CORONAVIRUS DISEASE (COVID-19) INFORMATION

Like so many across the nation and beyond, we at the University of Providence have been monitoring the spread of the coronavirus. Our goal is to provide clear, concise and timely information to students, faculty, staff, families on what UP is doing to protect our community.

The information provided on this website is not intended to be all-encompassing and should not be considered medical or legal advice. We encourage proper hygiene and health precautions, but we urge you to consult with a relevant expert for guidance specific to your circumstances.

UP COVID-19 Readiness and Resources

The University of Providence is committed to providing a safe environment in which the entire UP community can learn, work, and live. This commitment touches virtually every facet of the university’s life, from the individual classroom, to recognizing the institution’s obligations to do what we can to help assure the safety of the wider Great Falls community in which we live and work.

Under the leadership of our President, the Very Reverend Father Oliver J. Doyle, and guided by both the Board of Trustees and the President’s COVID-19 Taskforce, the University of Providence has drafted an Emergency Operations Plan to guide decision-making across the institution.  Planning for the safe reopening of campus operations is informed by the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), our local Cascade City-County Health Department (CCHD), and the directives of the Montana Governor’s Office.

The following sections outline the over 80 pages of our campus Emergency Opening Plan (EOP) into a more navigable structure for exploring and reference. To see the full EOP report, click here.

(new policies and procedures)

The following new policies and procedures are in effect for all students, employees, visitors, and vendors visiting the University of Providence’s 20th Street and Lewistown campuses, as well as remote locations.

“Clean In – Clean Out” Policy

Central to the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching is the understanding that community life entails both rights and responsibilities. It is the responsibility of everyone in our University community to ensure a safe and healthy environment for everyone. Mindful of this, the following community standards will be enforced:

When Entering a Campus Building
  • Hand sanitizer is to be utilized when entering buildings and facilities. Hand Sanitizer stations will be located near building entrances.
Classrooms
  • Students may not congregate or loiter classrooms outside of class time.
  • Upon entering a classroom space, the faculty member preparing for class is to disinfect the tables, chairs, computer workstation, and dry-erase markers in the space.
  • Upon exiting the classroom, the same process of sanitizing is to be followed.
  • Sanitizing products will be available in the classroom and stocked by the Facilities Department.
Meeting spaces and Conference Rooms
  • Upon entering a meeting space or conference facility, the host of the meeting is to disinfect the tables, chairs, computer workstations, and dry-erase markers in the space (unless the task has already been accomplished by the room’s previous occupants or the Facilities Department.
  • Upon exiting the meeting space, the same process of sanitizing is to be followed.
  • Sanitizing products will be available in the meeting space and stocked by the Facilities Department.
Office Spaces & Break Rooms
  • Employees are required to regularly clean and sanitize high-touch work spaces and equipment through all phases of the Governor’s Reopening Plan.  All exposed hard surfaces such as work counters, tables, desks, chairs, etc. must be sanitized after each visitor.  Equipment and tool handles must be sanitized after each use.  Cleaning supplies will be provided by the Facilities department.
  • Use of break rooms and common areas will only be allowed if users can maintain social distancing. Upon exit of these areas, users must clean surfaces and leave room disinfected for the next use.  These spaces will also be cleaned and disinfected nightly by custodial staff.
Publicly Shared Computers and Technology
  • In the event that you do need to share equipment, Information Services requires sanitizing all surfaces before and after you are in an area. This includes keyboards, mice, monitor screens, countertops, and chairs.
  • Wear a mask and use hand sanitizer when using a publicly shared computer system.
  • Refer to Information Services for more information.
Publicly Shared Office Supplies
  • Publicly share office supplies include dry erase markers and erasers, pens, pencils, pencil sharpeners, staplers, hole punches, paper cutters, scissors, rulers, etc.
  • All shared office supplies must be sanitized regularly by the departments which utilize them or make them available to others.
  • Hand sanitizer is to be used by patrons before and after use of shared items.
  • Some previously available supplies may no longer be available. Plan accordingly.
Work Tables, Study Tables, Library Work Stations
  • Social distancing is to be enforced when utilizing work tables, study tables, or other work stations (such as in the University Library)
  • Tables and chairs are to be sanitized before and after use.
  • Departmental cleaning measures will also be in effect in high traffic locations.
    • These cleaning measures do not replace personal cleaning efforts.
Weights, Fitness Equipment, Games, and Activities Equipment
  • Fitness and weight equipment, as well as games and other objects available for student activities must be sanitized with disinfecting wipes before and after each use.
  • Additional sanitizing measures will also be enforced by the Facilities Department and other relevant departments.
  • Be aware that many previously available games and activities equipment may have limited availability or may no longer be available for rental or use. For more information, inquire with the relevant campus office.
Residence Hall Rooms and Apartments

Though personal space, the maintenance of clean residence hall rooms and apartments are essential in the student fight against the spread of COVID-19.  Refer to Residential Life for suggestions and policies pertaining to sanitation measures and recommendations for you and your roommates to review.

Laundry Facilities
  • Campus Residents will disinfect washing machines and driers (machine tops, control buttons, and handles) as well as folding tables or counter spaces before and after each use.
  • Sanitizing products will be available in the laundry facility and stocked by the Facilities Department.
  • Campus residents may only use the laundry facility in their assigned residence hall (and if in Argo Hall, on their assigned floor). Taking laundry to other residence halls will not be permitted, unless otherwise permitted by the Director of Residential Life.

Mask Policy

1.      Policy Overview

The University of Providence has implemented and will enforce a policy mandating that fabric or disposable surgical-style face masks be worn by employees, students, and visitors (1) when they are inside University facilities and vehicles and (2) when they are outdoors on campus and social distancing of at least six feet is not possible. The Mandatory Masking Policy has been reviewed and approved by the UP Coronavirus Task Force (UP CTF) and is effective until further notice.

For the purposes of this policy, a face covering is defined as any cloth face covering that covers the nose and mouth, and ties around the ears or the back of the head. It must be secured under the chin and fit snugly against the sides of the face. Bandanas and scarves are not acceptable.

The CDC recommends wearing face masks when people go out in public. The University of Providence supports this recommendation for the health, safety, and welfare of all persons on campus.

Individuals may remove masks only if (1) they are in their own enclosed private workspace with no one else present, (2) in their dorm room, or (3) while participating in activities in which a face mask cannot practically be worn, such as eating and drinking.

Face masks may not depict inappropriate wording or content, including (but not limited to): profanity, offensive language or symbols, nudity, drug references, etc. Those wearing such masks will be asked to leave campus.

2.       Disability Accommodations Request

Face coverings are not required when:

  • A medical professional has advised that wearing a face covering may pose a health risk to the person wearing the covering or impair their breathing.
  • Wearing a face covering would create a safety risk to the person as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.
  • The person is physically unable to put on or remove the face covering without assistance.
  • The person has trouble breathing, is unconscious, or unable to remove the face covering without help.
  • The person is deaf or hard of hearing and uses facial and mouth movements as part of communication.
  • Babies and toddlers under age two (2) should never wear cloth face coverings due the risk of suffocation.
  • All children ages 5 years & up should wear a face covering unless medically directed to do otherwise.

Any student wishing to request a disability-related accommodation in connection with UP’s masking policy should contact the Dean of Students. Any employee wishing to request a disability-related accommodation in connection with UP’s masking policy should contact Kila Shepherd in Human Resources: kila.shepherd@uprovidence.edu.

3.       Compliance

All members of the campus community are expected to comply with this policy.  Failure to comply may result in referral of a student to the Dean of Students for potential judicial action or subject an employee to disciplinary action through their supervisor through existing disciplinary processes.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a fluid situation.  This and other UP COVID-19 policies are subject to change at any time in UP’s sole discretion and/or consistent with updates and changes in recommendations and requirements from the CDC and other governmental authorities.

4.       Employees (Faculty and Staff)

Provided Masks

The University will make masks available to employees appropriate to their on-campus responsibilities. All employees will receive one branded surgical-style fabric mask placed on their desk or delivered to their areas.

Mask Re-Use and Cleaning

Fabric masks should be washed and fully dried after each day’s wear. Appropriate cleaning of the mask is the responsibility of the individual.

Removing Your Mask

Employees may remove masks when inside University facilities only (1) when alone in an enclosed room and (2) while participating in activities in which a face mask cannot practically be worn, such as eating and drinking.

5.       Students

Provided Masks

The University will make masks available to students. Students may also provide their own masks that comply with this policy. Detailed instructions regarding student mask distribution are forthcoming, in coordination with the Student Engagement Department and the UP Coronavirus Task Force.

Mask Re-Use and Cleaning

Fabric masks should be washed and fully dried after each day’s wear. Appropriate cleaning of the mask is the responsibility of the individual.

University Facilities (Other than Housing)

Students may remove masks when inside University facilities only (1) when alone in an enclosed room and (2) while participating in activities in which a face mask cannot practically be worn, such as eating and drinking.

On-Campus Housing Facilities

Students are not required to wear masks in their dorm rooms, but they are strongly encouraged to do so, particularly when others are present, unless they are participating in activities in which a face mask cannot practically be worn, such as eating and drinking, bathing, or sleeping.

Note, however, that students who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms must notify the Dean of Students immediately and wear a mask in their dorm rooms while they wait for the test results.

Masks for Guests

Students must inform their guests that each guest must wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth while in University facilities, as required by this policy.  Each guest should be advised to bring their own mask. Remember that guests are not allowed in residence halls.

Accommodations for Medical Conditions

If a student indicates compliance with this Masks for Students policy is not possible due to medical reasons, the student should be referred to the Dean of Students to request an accommodation.

6.       Visitors, Vendors, and Contractors

Masks for Visitors, Vendors, and Contractors

Visitors, vendors, and contractors must wear masks on campus and should be asked to bring their own. Refer to Facilities for more information

Social Distancing

All persons on the University of Providence campus will be required to maintain a physical distance of at least six (6) feet from all other persons. In order to ensure fulfillment of this policy, the following procedures will be enacted:

  • Floor signage will delineate proper social distancing
  • Seating will be moved or removed from offices, lounges, meeting rooms, classrooms, etc.
    • In places where seating cannot be moved or removed, signage will mark some seating as unavailable.
  • Exterior doors will be assigned as entrance or exit only
  • Signage will be utilized in high traffic locations to maintain a proper flow of movement through buildings and/or offices.

Maximum Occupancies & Attendance

The following attendance and occupancy limits will be enforced at all In-person events, meetings, and gatherings, as well in large indoor locations (such as the Library complex, gymnasium, etc.)  In many locations (such as the Trinitas Chapel, certain meeting or conference rooms, the Academic Success Center, etc,) a smaller maximum occupancy may be in effect. When in doubt, maximum indoor occupancy is determined by the number of persons who can be in a space without being within 6 feet of another person in any direction. If that number is smaller than the maximum number of persons permitted in the chart below, then the smaller number is the maximum occupancy/attendance.

Shelter in Place Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3
Meetings and gatherings are not permitted Meetings and gatherings may not exceed 10 persons Meetings and gatherings may not exceed 50 persons No limit will be enforced, however the University will continue to demonstrate caution with large groups and practice health and safety protocols with enhanced cleaning, handwashing and social distancing

Virtual meetings via online platforms are to be encouraged whenever possible.

Maximum attendance for outdoor activities and events will be determined by the directives of the City-County Health Department.

Building Access

Access times for many buildings on campus may be reduced to ensure proper cleaning and sanitization.  Refer to posted business hours for more details. Refer to Facilities for more information.

In buildings with higher levels of foot traffic, access may be limited to certain doors, allowing other access points to be reserved for people exiting a building.

Follow signage at doors and throughout building corridors when entering or exiting a building or office space.

Reimagining Indoor Spaces (furniture and seating)

Many indoor spaces at the University of Providence will need to be “reimagined” so as to ensure social distancing and safe use of these spaces.  This may include:

  • Removing furniture/seating from spaces.
  • Creating distance between seating, computer stations, technology, resources, etc.
  • Establishing “building flows” (see Building Access, above.)
  • Limiting seating areas with signage, tape, ropes, etc.
  • Closing or limiting access to some locations
  • Increased signage
  • Demarcating queue lines (and social distances) with tape or other floor signage

University Employees and Work Studies: Please see “Human Resources” for policies pertaining specifically to employment

The following are guidelines for our plan to re-open the campus to face-to-face, hybrid, and fully online classes for spring 2020 and beyond.

Rationale and Summer Preparations

When building a plan to move to face-to-face instruction this spring, the following ideals and principles drove the decisions of faculty of the office of the Provost:

  • Our top priority in every class is cultivating a true learning community in which each member has every opportunity to participate fully in a robust and honest quest for truth.
  • The impact of learning environments and resources on vulnerable student populations is top priority when considering how to deliver course content.
  • The impact of teaching and working environments on vulnerable faculty populations (or those with vulnerable family members) will be considered in making decisions about course delivery.
  • The university community will embrace a culture of “my brother’s keeper” (a culture of caring for one another)—with appropriate signage throughout the campus—and wipe down their class-space at the end of the class. It is essential that we emphasize that this new culture is one of the best ways to keep the campus face-to-face classes viable.

Faculty members’ planning for spring classes includes a wide variety of class-delivery options, including:

  • Live Priority Courses depending upon faculty assessment of which courses must be face-to-face
  • Hybrid courses which can meet fewer days/week, freeing up classroom space if needed. Also sets up courses to be more prepared to move online if necessary
  • Synchronous online where students meet in real-time on a pre-arranged schedule
  • Asynchronous online where there are no live meeting times; courses are completed totally asynchronously
  • HyFlex which combines elements of all three:
    • Live traditional class – some students meet with faculty in classroom during class time
    • Synchronous online – some students meet with faculty and classroom students via Skype or other technology
    • Asynchronous online – Lectures/live sessions are captured for viewing asynchronously when needed

Spring Semester Classes

  • While the default is for face-to-face (F2F) education with appropriate health-related protocols, faculty and staff should plan to implement a hybrid mode of instruction for the foreseeable future.
  • Specific considerations should include numbers of people in classrooms, class length, traffic flow, face coverings, physical distancing, cough/sneeze etiquette, hand hygiene
  • For F2F courses, planning should include strict limits on numbers of attendees to facilitate physical distancing.
  • Faculty should adopt attendance and excuse policies that acknowledge and support students who become ill without creating barriers and without requiring unnecessary visits to health facilities for documentation of illness.
  • Faculty and students will be required to wipe down the computer, light switches, doorknobs, etc., following a “Clean-in, Clean-out” model.

