Warner College of Natural Resources, along with all of Colorado State University, is moving to virtual operations due to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. Our primary concern is the health and safety of all of our community members and so we are committed to doing what is necessary to limit the spread of COVID-19.
We are working to support students throughout this evolving situation. This website will be updated as information and additional resources become available.
While this situation is far less than ideal in many ways, the College is committed to providing enriching educational experiences, regardless of their format, to all of our students. There are also opportunities to engage in community throughout this trying time in development. Please check this site for those virtual community engagement opportunities and help us keep our Warner spirit alive.
To our students we say: we hope the transition is going as well as possible for you, but if you have any needs you cannot find resources for, or questions for the College, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Welcome back from Dean Hayes
Physical Access to Campus
- Morgan Library is physically closed, except for two hours/day for pickup and drop off. They are available virtually to help with research needs. If you need a laptop, you may check one out.
- Campus buildings are closed. If you need access, please contact your supervisor or department chair who will assess special circumstances.
- Because campus is running on essential personnel only, labs run by the College of Liberal Arts are closed.
- The CSU Health Network is open for limited services.
Warner College Events
All Warner College events for the rest of the spring semester are being postponed, cancelled, or shifting to virtual engagements. Watch for updates regarding specific events.
We know that many of you have worked extremely hard to complete your degrees with us and we are terribly sorry that we won’t be able to celebrate with you together in May. However, we hope that many of you will be able to return to campus for a combined Spring/Fall Commencement Ceremony in December. Details regarding Commencement, diplomas, and regalia can be found on the WCNR Commencement page.
University and College Messages
Warner College community,
Earlier today I put together a video message with a few thoughts and perspectives regarding COVID-19 and our College response. Given how quickly things are evolving, I suspect some of what is in the video will be obsolete by the time you watch it, but perhaps there is an element or two in it that will be of interest to you. I must admit, that at eight and a half minutes the video is a considerably longer than I had hoped, but I anticipate periodically putting together a brief message and share with you over video, and I promise I’ll be shorter next time!
The video can be found at: https://web.microsoftstream.com/video/5d74459f-5af6-4f13-aad0-c417b042e5ec
Stay healthy and take care of one another,
John P. Hayes, Ph.D.
Dean, Warner College of Natural Resources
Dear CSU Family,
In response to the international crisis created by the novel coronavirus COVID-19, I am mandating that, effective Monday, March 23, CSU move all operations to online and virtual services.
What does this mean?
The university will be open–-virtually. We will do our work by phone, email, Microsoft Teams or other online platforms unless the work must be performed in person. I have asked all supervisors to exercise common sense, flexibility and compassion to move employees to online and virtual work and also to identify any essential-in-person functions in their offices.
We are defining essential in-person functions as those service functions that cannot be performed via email, phone, or other online platforms, including but not limited to: feeding and serving students who remain in the residence halls; caring for animals and plants under the university’s charge; performing physical maintenance and cleaning; using on-campus equipment that is vital to academic, research, or operations continuity; and conducting critical research tasks that cannot be done virtually.
Employees should know by early next week whether their role is defined as essential-in-person or not and how to move forward with their work, either remotely or in person. Check out our university resources for remote work here.
As I announced last week, all courses at all levels will be delivered online for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. You can learn more from the CSU Institute for Learning and Teaching about how to succeed in an online learning environment as a student and as a teacher.
Students who can remain at home rather than returning to residence halls are encouraged to do so. All students not returning to residence halls can register on myhousing.colostate.edu to move out any time before May 16.
Students who need to return to the residence halls for part or all of the remaining semester should register on myhousing.colostate.edu by March 20. More information about Housing and Dining is available here, including information about University Apartments, refunds and waived cancelation policies during the COVID-19 crisis, cleaning protocols, and hours for the Foundry dining Center.
We know that some of our student workers in all categories (hourly-wage, work-study, for-credit) are hoping to return to campus and work for all or part of the Spring semester. We are working hard across many campus units to explore options for all of you and will communicate with you soon.
Resources for graduate students specifically can be found here.
We encourage all students to continue to engage with the many university resources in place just for them, including support for disabled students, student government and organizations, mental health services, student legal services, interpersonal violence response and safety, career advising, services and education offered to students through Off Campus Life, guidance and tailored support provided to adult learners and veterans, and technology. In addition, the university is investing in additional resources to support our students in their success as we deliver academic courses online.
Faculty and Staff
Faculty and staff should please pay careful attention to the language at the top of this message describing the remote work mandate effective March 23 and the definition of essential-in-person work. The President’s Office has communicated directly with supervisors across campus urging them to use common sense, flexibility, and compassion in working with employees going forward. Employees themselves can learn more about how to make remote work productive and enjoyable through resources like this article and this video.
