Coronavirus Updates

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Simpson University COVID-19 Response and Updates

Simpson University continues to work toward a fall 2020 opening for on-campus instruction and residential living. A presidentially appointed taskforce of administrators, faculty, staff and a retired physician/board member is working closely with local health officials to develop a plan that aligns with state and federal guidelines for a safe return to campus life, academically, residentially, and co-curricularly.

Campus Updates

  • July 17, 2020: Update to New and Returning Students

    Dear Simpson Red Hawks,

    On May 5, I announced that Simpson University will reopen for on-the-ground classroom instruction.

    Recently our local school districts announced their opening plans for on-the-ground education five days a week.

    On July 17, the governor of California announced that K-12 schools would be able to open for face-to-face learning in counties that are not included on the watch list for elevated COVID risk. This news gives us increased confidence that we have a clear runway for take-off. Shasta County is not included on the watch list for CA counties that have increased risk related to COVID. Additionally, we live in an area with low population density, and your university certainly benefits from small class sizes.

    Simpson staff and faculty are in the process of completing training and site-specific protection plans for each department so that we might serve you better. We have also completed a number of COVID preparations that have positioned us well to ensure our opening and the health and safety of our community.

    Our plans continue, 100 percent focused on reopening Sept 7, with orientation starting on the 4th and 5th of September and with athletes scheduled to begin arriving on Aug. 7.

    The list below highlights some of the many treatments already in place and in motion aimed at assuring safety, security and a productive 2020-21 at Simpson University:

    • Established a COVID-19 Taskforce including members of the faculty, staff, President’s Cabinet, and Board of Trustees
    • Added counseling support to assist students with anticipated stress
    • Established detailed guidelines that parallel the four stages on California’s “Resilience Roadmap”
    • Collaboration with Shasta County Public Health to deliver our reopening plan
    • Setting up HyFlex course delivery to ensure safe spaces for curriculum delivery
    • Policy for increased cleaning of all public spaces
    • Planning for staggered and outdoor dining
    • Planning for staggered New Student Orientation and check-in
    • Closely monitoring the risk to our community, currently one of the lowest impacted counties in the state
    • Added “Simpson Care” live online video consultation with doctors and counselors 24-7 for all students
    • Hired family nurse practitioner/counselor to support our continued COVID response and provide additional face-to-face care for our students
    • Working closely with our athletic NAIA representative
    • Consulted the Mayor of Redding and received the green light to move forward
    • Aligning ourselves with Shasta County’s Star program that includes training for all faculty and staff and delivery of site-specific protection plans
    • Utilized government stimulus funds to enhance our technology across campus, including new computers for faculty and staff as well as 360 video cameras and projectors in every classroom
    • Replaced all sneeze guards and flooring in the Emeriti Dining Center
    • Adding robust fall faculty training to assist with a new Learning Management System to maximize the flexible learning environment
    • Remodeled the first floor of the Owen Student Services Center to serve as a student union and flexible learning space for those participating in HyFlex classroom format
    • Purchased thermometers for temperature-checking stations
    • Adjusted athletic schedules to reduce travel, focusing on a more regional plan
    • Ordered thousands of masks for students to wear

    The list above is not exhaustive; new treatments are added every day in order to deliver on our priorities:

    1. Keep students, faculty, and staff safe.
    2. Stay vigilant to the changing scenario with a focus on reliable data to guide decision-making.
    3. Deliver high-quality academic engagement.
    4. Prepare, train and deliver essential workers for our community.

    The Simpson University COVID taskforce has updated the Reopening Plan [click link to see the updates]. If you have any questions, please contact Mark Endraske, Dean of Students and Chair of the COVID Task Force.

    Finally, we don't want to get on the state’s watch list, so please continue to do your part and encourage those in your community to do their part:

    • Maintain physical distance with anyone not from your immediate household.
    • Wear a mask whenever you are in public.
    • Limit travel outside of the area to only necessary travel.
    • Wash your hands.
    • Get tested!

    Best
    Norman D. Hall, Ed.D.
    President

  • June 25, 2020: SU Reopening Plan

    Greetings, Simpson University Faculty, Staff, Students, Parents, Alumni and Friends.

    In spring 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the closure of Simpson University’s campus and a move to remote instruction for the remainder of the semester. Subsequently, I appointed a COVID-19 taskforce composed of administrators, faculty, staff, and a retired physician/board member. The taskforce has been making plans toward the full, safe reopening of campus and return to on-campus instruction and residential living in Fall 2020. The taskforce has worked closely with our local advisory group and health officials to develop a plan that aligns with state and federal guidelines for a safe return to campus life, academically, residentially, and co-curricularly.