Library

Hours of Operation

Monday – Friday: 7:00 am – 6:00 pm

General Policies

The following policies and procedures will be in effect:

  • The University Library will be closed to the general public (and reserved for the expressed use of University of Providence faculty, staff, and current students). University IDs will be required for Library access.
  • Throughout the Library offices listed above, university IDs will be required for Library access and to log into printers/copiers.
  • High touch surfaces (door handles, bathroom faucets, computers, keyboards, tables, chairs, bookshelves, welcome/reception desk, personal desks, public computers, equipment, and furniture, etc.) will be disinfected (as needed) or routinely throughout the day. Refer to Health & Wellness and Facilities for more information.
  • The water cooler, popcorn cart, coffee bar, and other food and beverage-based hospitality offerings will no longer be offered.
  • Furniture and resource materials throughout the Library will be removed as appropriate and/or configured for physical distancing. This includes the Academic Success Center, TRIO Center, and the Writing/critical Thinking Center and the STEM Center. Refer to Health & Wellness and Facilities for more information.
  • Study rooms will be on a reserve basis only. After each usage, rooms will be sanitized by library staff. To reserve a room, visit the Providence Library website.
  • The University Library, including the offices and centers housed therein, will enforce occupancy limits as determined by the State of Montana’s Phased COVID-19 response plan. Refer to Health & Wellness or Human Resources for more information.

Academic Success Center

The following policies and procedures will be in effect:

  • An entry point and exit will be clearly labeled for the ASC, creating a route for one way traffic.
Interaction between employees

Due to the physical limitations of the Academic Support Center office space, the following procedures will be enforced:

  • ASC staff will meet with no more than one other person at a time in their designated office spaces.
  • If meeting with more than one other person at a time, ASC staff will utilize a conference space which support proper social distancing (FOS or JWC). After each use, area will be sanitized by ASC Staff. Refer to Health & Wellness and Facilities for more information.
Interaction with students

Due to the physical limitations of the Academic Support Center office space, the following procedures will be enforced:

  • Student one-on-one appointments will be moved to Microsoft Team meetings when possible to maintain social distancing.
  • If a student visiting the ASC appears sick, they will be asked to reschedule appointment or move to a Team meeting.

TRIO

The close proximity of persons to each other within the TRIO office space, the following policies procedures will be enforced:

  • Library study rooms (when available) or the TRIO center conference area will be utilized for meetings.
  • A maximum occupancy of two will be enforced for the Trio conference area.
  • Seating, furniture, and computer stations will be reconfigured in accordance with social distancing. Refer to Health & Wellness and Facilities for more information.
  • Any materials given to students will be sanitized before they are distributed and when they are returned.
  • Eating will not be permitted in the TRIO area.
  • Student one-on-one appointments will be moved to Microsoft Team meetings when possible to maintain social distancing.
  • Counselors’ schedules and hours of operation will be adjusted to accommodate social distancing and student needs, all safety precautions will be taken.

Renew Wellness Center

The following policies and procedures will be in effect:

  • Teletherapy will continue to be used. Students will be encouraged to use this as needed.
  • If a student prefers to see counselor in their office, the student will remain out in waiting room until counselor comes out to get them.
  • Counselors will wear masks when outside their office, when in their office, a mask is optional. If students appear sick, they will be asked to either come back or do their appointment by Teletherapy.
  • After each visit, office chairs or areas the student has touched will be sanitized by renew staff. Refer to Health & Wellness and Facilities for more information.

Writing and Critical Thinking Center and Tutoring Centers

The following policies and procedures will be in effect:

  • Social distancing between students and tutors will be required
    • Students and tutors may not sit close together
    • Students and tutors may not share or read from the same book, computer, smart device screen, hard copy assignment, etc.
      • For in-person sessions, students visiting the tutoring centers must upload or email an electronic copy of their assignment for the consultant to read during the session and bring a laptop or a hard copy of the draft for themselves.
      • Students may not use the computer in the centers; use is reserved for center tutors/staff only.
    • Within the centers, tables will be configured in compliance with the directives to maximize physical distancing. Refer to Health & Wellness and Facilities for more information.
    • Students seeking tutoring services in the tutoring centers will be encouraged to schedule a time through the online portal and can choose an in-person, synchronous online, or asynchronous online session. Schedule your appointment here.
    • Signs will instruct students seeking a walk-in appointment to enter the centers only if there is no other student currently in the center.
    • Tutoring staff will be instructed to include in each tutoring time slot time to sanitize tables and other high-touch surfaces including but not limited to doors, light switches, tables, armchairs, copy machine, etc. Refer to Health & Wellness and Facilities for more information.
    • Course-specific small group tutoring will be held either online or in a larger classroom reserved for that purpose so that physical distancing can be practiced.
      • Tutors and students participating in in-person sessions will disinfect high-touch surfaces at the conclusion of the session. Refer to Health & Wellness and Facilities for more information.
    • Weekly tutor training sessions will be held online in Collaborate.
    • Any group workshops offered by the tutoring centers will be held online in Collaborate.

 24/7 Room

  • Access to the 24/7 area will now be limited to the library’s hours of operation. (See library hours of operation, posted above)
  • Computer and printer configuration in the 24/7 area will optimize physical distancing of six feet.
  • The area, including the machines in it, will be cleaned after each usage.
  • A total of four students will be able to use the 24/7 area during Library hours.

Veteran Center

Hours of Operation

Closed until spring.

General Policies

The following policies and procedures will be in effect for Veteran Center (located in Sullivan Hall):

  • The Center will limit the number of visitors/students in the Center at one time to four persons (three in the larger room, one in the smaller.)  Both rooms will be used in compliance with the social distancing requirements.
  • A coffer maker for community use, as well as all other food and beverage-based hospitality offerings, will no longer be offered.
  • Markers for the dry erasable board & community pens/pencils will be sanitized daily or after every use.

All visitors to the Veterans Center will be required to sign a check-in sheet at the center’s work-study desk.

Our Response

The University of Providence Facilities Department has been working diligently to ensure the health and safety of our University community. On top of our regular campus cleaning and maintenance, the following measures will be introduced:

  • Increased cleaning and sanitizing of buildings nightly. For more information about University cleaning and sanitation procedures, see our full EOP report, click here.
  • The sanitizing of high traffic campus areas every 2 hours. High traffic areas include:
    • Public restrooms
    • Weight rooms
    • Food service areas
    • Residence Hall common areas
  • The regular sanitizing of high touched surfaces, include:
    • door knobs
    • light switches
    • stair rails
    • Elevators
    • door push bars
  • The provision of disinfecting supplies to be placed in all classrooms and entry ways. Refer to “Clean In – Clean Out” policy below.
  • Maintaining continuous communication with University employees and students regarding the needed diligence with sanitation measures. Refer to “Clean In – Clean Out” policy below.
  • The assessment and modification of campus common areas and indoor spaces for social distancing. Refer to Health & Wellness for more information.
  • Requiring that all outside services (including vendors and other non-university professionals hired by the Facilities department for campus work) be processed through a Facilities Department check-point for screening and PPE use before granting admission to campus.
  • The placement of floor decals to provide 6 foot distancing.
  • The labeling of entrances, exits, and traffic flow through buildings.
  • The installation of plexiglass in areas that require additional barriers to reduce the spread of possible COVID-19 infection.
  • Regular cleaning and disinfecting of University fitness areas and weight equipment:
    • Every 2 hours when open for general use
    • Before and after every workout and practice session
    • Nightly
  • Adherence to and monitoring of all CDC and board of health requirements as made available.

 

“Clean In – Clean Out” Policy

Central to the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching is the understanding that community life entails both rights and responsibilities. It is the responsibility of everyone in our University community to ensure a safe and healthy environment for everyone. Mindful of this, the following community standards will be enforced:

When Entering a Campus Building
  • Hand sanitizer is to be utilized when entering buildings and facilities. Hand Sanitizer stations will be located near building entrances.
Classrooms
  • Students may not congregate or loiter classrooms outside of class time.
  • Upon entering a classroom space, the faculty member preparing for class is to disinfect the tables, chairs, computer workstation, and dry-erase markers in the space.
  • Upon exiting the classroom, the same process of sanitizing is to be followed.
  • Sanitizing products will be available in the classroom and stocked by the Facilities Department.
Meeting spaces and Conference Rooms
  • Upon entering a meeting space or conference facility, the host of the meeting is to disinfect the tables, chairs, computer workstations, and dry-erase markers in the space (unless the task has already been accomplished by the room’s previous occupants or the Facilities Department.
  • Upon exiting the meeting space, the same process of sanitizing is to be followed.
  • Sanitizing products will be available in the meeting space and stocked by the Facilities Department.
Office Spaces & Break Rooms
  • Employees are required to regularly clean and sanitize high-touch work spaces and equipment through all phases of the Governor’s Reopening Plan.  All exposed hard surfaces such as work counters, tables, desks, chairs, etc. must be sanitized after each visitor.  Equipment and tool handles must be sanitized after each use.  Cleaning supplies will be provided by the Facilities department.
  • Use of break rooms and common areas will only be allowed if users can maintain social distancing. Upon exit of these areas, users must clean surfaces and leave room disinfected for the next use.  These spaces will also be cleaned and disinfected nightly by custodial staff.
Publicly Shared Computers and Technology
  • In the event that you do need to share equipment, Information Services requires sanitizing all surfaces before and after you are in an area. This includes keyboards, mice, monitor screens, photocopiers, printers, countertops, and chairs.
  • Wear a mask and use hand sanitizer when using a publicly shared computer system.
  • Refer to Information Services for more information.
Publicly Shared Office Supplies
  • Publicly share office supplies include dry erase markers and erasers, pens, pencils, pencil sharpeners, staplers, hole punches, paper cutters, scissors, rulers, etc.
  • All shared office supplies must be sanitized regularly by the departments which utilize them or make them available to others.
  • Hand sanitizer is to be used by patrons before and after use of shared items.
  • Some previously available supplies may no longer be available. Plan accordingly.
Work Tables, Study Tables, Library Work Stations
  • Social distancing is to be enforced when utilizing work tables, study tables, or other work stations (such as in the University Library)
  • Tables and chairs are to be sanitized before and after use.
  • Departmental cleaning measures will also be in effect in high traffic locations.
    • These cleaning measures do not replace personal cleaning efforts.
Weights, Fitness Equipment, Games, and Activities Equipment
  • Fitness and weight equipment, as well as games and other objects available for student activities must be sanitized with disinfecting wipes before and after each use.
  • Additional sanitizing measures will also be enforced by the Facilities Department and other relevant departments.
  • Be aware that many previously available games and activities equipment may have limited availability or may no longer be available for rental or use. For more information, inquire with the relevant campus office.
Residence Hall Rooms and Apartments

Though personal space, the maintenance of clean residence hall rooms and apartments are essential in the student fight against the spread of COVID-19.  Refer to Residential Life for suggestions and policies pertaining to sanitation measures and recommendations for you and your roommates to review.

Laundry Facilities
  • Campus Residents will disinfect washing machines and driers (machine tops, control buttons, and handles) as well as folding tables or counter spaces before and after each use.
  • Sanitizing products will be available in the laundry facility and stocked by the Facilities Department.
  • Campus residents may only use the laundry facility in their assigned residence hall (and if in Argo Hall, on their assigned floor). Taking laundry to other residence halls will not be permitted, unless otherwise permitted by the Director of Residential Life.

Building Access for Students and Employees

In order to allow for the proper cleaning and sanitizing for campus facilities, strict building access times will be enforced:

 Trinitas Chapel Monday – Friday 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
University Center Monday – Friday, 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Providence Hall Closed for Quarantine Use if Needed
Student Center Monday – Friday, 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Sullivan Hall Monday – Friday, 6:30 AM – 6:00 PM
Science Building Monday – Friday, 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Faculty Office Suites Monday – Friday, 6:30 AM – 6:00 PM
Library Monday – Friday, 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM
McLaughlin Center – Offices Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Wrestling Facility – Offices Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Old Argo Central Monday – Friday, 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Art Building Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 8:00AM – 5:00 PM
Sikora Hall Monday – Sunday, Open
Emilie Hall Offices Closed
Theatre and Performing Arts Building Closed
Harold & Carmen Poulsen Fitness & Recreation Center Closed
Sister Rita Mudd Hall Closed
Argo Hall Closed
McLaughlin Center Gymnasium Closed

As part of the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP), the University of Providence has developed workforce protection and safety measures to carefully start bringing employees back to campus and ensure essential services for our students.  Each department has developed a plan for bringing employees back to campus that may include a phased-in or staggered staffing approach, as well as what has become standard COVID-19 operating procedures, such as regular, in-depth cleaning, wearing of face masks, handwashing/sanitizing, and ensuring social distancing, among other means.  The goal is to be fully staffed and operational prior to students returning to campus for the Spring 2021 semester while continuing to follow the directives provided by the State of Montana, Cascade County Public Health and the Federal government.

Mask Policy

1.      Policy Overview

The University of Providence has implemented and will enforce a policy mandating that fabric or disposable surgical-style face masks be worn by employees, students, and visitors (1) when they are inside University facilities and vehicles and (2) when they are outdoors on campus and social distancing of at least six feet is not possible. The Mandatory Masking Policy has been reviewed and approved by the UP Coronavirus Task Force (UP CTF) and is effective until further notice.

For the purposes of this policy, a face covering is defined as any cloth face covering that covers the nose and mouth, and ties around the ears or the back of the head. It must be secured under the chin and fit snugly against the sides of the face. Bandanas and scarves are not acceptable.

The CDC recommends wearing face masks when people go out in public. The University of Providence supports this recommendation for the health, safety, and welfare of all persons on campus.

