Auburn University at Montgomery releases Back to Campus plan for Fall 2020
Auburn University at Montgomery will require students and employees to wear face coverings and observe social distancing in classrooms and other public areas on campus as part of its efforts to resume face-to-face instruction for the Fall 2020 semester.
AUM plans to resume in-person classes on Monday, August 17. Other adjustments made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic include a modified academic calendar that ends face-to-face instruction on November 20 and allows students to complete coursework and final exams remotely after Thanksgiving break.
The full “Re-Opening AUM” guidelines can be viewed online.
“We are excited to welcome students back to campus for a new academic year,” AUM Chancellor Carl A. Stockton said. “Our ‘Re-Opening AUM’ guidelines represent a flexible management plan that will allow us to make adjustments regardless of what course the COVID-19 pandemic may take. While we believe face-to-face instruction best aligns with our mission as a university, we will be prepared to make necessary changes should the need arise.”
Stockton formed an 18-member “Re-Opening AUM” Task Force in April. The primary task force and several subcommittees composed of faculty, staff and students crafted policies and guidelines addressing Health and Safety, Facilities, Academics, Campus Services and Student Affairs. The back-to-campus plan was informed by public health experts and incorporates Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and best practices.
Stockton said the guidelines will be treated as a “living document” and may be subject to change before or during the Fall 2020 semester. The university is currently reviewing options for COVID-19 testing of students before their return to campus and is also exploring the potential use of the “Stay Safe” mobile app as a resource for students and employees to monitor personal health on a daily basis. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey recently announced that a portion of the state’s federal CARES Act relief would be used to fund COVID-19 testing for students at public colleges and universities.
Other key components of the Fall 2020 semester plan include:
“Our plan outlines a variety of health and safety measures for students and employees, including reconfiguration of indoor spaces to promote social distancing and enhanced cleaning of high-contact surfaces,” Stockton said. “It is also important for our campus community to understand that each of us plays a role in our efforts to re-open and remain open. Self-screening, personal hygiene, use of face coverings and social distancing represent just a few of the ways that we can demonstrate care for one another.”
Students will soon receive CARES Act funding
Auburn University at Montgomery students who have submitted applications for Coronavirus, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act emergency funding can expect to begin receiving payments as early as Monday, June 8.
Signed into law by Congress, the CARES Act will provide higher education emergency relief funding to AUM students affected by disruptions during the Spring 2020 semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Grants may be used to offset expenses related to the disruption of campus operations during the spring semester, including housing, tuition, course materials, fees, technology, food, health care, or child care. Eligible students can complete the online application process until all CARES Act funds are exhausted.
Students can only apply one time. If approved, students will receive funds via direct deposit. Students are asked to verify their bank account and routing number. Because payments are processed manually, there may be some delay between application approval and receipt of funds.
In order to qualify for CARES Act grant funding, students must meet the following criteria in accordance with federal guidelines:
Students who withdrew from all spring classes are not eligible to receive funding. The CARES Act does not allow funds to be used for international or DACA students or U.S. citizens who were enrolled exclusively online at the beginning of the Spring 2020 semester.
For more information on the CARES Act, eligibility requirements and the application process, please visit our FAQ page.
Dear AUM faculty and staff,
On May 11, site-critical AUM employees began returning to campus. As we continue to prepare for a planned return to face-to-face course delivery for fall semester, we continue to prioritize the health and safety of our students and employees.
In accordance with CDC guidelines, individuals on-campus are expected to take the following reasonable measures to safeguard the health of the campus community:
4. Practice good hygiene: All employees on campus are expected to:
This guideline is effectively immediately and will continue until modified based on new information and guidance from public health officials. The guidelines are applicable to all employees and contractors on campus. If you have questions or concerns about this policy, please reach out to your supervisor.
Enhanced cleaning measures in place to keep campus healthy
To further ensure the safety of the campus community, Facilities has implemented modified custodial services to allow more time for sanitation and disinfection in campus buildings. To allow for a heightened focus on sanitizing and disinfecting high-touch surfaces, some routine tasks have been deferred from their normal schedules.