    A number of community leaders have made significant contributions to this work, and we are very grateful for their support and leadership. Adam McElvain, Mayor of Redding, helped review our work and provided guidance to our administration. Judy Flores, Shasta County Superintendent of Schools, helped review our plan and represents us on the advisory committee for Shasta County. Alexandra Gee, Shasta County Public Health, helped to write our guidelines and met with the taskforce to help develop the reopening plan. Special thanks to the taskforce, with extra thanks for the leadership provided by our capable Dean of Students, Mark Endraske.

    The taskforce developed two guiding documents that will serve as resources for our reopening. The first is based on the four stages from the CA Resilience Roadmap and represents our thinking as it relates to operating during various stages of reopening. The second document is the SU Reopening Plan. This document will serve as our guide for reopening preparation and will be the basis of our planning for the fall start.

    I am reminded again of the story in Mark 4 where the disciples called out to the resting Jesus to calm the storm. We too have the opportunity to call out for Jesus to lead, teach and refine us in this new narrative. I pray that He will calm this storm and that He will be glorified. Right now I am reminded to do my best to serve those near me, pray with them and encourage them as we work for a brighter future where Simpson University sends more students to the front lines of Christian service, faith-infused, critically competent and enthusiastic to serve where planted. I believe that we are called for such a time as this to set the example of Christian service and that Simpson University’s best days are ahead. I can’t wait to get the new year started “with” you!

    Best
    Norman D. Hall, Ed.D.
    President

  • June 4, 2020: Warning to Students Regarding COVID Financial Aid-Related Scams

    Simpson University students:

    Please be aware of this notice posted by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

    Consumer Protection Groups Say Financial Aid-Related Scams Using COVID to Target Students
    By Owen Daugherty, NASFAA Staff Reporter

    Scammers are taking advantage of the ongoing pandemic in attempts to obtain students’ financial and personal information, in some instances posing as financial aid offices.

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a warning last week notifying students that suspicious emails claiming to be from the “Financial Department” at their respective institutions are advertising how to receive the economic stimulus check.

    The phishing email contains a link to a message about the check and asks students to enter their login information for the school, potentially exposing sensitive material to scammers.

    Subject lines on the deceptive emails read something like “Memo from The Financial Aid (COVID-19 Relief Fund).” Additionally, FTC said clicking the link could lead the student to unknowingly download harmful malware onto their device.

    The agency recommended being vigilant about verifying sender information and looking closely at the sender details. If it does not come from an individual with an email account from within the student’s institution, the agency recommends not clicking and reporting the message.

    While there are some sophisticated emails, there are others that contain typos or grammatical errors, which FTC says can be an obvious sign of a scam. The agency said that if an individual is unsure, they should think twice before clicking any link in the email.

    The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has also identified a scam targeting students in which callers are reaching out to student loan borrowers claiming to represent a loan servicer, in this case Navient. The scam is telling borrowers that as part of a lawsuit settlement, their student loan debt is either partially or completely forgiven, but first they must provide their personal information and pay a fee to transfer the debt from the loan provider to the “the Department of Education” or another official-sounding organization.

    The BBB said these scams can fool people because in some instances, they can be based on actual procedures an individual may qualify for, but “this unsolicited caller is not working in an official capacity or related to any of the organizations cited in the call.”

    BBB made clear that borrowers will not receive a call from Navient offering to transfer their loan.

    The bureau urged borrowers to keep an eye out for companies offering to reduce debt by lowering payments through enrollment in student loan forgiveness or other programs. Additionally, scammers may also falsely promise to apply monthly payments to consumers’ student loans and to improve credit scores, with the caveat that a small fee be paid so they can negotiate with the lender on your behalf.

    Consumer advocates were already on high alert for student loan-targeted scams amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, previously telling NASFAA that the pandemic creates economic uncertainty for consumers and could serve as an opportunity for bad actors to take advantage of borrowers.

    Federal Student Aid (FSA) has a resource list available for students to help them avoid financial aid and loan-related scams. Phishing scams can be reported to the FTC or the BBB scam tracker.

  • May 5, 2020: Update about Fall Reopening

    Dear SU community:

    It gives me great joy to announce that Simpson University is planning to resume all on-campus instruction when it opens for the fall semester on Sept. 7, with measures in place to deliver our century-old academic quality, fortified by our Christ-centered community, while mitigating risks and promoting safety. This includes our traditional undergraduate, degree-completion, seminary, and graduate programs.

    We know that our students thrive in our uniquely community-based, personalized and experiential learning environment, and we are pleased to be ramping up to bring our students back for what we believe will be an amazing fall 2020.

    In mid-March, our extraordinary faculty quickly moved our whole curriculum delivery to an online and remote format. Simultaneously, I appointed a COVID-19 taskforce made up of faculty, staff, medical personnel, and communication specialists to help guide our response and reduce our campus footprint in concert with state and regional guidelines.

    The health and safety of our students and employees is our top priority as we navigate this new landscape for safely reopening our campus. For this reason, last week I appointed an expanded “reopening” committee to meet daily, study, and provide a multi-phased framework for reopening this fall. You can be confident that we will continue to work with state and regional government to ensure we meet or exceed all distancing, cleaning, and safety protocols related to residential housing, dining, classroom instruction and methodology, athletics, chapel gatherings, campus safety, and more.