Individuals may remove masks only if (1) they are in their own enclosed private workspace with no one else present, (2) in their dorm room, or (3) while participating in activities in which a face mask cannot practically be worn, such as eating and drinking.

Face masks may not depict inappropriate wording or content, including (but not limited to): profanity, offensive language or symbols, nudity, drug references, etc. Those wearing such masks will be asked to leave campus.

2.       Disability Accommodations Request

Face coverings are not required when:

  • A medical professional has advised that wearing a face covering may pose a health risk to the person wearing the covering or impair their breathing.
  • Wearing a face covering would create a safety risk to the person as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.
  • The person is physically unable to put on or remove the face covering without assistance.
  • The person has trouble breathing, is unconscious, or unable to remove the face covering without help.
  • The person is deaf or hard of hearing and uses facial and mouth movements as part of communication.
  • Babies and toddlers under age two (2) should never wear cloth face coverings due the risk of suffocation.
  • All children ages 5 years & up should wear a face covering unless medically directed to do otherwise.

Any student wishing to request a disability-related accommodation in connection with UP’s masking policy should contact the Dean of Students. Any employee wishing to request a disability-related accommodation in connection with UP’s masking policy should contact Kila Shepherd in Human Resources: kila.shepherd@uprovidence.edu.

3.       Compliance

All members of the campus community are expected to comply with this policy.  Failure to comply may result in referral of a student to the Dean of Students for potential judicial action or subject an employee to disciplinary action through their supervisor through existing disciplinary processes.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a fluid situation.  This and other UP COVID-19 policies are subject to change at any time in UP’s sole discretion and/or consistent with updates and changes in recommendations and requirements from the CDC and other governmental authorities.

4.       Employees (Faculty and Staff)

Provided Masks

The University will make masks available to employees appropriate to their on-campus responsibilities. All employees will receive one branded fabric mask placed on their desk or delivered to their areas.

Mask Re-Use and Cleaning

Fabric masks should be washed and fully dried after each day’s wear. Appropriate cleaning of the mask is the responsibility of the individual.

Removing Your Mask

Employees may remove masks when inside University facilities only (1) when alone in an enclosed room and (2) while participating in activities in which a face mask cannot practically be worn, such as eating and drinking.

5.       Students

Provided Masks

The University will make masks available to students. Students may also provide their own masks that comply with this policy. Detailed instructions regarding student mask distribution are forthcoming, in coordination with the Student Engagement Department and the UP Coronavirus Task Force.

Mask Re-Use and Cleaning

Fabric masks should be washed and fully dried after each day’s wear. Appropriate cleaning of the mask is the responsibility of the individual.

University Facilities (Other than Housing)

Students may remove masks when inside University facilities only (1) when alone in an enclosed room and (2) while participating in activities in which a face mask cannot practically be worn, such as eating and drinking.

On-Campus Housing Facilities

Students are not required to wear masks in their dorm rooms, but they are strongly encouraged to do so, particularly when others are present, unless they are participating in activities in which a face mask cannot practically be worn, such as eating and drinking, bathing, or sleeping.

Note, however, that students who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms must notify the Dean of Students immediately and wear a mask in their dorm rooms while they wait for the test results.

Masks for Guests

Students must inform their guests that each guest must wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth while in University facilities, as required by this policy.  Each guest should be advised to bring their own mask. Remember that guests are not allowed in residence halls.

Accommodations for Medical Conditions

If a student indicates compliance with this Masks for Students policy is not possible due to medical reasons, the student should be referred to the Dean of Students to request an accommodation.

6.       Visitors, Vendors, and Contractors

Masks for Visitors, Vendors, and Contractors

Visitors, vendors, and contractors must wear masks on campus and should be asked to bring their own. Refer to Facilities for more information

7.       Special Events and Athletic Sporting Events

At this time, all in-person campus events, regardless of size, are cancelled or postponed. Masking requirements for special events and athletic sporting events will be determined by the UP Coronavirus Task Force once events resume on campus.

Keeping Work Areas Clean
Employees are required to regularly clean and sanitize high-touch work spaces and equipment through all phases of the Governor’s Reopening Plan.  All exposed hard surfaces such as work counters, tables, desks, chairs, etc. must be sanitized after each visitor.  Equipment and tool handles must be sanitized after each use.  Cleaning supplies will be provided by the Facilities department. Refer to Health & Wellness and Facilities for more information.

Travel
All non-essential work travel for University of Providence employees remains prohibited.  New employees traveling from another state or country to work at the University of Providence and employees traveling out-of-state on personal matters may be required to self-quarantine for 14 days at home and work remotely if possible and feasible prior to returning to work on campus, through Phase 2. If the Governor of Montana were to move back to Phase 1 of the reopening plan, the 14-day self-quarantine for anyone traveling out-of-state, or coming in from out-of-state will be mandatory. Refer to Travel for more information.

Meetings
Employees are encouraged to continue to conduct meetings virtually as long as it is feasible and practical to do so through Phase 2.  When meeting in-person, group size must be limited as follows, if social distancing cannot be achieved:

Shelter in Place Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3
Meetings and gatherings are not permitted Meetings and gatherings may not exceed 10 persons Meetings and gatherings may not exceed 50 persons No limit will be enforced, however the University will continue to demonstrate caution with large groups and practice health and safety protocols with enhanced cleaning, handwashing and social distancing

 

COVID-19 Accommodations and Leave
Department Chairs and Supervisors are encouraged to continue to provide flexible schedules and opportunities for remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic for employees who fall under any of the following categories whenever possible and feasible while continuing business operations:

  • They are subject to a Federal, State or Local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19.
  • They have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19
  • They are experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19 and are seeking a medical diagnosis.
  • They are caring for an individual subject to an order as described above.
  • They are caring for their child whose school or place of care is closed or unavailable due to COVID-19 related reasons.

Employees who feel they might have COVID-19, or have been exposed to someone who may have COVID-19, should immediately notify their Supervisor, follow CDC recommended precautions (link is external), and stay at home (staff members may use Expanded Sick Leave through December 31, 2020) and/or make alternative work arrangements with their respective Supervisor. Children or other household members needing care cannot accompany employees into the workplace during the pandemic.

Employees who have been traced or otherwise identified as potentially being exposed or known to have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus will be required to quarantine/self-isolate for 14 days after the exposure.

Following CDC Guidelines(link is external), employees who have been diagnosed or believe that they had COVID-19 may return to work when they’ve met the following three conditions:

  1. Three (3) days with no fever, without the use of fever reducing medication,
  2. Improvement in respiratory symptoms (i.e.: coughing has stopped or breathing easier), and
  3. it has been 10 days since symptoms first appeared.

For employees who tested positive for COVID-19, but did not experience any symptoms, they may return to work after 10 days have passed since the test results.

Anyone who has close contact with someone with COVID-19, but has not tested positive themselves, will be required stay home for 14 days after exposure based on the time it takes to develop illness.

Return to work will include monitoring symptoms and health screenings and following CDC Guidelines for mitigating the spread of the virus(link is external).  Additionally, the University of Providence may request that employees submit a doctor’s note certifying fitness-for-duty to resume work.

High Risk Employees

The CDC has identified individuals with higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 as older adults and people who have serious underlying medical conditions(link is external). Employees in the identified group should consult the CDC’s extra precautions site(link is external) and consult with their healthcare provider. Employees in the high-risk groups who cannot maintain a 6’ distance from others during work and wear a face covering regularly, need to work with their Supervisor and healthcare provider to determine arrangements.

Any employee who has identified themselves as high risk for severe illness, and feels they are unable to work in the conditions provided to them, may request special work accommodations in order to successfully perform the essential duties of their position. Employees must submit an ADA accommodation request to Human Resources, who will initiate the ADA interactive process with the employee and their management to review the requested modifications. The University of Providence HR department may request that employees submit a doctor’s note certifying the medical condition requiring the need for an accommodation.

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) policy will apply to any employee who meets the criteria for Family Medical Leave and who are unable to work remotely or need work accommodations.  As such, a healthcare provider’s certification will be required and will be submitted to Human Resources.

Prepare and Respond Should There Be a Resurgence

If the University of Providence faces closure due to a State or Federal order, the following may occur:

  • Immediate remote learning may resume.
  • Immediate remote work whenever possible and feasible while continuing business operations.  Priority consideration may be given for employees with:
    • Children impacted by school or daycare closings.
    • Who are of a vulnerable or high-risk demographic.
    • With underlying health conditions.
    • With household member who are vulnerable or with underlying health conditions.
    • Whose work is deemed conducive to remote work and who have adequate technology, as long as working remotely does not affect productivity of other employees or the business operations of the University of Providence.

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Trinitas Chapel

Access for Visitors

The Trinitas Chapel is an oratory (a place of worship, other than a parish church, designated for the expressed use of a particular community).  As such, the primary function and purpose of the Trinitas Chapel is to safely meet the spiritual needs of the on-campus university community. While the Chapel has long welcomed guests from the larger community, be aware that COVID-19 restrictions may limit accessibility to the space.

Shelter in Place Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3
The chapel is closed to all visitors.

 

Limited access may be granted to campus ministry staff, pre-approved clergy, and those needed for livestreaming liturgies

The chapel is closed to all off-campus visitors.

 

Priest celebrants may elect to offer limited physical attendance to liturgies as they see fit.

 

Access will be limited to University students and employees during regular business hours

 

 

Access to the general public resumes
Liturgies

Liturgies include Sunday Masses, weekday masses (when possible), First Friday Devotions, and prayer services, and other university-sponsored worship experiences.

Shelter in Place Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3
Limited liturgies will be livestreamed when possible via Youtube.  No physical attendance will be permitted. Weekly liturgies will be livestreamed via Youtube.  No physical attendance will be permitted. In-person attendance of chapel liturgies will be limited to no more than 40 worshippers.  Standing-room attendance will not be permitted. In-person attendance of chapel liturgies will be limited to the number set by the State of Montana. Standing-room attendance will not be permitted.

At all liturgies, the following procedures and requirements will be enforced:

  • Worshippers may not enter the chapel without properly wearing an approved face covering over the mouth and nose. Refer to Health & Wellness for more information.
  • Social distancing of at least 6 feet must be maintained at all times while in the chapel.
  • The general public (including art appreciation tours) will not be permitted to access the chapel’s sanctuary, choir loft, or sacristies.
  • Holy Water fonts will remain empty until further notice
  • Worshippers may not hold hands at the Lord’s Prayer
  • The sharing of the Sign of Peace will be discontinued
  • Reception of the Blessed Sacrament on the tongue will not be permitted (per Diocesan request)
  • Distribution of the Precious Blood will not occur until further notice
  • Worshippers may not congregate in the chapel or chapel vestibule after the conclusion of liturgies.
  • Lectionaries will no longer be available in chapel pews. Worshippers will be encouraged to follow Liturgy readings on their personal mobile devices.
  • (Refer to “Music Ministry” below for details regarding the chapel choir and chapel instruments)

When receiving Holy Communion:

  • Worshippers will remain in their pew until instructed to come forward by the priest celebrant or an assisting minister
  • a minimum distance of six feet is to be maintained from the person standing in front of you in the communion line
  • When approaching the priest celebrant of Extraordinary ministry of Holy Communion, keep your mask on and extend your cupped hands forward to receive the Blessed Sacrament in your palm DO NOT CONSUME THE HOST IN FRONT OF THE MINISTER
  • Communicants will move to the marked “x” on the floor, lower their mask, and consume the Blessed Sacrament
  • After returning their mask to the proper place, communicants will return to their seat via the outer aisles of the chapel pews
Special (High-Attendance) Events

Special events include Mass of the Holy Spirit, Special Holiday services (like Candlelight), All Souls Day Remembrances, Baccalaureate Mass, Memorial Services, or masses that expect an attendance greater than 40 persons.  All Procedures for regular Masses will be enforced for special events.

Shelter in Place Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3
General attendance to events will not be permitted (including outdoor events).

 

Special events may be cancelled.

 

General attendance to events will not be permitted (including outdoor events).

 

Events must either occur outdoors or in large indoor venues that permit social distancing.  Mask ordinances will be enforced.

 

Events must either occur outdoors or in large indoor venues that permit social distancing.  Mask ordinances will be enforced.

 

Music at Liturgies (Music Ministry)

Music remains an important aspect of the liturgical life of the Church.  In recent months, however, we have also been made aware of the increased likelihood of spreading contagion as a result of congregational singing.

Shelter in Place Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3
Music ministry will be limited to no more than one person.

Wind instruments may not be used at liturgies.

 

Music ministry will be limited to no more than two persons.

Wind instruments may not be used at liturgies.

 

Pending implementation of safety measures, a chapel choir of no more than 5 may be utilized.

Wind instruments may not be used at liturgies.

Choirs of 6 or more persons may be utilized from the choir loft only.

Wind instruments may not be used at liturgies.

All phased responses above may be amended by the campus priest chaplain if deemed necessary for health and safety.

The following procedures and requirements will be enforced for the 2020-2021 academic year:

  • Congregational singing will not be permitted
    • Music worship aids will not be made available to worshippers
    • Music Hymnals will be removed from pews
  • Wind instruments will not be permitted at Chapel liturgies
  • Use of chapel instruments (including pianos and drums) will be limited to Campus Ministry staff (and music ministers)
  • Instruments will be sanitized before and after each use
  • Cantors (when utilized) must maintain personal music binders for their use. Sheet music and binders may not be shared.
  • Cantors and instrumentalists (when utilized) must wear face shields while at rehearsals and liturgies
  • A minimum distance of 6 feet will be maintained between all cantors and instrumentalists
  • Cantors may not face each other while singing (no standing in a circle)
  • Cantors may not stand in back-to-back rows
  • The sharing of hand-held microphones will be avoided when possible
  • Congregational seating located within 12 feet of cantors and instrumentalists will be removed or closed off
    • If this is not possible, music ministers may be moved to the choir loft
Rehearsals

Weekday music rehearsals will not be permitted while the State of Montana is under “Shelter in Place” orders or in Phase 1 of reopening.

When permitted in Phases 2 and 3 or reopening, the procedures and requirements outlined above will be enforced at rehearsals.