We also recognize that many of our employees, both faculty and staff, have unique professional and personal situations that make this time particularly challenging. Public schools are closed through April 17, which impacts employees who are also parents. Many employees are immune-compromised or care for someone who is. We encourage you to discuss any unique situations like these with your supervisor(s). However, if you do not feel comfortable doing so, you can submit questions here so someone can address your specific concerns.
We urge you all to communicate with your colleagues and supervisors, to ask for help when you need it, and to check our HR FAQs for answers to many of your most common questions. Human Resources leadership is also meeting weekly with Staff Council and administrative leadership to be sure we are addressing employees’ needs.
As concerns about COVID-19 continue to escalate, we have made the difficult decision to suspend all non-essential research activities on campus as soon as practical. In order to protect our community, all labs and other research facilities will be closing by the end of the day on Monday, March 23, except for critical research and critical research operations. We will reevaluate this guidance by April 15 but anticipate that these restrictions could remain in place significantly longer. Check here for Research FAQs, including a definition of critical research, and send any questions to this inbox. Also look here at university guidance for how to keep researching.
Following recommendations from public health officials, we have made the difficult decision to move the May Commencement ceremonies to December to allow all our graduates to share their achievements with their families in person. We will celebrate all CSU 2020 graduates with commencement ceremonies on campus December 18-20, 2020. The schedule for specific ceremonies will be forthcoming in the coming weeks and posted here.
CSUPD is continuing to operate 24/7 and respond to all 911 calls and texts in support of university safety, although their front desk is closed in support of limiting non-emergency in-person contact. As always, if you see something that may be a safety or security concern, please contact them by calling 911 or the non-emergency number, 970-491-6425.
All university international and domestic travel, including travel within Colorado, that has not yet commenced has been suspended effective Monday, March 23. We will re-evaluate and issue further guidelines later this spring. Rare exceptions for critical travel and/or travel in-state consistent with social distancing may be granted by Deans and Vice Presidents. The exception form, which can be completed electronically, can be found here.
On-Campus Events and Programs
To ensure social distancing, I am mandating that all on-campus events and programs, including all athletic competitions, be canceled through the end of the Spring 2020 semester. This cancellation directive includes but is not limited to workshops, speakers, celebrations, campus tours, and meetings of all but essential-in-person employees. There are many robust, university-supported platforms through which people can continue meeting remotely. You can explore those here.
Off-Campus Events and Programs
For clear public health reasons, I am also mandating that all CSU-hosted off-campus events be canceled through the end of the Spring 2020 semester (May 17). This cancelation directive includes but is not limited to Extension programs, Colorado State Forest Service Community Events, Continuing Education sessions, and all other face-to-face non-credit educational services. Our Extension professionals are of course also working in concert with the local public health officials in all counties and communities where they have a presence and following local guidelines and directives, some of which may exceed the limitations imposed by CSU directives.
The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention clearly states that there is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This means that the best way to keep from contracting and/or spreading the illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. For more up-to-the minute public health guidance, check the CDC’s COVID-19 page here.
I also urge all of you to bookmark and frequently check the CSU COVID-19 site and our related HR site. If you have questions or concerns you do not see answered in either of these places, please submit those here.
We will get through this! As this faculty member from another institution reminds us, we will survive! With humor, patience, grace granted to one another, and the assurance that I can offer you all—that each and every one of you is so valued and so important to our community—together we will see this pandemic crisis through.
Dear University Community,
Last week, I communicated with you our decision to move courses online through April 10, at which time we would reevaluate. Due to the speed at which the COVID-19 global crisis is evolving we in higher education around the world find ourselves in unprecedented territory, with new information emerging each day. Please know that all our decisions are driven by our commitment to you, to your health and wellbeing, and to all of those whom we educate, serve, work with, and consider to be valued members of our community and Ram family. I know that many of you are working incredibly hard right now, driven by this same commitment. I deeply appreciate all you are doing and know that your care, concern and commitment are what distinguish CSU as a higher education community
All classes continuing online for Spring 2020 semester
With the advice of public health officials and weighing many public health factors, we have made the decision to extend online course delivery through to the end of the Spring 2020 semester. In keeping with this decision, we are also advising the suspension or online delivery of off-campus educational programming and events (including in CSU Extension and Continuing Education) for the remainder of the semester.
Moreover, this morning, in partnership with CSU International Programs, we advised our international students who want to return home to do so for the remainder of the semester.
