public health officials have made it clear that universities must take active steps to mitigate the risk of transmission --- most immediately, as a precaution, to reduce campus density. Therefore, I write to update you on Dominican’s plans for the remainder of spring semester.

Classes

Beginning the week of March 16, most, if not all, in-person, face-to-face classes will be suspended. Current online classes will continue as planned, with remaining classes moving to online instruction as soon as possible, but not later than Monday, March 23.

There may be a few courses that continue to meet in person, if online instruction is not appropriate. Academic Affairs, in consultation with the deans, will generate the list of such courses. Accommodations for out of state students will be provided, as possible in these courses, and strategies for social distancing will be considered.

Faculty will contact students directly with information about individual classes. If you do not have access to appropriate computing resources, pleases notify your faculty member, for possible accommodations.

Student Clinicals

Dominican University's campus is not closed. However, instruction is transitioning from in-person, face to face classes to online delivery beginning Monday, March 16, 2020 with all classes moving online by March 23, 2020. Clinical rotations in some programs and some lab courses may not be a part of this change. Each program is evaluating the need and accessibility of meeting face to face and offering clinical rotations and updating as the situation progresses. 

Residence Halls

Students who live in the residence halls should prepare not to return to campus for the week of March 16-20. The university will work to accommodate students with exceptional circumstances, including international students, athletes, some student employees, and others, as approved on a case-by-case basis.

Click here for more information regarding Residence Life. 

University Operations

The Dominican University campus will remain open to the faculty and staff. Operations other than in-class instruction will continue. Most large events will be rescheduled or cancelled.

Study Abroad

All students studying abroad are being brought home. Current semester-long and spring break experiences have been suspended.

Click here for more information regarding Study Abroad. 

As I share this series of extraordinary decisions, I recognize that the disruption is monumental and that you have a thousand questions, which I promise will be answered over the course of the next week. In particular, I share the distress of our seniors, who are being robbed of their final weeks at Dominican. Please know that the safety of our students, faculty and staff is our primary concern.

For further information, you are encouraged to read our FAQs and visit the Wellness Center's Covid-19 FAQ page. In addition, the Illinois Department of Public Health has launched a statewide hotline at (800) 889-3931 to answer any questions about the coronavirus or to report a suspected case.

Donna M. Carroll
President
Dominican University


Updated March 12, 2020

Español

FAQs

How is the university responding to COVID-19?

Beginning the week of March 16, all in-person, face-to-face classes will be suspended. Whenever possible, classes will be delivered online for the remainder of the spring semester. Accommodations associated with social distancing will be implemented in these courses.

Can students still utilize campus resources?

Students will still have access to university resources including the Rebecca Crown Library, computer labs, science and sim labs, tutoring, and other essential learning resources.

Can students live in the Residence Halls?

Students who live in residence halls should prepare not to return for the week of March 16-20. The university will work to accommodate students with exceptional circumstances.

Students may contact Residence Life (link sends email) for additional information regarding access to housing. 

Click here for more information regarding Residence/Student Life. 

What about international travel? 

Dominican University has suspended all university sponsored international travel and other domestic travel that was deemed high risk.

Click here for more information regarding Study Abroad. 

Are students being asked to self-quarantine?

Students have been directed to the CDC website and encouraged to reach out to their health care  providers or Dominican's  Wellness  Center for over-the-phone screening. Should students feel symptoms related to the Coronavirus, we have asked that they take the initiative to reach out to providers for access to testing. Students are not required to self-quarantine if they are not experiencing any symptoms,  unless directed to by the CDC or returning home from a  Level 3 location. 

Is the shuttle still running?

The university shuttle is discontinued until further notice. 


Updated March 6, 2020
Spring Break Travel Guidance

If you are planning personal travel to an international destination, be aware you may face unpredictable circumstances, travel restrictions, challenges returning home or accessing healthcare while abroad. We urge you to consult guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and U.S. Department of State prior to and during your trip, and exercise caution when traveling to countries with Level 2 travel advisories and reconsider travel to or through countries with Level 3 travel advisories.

The uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus have made travel to countries with extensive interactions with locations severely affected by COVID-19 more risky. As of March 6, 2020 the CDC has elevated Level 3 travel advisories for Italy, Iran, South Korea and China and Level 2 travel advisory for Japan. We urge students to stay informed and abide by U.S. government guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and U.S. Department of State.

