Dear OSU faculty, staff and students,
Today, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued an executive order (PDF) requiring Oregonians to stay home in response to the increasing spread and risk of COVID-19.
I fully support this order and thank the governor for her leadership and continued efforts to provide for public safety in these challenging times. I assure you that Oregon State University will comply with this and other executive orders.
As your president, please join me in complying with this order. It is our personal duty as clearly, lives are at stake at this time.
If you are already at home, stay there. If you are not at home, go home, and follow the governor’s order. For some students, I realize that home may mean residing with family within a student’s home community, in a rented residence nearby to OSU, or in a university residence hall.
Looking ahead, remain confident that OSU continues to operate and will assist fully all of our undergraduate and graduate students in their pathway to earn a valued, high-quality OSU degree.
Throughout OSU, faculty, advising staff and academic leaders are preparing to fully provide for remote classroom instruction and student support throughout spring term. Research faculty and staff are preparing to manage critical work. OSU Extension and outreach faculty and staff are preparing to provide critical community programming remotely.
Over the next two days, Provost and Executive Vice President Ed Feser and I have asked all OSU supervisors and leaders to complete a detailed plan to continue the critical onsite functions of the university on its campuses in Corvallis and Bend, and at facilities in all of Oregon’s 36 counties. This plan will be in compliance with the governor’s executive orders issued today and on March 18 that suspended in-person instruction and on-site operations at universities and colleges.
I realize that the work that each of our employees engages in is very important. But at this time of public health crisis, we must realize that some functions are more critical to be performed on-site, while others can be provided remotely from home. OSU’s continuity plan to be issued mid-week will define those critical on-site functions, roles and building locations.
For the foreseeable future, join me in staying home and remaining well. By doing so, each of us will reduce the risk and spread of COVID-19 locally and among colleagues at OSU, who are required to work on-site by their critical function.
Please stay out of community environments where maximum social distancing is not possible. I ask our students and employees to put spring break, social gatherings and family events on hold.
While the governor’s order provides for civil and criminal penalties for not complying with this order, I think we all know the most compelling reason to comply with this order: Lives depend on our actions.
Please continue to make a positive difference in this difficult time.
Edward J. Ray