    If you are a student, faculty, or staff member, I want you to know that the Cabinet, reopening committee, and I are working hard to reopen with your safety and needs in mind. You can be sure that we will put the necessary precautions in place to ensure our students can join us on campus under conditions safe for learning, living, and participating in co-curricular activities. At the same time, we will remain flexible as needed, with alternative strategies outlined well in advance.

    The university offers free telemedicine health and wellness service to students and employees through our partnership with HealthiestYou and maintains close relationships with local public health officials and area healthcare facilities. Faculty and staff at Simpson University’s Betty M. Dean School of Nursing, ranked No. 7 among California nursing schools, is also a guiding resource.

    We are thankful and exceedingly fortunate to live in one of the lowest COVID-19-incident regions in California. We are also fortunate to be surrounded by gifted faculty and staff, who have pivoted creatively and with determination during this unprecedented time. I am grateful for their hard work and adaptability and look forward to starting the 2020-21 school year with their energy, prayers, and enthusiasm.

    Simpson University has outpaced a nationwide trend, growing our undergraduate program two years in a row while launching programs in kinesiology, engineering, digital media, and computer information systems. We also launched new sports including track and field, women’s wrestling, men’s volleyball, swimming and diving, and bass fishing.

    The COVID-19 event certainly took us by surprise but did not take the wind out of our sails, as our data tells us to expect growth again this year. Yes, it has been challenging. And yes, we are better and more refined to open this fall with increased know-how, academic flexibility, and renewed missional commitment to being the gateway to world service.

    Students, keep an eye open for updates and start making plans to be in Redding, California, this fall. We can’t wait to see you. Go, Red Hawks!

    Norman D. Hall, Ed.D.
    President

  • May 1, 2020: Update regarding CARES Act Funding

    SU Students:

    The coronavirus has impacted each and every one of us one way or another. This semester has been difficult for everyone, whether you are a student, parent, or a university employee. The leadership team at Simpson University has been working diligently on a financial assistance plan for our traditional students.

    Through careful efforts in fundraising and application for federal grants, we have been fortunate to receive significant funding (approximately $450,000) that we will be able to share with our traditional undergraduates. These funds will be distributed as emergency grants, designed to provide financial assistance to students negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and help with the interruption they experienced this semester. The timeline for distribution will follow Simpson University's receipt of federal stimulus funds -- we thank you for your patience as we await those.

    How it works: Each student's emergency grant will be calculated by reviewing various criteria, including housing, food and financial need (using information from the student's FAFSA). In keeping with evolving federal guidelines, we have revised our process to send checks directly to students. Our aim is to get significant dollars to students so they may continue their Simpson University education.

    Deacon's Fund: In addition to the emergency grants, we have established a "Deacon's Fund" for those who have experienced a severe financial hardship due to the coronavirus. Examples of hardship would include COVID-related purchase of health insurance, technology, child care, housing or food expenses. These grants are limited and will be reviewed by a stewardship committee. To apply for assistance from the Deacon's Fund, please email deaconsfund@simpsonu.edu with detailed information about your circumstances and specific need.

    Additional resources: If you or someone in your immediate household has experienced loss of income, extremely high medical bills, or a death of a parent or spouse listed on your FAFSA, please email the Financial Aid Office at financialaid@simpsonu.edu. There may be additional resources available.

    Counseling and telemedicine services: Counseling services continue to be provided remotely by Simpson University Counseling Services, led by Bev Klaiber (bgklaiber@simpsonu.edu). In addition, HealthiestYou, the university's telemedicine provider, offers free health and counseling services online. Download the HealthiestYou app to get started. Contact SU's Human Resources office at hr@simpsonu.edu if you have questions.

    Registration: This is a critical time for you to get registered for classes next year. We have made some important changes that reduce the number of credits required to graduate, so I encourage you to reach out to your academic advisor or the registrar's office to complete this important task. Returning students who complete registration by May 15 will receive a $100 credit toward their account. A late registration fee will be imposed after Aug. 15.

    We are encouraged that new student deposits are still running strong, and we are making plans to open on time this fall. It will be great to have you back on campus!

    Go, Red Hawks!

    Norman D. Hall, Ed.D.
    President

  • April 30, 2020: Message to Parents

    Dear Simpson University Parents:

    We hope this email finds your families safe and healthy as you face the particular challenges of this pandemic. As this unprecedented semester ends, we are very much missing your students and all the excitement that comes with graduation and other special events.

    While we look forward to celebrating with many graduates at a commencement ceremony scheduled for Dec. 19, our Academic Office staff and faculty also looked for creative ways to honor students remotely during the week originally slated for graduation. On April 24, we held a virtual "open house," where students met professors and classmates in department Zoom meetings.

