It is natural to experience a wide range of thoughts, feelings, and reactions in regards to the current global health crisis. Please visit our COVID-19 resource page for tips on how to take care of yourself and manage stress and anxiety.
April 3: Message to Graduating Seniors
March 27: Grading Policy Changes
March 26: Alumni & Friends Message
March 25: May Term Instruction Online
March 24: Campus Notice: Stay at Home Order
March 21: Window Service Ends at Campus Post Office
March 20: Message from the President
March 19: Working from Home
March 19: Bayfield County Confirmed Case
March 19: Message from NCSA to Students
March 18: Faculty Update
March 18: Update for Students
March 18: Student & Employee Dining Open
March 16: Campus Mail Forwarding
March 14: Academic Affairs to Students
March 14: Support for Students
March 13: Departing from On-Campus Housing
March 13: Message to the Campus Community
March 12: Update to Faculty and Staff
March 11: Spring Powwow and Big Ag Events Canceled
March 5: Health Information-Coronavirus
Posted: April 3, 2020
Message to Graduating Seniors
Dear graduating seniors,
You are approaching the end of your college career at Northland College, and what a memorable ending this is! With the College having to transition May term courses to an online format, there will be an inevitable change in the courses offered. These course offerings are still being determined.
If you are registered for a required course that ends up being cancelled, don’t panic, but contact your advisor for a solution. The Academic Affairs office has reviewed a list of seniors who need a required course and your advisor may have already contacted you about fulfilling your requirements.
This is a reminder that for the 2020 graduating class, 120 earned credits meets the requirement to graduate, down from 124 credits. Some of you, upon successful completion of your winter term courses, will have 120 earned credits. Despite this change, you are welcome to take a May term course, including a new interdisciplinary course on the current pandemic, taught by a number of different faculty. I hope to have an updated course schedule by early next week.
I wish you well as you complete your winter term courses. Please don’t hesitate to contact me, your advisor, or Michelle Bitzer, registrar, with questions or concerns.
Wendy Gorman, Dean of Academic Affairs
Posted: March 27, 2020
Grading Policy Changes
I have heard from some of you and our professors that you may be facing a challenging situation away from campus and adjusting to different online course formats. You are justifiably concerned about how your grades may be affected. And if you are a senior, you may be concerned whether you will have enough credits to graduate in May.
The faculty have responded to modify our grading policy to better accommodate the challenges you face during winter term. For any questions regarding these changes, consult the registrar or academic dean.
Below is a summary of these changes:
Credits to Graduate
Senior students planning to graduate in May or August of 2020 can meet graduation requirements with 120 earned credits instead of 124.
Emergency Grading Policy Modification
Effective Winter Term 2020 Only
- Withdraw from a Course
The deadline to withdraw from a course is extended to April 3 and no late withdrawal fee will be assessed. You can complete this form and obtain required permission from your instructor and advisor by email.
- Change Letter Grading to S/U
The requirements for choosing the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) option have temporarily changed:IMPORTANT: If you choose the S/U option, you must earn a C- or higher to receive an S. This will not be computed into your GPA. If you earn a D or an F, you will be awarded a U. This will not count for credit or negatively affect your GPA. Students earning an A, B, or D may be better off with a letter grade. You may choose to wait until final grades are posted before making this decision. New Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (SU) Form
- The deadline for declaring S/U option of grading is extended to April 21 at 4 p.m. after grades are posted and you know your final grade in the course.
- A student may request any or all of their courses be graded S/U.
- Required courses and general education courses may be graded S/U.
- A minimum GPA of 2.5 to choose the S/U option is waived.
- Transcripts will include a note regarding this was a COVID-19 semester as a reminder to employers and graduate schools that this was a disrupted semester.
Wendy Gorman, Dean of Academic Affairs
Posted: March 26, 2020
Alumni & Friends Message
I hope this finds you and your loved ones feeling healthy and supported during these unprecedented times. I write to you with an update on our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our community.