I know that every new decision we make raises many questions for all of you. We will answer them as quickly as we can in the coming days. But I want to emphasize again that public health—your health—is our priority. While we are unaware of any positive case of COVID-19 in association with our CSU community, the virus continues to spread, and no community is immune. If we were to have a positive case among our staff, faculty, students or guests, we will consider new recommendations, precautions, and constraints on campus-based interactions.
Spring break gives us the opportunity to plan for the transition to online course delivery beginning March 25, though I know—as a faculty member myself – many of our faculty will essentially give up their break to redesign their courses for online computability and remote teaching and learning. Thank you. I know that you do what you do because you care about your students. I also recognize to pivot this way may mean you do not have the time over break to devote to your family, your scholarship, and your community engagement. Furthermore, we have heard from faculty who are concerned for students with limited or no computer access off-campus, limited or no internet, and other complicating factors. I assure you that we are working to make accommodations for those students. We have made arrangements for additional student laptops and are looking at creative ways of continuing work with students even if it means through written correspondence delivered by U.S. Postal Service, UPS, FEDEX or other delivery services.
I also assure you that even as many of us work to set up systems to support academic and business operations for the remainder of the semester, our custodial staff will take the opportunity of fewer people on campus during Spring Break to perform extra cleanings. Our amazing custodial team and facilities leaders are committed to the health and safety of these frontline workers and are on top of providing appropriate protective gear and training.
Impacts to students who live in university housing
The decision to move course delivery online has the most obvious implications for our students who live in university housing.
We are asking students who live in university housing who have left for Spring Break NOT TO return to campus immediately. In the interest of public health, Housing & Dining Services needs time to create a plan that implements public health and social distancing best practices while providing an orderly way for students and families to make decisions about campus housing moving forward.
Housing & Dining Services is committed to emailing all campus residents by close of business on Tuesday, March 17 regarding your residence hall and meal plan options. We want to assure apartment residents that the university apartments will remain open year-round as they typically do. Housing & Dining Services is committed to working with students who are experiencing housing insecurity and at least some residence hall housing and dining will remain open for the semester to serve students who need to remain on campus.
Spring Break housing will continue as planned and students who have remained on campus for break are welcome and encouraged to stay as future plans are developed.
Pending decisions about working remotely and maintaining university operations
Again: our greatest responsibility is to the health of our university staff, faculty and students. Our decision to move courses online is one of several decisions and clarifications we will communicate in the coming days. Like you, we are working to define and clarify the outcomes of each decision.
During the coming week, as soon as possible, we will provide clear guidance to our staff and faculty, as well as to student employees who wish to continue working on campus. This guidance will help with decisions about how to balance university operations and the duties of staff and faculty, including information about telecommuting.
In the interim, I want to convey that I am committed to each and every one of our faculty and staff members and I promise you: you will continue to be paid. We find appropriate telecommuting or in-person assignments that support the university’s mission, while providing you with support and equipment to minimize health risks.
We appreciate your patience
I—along with the university’s Preparedness Planning Team—thank each of you for your patience as we work through these unchartered waters and answer your many valuable, necessary and important questions.
Dear Campus Community Members,
This is a stressful time for all. During a time like this it is important to be good to ourselves and to one another. Remember: We are a resilient community at a land-grant institution with the knowledge, people and skills necessary to handle this challenge.
Many of you are closely following the rapidly evolving situation around COVID-19 both locally and globally and are concerned about yourselves, your children, your families and your friends. Please know we share these concerns and our CSU preparedness team continues to engage – sometimes by the minute – with public health experts as to best practices, next steps to take, what to tell our community and how to share information with you. We are doing our best to keep up with this information and to inform you as quickly as possible about any changes caused by evolving events.
As we all prepare for Spring Break next week, several concerns have emerged across campus that I want to address specifically and for all of you right now. More information will be forthcoming, via email and on our website, so please check frequently.
- Our primary concern is the health and wellbeing of everyone in our campus community: students, faculty and staff. To this end, we have sent out messages to everyone in our community trying to keep information flowing. However, over the last few days we have had a great sense of urgency to focus our communication about the needs of our students because their Spring Break begins at the end of classes, today. Now we are working with the same urgency to provide information to employees to provide guidance about work so that we can return Monday with a greater sense of clarity.
- Along those same lines, we’ve gotten many questions about remote work options, availability, and advisability. We are updating the HR FAQs on this topic here, so check back soon, and also talk to your supervisor about your specific needs. I also urge supervisors at all levels to reach out to employees about their needs, to listen, and to be flexible and creative as possible. (We are aware of numerous extraordinary situations: for example, that the PSD Schools recently extended Spring Break by a week, which will impact many employees’ and students’ ability to return to work in person.)