    This week we presented our traditional end-of-the-year awards chapel in a Facebook "live" video premiere that allowed us to watch together and offer congratulations in "real time" to the students, faculty, and staff honored for their academic achievements and overall contributions to the Simpson community.

    You can view the video and comments on Facebook at this link. You can also click on individual awards in this visual presentation of the ceremony.

    Our faculty and students did a tremendous job shifting to a remote course format, and we are grateful for their hard work. Our Student Development staff also pivoted creatively to finish out the year with Instagram Live chapel services, a NiteLife Online student talent show, student testimonials, masterclasses, and much more.

    As we move forward, know that we pray daily for our students and their families. We are making plans to open on time for fall semester with on-campus classes, even as we monitor the situation daily and prepare to make adjustments. We hope to see all of our returning students, many of whom have already registered! As a special incentive, students who complete their fall registration by May 15 will receive a $100 credit to their account.

    Your student receives regular emails from us, and we continue to post updates on our COVID-19 webpage, which also includes a link for submitting questions.

    Looking to the One who sustains us all,

    Norman D. Hall, Ed.D.
    President

  • April 27, 2020: Awards Chapel Information

    Dear SU Community,

    The final chapel of each year is an awards chapel, where we recognize students for academic and student life achievements. This year, we will present these awards virtually, thanks to the creative work of the Academic Office and the faculty and staff who put together video presentations.

    If you are able, please join us for a Facebook "live" premiere to announce all the awards. This will be held at 10:20 am on Wednesday, April 29th on facebook.com/simpsonu. We'd love for you to leave comments as you hear the winners announced.

    Following the watch party, you'll receive an email with a link to an easy-to-navigate presentation of all the awards and individual videos.

    Blessings,
    The Academic Office

  • April 20, 2020: Invitation to Spring 2020 Graduates

    Dear Simpson University 2020 Graduates,

    First, and on behalf of your professors and the entire Simpson community, welcome to your last finals week at Simpson University! You have invested so much to get here. Know that we are proud of you and praying for and with you as you move into this final step of completing your degree at Simpson.

    As you all know, your formal graduation ceremony will take place on December 19th, 2020, for which we are looking forward to welcoming you back to campus to celebrate. And...recognizing that this is a ways off, your professors and the Simpson community would like to invite you to a time of connection and blessing this Friday, April 24, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm. This time signifies the time that Baccalaureate graduation has typically been held, thus we would like to hold this space for you to be able to join your major, as well as other departments, to connect and celebrate with your Simpson community. If you are able, please plan to join your major at 7:00 pm for some introductory remarks and time just for your graduating class from 7:00-7:30 pm. If you'd like, feel free to invite your family and significant others to join, as well; maybe even plan a special dinner together beforehand, virtually and/or with your household! You will be receiving a list of departmental Zoom links via email and will also notice them on this Graduation Moodle site for which you have been enrolled.

    In addition to this time on Friday, we are also preparing short send-off videos of blessing, which will be posted throughout this week on this Graduation Moodle site. Feel free to look for these videos throughout the week, which will be posted up until this Friday.

    Know that you are dearly loved as you continue to walk through this week and as we all continue to navigate these times together. We recognize that your graduation is not what any of us expected and we hope that these opportunities will provide some meaningful ways of connection as you attempt to mark these important years of study and growth, complete this chapter, and begin writing the next. It has truly been a privilege to walk alongside of you during this part of your journey, and we look forward to seeing what is next.

    Grace, peace, and strength in the One who made all, is all, and holds all,
    Your Faculty & The Simpson Community

  • April 14, 2020: Dec. 19 Commencement Details

    Dear Graduates,

    By now you may have seen that if you have completed all graduation requirements by April 24, 2020, and were set to graduate in SPRING 2020, you will be able to walk in our December 19th commencement ceremony!

    There will be two ceremonies:
    10am: Traditional Undergraduates
    2pm: Degree Completion (ASPIRE) and Master's Programs

    Ceremonies will be held in the James M. Grant Student Life Center at Simpson University, 2211 College View Drive, Redding, CA 96003. Graduates must arrive one hour prior to their ceremony to robe. Ceremonies are approximately one-and-a-half to two hours long.

    **Spring 2020 Graduates should have received a "Graduation Form" via their Simpson emails from the Registrar's Office. Please complete this form as soon as possible for planning purposes and check your email for more information in the upcoming weeks.

    For more details about caps and gowns, tickets, accommodations, photos and announcements, please visit simpsonu.edu.graduation. If you have additional questions, please email sbartley@simpsonu.edu.

  • April 9, 2020

    Your safety is important to us and we would like to give you an update on some recommended safety measures and information on resources available, to help us work together to ensure the safety of you, your family and coworkers.

    Social Distancing
    We would like to remind everyone of the importance of social distancing, keeping space between you and other people both in and outside the workplace. The CDC recommends practicing a distance of at least 6 feet away from others, not gathering in groups, and staying out of crowded places.