The past several weeks have been a time of extraordinary transition here. After thorough consultation among Northland’s leadership and members of the health care community, face-to-face instruction was suspended at end of day, Friday, March 13 and students made plans to return home for the remainder of the semester. Faculty were given one week to transition their course work to online instruction and classes recommenced on Monday, March 23.
This week, after a statewide decree from Governor Evers, our campus has been closed and restricted to employees whose presence onsite is deemed essential. These were painful shifts for all of us, but we understand our responsibility to help keep our community healthy, to limit the transmission of the virus, and to avoid overwhelming the public health resources of our region.
My deepest regret is that our students will not participate in the full vitality of the Northland experience for the winter and May terms. We are a highly interdependent community, and the bonds between our faculty, staff, and students are strong and meaningful. In the weeks to come, we will work to recreate our community in virtual spaces, sharing thoughts and ideas as though we were all together on this special campus.
I applaud the efforts of our fiercely committed faculty and staff, who quickly pivoted to repurpose curricula and rethink daily routines to comply with the severe restrictions placed upon us. I am grateful to everyone for sharing sacrifices and am reminded of the spirit and conviction our College has mustered in the face of so many periods of uncertainty and strife during our nearly 130 years of existence.
This poignant time in our world may provoke some to contemplate the people and experiences that matter most. If Northland is a touchstone for you, please consider making a gift at northland.edu/give. Your support provides an avenue of hope for sustaining our mission and confirming our resilience. To stay connected on Northland’s evolving response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please follow our website link below.
Thank you for your commitment to the College. If you have concerns or suggestions for keeping our Northland community strong, I hope you’ll reach out to me directly.
Please be well,
President Karl I. Solibakke
Posted: March 25, 2020
May Term Instruction Online
Due to the ongoing concern about the COVID-19 pandemic, the College has made the decision to move all May term instruction online. There will be no in-person courses.
This will be challenging for some of our field courses, and the faculty are evaluating all May term academic offerings to determine modifications. We will continue to communicate updates as they are determined.
We encourage you to consider taking a May term course. If you have not yet registered, you may still do so online until April 29. You might find this to be an opportune time to earn additional credits and stay connected to the College.
Graduating seniors remain a top priority. Academic Affairs will continue to work with all graduating seniors on a one-on-one basis to clarify graduation requirements.
Please watch your email for future updates.
Warm best and be well,
President Karl I. Solibakke
Posted: March 24, 2020
Campus Notice: Stay at Home Order
Today, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers released the Safer at Home Order to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Effective at 8 a.m. Wednesday, March 25, Northland College will be adhering to the emergency guidelines in keeping with the Governor’s order:
- Our campus is closed as of Wednesday, March 25. No visitors are allowed to come to campus, including but not limited to the residence halls, library, and academic buildings.
- Students still living on campus will continue to have food and facility services.
- Students who don’t live on campus must now remain home and may no longer come to campus for work or dining services.
- All classes will continue online.
The campus will have limited staffing. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact these departments for services:
If you are concerned with your online classes for any reason, or if you need assistance with anything, please contact your instructor who can direct you to appropriate resources.
Office of the President
Posted: March 21, 2020
Window Service Ends at Campus Post Office
I regret to inform you that the College will be closing all window service at the Campus Post Office as of March 20. This means I will not be accepting packages and letters to be mailed out. Get the details here.
Posted: March 20, 2020
Message from the President
Dear Campus Community,
The past week has witnessed the unfolding of detailed plans to transition our face-to-face instruction to an online learning environment by next Monday, something that Northland has never done in the past and is endeavoring for the first time in its long history. As news of imminent closures and restrictions in almost every aspect of our lives impacts us, our new online offerings provide an avenue of hope for sustaining Northland’s mission and confirming our resilience.
I want to applaud the efforts of faculty and staff, who have spent a week repurposing their curricula and rethinking their daily routines to comply with the severe restrictions placed upon us in the wake of gubernatorial decrees. Usually, the joy of learning brings people together, but at this moment in time being together poses an unprecedented danger for all of us. Distance is the greatest form of forethought that you can show for those you care about. Likewise, technology is the best and safest avenue to move our mutual goals forward.