- We are also hearing from people concerned about what April 10 means—this was the date referenced in our email Tuesday when current protocols about online instruction and campus operations would be reassessed. Please know that we will communicate with all of you well in advance of April 10 about next steps.
- To our students in particular, let me address some concerns:
- Our residence halls, university apartments, and dining halls remain open throughout Spring Break and going forward. You will have a place to stay and a place to eat at CSU in the coming weeks!
- The CSU Health Network is also open throughout Spring Break and accepting students who need assistance with both physical and mental health concerns.
- We are aware of the many financial implications of our decisions to go online for classes etc. Our teams are exploring the repercussions of these decisions for all of you. Please be patient with these terrific professionals.
- Students who work on campus are worried that they will lose their jobs. Not so! If you need to come back to campus to work after Spring Break, please do. Your job will be waiting for you.
The combination of changing scientific guidance and the rapid pace of communication is so challenging for all of us right now. I appreciate all of you who are doing so much to keep CSU at the forefront of responsiveness to COVID-19 and who are focused on taking care of our community. Let’s all be kind to one another, patient, and proactive about our own health. We will get through this.
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
With the courageous commitment of our Colorado State University community, CSU has faced many challenges. Today, we face a global health crisis in which we can play a critical role by slowing transmission of COVID-19 and freeing our local hospital to treat the critically ill. We can and must do our part to safeguard the health of our entire community. I thank all of you in advance for your compassion for others and patience in navigating a complex situation.
We have no knowledge of any cases of COVID-19 associated either with our residence halls or with the university more broadly.
Nevertheless, as you know, we are in daily consultation with public health officials at local, state and national levels and following their science-based guidance. As a result, we are taking the following steps immediately to do our part, which includes the following:
Classes Moving Online: Spring Break for students and faculty will be extended through Tuesday, March 24, with classes resuming Wednesday, March 25, as follows:
- Classes at all levels will be delivered online beginning Wednesday, March 25.
- Online teaching and course delivery will remain in effect until April 10. We will re-evaluate and issue further guidelines in advance of that date.
- Individual academic units will follow up with their students regarding accommodations for accessibility issues—including online and computer access, internships, laboratory classes, and other special circumstances.
Our fundamental mission is to educate our students and we are committed to preserving their educational access, opportunity and success for the remainder of this semester, regardless of circumstances.
Campus Operations: Campus operations will remain at normal levels. University buildings will operate as follows:
- The CSU Health Network will be open regular hours, including over Spring Break, to see students for medical and counseling concerns.
- Residence halls, university apartments, and dining halls will remain open as usual, including over Spring Break.
- The Lory Student Center, Student Rec Center, UCA, and all academic, business, and service buildings will remain open for business as usual.
- The Veterinary Teaching Hospital and Diagnostic Lab will remain open for business as usual.
- The Morgan Library will be open for campus community members only.
We will provide guidance for employees who need to work remotely; this will be shared soon.
University Travel: All university international and domestic travel that has not yet commenced is suspended effective March 23 through April 10. We will re-evaluate and issue further guidelines in advance of that date. Exceptions may be granted based on critical need. More information on the exception process will be shared soon.
On-Campus Events: All university events involving 20 or more external visitors or targeted toward an at-risk population are suspended effective March 23 through April 10. We will re-evaluate and issue further guidelines in advance of that date. Exceptions may be granted based on significant need. More information about the exception process will be shared soon.
Off-campus Events: All university-hosted off-campus events involving 20 or more people or targeted toward an at-risk population are suspended effective March 23 through April 10. We will re-evaluate and issue further guidelines in advance of that date. Exceptions may be granted based on significant need. More information about the exception process will be shared soon.
These actions will obviously have a profound effect on our campus. In the coming days, we will be working through the many questions that will emerge from these immediate actions to provide additional guidance and clarity.
I fully understand the burden this puts on many in our community who will have to rearrange plans and rework how they conduct the university’s daily business. I deeply appreciate the hard work so many of you have done and will continue to do throughout this public health crisis.
Confronting the challenges of a public health emergency like this creates discomfort and anxiety. Please know that Colorado State University is no stranger to responding to unexpected events that cause disruption in our lives and require that we dramatically and quickly alter our established paths. We have done so successfully in the past, and we will do so successfully again now.
We will continue to provide updates and guidance as soon and as often as possible via email, social media, and at http://safety.colostate.edu/coronavirus.
I am thankful for each of you. I want you all to stay safe and healthy during this difficult situation. That is our primary goal, now and always, at CSU. Please take care of yourselves, of your friends and families, and of those in our community to whom you have the capacity to reach out with compassion.
We are strong. We are resilient. We are Rams. We will get through this—together.