    Cloth Face Coverings/Face Masks
    Cloth face coverings are now recommended by the CDC to be worn in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. These face coverings are not surgical masks or N-95s. Please see link below for further information and instructions on how to make your own face covering.

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

    Office Cleaning/Products Available
    A reminder for those employees who are still working on campus that there are cleaning products and equipment available should you require them to clean your workspace. Regular cleaning of your workspace, as well as your mobile phone, is advised. If you are not aware of where to source these items, please contact Paul Davis.

    Easter Campus Closure
    We also would like to remind everyone that the campus will be closed over Easter, effective Friday, April 10, through Sunday, April 12, with employees returning to work on Monday, April 13. Food service for students remaining on campus will be provided over the weekend.

    Travel
    We understand there may be employees planning travel over this time; however, we would like to remind everyone of the state's stay-at-home orders unless you have to travel for essential reasons. If you do need to travel, please take precautions to protect yourself and others and kindly advise your supervisor and the Director of Human Resources of your travel details and if your health situation changes, so we can mitigate potential risks to others on campus before your return.

  • April 8, 2020: Graduation Update

    The President's Office announced via email and video that the spring commencement ceremony is being rescheduled for Saturday, Dec. 19, on campus. There will be two commencement ceremonies that day to honor graduates from spring, summer and fall 2020. More details will be sent to upcoming graduates via email.

    Watch the announcement video (starring President Hall and COO/professor Wally Quirk) at https://vimeo.com/404788346.

  • March 21, 2020

    Dear SU Community:

    What an extraordinary week we have just gone through. When we announced in chapel last Friday that we would move to online-only instruction through the remainder of the semester and urged students to go home, we had no idea how quickly and dramatically the situation would change in California. Thank you for your adaptability and understanding as we have had to make daily changes and updates.

    The coronavirus task force met again today to discuss and approve the following items:

    Campus closed to the public: With the statewide shelter-in-place mandate in place, the campus is closed to all members of the public.

    Campus safety checkpoint: As part of our commitment to the safety and security of students and workers who must still be on campus, Campus Safety will establish a checkpoint station starting tonight (3/20). Access to campus will be through the Shasta View entrance. The station will be staffed from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. Employees and remaining students should show SU ID cards to indicate their approved status.

    Telework forms: Staff members (not faculty) who are working from home will be given two forms from Human Resources to fill out: an Emergency Temporary Telework Arrangement form and a Telework Work Plan form. The forms will help track equipment that is being used at home, as well as outlining work plans in conjunction with your supervisor. As the president noted in last night’s communication, it is vital that we are all as productive as possible during this critical time. If your supervisor is not able to assign work according to your normal duties, they may assign tasks such as making phone/video calls to help in the areas of student recruitment, student retention, and fundraising.

    Library: The library will be closed during Spring Break. This is the normal operating procedure, but we wanted to add a note about this so that we are all reminded.

    Bookstore: The bookstore is closed. All returns should be completed online. As a reminder: “If students have rental books checked out, they can mail them to the bookstore for free. To print a free shipping label, students log in to their rental account at SimpsonUshop.com. Students need to mail them by April 24 to avoid late fees.”

  • March 19, 2020: What the 'shelter-in-place' order means for Simpson

    Simpson University Community:

    As most of you will be aware by now, California Gov. Newsom this evening ordered all Californians to stay at home and limit non-essential movements in order to help control the spread of the coronavirus. No end date has been given for the order.

    The shelter-in-place mandate, effective immediately, means “non-essential” businesses across the state will be required to close. Residents must remain at home except for essential activities, essential business, and essential government functions, including:

    • Tasks essential to maintain health and safety, such as obtaining medicine or seeing a doctor.
    • Getting necessary services or supplies for themselves or their family or household members, such as getting food and supplies, pet food and supplies necessary for staying at home.
    • Engaging in outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking or running provided that they maintain at least 6 feet of social distancing.
    • Caring for a family member in another household.
    • Caring for elderly, minors, dependents, people with disabilities or other vulnerable persons.

    The shelter-in-place order does not apply to those going to work in an essential business or essential government function. That includes:

    • Health care operations, including home health workers
    • Essential infrastructure, including construction of housing and operation of public transportation and utilities
    • Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores
    • Businesses that provide necessities of life for economically disadvantaged individuals and shelter facilities
    • Pharmacies, health care supply stores and health care facilities
    • Gas stations and auto repair facilities
    • Banks
    • Garbage collection
    • Hardware stores, plumbers, electricians and other service providers necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences and other essential businesses
    • Educational institutions, for the purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions
    • Laundromats, dry cleaners and laundry service providers
    • Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food and goods directly to residences
    • Child care facilities providing services that enable essential employees to go to work
    • Roles required for any essential business to "maintain basic operations," which include security, payroll and similar activities.

    What does this mean for Simpson University?