I am convinced that we will be successful in the coming weeks! Yet, I would be insensitive, if I did not recognize that all of you will feel challenged, possibly even overwhelmed. As you confront new ways to perform proven tasks, please do not assume that you are alone or that we are no longer in a position to tend to your needs. The contrary is the case: never have we been more sympathetic to our responsibilities for one another’s safety and comfort.
If you require anything, please contact me personally. I will assist you in any way that I am able. Specifically, I will insure that your immediate concerns and needs reach the correct address and that help will be provided as rapidly as possible.
Northland College is a resource for you during these difficult times! We care!
Warm best and be well,
President Karl I. Solibakke
Posted: March 19, 2020
Working from Home
We have spent this week focused on taking care of our students and transitioning from face-to-face instruction to a virtual learning environment. We now turn our attention to conducting our work remotely. With the exception of those persons designated as essential to be on-site, staff may work from home keeping in mind the following considerations
- Original Northland paper files must stay on site. Please ensure that you have electronic copies of all documents that you need accessible from your computer.
- Data privacy and data security are a critical concern. If you step away from your computer it should be locked (control, alt, delete, enter). When not in use, your computer should be secured.
- Please be mindful of electrical cords as they can become trip hazards especially if you are not used to working at home.
- If you do not have a laptop, please contact IT or HR to make arrangements.
- Phone calls—our voicemail system directs all phone messages to our email accounts. Consider updating your voicemail message to direct callers to communicate by email.
- Please see the LogMeIn email from 3/18/2020 with instructions on using GoToMeeting for conference calls with one or more individuals. This tool can also be used to avoid sharing your personal phone number while working from home.
Effective immediately, please take laptops home every day in the event that you are unable to return to campus.
Todd has set up and updated a SharePoint site for useful online resources and documents. (This link was sent in an email.) This was originally set up for faculty, but there are helpful documents for staff as well. You will find the user guides for your specific office phone model with instructions for how to change your phone voicemail message as well as how to forward your work phone to a different number. Please make sure to look at the front of your phone to check the model number to match your user guide.
Your Personal Health
Even without COVID-19 concerns you should stay home and not come to campus if you have symptoms of acute respiratory illness until you are free of fever (100.4° F or greater using an oral thermometer), and any other symptoms for at least twenty-four hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, I request that you contact me to provide notice of your diagnosis (or have someone do so on your behalf) and follow the directions of your health care provider. I will guide you through the work, benefit, and leave implications.
If you believe you have been exposed to the virus or someone with whom you live or are in regular close contact has been exposed, I also request that you please contact me to discuss next steps, including whether a self-quarantine is appropriate or if there are benefit considerations that we need to initiate.
Please continue to do your part by regularly washing your hands (for at least twenty seconds prior to rinsing) throughout the work day and while away from work please observe proper cough and sneeze etiquette by doing so into a tissue or the fold of your arm. Please continue to follow Governor Evers emergency order prohibiting mass gatherings of ten people or more and preserve social distancing of 6 feet between people.
Finally, confidentiality is critical for our employees. If you become aware of someone who was exposed or potentially exposed, please do not share such information except if you believe necessary, to me.
Use good judgment in traveling. Consider the risks associated with your destinations. For example, the US State Department recently advised that US citizens should avoid cruise ship travel for the time being, as well as non-essential domestic travel. If you have recently been on a cruise, traveled internationally or by plane or traveled to a domestic hot spot (e.g., New York, California, Washington, etc.), please contact me. You may be required to self-quarantine for at least fourteen days depending on the circumstances and timing of that travel. For additional information, please see the CDC’s webpage on travel advisories and precautions.
The ERT will continue to monitor information from the CDC, the WHO, and state and local authorities to evaluate our practices and protocols. We expect your compliance with the above guidelines as a means of safeguarding the health of everyone concerned. We will continue to update information as it becomes available. Please contact me with any questions or if you would like to discuss any related issues.