Campus Ministry Programming

Campus Ministry programming includes: Bible studies, RCIA seminars, Providence Servant Leaders meetings, fellowship and faith-sharing events.

Shelter in Place Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3
All programming will be available through online platforms only.

Some programs may be suspended to better allocate resources.

All programming will be available through online platforms only.

 

In-person attendance to programming may resume, pending assurance of a proper venue, social distancing, and the enforcement of mask ordinances.

Online options will be made available when possible.

In-person attendance to programming may resume/continue, pending assurance of a proper venue, social distancing, and the enforcement of mask ordinances.

Online options will be made available when possible.

Community Service & Service-Learning

Protecting Vulnerable Populations

As a ministry founded in the tradition of the Sisters of Providence, care for the poor and vulnerable is paramount to our mission and charism.  The recent COVID-19 Pandemic, however, requires us to re-envision how we participate in service and how we protect the populations we serve.

Volunteer service placing student in direct contact with the following vulnerable populations will not be permitted until further notice:

  • Children and school campuses
  • Hospitals, medical clinics, hospices
  • convalescent/rehabilitation facilities, retirement and assisted living communities
  • populations incapable of practicing social distancing

University-Sponsored Volunteering (including clubs and athletic teams)

Fall Programming

Off-campus service/volunteer opportunities will not be sponsored by the University of Providence in the Fall semester.

Applications for the approval of one-time on-campus service projects may be submitted to the Office of Mission Integration and Risk of Compliance for review.  Submit requests to Nicolas Estrada at Nicolas.estrada@uprovidence.edu.

Spring Programming
Shelter in Place Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3
Both on and off-campus service opportunities will not be permitted Both on and off-campus service opportunities will not be permitted Applications for on and off-campus service projects will be accepted by Mission Integration for review Applications for on and off-campus service projects will be accepted by Mission Integration for review
Mission/Service Trips & Retreats

Overnight service trips and retreats will not be hosted in the Fall 2020 semester.

The feasibility of spring-semester programming will be reassessed in the Fall of 2020 by Campus Ministry and Risk and Compliance.

Service Learning

Planning for service-learning in the Spring 2021 semester will continue as scheduled for the time being.

The feasibility of spring-semester programming will be reassessed in the Fall of 2020 by the Office of Mission Integration and the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Galerie Trinitas

Operation
Shelter in Place Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3
Galerie Trinitas will be closed to the public.

 

Galerie Trinitas will be closed to the public.

 

Galerie Trinitas will be available to small groups of guests by appointment only. Galerie Trinitas will be available to small groups of guests by appointment only.
Appointments

Appointments for private tours of the Galerie Trinitas may be made by contacting Nicolas Estrada at Nicolas.estrada@uprovidence.edu or (406) 791-5261.

Galerie Trinitas Advisory Board

The Galerie Trinitas Advisory Board will not be permitted to hold in-person meetings until further notice. Board members will not be granted access to the Galerie storage/archives facility until further notice.

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The Information Services Department of the University of Providence is dedicated to serving the technological needs of the entire University community.  In order to more effectively serve you at this time, IS will be adhering to all COVID-19 recommendations and requirements set forth by the University of Providence and state of Montana.

General IS Policies & Procedures

We would like our employees and students to be aware of the following procedures within the Information Services department.

  • The Information Services Service Desk in the University Center will be open for employees and students during published business hours.
  • ServiceDesk personnel will sanitize all equipment on acquisition and distribution to end users.
  • The main Information Services office areas will be off limits to unauthorized persons.
    • All visitors must check-in at the reception desk in the Information Services area for assistance.
  • Support provided outside of the Information Services office will be available according to proper University policies. Refer to Health & Wellness for more information.

 

The following policies and recommendations can help to minimize your risk and still have access to all the University’s computing resources.

Publicly Shared Computers

While publicly shared computer systems will remain available, we recommend avoiding the use of other’s phones, desks, computers, etc.

  • University employee office systems should be for individual use only.
    • We strongly recommend that students bring their own personal computing devices whenever possible.
    • The vast majority of requirements for business and classes are available online and accessible from any device. Thus, minimizing your need to share equipment with others.
  • In the event that you do need to share equipment, Information Services requires sanitizing all surfaces before and after you are in an area. This includes keyboards, mice, monitor screens, countertops, and chairs.
  • Wear a mask and use hand sanitizer when using a publicly shared computer system.

Refer to Health & Wellness for more information regarding social distancing and other policies relating to the use of publicly shared technology.

Printers and Photocopiers

In order to ensure that publicly shared printers and photocopiers remain available, the following requirements have been established:

  • Public printers/photocopiers must be sanitized before and after each use.
  • In order to reduce physical contact with devices, employees and students are to log into printers/photocopiers using their university IDs.

Students with Technology Needs

The Information Services office at UP has a limited number of laptops and netbooks prepared for student use. Please contact the ServiceDesk at servicedesk@uprovidence.edu or at 406-791-5326 for more information.

The University of Providence community understands the importance of visiting campus for prospective students, as they are exploring our University.  The Office of Enrollment Management has produced a plan to address the option of resuming admissions visits.

The following guidelines for hosting prospective students and their families are listed below:

  • Virtual visits will continue to be encouraged, and counselors are prepared and eager to meet with prospective students virtually. We continue to explore ways to enhance the virtual experience of prospective students.
  • In-person visits must be scheduled through the office of Admissions
  • In-person visits will be considered for prospective students from areas where COVID-19 cases are considered less prominent. Visit requests will be considered by the Office of Admissions on a case-by-case basis.
  • Only prospective students and their immediate family members will be allowed on campus for the visit. Visit groups will be limited to 5 or less individuals per group.
  • All visitors must complete a pre-screening form 24 hours prior to their visit.
  • Because of the need to pre-screen visitors, unfortunately, walk-in prospective student visitors will not be allowed.
  • Upon arrival, visitors will be required to wear a cloth face covering, and adhere to social distancing guidelines. Refer to Health & Wellness for more information.
  • Large group visits and admissions events will be conducted virtually.

Vendor Access

Defined as: any contractor or delivery or outside companies doing official University business with us

  1. The related area director requests approval from the VP
  2. If VP approves then, notifies Security and Facility with the following:
    • Vendor Name (company name)
    • Vendor arrival date (and time, if known)
  3. Area Director communicates protocol to Vendor
    • Protocol requires: face mask while on campus; upon arrival to campus property, reports to Physical Plant Building.
  4. Proper PPE protocol already in place must be followed by all parties

Non-Prospective Student Visitor(s) or Guest(s)

Defined as: enrolled students/spouses/dependents/friends/acquaintances of employees, food delivery personnel, or any other individual who is not a vendor or a prospective student, who is accessing a campus facility for the purpose of conducting official University business.

  1. Employee communicates campus access protocol to guest(s) and shares the link to the health and wellness page on the COVID-19 Website.
    • Protocol requires: face mask while on campus; accessing only buildings critical for the purpose of the visit to campus
  2. Food delivery personnel should be met by employee, in parking lot or at building entrance
  3. Ensure that any meeting with a guest, is trackable. One means of tracking, is through formal meetings scheduled through Teams or Outlook calendars. This practice will support contract tracing efforts, if needed.
  4. Proper PPE protocol already in place must be followed by all parties

Note: Please be mindful of having any guest on campus. If the purpose of the visit is for any reason other than the purpose of conducting business, it is discouraged. Please also be mindful of the existing University Policy pertaining to having children in the workplace, as indicated in our Community Policy Document, section 2.5.4.

The University of Providence Leadership is working in partnership with departments across campus to ensure clear and timely communication about the COVID-19 crisis.

  • The primary source for the latest COVID-19 information is the University Website.
    • All other communications will follow pre-established protocols.
    • The University of Providence COVID Task Force will initiate and distribute any pandemic related updates.
    • Updates may also occur on social media (where applicable), and to University of Providence email accounts.
  • The COVID Task Force should approve all public campus-wide signage regarding COVID-19 as it relates to campus policies, procedures, or actions of the University.
    • Individual departments may post signs in their areas, consistent with current campus policy, related to keeping a particular area safe or to communicate about specific issues.
    • Consistent with the Governor’s Task Force recommendation, signage will stay in place throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to adhere to the guidance for social distancing when possible.

All non-essential work travel for University of Providence employees remains prohibited.  New employees traveling from another state or country to work at the University of Providence and employees traveling out-of-state on personal matters may be required to self-quarantine for 14 days at home and work remotely if possible and feasible prior to returning to work on campus, through Phase 2. If the Governor of Montana were to move back to Phase 1 of the reopening plan, the 14-day self-quarantine for anyone traveling out-of-state, or coming in from out-of-state will be mandatory.

Travel policies for University employees and students were formed with the health and safety of all University community members mind.

  • No employee or student business-related travel will be allowed through December 31, 2020.
  • Personal travel plans for faculty or staff should be reported to direct supervisor. Supervisors will determine if self-quarantining is necessary upon return.
  • If travelling, the following measures should be taken to protect yourself and others during your trip.
    • Clean your hands often by washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, touching surfaces frequently touched by others, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, and before touching your face or eating.
      • If soap and water are not available, bring and use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub your hands together until they feel dry.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
    • Avoid close contact with others.
    • Keep 6 feet of physical distance from others.
    • Wear a cloth face covering in public.
    • Cover coughs and sneezes.
    • Pick up food at drive-throughs, curbside restaurant service, or stores

Hosting Events at the University of Providence

For decades the University of Providence has taken great pride in being able to offer our 20th Street campus to the Great Falls community as an excellent venue for community events and programing.

With the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, it has been decided that the University campus venues (including both indoor and outdoor spaces) will not be available for non-university events at this time.

Any changes to this policy will be announced on this page when available. Until then, we apologize for an inconvenience, and look forward to working with your organization in the future (when health and safety permit).

The University of Providence signed and returned the Certification and Agreement to the Department of Education in order to secure funding for students under Section 18004(a)(1) if the CARES Act. This funding is to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students who have been negatively impacted by our institutions change of operations to an on-line format due to COVID-19. Per the agreement, the University will use no less than 50% of the allotted funding for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

The University of Providence received $188,498 from the Department of Education pursuant to the signed Certification and Agreement to be used for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

As of 7/15/2020, the University of Providence has awarded $65,030 in Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. This section will be updated at least every 45 days in compliance with the signed Certification and Agreement with the Department of Education.

An analysis of students at the University of Providence found that there were 353 students who are or could be eligible to participate in the Federal student financial aid programs under Section 484 of the Higher Education Act   of 1965, as amended, and thus are eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

As of 7/15/2020, the University has awarded Emergency Financial Aid Grants to 39 students. This information will be updated at least every 45 days in compliance with the signed Certification and Agreement with the Department of Education.

All eligible students were contacted by email and text regarding the opportunity to apply for an Emergency Financial Aid Grant from the CARES Act. The University created a CARES Act Committee, made up of several department representatives, who oversee the awarding of the Emergency Financial Aid Grants. This committee reviews the application and documentation from students, uses the guidelines set forth by the Department, and tries to award Grants to students in a fair and consistent manner.

Students wishing to apply for CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants for students are directed to a webpage containing an FAQ on the requirements for eligibility, along with an application to be submitted for committee review.

The FAQ and Application can be found here:

CARES Act FAQ Document

CARES Act Funding Application

COVID-19 Case Count Reporting

The University of Providence has 0 new, laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases as of 5 p.m. on 09/28/2020. There is currently 1 active case.

Please note:

  • Active cases are defined as laboratory-confirmed, for individuals who are employees or students of the University of Providence, who are accessing campus facilities
  • Our numbers reflect active cases reported to the University
  • Numbers reflect faculty, staff, and students
  • All individuals have received guidance and assistance regarding proper isolation protocols and are in contact with health care professionals
  • Cascade City County Health is conducting contact tracing for any individual who is identified as a close contact
  • Due to federal regulations, we will not be providing any information beyond the number of new, active, and recovered cases
  • During the fall 2020 semester, a total of 2 cases have recovered
  • This report will be updated daily (Monday – Friday) by 5 p.m.

Additional Updates and Archived Communications

September 16, 2020

University Update

On September 15th, 2020, the University of Providence was informed that two campus-based employees have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. In the interest of protecting our faculty, staff, students, as well as the greater community of Cascade County, we feel it necessary to communicate this information.

Individuals who may have been in contact with the positive cases have been informed. Details of any impacted areas have been provided, and those very limited spaces have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Contact tracing is being handled by the City County Health Department.

It is important to note that these cases were restricted to specific areas of campus. Unless you have been contacted by a representative of the City County Health Department, you should not have to quarantine or seek testing. At this time, there is no recommendation to shut down areas of campus beyond what was needed to clean and disinfect.

Since the start of this global pandemic, the University of Providence has remained intentional about its efforts to protect our community. The University continues to educate our students by way of remote or online learning this Fall 2020 semester. Business operations likewise continue at the University, with many mitigation measures remaining in place for employees on campus. The University continues to allow employees to work remotely, or on flexible work schedules where possible.

Sincerely,

Coronavirus Task Force

8/4/2020

University Update

University of Providence to Begin Fall Semester Online

After extensive consideration, University of Providence leadership has determined that an online start for the Fall 2020 semester is in the best interest of student, staff, faculty, and community safety. This decision was not made lightly, and takes into consideration students’ experience, health, safety, and our founding Sisters’ legacy.

Following their arrival in Great Falls in 1892, the Sisters of Providence opened the first hospital in the city, supported by the leading citizens. During the next four decades Great Falls experienced outbreaks of deadly diseases, especially typhoid, scarlet fever, smallpox and the flu pandemic of 1918. The Providence community was not immune from the ravages of these epidemics. Sister Souligny, perished in the first typhoid wave of 1894, contracting the disease from a patient. While in 1910, Helen Cyr, a recently graduated nurse, working with the sisters, died just before Christmas from complications following infection from typhoid.

Given this rich and inspiring legacy of service, the leadership of the University of Providence worked from the outbreak of coronavirus to ensure that students, faculty, staff, and the members of the local community were safe. In March during the first wave of COVID-19, we were the first of the state’s private colleges to move the delivery of student education online, to help prevent the spread of the virus within the local community and on the campus.