    Who should report to work Friday morning?
    The shelter-in-place mandate does not apply to educational institutions, for the purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions. All persons will initially exist on the essential employee list between 8 and 10 a.m. tomorrow, March 20, as we transition to a remote campus status. You are asked to drop in at work to pick up resources such as computers and files, though we are expecting all but essential employees to only visit the office briefly and get back home. If necessary, persons on the essential employee list may deliver critical supplies to those who are uncomfortable coming in to work. Work with your supervisor or area administrator if you have questions about remote work.

    Human Resources will be sending a “Telework work plan” and “Temporary Telework Arrangement” form for use in tracking duties completed from remote work sites.

    What if I have health concerns about coming to work?

    If you feel that you have been identified as an essential employee in error, please see your supervisor, who may appeal to his/her supervisor for clarity of duties or change in status.

    We understand that some may have pre-existing healthcare concerns and therefore ask that you talk to your supervisor to clearly understand what duties you will be expected to complete from home.

    What does this mean for students?

    Like most other schools we are still urging students to go home. Those few who cannot make it home will be allowed to stay.

    Chartwells is continuing to provide food for those who cannot go home.

    Will I still work if my role is not “essential”?

    Yes. All personnel will be expected to check in with supervisors to establish priorities, projects and measures for work. Simpson University cannot afford to shut down at this critical time. If your supervisor is not able to assign work according to your normal duties, he/she may assign duties such as making phone/video calls to future students or potential donors. Supervisors will be expected to set clear and measurable guidelines for duties that will be reported as updates to supervisors at the end of each day.

    How can I best prepare to be most effective in a remote office?

    Be sure to share your remote office phone number with those who may need to contact you.

    Watch a youtube video on utilizing “zoom conferencing”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2pq4I1urXA

    To access the network remotely contact IT about VPN access.

    How can I best prepare to be successful as I telework? (author unknown)

    Get “ready” for work

    Although it may be tempting to stay in your pajamas, experts highly recommend getting “ready” for work, and performing your normal morning routine as if you were heading to a workplace.

    Keep up work routine and schedule

    Try to replicate your work routine at home, including organizing your schedule and allocating blocks of time to projects, meetings, and even breaks. If you normally have an in-person check-in at a particular time, schedule a call at that same time. Or, if you usually take lunch at noon or a break at 2 p.m., do the same at home.

    Stay connected

    When you are in the office, you have the opportunity to collaborate face to face. However, working remotely does not mean you have to miss out on your team camaraderie. Being creative with available communication tools can help keep you connected.

    Enjoy the great outdoors

    Whether you head outside on a break for a walk or to just sit on your porch, get some sunlight and, more importantly, fresh air.

    Create boundaries

    Ensure you separate your work from your home life by designating a space that you only use during work hours. This may be a spare room in your home, a corner for your desk, or even a specific chair at your kitchen table.

    What if I want to use my vacation hours?

    If you have vacation hours, you may certainly utilize them. Please be certain, as always, to seek approval from your supervisor to ensure that critical services are attended.

    Are there health services available?

    As a Simpson employee, you have free access to telemedicine. Through “HealthiestYou,” you and your family can schedule an appointment with a doctor online 24/7 for conditions such as the flu, bronchitis, allergies, sore throats, skin conditions, and more. They can also perform risk assessments for COVID-19.

    Before you can use these services, you will need to enter your details to register. Click here for more information on how to register. If you have any questions or difficulties, email the HR director at mturley@simpsonu.edu.

    As details come to light and future plans become clearer, we will be certain to communicate updates via email.

    In closing, I would like to reflect on the faculty meeting wherein we announced the move to finishing the year via online courses. It was a special blessing to observe the faculty move quickly from decision to discussion and actions aimed at ensuring exceptional academic continuity for our Simpson students. Their enthusiasm and commitment was and continues to be infectious and encouraging. We don’t know yet how long this pandemic interruption will occur, but we do know that we have a community dedicated to high quality education and a big God who is worthy of our work and praise.

    Let us continue to communicate, pray, and find some rest, while we look for reasons to be grateful and serve with a glad heart.

    Pursue Shalom,

    Norman D. Hall
    President
    Simpson University

  • March 17, 2020: Residential housing closure and graduation update

    SU Community:

    The situation with Coronavirus changes on a daily basis. The SU task force meets on a daily basis to determine the best course of action. We have been regularly monitoring the information provided by our local government and health authorities, the Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.

    Right now, the best information suggests that SU and Redding are still at a relatively low risk for infection or spread of the coronavirus. That being said, we recognize that SU’s spring break is only one week away and that our students, faculty and staff have plans to travel widely. This travel could increase the risk of someone in the SU community becoming infected and bringing the virus back to campus and to Redding. We also recognize it would be difficult to control the spread of the virus on a residential campus, so we concluded that taking additional action is the most responsible and caring thing to do.