Office of Human Resources
Bayfield County Confirmed Case
The Bayfield County Health Department announced today in a press release that there is one confirmed case in Bayfield County. The following message was just posted on their website:
“This is the first case detected in Bayfield County. This individual recently traveled where community spread of COVID-19 is occurring, and developed symptoms shortly afterwards. Self-quarantine procedures have been reviewed with this individual.”
“Bayfield County Health Department and area health care providers are partnering together to keep track of this outbreak. We are in daily contact with this individual to monitor their symptoms and ensure they are receiving support to be able to isolate at home. We are also working with local, state, and federal partners to deal quickly and effectively when people have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been around people have been infected with the coronavirus.”
Northland College will continue to provide updates as quickly as possible.
Office of the President
Message from NCSA to Students
As students are beginning to leave campus, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for everything you have done to make this a wonderful place to live. We have been so honored to serve in the co-president roles and look forward to ending our year by inducting the newly elected leadership in May.
We also want to extend our support during this time and provide some additional resources. We are choosing to reframe “social distancing” as “physical distancing” as physical distancing does not need to mean we have to stop socializing and building community together. It does, however, mean that we need to be more cautious of how we are interacting with those directly in our community. Please limit gatherings to ten or more and preserve a distance of at least six feet between people.
Physical distancing doesn’t have to mean social isolation! On Friday, March 20 at 6:30 p.m. CT, NCSA is hosting an online Nexflix Party. Anyone with a Netflix account can participate from anywhere they are currently residing. To join, simply install the Netflix Party chrome extension for free, then on Friday, look in your inbox for a link to log on. That’s it! We can all chat while streaming a silly movie with friends. Use the link below to vote for your movie of choice. Hope to see you all there!
Also—follow our Instagram @ncsa_28 for ideas on how to remain social and connected during this time!
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact NCSA leadership or Northland College administration. We are meeting frequently and working together to ensure students are safe and healthy.
Anna Marhefke, Jaclynn Findlay, Abigail Gentry
Co-Presidents, Northland College Student Association
Posted: March 18, 2020
The Emergency Response Team (ERT) has been meeting weekly for the past couple of weeks and daily since last Thursday. The purpose our meeting is to share current (and rapidly-changing) information about this pandemic among major constituents of the college, make decisions, and communicate information to the campus community. In order to have consistency of purpose and language, and to avoid redundancy of messages, we preview and edit the documents that go to the campus community. I’d like to provide you with some updates.
Many of you attended one of the two IT instructions sessions (led by Trevor and attended by Jake and Todd) on the online eLearning tool, and there were many useful questions. Some faculty have used online platforms before, and they, too can be valuable resources. A group of these tech savvy faculty have agreed to serve as resources should you have questions about using technology for teaching. This group consists of:
- Jon Martin
- Elizabeth Andre
- Alissa Hulstrand
- Geoffrey Vincent
- Derek Ogle
- Jennifer Kuklenski
Any of these faculty can be reached via email at email@example.com and they will assist in responding to your questions. This group will also monitor the discussion board within the SharePoint site and share important feedback and answers they are fielding.
Please remember, Todd has set up and updated a SharePoint site for useful online resources and documents. It also has a newsfeed and a discussion board. For consistency in posting online teaching information, this is the only site that the ERT will be recommending and supporting.
Please check on the technology capability of your students. We can no longer rely on them using a computer in a library or other public place. If a student has computer needs, please contact Todd.
Gina Kirstin has reached out to student tutors and professors who have tutors assigned to their course. IT and I are working with the tutors to set up virtual tutoring, both individual and group prescheduled times.
This week, students are continuing their work study where appropriate. Human resources is working through the supervisors to review all work-study assignments. We are in an information gathering phase.
If you have a student who is completing an internship during winter term, please make sure to contact them individually to assess their status and determine an acceptable way to complete their requirements. If you would like guidance, please contact me.