Thank you for your remarkable efforts during this challenging time and your continued service to AUM.
Carl A. Stockton, Ph.D.
Students will soon receive information on CARES Act emergency grant application process
Auburn University at Montgomery students who have experienced unexpected financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic will soon be able to apply for emergency relief funding made available through the Coronavirus, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Signed into law by Congress in March, the CARES Act will provide higher education emergency relief funding to AUM students affected by the disruption of disruptions during the Spring 2020 semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The university will soon share information with eligible students on how to apply for CARES Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) grants.
Grants may be used to offset expenses related to the disruption of campus operations during the spring semester, including housing, tuition, course materials, fees, technology, food, health care, or child care.
Eligible students will receive an email with the application form and instructions within the next 7-10 business days.
AUM extends modified operational plan through June 30
On March 15, Auburn University at Montgomery announced the details of its alternative model for remote university operations through May 9.
These operational modifications now will be extended through June 30.
AUM employees who have been approved to perform their job responsibilities remotely should plan to continue to do so through June 30.
AUM leaders will continue to evaluate the appropriate timing for restored on-site operations and will make those decisions in accordance with public health guidance and state and local directives. AUM Chancellor Carl A. Stockton has formed a university task force focused on safely reopening the campus for fall semester.
In addition, beginning on May 10:
For student employees: Spring semester work assignments will end on May 9, with a final pay date of May 15.
As Chancellor Stockton shared on March 20, AUM will continue remote delivery of instruction through Summer 2020. A decision regarding course delivery for Fall 2020 (remotely or on-campus) will be made at a future date.
All on-campus events remain canceled or postponed until further notice. The university calendar is updated daily with online events.
As we continue with our modified operations, please remember that those exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms should not come to campus and should contact their physician.
The operational modifications described above are expected to remain in place through June 30. However, these modifications remain subject to further guidance and directives from federal, state and local authorities. AUM will communicate any necessary modifications as circumstances change. Please monitor the AUM COVID site for the latest information.
During these recent challenging weeks, our faculty and staff have served our students and our institution with extraordinary dedication, adaptability and grace. We are grateful for your remarkable efforts and your continued service to AUM.
Warhawk family –
We have now begun our last week of classes for the 2019-2020 academic year. About this time of year, I tend to click on all the internet slideshows featuring yearbook quotes. Sometimes the best yearbook quotes really do sum up an entire academic year. As I think about a few of the important things for all of us to remember, I was inspired by a few all-time great yearbook quotes.
1. “What a long, strange trip it’s been.”– Jerry Garcia
This has definitely been one of the longest, strangest years of college ever. We have all had to adopt new rhythms, new responsibilities, and new schedules. We have had to change the way we interact with each other and we have had to become very intentional about the ways in which we spend our time.
The reality is that this has not just been a “long, strange trip,” it has also been a stressful, difficult, challenging trip. We all know the challenges of the end of the semester, and we know that they have been compounded by us not being able to be together.
If you’d like to talk with one of our AUM counselors, just email email@example.com or go online to www.aum.edu/counselingservices to schedule an appointment. As challenges continue to come your way, we want you to know that we are here to help and you are never alone.
Also, if you have any questions about your physical health, the AUM Student Health Services now offers tele-health services. Just call 334-244-3281 to schedule an appointment.
2. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao-Tzu
I know that as the end of the semester approaches, the assignments and examinations can be very intimidating. I also know that you can finish strong. It’s not too late to put in the effort and earn excellent grades. The hard work that it takes to prepare for your exams is worth it. You are strong enough to push through all the mental barriers to your success and accomplish great things in the last days of this semester.
We also have a wide variety of resources to help you. Many professors and tutors will be available next Wednesday night for our virtual “Professors and Pajamas.” This AUM tradition takes place on each semester’s Dead Day/Study Day. Join us Wednesday at 7 p.m. at www.aum.edu/pnp.
Also, we encourage you to schedule online tutoring sessions through the Warhawk Academic Success Center by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can alsotalk with one of our Success Advisors by emailing them at WASC@aum.edu.