    The following actions were recommended by the task force and approved by Dr. Hall on 3/17/20:

    University Housing: SU will close all student housing. Students will need to move out of university residence halls by the end of Monday, March 23. We have made this decision because the CDC suggests limiting indoor spaces in which large groups can gather, such as residential facilities and dining halls, as these areas present a greater risk of transmission.

    We encourage residential students to move out as soon as possible, though we realize this will take longer for some students. As long as the current relatively low-risk situation remains the same, SU housing and dining facilities will remain open until 6 p.m. Monday, March 23, to provide flexibility.

    We recognize that some students may experience particular hardships due to the closing of SU housing at that time, including those students who may be from countries with travel restrictions or other extenuating circumstances. If you are in this situation, please contact Residence Life in Student Development or via email (reslife@simpsonu.edu) to discuss potential accommodation options. Residence Life will provide additional information to students.

    Nursing students need additional information related to housing. A special meeting has been scheduled with Dean Misty Smith and Dean Mark Endraske to discuss your specific needs on Thursday, at 6pm (location tbd).

    University Dining Services: Dining service on the Simpson campuses will end at 6 p.m. Monday, March 23. The last meal served will be dinner that day. To comply with state and county guidelines, dining service will be available as take-out only between now and March 23.

    April 25, 2020, Commencement: We have made the difficult decision to cancel our spring commencement, scheduled for April 25, and related graduation activities. In keeping with many other colleges and universities, the prospect of significant restrictions to travel and large-group gatherings means we cannot guarantee our ability to deliver in-person commencement activities during this period. We will be looking for creative ways to honor our graduates. Please note that degrees will still be conferred at the end of the semester.

    Refund question: We’ve received a number of questions regarding whether Simpson University is giving refunds for students who are leaving campus. To a great degree, this is a question about service costs. So you are asked to consider some of the following:

    • To ensure safety and maintain academic continuity we have moved all courses online.
    • While we urge students to go home, we have many who cannot go home.
    • For the above reasons the whole university continues to operate with little or no savings as contracts with vendors such as food service and utilities require continued payment. To accommodate just this sort of instance, usually, in the category of “act of God” events, we have a policy that states “after Friday of the eighth week” we are unable to reimburse.
    • To review the student handbook policy please reference: Removal of Institutional Charges.
    • We understand that some universities are giving prorated rebates. If Simpson University were to ignore its posted policy as above, the scenario is actually more complex. The federal regulation governing financial aid cost of attendance requires universities (when refunding or rebating) to prorate both room and board coupled with institutional policies to also prorate scholarships (if ever we prorated room and board – like before the eighth week). In most cases, because our discount is very high, most students, after proration, would have an outstanding balance.

    SU’s campus will remain open and fully operational as feasible during this time. We will continue to educate and care for our students. We expect that faculty and staff will have full access to their offices and will continue to work as normal while following the recommended health and hygiene protocols outlined by the CDC. We recognize that some faculty and staff may be vulnerable because of underlying health conditions, and we would ask that you speak to HR about the best and safest way for you to continue working.

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Norman D. Hall
    President

  • March 16, 2020

    SU Community,

    A prayer I heard today focused on maintaining a spiritual connection in the midst of social distancing. That will be our challenge and our opportunity over the next few weeks as we continue to be pressed into more distance and more isolation. I hope that we will be able to encourage, speak life, and connect with each other, even if that connection is over Zoom!

    With that said, the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve and we must change along with it to ensure the health and safety of our community. In response to the POTUS announcement today, Guidelines for America: 15 Days to Slow the Spread, the university's Coronavirus taskforce has recommended, and Dr. Hall has approved, the following changes, effective Tuesday morning:

    • 1. Food Service.
    • As the need for social distancing has increased, it has become necessary to limit access to our food service venues, including our dining center. Meals are still available, but food will be served as a take-out option only. Meals will be available to pick up during the following times:

      • 9 - 11 AM for breakfast
      • 12 AM - 2 PM for lunch
      • 4 - 6 PM for dinner
    • 2. Bean Scene.
    • Starting tomorrow, the Bean Scene will be closed until further notice. Coffee will be served in the library.

    • 3. Gymnasium.
    • It has become necessary to limit where groups of people congregate, and gyms are included in venues suggested to be closed. The weight room and gym are temporarily closed until further notice.

    • 4. Library
    • The library remains open for service. Please abide by the social distancing guidelines offered by the POTUS.

    • 5. Testing (Prometric)
    • Most student services remain open, including testing services through Prometric. Service will be offered in a manner that allows for "social distancing" when possible.

    • 6. Work and Meetings.
    • As we seek to avoid non-essential meetings, we urge SU staff and faculty to use Zoom or hold meetings in a space that allows proper social distancing.

    Mark Endraske, MA
    Dean of Students

  • March 13, 2020: Moving to online courses

    Please read President Hall's letter about the decision to move classes to an online format for the remainder of the semester.

    Watch a video of Dr. Hall offering encouragement to students.