We continue to evaluate student teaching now that the schools are closed. Kevin Zak is in constant contact with DPI. Please direct all questions to Kevin.
Access to Buildings
This content has been omitted for security measures. Please see your email for additional information.
Wendy Gorman, Dean of Academic Affairs
Update for Students
The safety and health of our Northland College campus is our number one priority. This is a lot to process and it is understandable if you are feeling overwhelmed—we are here for you.
The COVID-19 situation is changing rapidly, so I ask that you check your email regularly for new information as we seek guidance from local and national directives (i.e., Centers for Disease Control, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and Ashland Daily Press). I recommend bookmarking and sharing with your families, the aforementioned websites and the College’s website. NorthLakes Clinic will follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to offer COVID-19 testing in Ashland.
Currently, all campus offices are open as scheduled, however some have limited staffing. We are taking special precautions to ensure everyone is safe and limit the spread of germs.
- We ask that you email or call campus offices prior to in-person visits. This will help you know which staff are on campus. Staff will let you know if you should come in. You can view the Northland directory for contact information. Anyone who does not feel healthy should reschedule appointments or communicate electronically.
- Maintenance and custodial staff have strengthened and increased the frequency of our disinfecting and cleaning practices in all buildings.
- Each of us is responsible for our health, so please take good care of yourself by washing your hands often, using hand sanitizer with at least sixty percent alcohol, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Practice social distancing as much as possible.
Effective yesterday, March 17 at 5 p.m., Governor Tony Evers has ordered a statewide moratorium on mass gatherings of ten or more people to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A “mass gathering” is any planned or spontaneous, public or private convening that brings together or is likely to bring together ten or more people in a single room or single confined space at the same time. All gatherings that bring together or are likely to bring together less than ten people in a single room or confined or enclosed space at the same time must:
- Preserve social distancing of six feet between people; and
- Follow all other public health recommendations issued by the Department of Health Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Baldwin Commons cafeteria will remain open to students for meals. Look for updated information on hours from Chartwells. This week, you can continue work study where appropriate. Human resources is working through supervisors to review all work-study assignments.
Campus leadership will keep you updated as the situation continues to develop and relevant decisions are made. We are thinking of each and every one of you and working to support you.
Melissa Harvey, Interim Dean of Students
Student & Employee Dining Open
Updated from original message.
The Baldwin Commons cafeteria will remain open, however due to reduced customer count on campus, the hours of operation will change starting Thursday, March 19.
Until further notice, the cafeteria will be open daily, seven days a week:
Brunch: 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Dinner: 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.
The Campus Store will also be minimizing hours in the near future and we will make that announcement as soon as we can.
Beginning immediately, the cafeteria will eliminate all self-serve options to minimize contact. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Greta Oliphant, Director of Dining Services
Posted: March 16, 2020
Campus Mail Forwarding
As you are leaving campus, we want to make sure your mail is forwarded to you. Please fill out the mail forwarding form so we know where your mail should go. Submitting this form soon is a priority, so that I can get your mail forwarded to you in a timely manner.
I am only able to forward domestic first-class and priority mail from USPS for free. Any mail sent through UPS, FedEx, or SpeeDee will be returned to sender unless you direct me via email firstname.lastname@example.org to keep your package at the post office until you are able to pick it up.
All seniors should complete this form to make sure that your mail is permanently changed. If you will be remaining on campus, the post office will be open regular hours until further notice.
Post Office Manager
Posted: March 14, 2020
Academic Affairs Letter to Students
By now you are aware that Northland College is moving to a remote learning format and that you are suddenly faced with leaving your campus home, your friends, and your professors. For many of you, this will be a “9/11” moment when everything changes. You undoubtedly are feeling many emotions, including fear of getting behind or not finishing your degree. I am writing to provide some assurance that with some effort and with the help of the entire Northland community, you can remain on track.