3. “It’s good, but I know this ain’t the peak though.” – Drake
As we approach the end of the semester, I hope that we can all take an inventory of the things in our lives that are good. The Warhawk family has set itself apart by the way that it has exhibited resilience in the face of disappointments and innovation in the face of crisis. As AUM has sought to reinvent its resources to better serve students, we have learned many lessons in how to improve the AUM experience.
Let me be clear – the best is yet to come. We will get through this pandemic and we will celebrate with each other in big, bold ways. Commencement will be epic. Flight Weeks during the fall 2020 semester will be bigger and louder than ever. Our Warhawks who graduate are entering a world that desperately needs their leadership and their strength. Yes, the best is yet to come for you and for AUM.
Joshua M. Roberts, J.D.
Dean of Students, Diversity & Inclusion
University task force will develop safety plans for reopening campus
Auburn University at Montgomery Chancellor Carl A. Stockton has created a task force focused on safely reopening the campus and restoring normal operations at the appropriate time.
While AUM remains committed to offering all summer coursework remotely, the task force will work to develop guidelines and protocols for the 2020 fall semester. Stockton said that AUM will continue to follow the guidance of public health officials and will take a measured approach in determining how and when to welcome students back to campus and resume face-to-face instruction and services.
“Preserving the safety and well-being of our campus community remains our top priority,” Stockton said. “Our faculty and staff have done an amazing job of serving students through the remote delivery of coursework and services. While there has been ongoing discussion focused on reopening businesses in Alabama and other states, there is no need for us to make abrupt changes. We will continue to provide coursework and services virtually through the end of summer, enabling the task force to devote its full attention to addressing issues related to reopening the campus when the time comes.”
Stockton said the task force will examine how the COVID-19 pandemic, with its impact on public health and the economy, will potentially affect the AUM campus community in the coming year and will develop a plan to restore residential and in-person operations for the fall. The university will seek to answer such questions as what classes and other campus interactions might look like if public health officials recommend limiting group interactions. Other considerations will include enhanced cleaning, housing and facility occupancy, classroom procedures, campus security, and health and wellness programs.
In addition to Chancellor Stockton, the 17-member task force will also include:
“We aim to be proactive in anticipating and meeting the needs of our students, faculty, staff and community partners,” Stockton said. “While we certainly hope to be able to interact with our students and colleagues in-person for fall semester, the COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us of the necessity to remain flexible and adaptable.”
For more information on AUM’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit our web page and Student and Employee FAQ sections
Navigating change during the COVID-19 pandemic
I hope this message finds you and your family members safe and well.
The days since our March 12 announcement of plans to deliver remaining spring semester coursework remotely have seemed like an eternity. The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected our state and nation, creating uncertainty, disrupting routines, bringing financial hardships for many, and claiming many lives.
Through it all, we have made unplanned adjustments to a new way of living and working while striving to serve our students. So many enjoyable elements of the campus experience – athletic events, awards ceremonies, guest speakers, silent disco, intramural sports, performing arts and a commencement ceremony – have been placed on hold as we navigate a new and hopefully temporary “normal.”
Before the pandemic, we had been in the midst of a year worthy of celebration – our 50th anniversary of service to students. While last few weeks have changed how we serve them, I am proud of the way that you, as faculty and staff, have worked to uphold AUM’s mission and deliver on the promise we have made to those we service.
I would like to reiterate my appreciation for you and the manner in which you approached an imposing transitional process with determination, resourcefulness, and grace. Before spring break in March, we offered 248 courses online. After spring break, that number had increased to 1,119 courses. That would not have happened without your willingness to prioritize our students and reinvent traditional face-to-face classes in short order.
I also want to specifically thank AUM Police, as well as our Facilities, Housing and Information Technology Services teams for all that they have done during this time. Other units, such as the Student Health Clinic, Counseling and Health Promotion Services, Wellness Center, and Warhawk Academic Success Center have been creative in anticipating and meeting the needs of our students. And, most recently, we hosted a highly successful Virtual Grad Studies Preview Night that leveraged the skills, creativity, and expertise of faculty and staff from each of our colleges, as well as a variety of units. Within the last few weeks, we were also pleased to announce a partnership with Baptist Health that would enable employees working on the front lines of coronavirus patient care to utilize an unoccupied residence hall.