In early June, we announced our intention to open campus in late August with modifications to the school calendar so that students could return home for Thanksgiving and conclude the semester online. Since then, the University leadership has worked to realize this intention, preparing a detailed plan that would help diminish the risks. The Cascade City-County Health Department has reviewed and approved our plan.

However, we also stated in June that we would continue to monitor the situation. Now, given the increased spread of the virus in Montana, civic leaders’ concern about Cascade County becoming a hot-spot, concerns expressed by healthcare experts over a second wave of the epidemic, and advice from our Risk and Compliance, we have decided not to resume on-campus education for our students in the fall. Instead, we will transfer to our virtual platform to begin the school year.

This decision saddens us. We were looking forward to reassembling as a campus community. We know many students will be disappointed and parents frustrated by the decision and the timing of the announcement.

We assure all that this decision was not lightly taken. While concern for the health of staff and faculty was a priority, we were also very conscious that the parents of our residential students trust us to keep their children safe. Given all the changes with the COVID-19 circumstances over the last two weeks, we decided that opening our physical campus would not allow us to honor this trust in a way that would faithfully express the Providence legacy and mission to keep all, including the local community, safe.

In the coming weeks, we will be rolling out plans to enhance online delivery of education and inclusive experience to our students. We are implementing programs so that our academic support staff with faculty members, can ease the stress for all our students. Likewise, we plan to provide more online community building events for all members of our community.

In addition to modifying academic plans, we recognize that extracurricular activities will also be impacted. Nearly sixty percent of our student community are athletes. The postponement of games and championships until the Spring semester, without doubt, adds further to their stress. However, all members of the University’s athletic leadership are ready to counsel and coach our athletes and prepare them, remotely, for the Spring semester competitions.

We are mindful that the decision to offer online delivery of education may impact negatively student enrollment and retention, add financial stress, and reduce faculty, staff and student morale. Yet, we hope that it will be viewed as a sincere response to the changes in higher education caused by the pandemic and an expression of our commitment to help reduce the spread of the virus in our community.

As we move into uncertain times we have the example of the Sisters to guide us. When confronted by difficult situations, their hope and trust in God never wavered. Instead they responded in innovative and creative ways and ministries, renewed, flourished. May we learn from their experiences to be creative in our day to the challenges now confronting us

Finally, as we struggle through these challenging days may we remember to be grateful for the small things in our lives and treat each other with kindness and care.

Blessings,

Fr. Oliver Doyle, President

7/31/2020

Employee Update

Dear Friends,

The President’s COVID-19 Taskforce has been working hard since this pandemic crisis hit Montana. We are now rapidly preparing for the start of the new academic year. One essential step in those preparations is getting our university personnel back into their offices so we can prepare for the start of classes in August.

A significant amount of time has been spent identifying the necessary steps to ensure our campus is as safe and healthy of a workplace as possible. Part of that process involves not only informing the campus community of the realities of COVID-19, but also finding a way to hold people accountable for knowing that information. The steps below are required of each employee (faculty and/or staff), in order to come back to campus. Dates for specific departmental return are forthcoming. We anticipate having dates for return established for each area, by early next week.

  1. Review COVID-19 Readiness Statement and Resources found at https://www.uprovidence.edu/coronavirus/.  The content for this site is being updated regularly, and you will be responsible for understanding the rules and regulations for physically being on campus.  Please note the specific mask policy under the health and wellness section.  If you do not have a mask, please let your Supervisor know, and we will ensure one is provided for you.
  2. Review the following sources of information:
  1. Complete a short quiz based on the above information. The quiz serves a dual purpose; 1) to confirm that you have reviewed the University policies as stated in the EOP, posted on the University webpage; 2) so that we can track those who have complied with these directives. A score of (80%) or better will be required before being allowed to access your workspace. If you are unable to pass the quiz with the minimum score required, you will be contacted by your Supervisor to discuss your answers to the quiz.

The final step in accessing campus buildings and or offices, is to complete an at-home self-assessment. Attached, please find an at-home self-assessment guide, detailing COVID-19 symptoms Self-Check. Please perform this self-check each day before coming in to work. We do not want anyone who believes they may have been infected, or who has been in contact with someone who is infected, to come into work.

  1. You will be required to submit a Symptom Assessment Survey each day that you access campus facilities.

This survey will allow us to:

  • confirm that you are not symptomatic
  • if you are symptomatic, stress the need to stay home
  • allows us to know who worked on campus each day in case we need to perform contact tracing at a later date.

Thank you for doing what you need to in order to keep our community safe.

Sincerely,

Coronavirus Task Force

7/17/2020

Student Update

Dear UP Students,

Please review the press release for the announcement of the Cascade Collegiate Conference to delay Fall sports due to the Coronavirus pandemic, immediately affecting Men’s and Women’s soccer. At this time, these are the only two teams that are impacted, but we will continue to send out communication to keep our campus informed of any changes.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Doug Hashley, Athletic Director, at Doug.Hashley@uprovidence.edu .

University of Providence,
Coronavirus Task Force

7/17/2020

Employee Update

Dear Friends,

We hope this message finds you in good health and enjoying the summer months upon us. University leadership has been working diligently, intentionally, and tirelessly over the past several weeks to carry out the charge of being prepared to provide an education and formation to our students – both on campus and virtually, for the upcoming fall semester.  While following this charge, we continue to strategize the ways in which we can do this safely, especially as it applies to our residential students, while at the same time, recognizing our responsibility to do what we can to safeguard the health and safety of our faculty and staff, as well as the greater Great Falls community within which we live and work.

We are nearly a month away from bringing our residential students back to campus, and only weeks away from getting staff back into offices. For the next several weeks, we will continue to develop, refine, and adjust to the demands of our situation, with the safety of our community being our primary focus.

Varied staff members may be returning from furlough within the coming weeks – some from full furlough and others from rolling furlough. Some staff have been absent from our university community for a long period of time (at no fault of their own, but as a result of furlough), and will be rejoining us amidst continued changes. We encourage our entire UP family to demonstrate patience and understanding as we welcome them back to campus. As we continue to plan for our re-opening, it will be critical to find the means to communicate effectively, while continuing to work from a distance. As we know, the Governor has recommended that we continue to support remote work, when, where and for as long as feasible. Please continue to have these discussions amongst your areas.

The University will soon be reaching out to students, by phone and email. We want to connect with our students; we want to provide them with an opportunity to ask questions; and we want to provide clarification and share any knowledge we have about what the fall semester may look like.

Please continue to monitor your emails for updates and review the University COVID Information webpage on the University website. We intend to make significant changes to this site in the coming weeks, and it will contain the most up-to-date information on things pertaining to COVID. As we plan for the start of the semester, we anticipate having critical information to share with all stakeholders. The work done in the past several weeks has produced an 80+ page document outlining the details and ways in which we will keep our campus community safe. This document is being dissected into categories of content to then post to our website. The content of this document has been thoroughly vetted by local healthcare officials, as well as Providence St. Joseph Health. The University COVID webpage will house this information and remains our focal point for consistent communication and ease of access to anyone.

The previous months have undoubtedly been difficult for all of us as we have navigated this unprecedented time in human history. The success of the University of Providence thus far, however, has only been made possible by the sacrifice, ingenuity, and resilience of you, and the many others who form our University community. Just as the Sisters of Providence courageously pioneered their way across the unknowns of the Treasure State nearly 160 years ago, we now find ourselves being called to respond to the challenge and uncertainty of the coming months with much the same spirit.

Using the same words as these early Sisters, we express our gratitude for the work already completed, and entrust the future to our loving God as we pray:

Providence of God, I believe in Thee.
Providence of God, I hope in Thee.
Providence of God, I love Thee with all my heart.
Providence of God, I thank Thee for all.

Peace and Blessings,
Coronavirus Task Force

6/5/2020

Campus Student Update

Dear Students,

We hope this message finds you well! If you left campus and had any items remaining in your spring 2020 campus residence, we are now able to allow you to schedule an appointment to gather your belonging, should you wish to do so.

Thank you for your patience while being unable to return to campus. Our main goal is prioritizing student safety and making sure we are following the Governor’s Directives pertaining to COVID-19 and social distancing. As I’m sure many of you are aware, the Governor has begun phase two of re-opening the state of Montana. Under phase two the University has decided to allow all remaining students to schedule a return to campus to check-out of their campus residences under the following guidelines:

      1. Students can schedule a check-out immediately between today and July 10, 2020.
      2. Before being allowed to return, students must schedule a check-out time in advance by emailing the Residential Life Department at housing.UP@uprovidence.edu
      3. Students are limited to bringing only one person to help them move their belongings.
      4. All individuals entering campus housing must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) consisting of a mask and gloves that the University will provide upon arrival.

If you are unable to make it back to campus to retrieve your belongings during this time, we understand, and want you to know that your things are safe. We will reach out to you after July 10, 2020 to make arrangements with you in preparation for the new school year.

Thank you again for your patience and flexibility and stay safe!

Aaron Stucker
Director of Residential Life
(406) 791-5225

6/4/2020

Fall 2020 Semester Update

The University of Providence plans to welcome students to campus for the fall 2020 semester. Fall semester is scheduled to begin on August 24 for all students in on-campus programs, and students in distance education programs through the School of Health Professions will begin online on August 31.

UP President Father Oliver Doyle said that a robust plan has been developed to protect the health and safety of the entire campus community from the COVID-19 virus. The University will track recommended guidelines throughout the summer in planning for fall semester, and adapt as necessary.

UP sent students home on March 12 and completed the spring 2020 semester via remote instruction. The campus has been conducting other business remotely for much of the time since then.

“It was a smooth adjustment for us because we have many of our students already learning online,” said Father Doyle. “But we are happy to be able to welcome back our returning and new students and our staff to the campus. We’ve really missed them.”

The University will coordinate with the Cascade City-County Health Department and local healthcare providers to ensure that comprehensive testing for COVID-19 is available and contact tracing occurs when necessary. The University has established quarantine and isolation protocols, social distancing and mask requirements, and enhanced cleaning of all campus spaces.

“We recognize that students attending the University will come from different parts of state and the nation. We will work with UP officials to establish the best practices to implement and protect the health of our community,” said Health Officer, Trisha Gardner.

Higher education, with its on-campus resident students, has been challenged by the COVID-19 virus as the fall semester approaches. Montana has been fortunate that just over 500 confirmed cases have been reported, one of the lowest rates in the country.

“And yet, many parents are concerned about sending their children far away,” said Father Doyle. “The University is pleased that we can continue to serve students and the community in this time of crisis, as in the tradition of the Sisters of Providence who served these communities in the times of smallpox, scarlet fever, typhoid and the flu pandemic.”

In addition to the traditional liberal arts curriculum, the University of Providence has a growing School of Health Professions that is designed to advance careers in the largest and fastest growing sector of the U.S. economy.

UP is a private Roman Catholic university in Great Falls, Montana. It is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

6/4/2020

Staff Update

Dear Staff,

The past few months have resulted in unprecedented change for our University, and our nation, as we have sought to navigate the “new normal” of COVID-19. This new normal requires us to reimagine not only how we personally interact in the workplace, but how we schedule classroom instruction so as to protect you, our students, and the wider Great Falls community.

It is for this reason that the University of Providence has decided to change the first day of classroom instruction for the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences to Monday, August 24, 2020. Online programs and 8-week courses will begin the following week on Monday, August 31, 2020.

Many of you generously offered to furlough this summer in order to help our mission, and have a return to work date of August 26, 2020. Please be aware that some currently on furlough may be required by their vice president to return to work before that date to ensure preparation for the early on-campus start date. Please ensure your Vice Presidents have contact information for you so they may be able to contact you if necessary.

Student Engagement is working hard to develop adjusted orientation dates, residence hall check-in dates and processes to our new schedule. Work with athletic governing bodies is also underway to establish what the 2020-2021 academic year will look like for student-athletes.

If anyone has any questions, please contact your VP or direct supervisor.

5/27/2020

Employee Update

Dear Staff and Faculty Colleagues,

Thank you for your continued cooperation and dedication to the University, albeit from afar.

As you may be aware, we anticipate to be transitioning from Phase I to Phase II of Governor Bullock’s Directives, on June 1. While we make this transition, we also realize that the Directives of Phase I are not replaced by those of Phase II, nor do the guidelines within Phase I no longer apply. Given that we are still called to “permit telework as much as possible and where feasible,” the Task Force has recommended we continue to keep campus closed at this time; however, to remind all stakeholders that requesting individual access is still permissible.

Pending any changes to our protocols driven by the state government, individual requests for access to offices or other university spaces should continue to follow the protocols already in place:

      1. Requests for individual access should be made via an email to Fr. Oliver specifying the reason for the request of access, the times of access and egress, and the spaces to be visited.
      2. By way of approval, he will forward the request to Security and Facilities.
      3. Following your egress, Facilities personnel will thoroughly sanitize the spaces you accessed.

Thank you for your continued patience in this trying time. Please rest assured that while these restrictions may seem pointless, they are established based on the Governor’s Directives in the interest of the health and safety of the University of Providence community.

Thank you.

Matt

Matthew A. Redinger
Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of History
The University of Providence

5/8/2020

Employee Update

Dear Staff and Faculty Colleagues,

Thank you for participating in the Request to Temporarily Access Offices survey we sent out to gauge your interest in, and need for, access to offices and other campus spaces within the confines of Governor Bullock’s Phase 1 Directives. We appreciate the time and energy you spend in responding, and we need to make it clear first and foremost, that we hear you and appreciate your perspectives. We are, indeed, sensitive to the disruption this pivot to remote working has been, and sincerely appreciate everything you have done to keep this “ship of state” afloat.

The governor’s announcement yesterday did not greatly expand our ability to change our protocols for staff and faculty access to their offices. Pending any changes to our protocols driven by the state government, individual requests for access to offices or other university spaces should follow the protocols already in place:

      1. Requests for individual access should be made via an email to Fr. Oliver specifying the reason for the request of access, the times of access and egress, and the spaces to be visited.
      2. By way of approval, he will forward the request to Security and Facilities.
      3. Following your egress, Facilities personnel will thoroughly sanitize the spaces you accessed.