Faculty are taking the next week to consider the delivery format of the remainder of their courses. Northland has activated our current eLearning system that facilitates an online delivery format, and faculty will be instructed in its use early in the week. Some instructors may choose to utilize other formats. Either way, they will work with you on how your class will be operating in the coming week.
I can assure you, as you are getting settled into your home destination next week, your faculty will be working hard to transform their face-to-face teaching style to an online style. This change may not be ideal, but it is a way to continue to provide quality instruction until the end of the semester.
One of the greatest challenges we face as a remote learning community is staying connected. It is important that you remain actively connected to each of your instructors (even if it is email). Check your email frequently, ask questions as soon as they arise, keep up with the course material, and carefully read instructions. Be aware that instructors may use a different online format for their course. And with any online format, it will be too easy for students to put things off and lose touch, and then get frustrated. Your instructors will be your primary campus connection, but Julia Waggoner is an excellent library and research resource. And don’t forget to contact Gina Kirsten to help you with course management, emotional struggles, or to provide a kind shoulder to lean on.
Lastly, take one day at a time. In the next couple of weeks focus on getting settled and acquainted with a “new” approach to your courses. When frustration arises, contact your professors, advisor, or me to help you get your problems resolved.
Know that the entire Northland community is feeling stretched at the moment; we are all leaving our comfort zone, just as hundreds of other institutions are doing right now. Students are valued members of the campus community, and faculty and staff care deeply about your welfare. In the next few weeks stay well, physically, mentally, and academically. I look forward to a time when the stress of this moment wanes and we can return to being a campus community again.
Wendy Gorman, Dean of Academic Affairs
Support for Students
I understand you may have lingering questions and concerns regarding recent communication. It is perfectly reasonable for you to have questions and to seek additional information.
I would like to provide you with as much information as possible. I will be on campus tomorrow, Sunday, March 15 from 12-4 p.m. in my office for anyone to stop by. I will do my best to answer your questions and address your concerns. We may not be able to answer every question in that moment, but we can start a conversation and identify next steps.
Scott Johnson, our counselor, asked me to share this message.
“Without a doubt, this is a highly stressful time for a lot of us, and many are wondering what they can do to manage their stress and anxiety. Area resources, helplines, and other information related to mental health can be found on our website. Links to additional resources are also listed below, including link to a wealth of information on the website for the Jed Foundation. I will be in my office (Ponzio 230) this Sunday from 1 to 4pm for those struggling and needing to talk before the next week starts. Feel free to stop by. As soon as possible I will provide more information about what mental health support can look like through the counseling office at Northland while students are no longer on campus. Until then, stay well!”
- The Jed Foundation
- The Jed Foundation: COVID-19 and managing mental health
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CD): Manage Anxiety and Stress
- Strategies to cope with coronavirus anxiety
The Northland College community prides itself on taking care of each other and I know this situation will be no exception. We will work through this situation together and keep each other healthy and learning!
Melissa Harvey, Interim Dean of Students
Posted: March 13, 2020
Departing from On-Campus Housing
As you know, we are transitioning to online classes and moving students out of the halls. It is ESSENTIAL you read all details here to ensure you have a proper check out. I know this will take coordinated efforts for some to plan with family, friends, etc. Make sure you ask for help and keep us informed on your departure status.
- If you ARE NOT taking May term: this will be like regular winter term move out.
You will be required to let us know when you are leaving by signing up on a roster located on your floor. Leaving means a completely empty, prepared room where you are ready to turn in your keys. You will be required to pack up and empty your room to check out by Friday, March 20 by 4:00 p.m. Limited hall storage will be available. Traditional and express check outs will be available.
- If you ARE taking May term or are staying on-campus for summer: this will be a temporary move out.
You will be required to let us know when you are leaving by signing up on a roster located on your floor. You are required to be temporarily out of your room by Friday, March 20 by 4:00 p.m. You have to be registered for a May term course or signed up for summer housing via the online form (sent over email on Monday, March 9) to be a temporary move out. Failure to do so will result in improper closing fees. Staff will need to check your room before departure and sign off on your temporary move-out.Students who are taking a May term course or are staying on-campus for summer may choose to do a full pack up, move out, and turn in keys..