These groups and initiatives represent a few of the many examples of AUM displaying its best in trying times. Our Office of Human Resources recently set up a recognition opportunity for “Warhawk Champions,” employees who have gone “above and beyond” to serve the needs of students, faculty, and staff. I encourage you to nominate individuals for this recognition.
So many of you have continued to approach your daily work with energy and enthusiasm while also adding additional jobs – directly managing the education of your own children as K-12 schools converted to remote delivery or caring for family members with high levels of vulnerability amid the pandemic.
While there is ongoing discussion of when Alabama will “re-open” its economy, I can assure you that Auburn University at Montgomery will not act in haste. As much as we may long to see in-person those students and colleagues we have only been interacting with on Zoom, we remain committed to offering courses remotely through the end of summer semester.
While we hope to be able to resume traditional campus operations and instruction for fall semester, we will continue to adhere to the guidance provided by public health officials. I have formed a university committee that will focus on when and how to safely resume face-to-face services and instruction.
During this period of uncertainty, we will rely on our core values in guiding future decisions. We will continue to put the safety and well-being of our campus community above all else. Even as we prepare for the future – whatever it may look like – we must be mindful of the physical and emotional toll of this pandemic and care for one another.
Thank you for all that you have done – and continue to do – as faculty and staff. Be safe and be well.
Carl A. Stockton, Ph.D.
Auburn University at Montgomery calls for Warhawk Champion Recognition
AUM calls for recognition for those who have gone above and beyond to serve during this time. Please go to Warhawk Champions. Check out those that have been recognized already and take a moment to give a shout-out to someone that should be.
Auburn University at Montgomery adapts to governor’s stay-at-home order
In keeping with the stay-at-home order issued by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, Auburn University at Montgomery will restrict access to most campus buildings and limit remaining on-campus staff to those who provide critical infrastructure support.
All campus facilities, with the exception of the Taylor Center, will be locked with access restricted to only those individuals authorized to enter. Employees who need to collect items from their offices and do not have key access to their building should contact their department heads or supervisors or AUM Police at 334-244-3424. Employees should be able to present their AUM identification to campus police.
The governor’s stay-at-home order, issued on Friday, April 3, will take effect on Saturday, April 4, at 5 p.m., and remain in place until at least April 30. The order states that individuals should remain at home unless they are performing “essential activities.”
Exceptions to the stay-at-home order include:
While the majority of AUM’s employees will continue to work remotely, several units will continue to address operational needs with rotations of personnel or limited numbers of staff members on-site. These units include AUM Police, Admissions, Facilities, Financial Aid, Honors Program, Housing & Residence Life, Housekeeping, Information Technology Services, Mailroom, Registrar and the Student Health Clinic. Dining Services will maintain operating hours Monday-Friday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., to serve campus housing residents, while mail services will operate Monday-Friday, from 8 a.m. to noon. Warhawk Transit operations are suspended indefinitely.
A message to our student body
What a week for the Warhawks!
I would like to congratulate all AUM students for successfully making it through our first week of distance learning. When we began the semester just 73 days ago, none of us expected to be finishing the semester scattered across the country and completely reliant on Blackboard, Zoom, FaceTime, and social media to connect us.
This week, I have had the opportunity to speak with students who have remained on campus, students who have moved back to tend to their families in places like Mobile and Birmingham, students who are in cities with “shelter in place” ordinances, and even students who are unexpectedly stuck out of the country. Each interaction has instilled in me a great sense of pride in our Warhawk family. I see students making decisions that promote public safety, deepen our sense of community, and shine a light of positivity into our world.