FAQs (Spring 2020)

  • Where do I send COVID test results?

    All Simpson University students are required to submit a negative COVID-19 test prior to the start of school. Results may be emailed to wellnesscenter@simpsonu.edu.

  • What is the Deacon's Fund?

    In addition to the emergency grants, we have established a "Deacon's Fund" for those who have experienced a severe financial hardship due to the coronavirus. Examples of hardship would include COVID-related purchase of health insurance, technology, child care, housing or food expenses. These grants are limited and will be reviewed by a stewardship committee. To apply for assistance from the Deacon's Fund, please email deaconsfund@simpsonu.edu with detailed information about your circumstances and specific need.

  • Is the Prometric testing center on campus open?

    The national Prometric testing center on Simpson University's campus closed temporarily March 18 per federal COVID-19 guidelines. The center is scheduled for a full reopening on Sept. 14, 2020. Monitor any changes and find more information at prometric.com/site-openings.

  • Is the bookstore still open?

    Update 4.28.20: The bookstore is currently closed. Please note that Simpson University is transitioning to a new online bookstore format called eCampus (simpsonu.ecampus.com). The on-site bookstore will close May 8, so all rental books need to be returned by then to avoid late fees. Students are strongly encouraged to mail rental books back to the bookstore for free (log in to your rental account at SimpsonUShop.com to print a free shipping label).

    Students are asked not to return books to campus during the coronavirus closure unless absolutely necessary. If books are dropped off on site before the May 8 deadline, please include your name and student ID number with the book. Multiple textbooks should be banded together with your information.

    Students with questions or concerns about returning their books before May 8 can email rglasgow@follett.com.

  • Is online health and counseling available for students?

    Yes. Simpson has partnered with Healthiest You to provide online health and counseling services. Services are available 24/7. In order to access the online counseling services, students must use the app (available in the app store or from Google Play). Look for HealthiestYou or HY. Click this link for more information.

  • How do I get my official transcript mailed to my home?

    Fill out a Transcript Request Form at simpsonu.edu/transcripts and return by email (registrar@simpsonu.edu) or mail. Please note that, because of COVID-19, transcript processing time is longer than normal. Allow 7 business days for a rush transcript and 14 business days for standard processing. Thank you for your patience.

  • Will Simpson University grade on a pass/fail basis for spring 2020 courses?

    While we appreciate that some of our students face difficult circumstances related to the pandemic and continue to work with them on an individual basis, we have given this issue significant consideration and decided not to move to pass/fail this semester. While some larger colleges and universities are doing this, many institutions are not. There are a number of reasons for this -- pass/fail grading does not work for nursing and other accredited programs; students trying to get off probation; students wanting to graduate with honors; and students wanting to go on to graduate school, to name a few. There are also possible financial aid ramifications as well as negative impact to athletic eligibility, among other reasons.

  • What do I do with books checked out from the Simpson University library?

    Due dates for physical library books checked out of the Start-Kilgour Memorial Library at Simpson University are extended until the beginning of the fall semester, and late fees will be waived. For graduating seniors and those who would prefer to do so, you may mail your books back (using book rate) to Simpson Library, 2211 College View Drive, Redding, CA 96003.

  • Are my Red Hawk Bucks refundable?

    Refunds are not being given at this time for Red Hawk Bucks that are part of the Simpson University base meal plan. If a student bought additional Red Hawk Bucks beyond what they received as part of their meal plan, that amount is refundable.

  • Will Simpson University give refunds for students who move home early, or will a pro-rated amount for housing be applied toward the fall semester?

    To a great degree, this is a question about service costs. So you are asked to consider some of the following:

    • To ensure safety and maintain academic continuity we have moved all courses online.
    • While we urge students to go home, we have many who cannot go home.
    • For the above reasons the whole university continues to operate with little or no savings as contracts with vendors such as food service and utilities require continued payment. To accommodate just this sort of instance, usually, in the category of “act of God” events, we have a policy that states “after Friday of the eighth week” we are unable to reimburse.
    • To review the student handbook policy please reference: Removal of Institutional Charges.
    • We understand that some universities are giving prorated rebates. If Simpson University were to ignore its posted policy as above, the scenario is actually more complex. The federal regulation governing financial aid cost of attendance requires universities (when refunding or rebating) to prorate both room and board coupled with institutional policies to also prorate scholarships (if ever we prorated room and board – like before the eighth week). In most cases, because our discount is very high, most students, after proration, would have an outstanding balance.

Resources

For Shasta County residents: Shasta County community partners and healthcare providers have been working together to actively respond to the virus and have created a public website, ShastaReady.org, designed to provide Shasta County residents a one-stop shop for local information.

For California residents: Here is the governor's website for information on Coronavirus (COVID-19) in California and a link to the state Department of Public Health's COVID-19 website.

For U.S. residents: Here is a link to the national Centers for Disease Control Coronavirus (COVID-19) website.