If you are an international student or a student with extenuating circumstance, please speak with me directly. We are here to help!
I will be available in the office tomorrow, Saturday, March 14 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. Please stop with your questions or concerns.
Please see bulletin boards in your halls for more specific information on how to check out of your room to avoid charges. Be sure to ask any questions—we all need to know what is expected of us during this process.
Lastly, we will be moving toward an online room sign up process for 2020-21. More information will be available soon. We will still be tracking all students who are required to live on campus but have not signed up for a space. Please follow all information closely over the next few weeks.
Office of Residential Life
Message to the Campus Community
COVID-19 has caused disruption around the world and in our own country. On Wednesday, the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic. While, as of this writing, there are no known COVID-19 cases at Northland or in Ashland, there are cases across the United States, and the number is increasing hourly.
We must play our part to keep our community healthy, to limit the transmission of the virus, and to avoid overwhelming the public health resources of our region.
I write this afternoon to share our plans to achieve these goals.
After consultation with many members of the Northland community, including our Board of Trustees and members of the health care community, Northland will suspend winter term face-to-face instruction at end of day today, Friday, March 13. Faculty will be given the week of March 16 to transition to online instruction, and online course work will begin on Monday, March 23 and extend through the end of the semester on Friday, April 17. Campus will receive additional information about this transition in the coming days.
We hope we can resume in-person classes and activities for May term, but will make that decision by April 3, as we assess the risks to our community health.
All athletic competition and practices are canceled for the spring season. In addition, all on-campus events will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
My deepest regret is that our students will not participate in the full vitality of the Northland experience for the winter term. I can not imagine how hard this will be for many of you, and most especially for the class of 2020. I promise that all of us at Northland will do our utmost to bring you back to campus as soon as it is safe to resume our face-to-face interactions. I know that neither you nor your families and friends expected this global emergency, and I promise that we will keep you up-to-date as the situation evolves.
Here is the current outline of our plan. More details will be shared in the days to come.
Winter Term Courses Move Online
Face-to-face instruction will be suspended at end of day, Friday, March 13. Academic Affairs will work with faculty to transition to online instruction the week of March 16. Winter term courses will resume in an online format on Monday, March 23 and extend until the end of the semester on Friday, April 17.
Faculty and instructional staff will receive information from the Office of Academic Affairs about the transition to alternative learning environments and instructional delivery starting on Monday.
Students completing internships and student teaching should consult with your faculty advisor or instructor. Parsonage Fund students will be contacted.
Ensuring our seniors’ ability to graduate in May will be a top priority. Academic Affairs and the Registrar’s Office will consider each student’s remaining requirements for graduation. Conversations regarding commencement events are ongoing.
Fall Course Registration
Fall course registration will continue as usual, beginning on Monday, March 16. Advisees who have not yet met with their advisor or still have questions, should contact their advisor.
Departing From Campus Housing
Students must plan to leave campus by Friday, March 20 at 4:00 p.m. and are required to complete their course work online. Further guidance about the logistics of departing campus will be sent from the Office of Residential Life.
I realize that returning home is not possible for some of our students. Accordingly, international students or others whose circumstances prevent them from traveling home (or to another safe, non-campus location) can contact residential life to make arrangements to remain on campus. Students who remain on campus will still take their classes online.
Faculty and staff will be expected to keep their normal work schedule in support of the College. Requests for work schedule modifications or flexibility will be reviewed by human resources. All employee business related travel is subject to approval by campus leadership.
Campus safety, maintenance, and custodial as well as food services will continue.
Our Northland Community
We are a highly interdependent community, and the bonds between our faculty, staff, and students are strong and meaningful. It is painful for me to see our campus community disrupted by the necessity to safeguard each and every one of us. Our educational program is, at its core, deeply personal—people, face to face, caring about each other, learning from one another. In the weeks to come, we will work to recreate our community in virtual spaces, sharing thoughts and ideas as though we were all present on this special campus. I am grateful to all of you for sharing sacrifices and I hope you will reach out to me with suggestions for keeping our Northland community strong.