Thank you for your patience in this trying time. Please rest assured that while these restrictions may seem pointless, they are established based on the governor’s directives in the interest of the health and safety of the University of Providence community.

Thank you.

Matt
Matthew A. Redinger
Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of History

5/1/2020

Community Update

Dear Friends –

While we cannot be together, physically, to celebrate with our students – please enjoy a presentation and celebration which is posted on the University website. Thank you to each of you who helped make this celebration possible.

Please find a virtual celebration posted on the University of Providence webpage to honor our graduates. Included on this page is the ‘traditional’ commencement content such as: commencement program, commencement address, blessing, ringing of the bell, an athletics year-in-review, and the singing of our Alma Mater.

Thank you for the many efforts shown this academic year; it has made us a better, stronger community.

Sincerely,

Registrar’s Office

4/29/2020

Student Update

Dear Students,

The University of Providence has received Higher Education Emergency Relief Grant funding from the Department of Education as part of the CARES Act. This funding is available to qualifying students for assistance with expenses that have been incurred due to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please review the full details on the provided CARES Act FAQ document. After review and confirmation of eligibility, should you decide to apply, please do so by completing the CARES Act Funding Application. The application deadline, to be considered for financial relief, is May 15, 2020.

Sincerely,
Coronavirus Task Force

4/29/2020

Employee Update

Dear Friends,

As previous communication has indicated, the University Coronavirus Task Force has been assessing the circumstances of re-opening campus given the directives of Governor Bullock.

After discussion and review, it has been determined that the University campus will remain closed at this time. During our campus closure, should an emergent need to access a building on campus arise, continue to follow the current practice of making the request through your direct Vice President.

While we remain closed and business continues remotely, we would like to hear from our campus personnel, as to their specific needs for building access, if any. If you will please take a few minutes to complete a short survey so that we can hear of your individual needs to accessing campus resources, it would be appreciated.

We realize that there is much fluidity to our situation and while campus remains closed at this time, this decision could change. The Task Force will continue to monitor re-opening campus on an on-going basis.

Sincerely,
Coronavirus Task Force

4/23/2020

Employee Update

Dear Friends,

As you may be aware, Governor Bullock announced yesterday, a phased approach to ‘re-opening Montana.’ In this effort, the University too, is considering our approach to re-opening campus. This approach will be done in a very intentional manner, as we must continue in our effort to protect the campus community, and the greater Great Falls community as well.

For the week of April 27, please continue your remote work, as you are currently doing.

We intend to have sub-groups working between now and next week to review the Governor’s directives. We are working to establish institutional directives (from those given by the Governor), and to allow each campus department and all campus employees the opportunity to provide input into our plan for re-opening campus. We can take great pride in our effort to move to remote work, and so too, should we take great care and concern for our return to campus. A full plan for re-opening campus will be provided no later than Friday, May 1, 2020.

Sincerely,
Coronavirus Task Force

4/22/2020

Commencement Update

Dear Graduates,

You should be receiving a package from the University in the coming days. Included in this package, is your diploma cover – be sure to open the diploma cover to read an important message from the university. Included as well are the following, if applicable: honor cords, veteran cords, nursing pin and message of blessing of the hands, master/graduate level hoods, master of science in counseling pin, and baccalaureate mass pins and accompanying message. We are preparing to launch a virtual celebration for the class of 2020. This celebration will include: a virtual commencement program, short videos of traditional commencement speakers, as well as recognition of special award recipients and outstanding students in a major.

We are asking that you please share a photo or short video to any of the following media: the University of Providence Facebook page, Instagram feed, or to marketing@uprovidence.edu. We would love to see you in your cap and gown, your decorated graduation cap, or celebrating with friends and family. Nurses and Counseling students, we would be grateful to receive a photo of you being ‘pinned.’ For Facebook and Instagram posts, please use the tag #UPROVGRAD2020 or #UProvidence. We look forward to having something to share with you virtually, by May 2, 2020 – our originally scheduled day of commencement. In order to meet this timeline, please send your photos or short video messages by Tuesday, April 28, 2020.

 

Thank you,
Registrar’s Office

4/22/2020

Faculty / Staff Commencement Update

 

Dear Faculty and Staff –

The class of 2020 has been mailed diploma covers, honor cords, hoods (for graduate students), and pins as well as additional messages as applicable. Included in the diploma cover was a notice to the class of 2020, informing them that a virtual Commencement Celebration will be taking place. Graduates have been asked to share a photo or short video, which will be captured through the use of several platforms. We would like to extend to faculty and staff, the option of submitting photos (messages in your photo if desired) or very short videos (no more than 10 seconds in length) of you voicing your support of the Class of 2020 to be included in the virtual celebration. Please capture your photo (.jpg only, please) or video (.mp4 only, please) and upload it to the UP Employees Team Site.  The hope is to be able to share the Celebration online, by May 2, 2020 – the originally scheduled day of commencement. In order to meet this timeline, we are asking that everyone send their photos or short video messages by Tuesday April 28, 2020.

 

Thank you,
Registrar’s Office

Update: 4/2/2020

Employee Information

Dear Friends,

We hope this message finds you healthy, safe, and well. A few updates from the Coronavirus Task Force.

Update from our Chief Technology Officer, Jamie Schultz:
Due to the variability of internet speeds when working from home, I.S. recommends you don’t use your webcam unless necessary during Teams and Skype Meetings. Even with a good connection, trying to stream more than three live cameras can create instability in yours and others internet connections and result in choppy or dropped calls. Please keep in mind, just because you have a strong internet connection doesn’t mean others do. Even though you aren’t experiencing issues you could be causing others to have a poor experience. 

A few helpful tips-

      • Only use your camera when speaking, turn off when not speaking
      • Mute microphone while not speaking, only unmute to speak
      • Should you have a question, start video and raise your hand
      • Utilize the chat feature when in larger group meetings

Update from Director of Human Resources, Kila Shepherd:
All managers/supervisors, by Friday, April 3rd and then as updates occur, please email Kila Shepherd the following information on any employee who is not working remotely or on campus:

      • Name
      • Start and end date (start date should be no earlier than 04.01.2020)
      • Reason from this list:
        1. Unable to work remotely during Governor Bullock’s directive to stay at home
        2. Subject to a government quarantine
        3. Advised by a medical provider to quarantine
        4. Symptomatic and going in for testing
        5. Caring for an individual who is quarantined
        6. To care for a son/daughter who is under 18 and subject to a school or daycare closure
      • Any notes/comments

There is no need to report regular sick, vacation, or personal days any differently. If the reason for not working is not listed above, please report hours as normal.

Sincerely,
Coronavirus Task Force

4/3/2020

Employee Update

Dear Friends,

An announcement from our Chief Technology Officer, Jamie Schultz.

As we’ve now had some time to adjust to working remotely, it may have been discovered that there are new or additional technology needs. The ServiceDesk has had multiple requests for items such as webcams and keyboards, discovered only by the trial and error of working remotely.

We would like to offer an opportunity for our campus community to notify us of any newly discovered technology needs, so that we can try to accommodate your new work environment. While we cannot guarantee we will be able to meet the request, we would like to try. Given limited equipment, we would appreciate requests which are crucial to the ability to do your work.

Please email servicedesk@uprovidence.edu no later than Monday, April 6, 2020, by 12:00pm (noon) with any technology request(s). Requests may include (but are not limited to):

      • Monitor/screen
      • Keyboard
      • Webcam
      • Headset
      • Laptop
      • Cable / Adaptor

Once all requests have been submitted, we will then try to gather and itemize requests and will accommodate as we are able.

We anticipate to have a scheduled pick-up date early next week. Full details on days, times, and the process (to abide by the directive of social distancing) in order to keep our campus community members safe, will be shared early next week as well.

Sincerely,
Jamie Schultz, CTO
On behalf of the Information ServiceDesk

Update: 3/31/2020

Withdrawal Date Extension

Dear Students,

We understand that COVID-19 has presented unique challenges while transitioning to online instruction and learning. In response to this unprecedented crisis, the University of Providence has extended the withdrawal deadline, and has waived the WP/WF period for the spring 2020 semester.

We are here to support students throughout this transition and urge you to connect with faculty and to speak with student support services representatives to discuss your options as you navigate this change.

A summary of policy change impacts:

      • Immediately extends the original withdrawal date to April 24th, to allow students time to adjust to an online environment and evaluate options with advisors / success counselors and instructors.
      • All withdrawals through April 24th will be noted as a grade of “W” on the academic record (transcript).
      • There will be no timeframe for which a withdrawal from the spring 2020 semester will result in a grade of WP or WF.
      • The “W” grade will not result in negative effects on academic progress, academic probation, semester or cumulative GPA, or ability to repeat a course(s).
      • The “W” grade will have no negative effect on already posted Federal Financial Aid (and correlation to Satisfactory Academic Progress)
      • The extension of the withdrawal timeframe has no impact on the previous communication sent regarding the “S/D/F” grade mode option.
      • Beginning April 25th, withdrawals from the spring 2020 semester will not be processed. Should a student have an extenuating circumstance where a special consideration may be necessary, please contact provost@uprovidence.edu. These cases will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

We continue to adapt as challenges arise, and will continue to make efforts necessary to support our faculty, staff, and students.

Sincerely,
Coronavirus Task Force

3/27/2020

Faculty Memo

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

The President’s COVID-19 Taskforce decided today that in the interest of the health and safety of the entire university community, the campus will be closed to faculty by 5:00 PM on Monday, March 30. Within two weeks, we will reassess the state of the ongoing threat, and I will communicate later decisions as they are made. All faculty need to retrieve from their campus offices all of the materials they will need to continue to conduct their classes fully online. Please note that University personnel are currently working with mail carriers to ensure that the University mail is held during this two week period.

We did not come to this decision lightly, and I understand the difficulties this may cause. But due to the ongoing threat to community health, we appreciate your compliance with this decision. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me—I will be working fully from home by the end of the day on Monday.

Thank you.

Matt

Matthew A. Redinger
Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of History

3/27/2020

Employee Update

An important reminder that timesheets are due no later than 9:30am, Monday, March 30, 2020, and Supervisor’s must approve timesheets no later than 12:30pm, Monday, March 30, 2020.
 
If your work hours have been effected by COVID-19, please see the Time Entry Guidelines regarding leave codes and contact HR with any questions about your eligibility for using them.

Kila Shepherd  406-791-5977  kila.shepherd@uprovidence.edu
Melanie Houge  406-791-5976  melanie.houge@uprovidence.edu

Please be aware of all responsibilities associated with time sheet entry, both as a supervisor and as an employee. It is critical that time sheet entry be both timely, and accurate. These are a few things we need you to pay attention to in order to make sure that payroll processing goes smoothly:

      • Non-Exempt 40 hours of Regular Pay per week. (Regular Pay includes vacation and sick time hours.)  If you are taking leave during the week, you cannot have over 40 hours in any combination – and overtime pay cannot be paid when leave is taken during the week
      • Non-Exempt Any overtime hours MUST be approved by your supervisor prior to working them.
      • Exempt Only report leave time in 8-hour increments.
      • EVERYONE:  Please add an Outlook calendar reminder to prompt timely submission of time sheets.
      • EVERYONENew Leave codes have been setup in ArgoExpress for Paid Administrative Leave, Emergency Sick Leave, and EFMLEA 67% (Families First Coronavirus Response Act). Please see the Time Entry Guidelines for additional details on use of these specific leave codes.

Sincerely,
Jillian Ehnot |  Controller
UNIVERSITY OF PROVIDENCE

Update: 3/27/2020

Employee Update

Dear Friends,

As you may be aware Governor Bullock has issued a stay-at-home directive to go into effect at 12:01am, Saturday. The Task Force has discussed the impact of this directive, and feels that in order to both comply with the directive, and to protect our campus community, the University will close all buildings and asks all employees to *work remotely for a period of two weeks. Within two weeks, we will reassess the state of the ongoing threat, and will communicate later decisions as they are made.

      • Buildings will close at 5:00pm on Friday, March 27
      • Limited access to buildings will be permitted between 5:01pm, Friday, March 27 and 5:00pm, Monday, March 30, for the following reason only:
          • Retrieving items from offices essential to carry out job functions
          • Should you need access to buildings and offices in order to gather essential items, please contact Security 30 minutes in advance, by calling 406-791-5911.

        The University is working with mail carriers to ensure that the University mail is held for the two week period. At the conclusion of the two week closure, the Task Force will reassess our situation and provide additional details regarding the status of our closure and future re-opening. Signage will be posted on each building throughout campus, providing guidance of the building closure and will note contact information during our remote work period.

        Security and Physical Plant staff will continue to provide services to the University during this time of building closure. Thank you to these departments for the sacrifices being made to protect our University. We pray for your health and safety.

        Important Update
        Please click here to review documentation on employee rights under Families First Coronavirus Response Act

        Sincerely,
        Coronavirus Task Force

Update: 3/26/2020

Dear Students,

We want to support you during these trying times by introducing you to a free resource that is now available to all University of Providence students. TutorMe allows you to connect with a live tutor in under 30 seconds for over 300 subjects. Additionally, you can submit a paper on TutorMe’s Writing Lab and receive detailed feedback in less than 12 hours.
 
You can access the TutorMe resource from the front page of your Moodle dashboard. Please click here for additional details on this resource.

We know that it can seem daunting to keep up with your coursework when learning remotely, and we wanted to provide a valuable resource that can be accessed right from your home. If you have any questions, please contact Twila Croft at twila.croft@uprovidence.edu or Greg Stivers at gregory.stivers@uprovidence.edu.

Twila Croft, CPRW,CPCC                                                                Greg Stivers
twila.croft@uprovidence.edu                                                       gregory.stivers@uprovidence.edu
406-791-5988                                                                             406-791-5224
Senior Director, Student Academic Supports                               TRiO Student Support Services Director
Director of the Academic Success Center

Update: 3/25/2020

Dear Campus Community,

The University of Providence Argo Entrepreneur class has been operating the Providence Pantry and would like to send a reminder about this option. The Providence Pantry has non-perishable food items to offer our employees and local students, if needed. Contact Katrina Stark at 406-791-5332, katrina.stark@uprovidence.edu or Rachel Wild at 406-791-5335, rachel.wild@uprovidence.edu to set up time for access.