Dominican is continuing to monitor the situation and will provide updates as appropriate.  U.S. citizens who must travel are encouraged to register travel through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate and receive important information from the embassy about safety conditions in your destination country. Registration allows you to be easily located by embassy personnel in the event of an emergency.

For additional information, read our FAQs below, visit the Wellness Center's web page on Covid-19 or contact the Wellness Center at 708-524-6229.

We wish you a healthy and restful spring break.


March 6, 2020: Message to Parents and Families of Dominican University Students regarding COVID-19/the coronavirus

In the last few days communication was sent to the campus community regarding a possible COVID-19 case.

Please know that the safety of our students, faculty, and staff is of utmost importance. Knowing that our students come from all over the country and across the globe, we acknowledge our students’ growing concerns for themselves and their families living domestically and overseas.

While we understand receiving information second hand may have caused concern to families, our primary focus was on addressing the campus safety and relaying information directly to students.

Here is a summary:

March 2, 2020 – Dominican University learned that a nonresidential student was exposed last week to a patient who is being treated for the coronavirus at a suburban hospital. Although the student showed no symptoms, they were quarantined at home and tested.

The university consulted with the Cook County Department of Public Health’s communicable diseases unit for guidance on managing care for our community and campus remained open.

Out of an abundance of caution, the university sanitized specific classrooms and campus spaces which may have been visited by the student.

An increase in relaying information on healthy habits and how to address concerns was sent out to the campus community and posted on our website.

March 3, 2020 – Administration was notified that the Dominican University student exposed to the coronavirus (COVID-19) at a local suburban hospital did not test positive for the virus. The test approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health confirms the student did not contract coronavirus (COVID-19).

For further information, you are encouraged to read our FAQs and visit the Wellness Center's web page on Covid-19. We will continue working closely with public health officials at the local, state and national levels to monitor the spread of the virus.

If your student is feeling ill, please contact by phone your health care provider or Dominican’s Wellness Center at 708-524-6229, where free screening measures are available. In addition, the Illinois Department of Public Health has launched a statewide hotline at 1 (800) 889-3931 to answer any questions about the coronavirus or to report a suspected case.


Updated March 4, 2020

The Dominican University student exposed to the coronavirus (COVID-19) at a local suburban hospital did not test positive for the virus. The test approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health confirms the student did not contract coronavirus (COVID-19). The institution will continue to walk alongside the student and is thankful to the campus community for the collective response and outpouring of care.  
  
Please know that the safety of our students, faculty, and staff is of utmost importance. Knowing that our students come from all over the country and across the globe, we acknowledge our students’ growing concerns for themselves and their families living domestically and overseas.
 
For further information, you are encouraged to read our FAQs below and visit the Wellness Center's web page on Covid-19. We are working closely with public health officials at the local, state and national levels to monitor the spread of the virus.
 
If you are feeling ill, please call your health care provider or Dominican’s Wellness Center at 708-524-6229, where free screening measures are available. In addition, the Illinois Department of Public Health has launched a statewide hotline at 1 (800) 889-3931 to answer any questions about the coronavirus or to report a suspected case. 


Created March 2, 2020

Dominican University has learned that one of our nonresidential student was exposed last week to a patient who is being treated for the coronavirus at a suburban hospital. While the student has shown no symptoms, they are being quarantined at home and will remain quarantined for another week, pending further testing.

The university has consulted with the Cook County Department of Public Health’s communicable diseases unit for guidance on managing care for our community. At this point, the department does not recommend further restrictions for our campus community. Campus is currently operating as usual and classes are meeting.  

Out of an abundance of caution, the university is sanitizing specific classrooms and campus spaces which may have been visited by the student.  

If you are feeling ill, please contact by phone your health care provider or Dominican’s Wellness Center at 708-524-6299, where free screening measures are available. Do not visit any medical facility without calling first.

Please know that the safety of our students, faculty and staff is of utmost importance. For further information, you are encouraged to read the Coronavirus FAQs below. In addition, the Illinois Department of Public Health has launched a statewide hotline at 1(800) 889-3931 to answer any questions about the coronavirus or to report a suspected case.

The university’s Incident Management Assessment Team is carefully monitoring this situation and will provide updates.