I assume there will be many questions. We are working diligently on the details in real time. Here are some helpful resources to provide guidance.
President Karl I. Solibakke
Posted: March 12, 2020
UPDATE to Staff and Faculty
This message is to update faculty and staff on recommendations from the Emergency Response Team (ERT) at Northland College with regard to COVID-19. The ERT is collaborating on a daily basis and will provide updates via email and this Northland web page. Please be alert to these messages during this critical time.
- At the moment, Northland is exploring eLearning virtual tools as a possible option to offer course material online. IT and Academic Affairs is preparing instructions for faculty to review. More information will follow. The DOE has given institutions a dispensation of accreditation requirements to do so. Please be thinking now about how you can adjust for online delivery and assessment if that becomes necessary.
- All campus personnel are asked to stay home if they feel symptoms of COVID-19. Faculty, please contact Academic Affairs, and staff, please contact Human Resources. We feel it is critical to monitor employee health closely. Basic advice to everyone: if you feel ill, stay home.
- Instructors and supervisors, please be understanding of student and employee absences due to illness.
- We are working closely with our maintenance staff on specific measures that can be taken. Hand wipes will soon be available in all computer labs for use on surfaces, and hand sanitizer will be in all of the dispensers scattered around campus.
- We are reviewing May term classes as we monitor the spread of COVID-19, but at the moment none are cancelled. We will work with the registrar to determine which May term courses are required for graduating seniors and whether they will have met the requirements to graduate.
- There are a few May term courses traveling domestically to rural areas in the US or Canada. We will continue to evaluate those courses separately.
- We have not yet banned air travel, but some institutions have, and many conferences have been cancelled. We will continue to monitor closely.
Emergency Response Team
Posted: March 11, 2020
Spring Powwow & Big Ag Events Canceled
COVID-19 continues to spread and affect many parts of the US and the rest of the world. Northland College is working to mitigate the effects in our community and campus population. The health of our community is our priority.
While there are relatively few confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin, and still none reported in Ashland County, the number of cases nationally continues to grow. Our health partners tell us that now is the best time to act in ways that slow the spread.
One of those recommendations is to cancel largely attended community events. For precautionary measures, the following events have been cancelled:
- Friday, March 13: Big Ag’s Final Frontier with Aaron Eddens
- Saturday, March 14: Spring Powwow
There are ongoing discussions about rescheduling events, but no determinations have been made. Please continue to watch for updates as we continue to monitor and keep the campus informed moving forward.
Posted: March 5, 2020
The College has been closely monitoring the recent coronavirus outbreak and campus leadership is staying abreast of recommendations made by government and public health agencies, including the Wisconsin Department of Health Serves, the US State Department, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and our local public health departments.
Northland is committed to prompt and accurate communication with students, faculty, staff, and the public regarding the developing situation. At this time, there are no suspected cases reported on campus or in the Ashland area, and only five or fewer confirmed cases in the entire state of Wisconsin. We will continue to send updates as necessary to inform and make recommendations.
Be mindful when choosing your sources for information going forward, given that misinformation is likely to spread. Here are two websites for accurate, up-to-date information on COVID-19:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on COVID-19
- Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS)
What should I do?
If you begin to experience symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), contact your health care provider, Urgent Care, or the Emergency Department immediately.
The CDC has not recommended any additional precautions for the general public at this time. Everybody should continue to practice standard preventative action to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:
- Wash hands often with soap and water. If those are not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- Get a flu vaccine
Our Community Commitment
Please be conscious that this virus continues to impact our country and many other countries around the world. While viruses do not discriminate, unfortunately, humans sometimes do. Please report any concerns regarding bias through the dean of students or executive director of human resources.
Questions or concerns?
If you have any questions or concerns, please direct them to the following offices.