Thank you,
Coronavirus Task Force

Update 3/24/2020

Memo to UP Faculty

Dear Faculty,

Now that we as a university are making every effort to work fully online, it is more important than ever that all calls for support be directed to the Service Desk. This includes Moodle and Collaborate related questions. Please do not reach out directly to any individual for support. I know this tends to result in a much quicker response when we are on campus, but with all faculty and students moving fully online it will cause a lot more work for the individual you are reaching out to. Information Services has been working closely with Jim Gretch and Chris Nelson to ensure we have the tools necessary to provide support for Moodle and Collaborate. In the case that the Service Desk lacks the expertise to assist with an issue, we will have access to escalate the problem to Jim and/or Chris for extra support.

As of March 19 the Service Desk extended support hours and will be available by phone from 7am – 9pm Monday through Friday, 9am – 1pm Saturday, and 12pm – 4pm on Sunday. Our on-campus hours will remain 8am – 5pm Monday through Friday while the campus is open. This will help us provide better support in response to the changing needs of our students and colleagues. Please submit all inquiries to the Service Desk at servicedesk@uprovidence.edu or by calling 406-791-5326.

It’s also important to inform you of an important announcement from LinkedIn. To help with the transition from traditional, in-person education to an online experience, identified resources are freely available to anyone, and cover everything from leading practices for teaching online to EdTech tools like Canvas to collaboration software like Microsoft Teams.

Sincerely,
Jamie Schultz
Chief Technology Officer

Update: 3/24/2020

Memo to UP Staff

Dear Friends,

The University has been working hard to ensure we have the policies, guidelines, and processes in place to support our work during this time of uncertainty. To help us navigate this new territory, remote work policy will apply to the University as a whole, to help ease the way of all employees and ensure we have the mechanisms in place to support each other. In the event that either you are required to work from home as a result of your illness, your travel or contact with someone with or suspected of having COVID-19, or if governmental decisions require the closing of the campus, the following policy is intended to help assure your success in working remotely, as well as undergirding the university’s requirements for stewardship and accountability.

Linked here are the HR Policies on remote work which applies to all staff of the university, directors and supervisees alike. All employees can expect that Vice Presidents and Directors will be held to the same standards and accountabilities as their supervisees as outlined in this policy statement.

Sincerely,
Coronavirus Task Force

Update: 3/20/2020

Memo to UP Employees

The University of Providence has released new guidelines for working remotely, and institutional HR policies around response to the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Please see the links below for details.

HR Policies – Remote Work (Included on 3/24/2020)
Guidelines – Working from Home
FAQs – Remote Work
HR Policies in Response to Coronavirus

Thank you,
Coronavirus Task Force

Update: 3/20/2020

Announcement on Grading Options

Dear University of Providence students,

The university understand that the pivot to online has been stressful for everyone involved. One way that we can reduce some of the stress on students is to adopt an optional grading policy that we hope will blunt some of the impact of the online transition: the S/D/F Grading Option for the spring 2020 semester. This is an option for all University of Providence students.

Expanded access to the S/D/F grade mode aims to reduce student stress during this already-stressful time, while still providing a pathway to fulfill program and degree requirements. While students may decide to continue to pursue a standard letter grade (A-F) in their spring 2020 classes, the S/D/F grade mode may be a sensible and healthy option, depending on individual circumstances. Students are encouraged to attend information sessions on the S/D/F grade mode topic, being held next week (details below). Representatives from the Registrar’s Office and eligibility certifying officials will discuss the pros and cons of these options, why this may be a beneficial option, and future impact of the choices during these informational sessions.

Effective immediately, students may elect to switch some or all of their spring 2020 courses to S/D/F. The deadline to switch spring 2020 courses to S/D/F is Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. MDT. Instructions for requesting a switch to S/D/F are below.

Spring 2020 S/D/F Policy

The following considerations should be recognized in students’ deliberations about moving to this grading option:

      1. This is not a policy to facilitate withdrawal from a course; this option is for end-of-course grades only and students must complete their courses.
      2. There is no limit on the numbers of spring 2020 courses/credits allowed to be taken S/D/F.
      3. Courses graded S/D/F may satisfy major and concentration requirements, including minimum credit requirements.
      4. Independent Study/Directed Study courses as well as program internships may be graded S/D/F.
      5. A course used as a replacement for a previously taken course, may be taken S/D/F – with knowledge that the student loses the benefit of improving their GPA.
      6. Students on Academic Probation may elect to take their courses S/D/F.

Instructions for Switching Courses to S/D/F

Below, in red, is a link to an online form. You may need to use your UP network login and password to access the form. Submit this form indicating which course(s) you would like to switch to S/D/F. That is all you need to do; however, if you do not submit this form by 5:00 p.m. MDT, on Tuesday, March 31, your courses will remain in standard letter grade (A-F) mode.

S/D/F Grading Opt In Form

Important Considerations for S/D/F:

      • The decision to switch to S/D/F is irreversible.
      • Students earning the equivalent of a “C” or better will be awarded a grade of “S” (satisfactory). The “S” carries no grade points and is NOT computed into a student’s semester or cumulative grade point averages (GPAs.)
      • A grade of “D” (passing) or “F” (failing) is recorded normally and computed into a student’s GPAs.
      • The Provost’s Office has approved the addition of a semester-level comment to the official University of Providence academic transcript stating, e.g. “spring 2020 courses were completed during a crisis situation.”
      • For students who elect to switch to S/D/F a course that is replacing (or repeating) any course in which they previously earned a “D” or “F,” the “S” grade will not be calculated into the GPA, though the credits will count toward major and degree requirements. Please consult the Registrar’s Office if you have questions.

There are no expected immigration-related impacts on international students who elect to switch their courses to S/D/F.

Athletic Eligibility: According to the NAIA, student-athletes would need to consider the following: These grades are given the value that the school assigns them in terms of GPA calculation. NAIA relies on the GPA that is on the official transcript. For transfers, the school the student would be transferring to would have to confirm the value of these grades when calculating the GPA. For students continuing at the same school, they will rely on the cumulative GPA on the official transcript. For Juniors and Seniors, the NAIA will rely on the institutional policy for these grades. Student-athletes will need to consult closely with their faculty member, coaches, and eligibility officials as they contemplate this decision.

Information Sessions:
To join by Skype meeting, click on the date link below. All times listed below are MDT. To join by phone, for any meeting, call 406-791-5255 and enter Conference ID: 311238

Join Skype Meeting, Monday, March 23                 11:30am – 12:30pm
Join Skype Meeting, Tuesday, March 24                 2:30pm – 3:30pm
Join Skype Meeting, Wednesday, March 25          4:30pm – 5:30pm
Join Skype Meeting, Thursday, March 26                7:30am – 8:30am
Join Skype Meeting, Friday, March 27                      12:30pm – 1:30pm

Sincerely,

Matthew A. Redinger
Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of History
The University of Providence

Update: 3/19/2020

Message to Our Students

Good afternoon –

In an effort to ensure that our students get essential communication at a time of such rapid change, we are sending the following notification to make you aware of new information available to you. Given the content and the importance, please click each category below, to see full details on the subject.

      • Free eBooks being offered through Akademos
        • If your textbook was left in your residence hall, and you haven’t yet received it, please see this article for details on access eBooks in the meantime.
      • Academic Success Center Support
        • Your success counselor is still able to support you virtually, in every capacity would it have been done here on campus. Please see details on how you can continue to get support from a distance.
      • Remote Tutoring Services
        • The University now has tutoring services available to you, remotely. Please see this information if you are interested in getting tutoring support.
      • TRiO Support and Accommodations
      • Housing and Meal Plan Reimbursement Update
        • The University will be reaching out to you starting tomorrow, and through early next week, so that you can elect how you want to receive your reimbursement. It is critical that we hear from you on this, and that we have an accurate mailing address. Please see this article for further details on housing and meal plan reimbursements.
      • Technical Support

Monday – Friday 7:00am – 9pm MDT
Saturday 9:00am – 1:00pm MDT
Sunday 12:00pm – 4:00pm MDT

Thank you,
Coronavirus Task Force

Update: 3/18/2020

Memo to UP Employees

The University of Providence has released new guidelines for working remotely, and is releasing institutional HR policies around response to the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Recent changes within legislation have an impact on the proposed policies. In light of recent legislative changes, we hope to have the final policy released by the end of the week. Please see the links below for details.

Guidelines – Working from Home
FAQs – Remote Work

Blood Drive Update

Spring Blood Drive – The blood drive will no longer be held on campus, but please still consider signing up for an appointment. The blood drive will be held at the American Red Cross Blood Donation Center on Thursday, April 2, 2020 from 9:00am – 3:00pm. People can sign up with Kelsey Anderson, Student Activities Coordinator, or through the Red Cross website. kelsey.anderson@uprovidence.edu or 406-791-5215

Update: 3/18/2020

Memo to UP Employees and Students

The University of Providence Service Desk is offering extended hours to support the transition to online learning. If you are in need of assistance with Moodle, Collaborate, ArgoExpress, ArgoMail, Wireless, Microsoft Outlook, Skype for Business, or even a password reset please contact the service desk at: servicedesk@uprovidence.edu or 406.791.5326.

Monday – Friday:           7:00am – 9:00pm
Saturday:                        9:00am – 1:00pm
Sunday:                          12:00pm – 4:00pm

Update: 3/17/2020

Message to the Faculty

Dear UP faculty,

It is an understatement to say that this has been a trying, stressful time for the university community. None have been spared. In SHP we are working to find solutions to clinical placement closures, lab closures, course rotation changes to push clinicals further out, students (such as those in Infection Prevention and Epidemiology) who have had to quit their academic programs to do the work of epidemiology in their hospitals, and pre-nursing students called away from their studies to serve as CNAs in hospitals that are being overrun with cases. In SLAS, we’ve faced a hard pivot from the familiar tried-and-true teaching to new online education modalities, closure of internship placements and student teaching placements, quick substitutions for lab experiences and practica for which an online transition is possible but very difficult, and dealing with students traumatized by being “thrown into the deep end” of online education and having to learn how to swim.

And that’s why I appreciate you so much.  This has been traumatic for everyone. I sincerely hope you know that we are not oblivious to the difficulties you face and the challenges with which you are being forced to adjust. And, on top of all this, we are having difficult budget discussions that undergird everything we do. This is not easy for any of us.

I hope we can all dig deep and find reservoirs of patience and indulgence when we are dealing with each other. And, particularly for faculty of students who had been living in the residence halls, I hope you are able to tap into those same resources of patience with your students who are facing online education—perhaps for the first time. Residence halls students were not allowed back to their rooms (except for special circumstances). Most students who went away for Spring Break did not take their books or notes with them, and some left their computers behind as well. For faculty who are just launching online versions of their classes, please be aware that Housing staff are going into students rooms (upon the students’ request) and packing up academic materials (books, notes, lab materials, computers, etc.) and shipping them back to the students. Therefore, many of your students may not have the books they need to do some of the assignments you may be making of them. I understand—believe me I do—that moving this quickly to online classes is not easy for you, but at least you have the relative luxury of working from your offices (for now, unless you are in self-isolation because of a trip out-of-state). Students did not have that option. So I would greatly appreciate an appropriate portion of patience in dealing with them. They’ve been exiled from their rooms and possessions, and may be facing a tough time in the adjustment. As I said, this has not been easy for any of us.

So thank you all for the dedication to your craft, to our students, and to the university that you demonstrate every day. We will get through this, and we will thrive. But we can only do it together.

God bless you all, and keep you safe and healthy. For those of us who have contracted this disease, our prayers are with you for a full and speedy recovery.

Matt

Matthew A. Redinger
Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of History

Update: 3/16/2020

Faculty and Staff Notification

Dear Friends,

As we continue to navigate the circumstances we are facing, it is important to inform you of cancelled events and to share a few additional notes of importance. Please see these details below.

The University has made the decision to cancel the following scheduled events:

              • Visioning Sessions (March 19)
              • Faculty and Staff Awards Banquet sponsored in part, by our Board of Trustees (April 30)
              • Baccalaureate Mass (May 1)
              • RN-BSN Pinning Ceremony (May 1)
              • May 2020 Commencement Ceremony (May 2)

We understand the significance that these decisions have on our students and their families, as well as on our campus stakeholders. The cancellation of commencement will not prevent degrees from being posted upon program completion. The University is currently working on a plan to ensure that these events and celebrations take place at a later time. As details develop, we will continue to update our official webpage at www.uprovidence.edu/coronavirus/.

Information as Support to Students:

              • For student support services, please contact Argo Central at registrar@uprovidence.edu or 406-791-5202.
              • Pastoral support please contact Nicolas Estrada at nicolas.estrada@uprovidence.edu or 791-5261.
              • Additional health and wellness support is being offered through RENEW Mental Health Services.”
              • For those who are enrolled in courses originally being offered as online courses (through Moodle) – those courses will continue as usual on Monday, March 16.
              • For those who are enrolled in campus courses, which are now being moved to an online course (through Moodle) – students should watch their Moodle accounts UP email accounts, as communications will be sent concerning courses. Faculty have been urged to make the transition to the online modality as early as Monday, March 16, however, some faculty members will need more time to make that switch, and those courses may not resume until Monday, March 23. Students should be attentive to emails, as faculty will be in communication concerning the resumption day of particular courses.

The University is currently developing communication related to Human Resource policies as it pertains to our K-12 school closures throughout the state and its impact on University personnel, as well as the impact and options pertaining to working remotely. As these details are finalized, official communication will be sent and posted to the University webpage www.uprovidence.edu/coronavirus/. We anticipate to send formal notification of policies and procedures by close of business, tomorrow. For employees in need of health and wellness support, please see the following link “Choose Well Behavioral Health Concierge.”

Sincerely,
Coronavirus Task Force

Update: 3/16/2020

Residence Hall Update

Students, Staff and Faculty,

Here is an update on the situation in our residence halls to date:

Residence hall buildings are set to be closed at the end of the business day, this Friday, March 20th.

No guests are allowed in the buildings at this time. The only 20th street residents allowed in buildings are those with spring break permissions, all others have had their card access turned off. The fob system for Emilie Hall has been turned off and keys have been issued to only those students with spring break permissions.

Visitors that are arriving to pick up students may not enter the buildings.

Students who can demonstrate that they have not left Montana in the last few weeks and who declare that fact via email to Aaron Stucker at aaron.stucker@uprovidence.edu , may enter buildings to collect their belongings and checkout by appointment.

Friends, family, and moving companies: will be allowed to collect the belongings of students in their absence if they can also demonstrate that they have not traveled outside of the state and the student has indicated their permission and release of liability for lost or damaged items via email to Aaron Stucker. These “proxy movers” must have ID that matches the names sent to Aaron via email.

Students will be informed of the process to refund housing and meal plan charges after March 23rd.

Thank you everyone for your patience during this unprecedented time of national emergency. We are doing our best to serve your needs as well as those of our community.

God bless,

 Jake Clark, MS |  Dean of Students
UNIVERSITY OF PROVIDENCE

Update: 3/15/2020

BSN Student Update

Dear BSN Students,

The most prudent way for us to proceed at this time is for us to suspend all face-to-face clinical labs and clinical care situations starting immediately this week. This means that we are suspending your work in the clinical/simulation labs as well as any clinical experiences in healthcare facilities. The best thing that we all can do now is social distancing and we need everyone to take this very seriously as we will be helping all of our communities if we abide by this principal.

Please know that your faculty met today and that we have a plan for how your courses will continue virtually to meet course objectives. Be patient with us as we do this but for now, we need to learn only via online activities which I know we can do effectively.

Please feel free to send me any questions or call me: 406-465-1352 and on Monday at 10 am (MDT) I will be on the Collaborative Link for NRS 372 to discuss what this means for all of you.

Thank you for your cooperation and patience with this situation and please be assured that we as your faculty have your best interests involved in this decision for your safety and the safety of your communities and patients.

Respectfully,

Dr. Cynthia Gustafson, Nursing Division Chair

Update: 3/13/2020

Student Updates

Dear Students,

As we continue to navigate the circumstances we are facing, it is important to inform you of your resources for support. University personnel are here to support you with any questions or concerns you may have. For student support services, please contact Argo Central at registrar@uprovidence.edu or 406-791-5202. For any pastoral support please contact Nicolas Estrada at nicolas.estrada@uprovidence.edu or 791-5261. Information about additional health and wellness support being offered through RENEW Mental Health Services can be found by clicking this link.

It is also important to notify you of the University’s decision to cancel the May 2020 Commencement Ceremony. We understand the significance that this decision has on those who have worked so hard throughout their educational journeys and the impact that this has on families who want to celebrate their loved ones. This decision will not prevent degrees from being posted upon program completion. The University is currently working on a plan to ensure that this celebration takes place at a later time. As details develop, we will continue to update our official webpage at www.uprovidence.edu/coronavirus/.

As a reminder:

              • For those who are enrolled in courses originally being offered as online courses (through Moodle) – those courses will continue as usual on Monday, March 16.
              • For those who are enrolled in campus courses, which are now being moved to an online course (through Moodle) – please watch your Moodle account and your student email, as communications will be sent concerning these courses. Faculty have been urged to make the transition to the online modality as early as Monday, March 16, however, some faculty members will need more time to make that switch, and those courses may not resume until Monday, March 23. Please be attentive to your emails, as your faculty will be in communication concerning the resumption day of your particular course.

Campus Students:

              • As a residential student, it is important to notify you of the University’s decision to close residential living spaces, effective Friday, March 20th at 5:00pm. If you are currently on campus, you will need to check-out of your living space no later than Friday, March 20th by 5:00pm. Please contact Aaron Stucker for formal check-out procedures: aaron.stucker@uprovidence.edu or 406-791-5225.
              • If you are not on campus currently, as previously indicated, please do not return to campus at this time, as residential halls will be closed through May 3, 2020. Should a decision be made which will allow residential halls to be opened sooner than May 3rd, the University will send out formal communications to students. Until further notice, any belongings left behind, will be securely stored.
              • Food services will continue to be available through Friday, March 20th through the dinner service.
              • The University is in the final process of working through details on pro-rated reimbursement of housing and meal plan charges. We anticipate to send communication on this information within the next two days.
              • Housing staff will be available throughout the weekend, and throughout next week to assist you with your questions and concerns related to the closure. Additional University personnel are here to support you with any questions or concerns you may have. For student support services, please contact Argo Central at registrar@uprovidence.edu or 406-791-5202. For any pastoral support please contact Nicolas Estrada at nicolas.estrada@uprovidence.edu or 791-5261. Additional health and wellness support is being offered through Renew Wellness Center; information is attached.

International Students:

              • As an international student, it is important to notify you of the University’s decision to close residential living spaces and to inform you of your options.
              • Effective Friday, March 20th at 5:00pm, students must vacate residential living spaces. If you are currently on campus, you will need to check-out of your living space no later than Friday, March 20th by 5:00pm. Please contact Aaron Stucker for formal check-out procedures: aaron.stucker@uprovidence.edu or 406-791-5225.
              • The University is able to offer you an off-campus hotel room for the remainder of the semester, with an end date of May 3, 2020. Final details for this option, will be available on Monday, March 16th. Please reply to brittany.budeski@uprovidence.edu if you are interested in this option, and we will work with you individually on the remaining details. If you have already left campus and have not already notified me, please do so now. We need to report on the location of all students, whether they are here on campus, in a hotel room, or have traveled elsewhere to complete the semester.
              • If you are not on campus currently, as previously indicated, please do not return to campus at this time, as residential halls will be closed through May 3, 2020. Should a decision be made which will allow residential halls to be opened sooner than May 3rd, the University will send out formal communications to students. Until further notice, any belongings left behind, will be securely stored.
              • Food services will continue to be available through Friday, March 20th through the dinner service.
              • The University is in the final process of working through details on pro-rated reimbursement of housing and meal plan charges. We anticipate to send communication on this information within the next two days.

Sincerely,
UP Coronavirus Task Force

Update: 3/13/2020

Retrieval of academic materials

Dear Faculty, Staff, and UP Students,

At the Coronavirus Taskforce meeting today, a decision was made to address the ongoing concern of students facing a move to online-only classes but whose computers, books, and notes were left in their residence halls rooms. Students, the Housing staff is ready to receive requests through email to have your academic materials only packed and shipped to your home addresses at the university’s expense. If you have materials essential to your success in online classes that are not readily apparent (a lab notebook, kit, or calculator, etc.) or that are not with your other materials, or if your academic materials are in a specific spot in your room, please include this information in your email request. Please forward all requests for Housing staff to retrieve and ship your academic materials only to Aaron Stucker, Director of Residential Life: aaron.stucker@uprovidence.edu .

At this time, students are not allowed to return to campus to retrieve these materials, and personal items are not currently available for shipping. Until the university administration, in collaboration with local health and safety officials and the Providence St. Joseph Health system, has determined that it is safe for students to return to campus to retrieve their personal belongings, this policy will remain in effect.

We absolutely understand the hardships this policy may cause, but we want to assure you that the health and safety of the university community as well as the greater Great Falls community are our highest priorities. We apologize for this inconvenience, and greatly appreciate your continued patience as we navigate these difficult waters.

Thank you.

Matthew A. Redinger
Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of History
The University of Providence

Update: 3/12/2020

Urgent Message from Student Engagement

Conscious of our commitment to keep students, faculty and staff healthy, we have decided to deliver via online all campus courses/programs for the remainder of the semester.

Students presently on Spring Break should not return to campus this weekend.

We will be expecting classes to resume fully online by Monday, March 23 and remain online for the remainder of the semester.

If you need assistance with this transition, for example

The Registrar’s office will be supporting a UP Coronavirus website where late-breaking information will be available. Once that website is launched, we will send you the URL.

Dave Gantt
Vice President of Student Engagement

Update: 3/12/2020 

Urgent Message from the Office of the Provost:

At today’s Coronavirus Taskforce meeting, we decided that we would not allow students to return to campus from Spring Break. Having students return from their travels, and then face the likelihood that we would then be forced to send them away again, is untenable.

Therefore, we are implementing the following phased-in move to online classes:

              • Next week, March 16-20, any faculty who are ready to offer their spring semester classes in a fully-online modality will be expected to do so.
              • All faculty should be sure that your Moodle syllabus is updated with correct contact information your students will need.
              • Those faculty who are not prepared to take their classes fully online will have a week to get ready to do so. Questions or requests for help in about moving classes online can be directed to:
              • For all faculty, we will be expecting classes to resume fully online by Monday, March 23 and remain online for the remainder of the semester.
              • Campus will remain open for faculty and staff only until further notice, to allow access to offices and any supplementary teaching materials available on campus. We should prepare to offer our courses fully online.

In preparation for the eventuality of having to close campus altogether, we need to know immediately if you do not have a laptop at home from which you can run your classes, or any other anticipated barriers such as a lack of access to high-speed internet at home. Please contact Jamie Schultz (x5330, Jamie.schultz@uprovidence.edu) to provide this information.

Again, this is a rapidly evolving situation, and we need you to remain attentive to cascading information from the administration about our response to the latest developments. The Registrar’s office will be supporting a UP Coronavirus website where late-breaking information will be available. This website will develop along with our response to the emerging crisis: www.uprovidence.edu/coronavirus/ .

Thank you for your attention to these important matters.

Matt

Matthew A. Redinger
Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of History
The University of Providence

Update: 3/12/2020 

Urgent Message From Fr. Oliver Doyle:

Dear Friends,

Like so many across the nation and beyond, we at the University of Providence have been monitoring the spread of the coronavirus.

Conscious of our special relationship with the Great Falls community and beyond, coupled with our resolute commitment to keep students, faculty, staff, and the members of the wider community healthy, we have decided to deliver via online all campus courses/programs for the remainder of the semester.

Students presently on Spring Break will be told not to return to campus this weekend.

Given our excellent IS capabilities we expect that all courses for the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences will be available online within days. Dr. Redinger, our Provost, will be rolling out the next steps in the transition to online delivery.

The University of Providence, will however, remain open for business.

As a Christian institution, we invite all to take a moment to consider those who are presently experiencing the hardships and losses associated with the coronavirus and offer a prayer of comfort for the bereaved, and continued health for all.

Fr. Oliver
Interim President,
University of Providence

UPDATE: 3/12/2020

Nursing Pinning Service May 1st, 2020

We are sorry to announce that we will be cancelling the Nursing Pinning Service that was to be held on the Great Falls campus on Friday May 1. We know this will be a disappointment to those of you who were planning on attending this event. Your completion of the RN to BSN program is a very significant milestone for each of you.

We will commemorate that milestone for each of you by mailing you your nursing pin and a special greeting. Look forward to receiving that package by the first part of May.

 Decision on commencement will be sent out soon.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Respectfully,
Cynthia Gustafson

Cynthia Gustafson, PhD, RN |  Division Chair, Nursing Programs
UNIVERSITY OF PROVIDENCE

Dear University Community,

I am writing this to advise you about measures we are implementing at the University of Providence in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19.)

At this time, there are no reported cases of any of our students, faculty, or staff having been exposed to the virus.

Each morning, our Coronavirus Task Force meet to assess and review developments and to consider what we still need to accomplish so that we are ready in the event of reported cases on campus or in the wider community.

Please read carefully the CTF Bulletin included below. If you have questions or concerns, please advise the members of the Task Force or my office.

What we’re doing:

              • Created a Coronavirus Task Force (CTF)
                • Every morning the COVID-19 task force will meet to review the current situation and make any necessary changes to the plan.
              • All school sponsored domestic (inter-state) and international travel for students, faculty and staff is being cancelled through April 2020.
                • Any variance from this policy will be athletics travel only and will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
              • Campus sponsored visitors will be limited or cancelled.
              • See attached FAQs for more information.

What you need to do:

              • What to do for Staff and Faculty:
                • Cancel any university related travel and notify your manager and VP.
                • Notify your manager or VP of any university-sponsored visitors to campus.
                • Take care of yourself and your family.
                  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
                  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
                • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
                • Stay home when you are sick.
                • Disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, using a cleaning spray or wipe.
              • What to do for Faculty:
                • Make sure your Moodle shells for your classes are up-to-date and include information your students will need to maintain progress in your classes.
                  • Wherever possible, please upload readings and assignments for students to be able to continue on with your classes in case widespread social distancing is required.
                  • If you need help or have questions, you can contact Jim (x5320; james.gretch@uprovidence.edu) or Chris Nelson (x5326; christopher.nelson@uprovidence.edu).
                • We will not penalize students for absenteeism following the break if it is due to COVID-19-related reasons. Please make sure you are aware for your classes.
              • What to do for Students:
                • If you are traveling abroad and you are not an international student, you need to report your travel destination to Jake Clark, Dean of Students by phone (406-791-5230) or email (jake.clark@uprovidence.edu)
                • If you are an international student traveling abroad, you need to report your travel destination to Brittany Budeski, Registrar by phone (406-791-5207) or email (Brittany.budeski@uprovidence.edu)
                • Take care of yourself
                  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
                  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
                  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
                  • Stay home when you are sick.

Reporting Suspected Exposure:

              • In an event of suspected exposure or symptoms in your household, we ask that you stay at home.
                • Notify your manager and VP if you are sick and stay home while experiencing symptoms.
                • Notify your manager and VP if you believe you were exposed to COVID-19 and work with them to follow CDC’s guidelines.

Resources:

For best ways to prevent the spread of disease, please practice the CDC’s recommendation of everyday preventive actions: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html

The highest risk is for people who have traveled to an infected area recently, a list of affected areas can be found: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

Stigma Related to COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/related-stigma.html

For up-to-date accurate information on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), please check the reliable sources listed below:

Cascade County City-County Health Department: https://www.cchdmt.org/2020/02/coronavirus-covid-19-facts/
Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services: https://dphhs.mt.gov/publichealth/cdepi/diseases/coronavirusmt
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, National)  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Blessings,

Fr. Oliver