I also want to thank you all for your tremendous patience and understanding during this challenging time. AUM leaders are involved in nearly non-stop daily meetings focused on meeting the challenges that we are facing and crafting the most student-friendly solutions that are possible. For instance, it was heartbreaking to announce yesterday that our spring Commencement ceremony will be postponed, but we are pleased to announce that we are moving forward with plans to make sure that every graduate has the opportunity on August 15 to walk across the stage and to invite their loved ones to share in that special moment.
In fact, I have spent a lot of time thinking about the ways that we can celebrate together once we are all back on campus. While I do not know everything that the future holds, I do know that it involves a giant party once socialization is safe without a 6-foot buffer zone – an opportunity for us to get together again and celebrate our resilience and the ways that we worked hard to finish Spring 2020 strong.
As we continue to respond to new public health updates, I want to assure you that AUM’s top priority is your health and safety. Our faculty, staff, and administration have worked overtime to establish creative ways to make major adjustments, allowing almost all of our student support services to be delivered online and significantly reducing the risk that anyone would face during this historic pandemic.
As new developments emerge, please visit AUM’s COVID-19 resource page for coronavirus-related updates across a wide range of relevant topics, as well as a Student FAQ section that we’re continuing to populate with information.
Campus remains open, but with classes moving online many of you have decided to stay home. To that end, all of our academic and support services are, to the extent possible, available virtually. I encourage you to continue to utilize the Warhawk Help Portal for any questions that you have. The Warhawk Help Portal is your one-stop shop for any inquiry related to campus changes.
As we think about beginning the weekend and creating sustainable practices to help our community during this time of social-distancing and growing anxiety, I want to encourage you to take a few, or all, of these practical steps to enrich your relationships and strengthen your community.
STAY CONNECTED. Use social media frequently to help others see you. Your friends and peers want to know how you are doing, so keep those social media platforms sparking. Now is a great time to share stories of creativity, frustration, and all of the realness associated with our present situation.
RAISE AWARENESS. There are a lot of needs in our communities right now. There are food shortages, personal protective gear shortages, financial strains, and more. Our world is full of organizations that are doing wonderful things to help those in need and those organizations will all benefit from your help raising awareness. When you see an organization that is doing amazing work, we’d love for you to share it and help raise awareness of how others can support them and be inspired by their example.
SHOW SOME LOVE. Send a kind email to a professor or advisor or anyone else at AUM that has been helpful and supportive during this time. When you notice someone going the extra mile, you’ll make their day by letting them know that you appreciate their thoughtfulness and hard work. Many of the same concerns you are currently wrestling with are also shared by your professors, advisors and others who are working to assist you.
INCREASE YOUR ACADEMIC FOCUS. In light of all the distractions around us, it will take an extra measure of purpose to perform well academically. Engage with your faculty in virtual office hours. Schedule an appointment for online tutoring through the Warhawk Academic Success Center or Instructional Support Lab. Create virtual study groups to prepare for exams. Above all, we want you to be mindful of the academic resources that are still available for you to utilize this semester.
BE SENSITIVE. Social distancing and quarantining can often create a sense of dread. Think about people in your life that could use a little voice-to-voice contact. Maybe it’s someone who is isolated because they are in a high-risk demographic, maybe it’s just someone you haven’t seen in a while. Never underestimate the profound impact that you can have by simply calling someone and telling them, “You’ve been on my mind and I just wanted to hear your voice.”
At AUM, our goal is for you to become the kind of leader that our world needs. We want you to be changed by the educational process in ways that make you a strong, wise, and compassionate leader. The stories that I have seen emerge this week make it clear that our students truly are the MIGHTY Warhawks. I’m grateful for the ways that you have all brought your best to this situation and made Warhawk Nation more like Warhawk Family.
Dean of Students, Diversity & Inclusion
Update: Commencement ceremony plans, summer course delivery, as well as temporary changes to grading and course withdrawal date
Dear Auburn University at Montgomery Family:
Over the last few weeks, we have been confronted by an extraordinary set of circumstances that have impacted — and continue to cause upheaval for — our campus, city, state, and nation. Meeting the immense challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic requires adjustments to be made.
We have modified the manner in which we provide course instruction and deliver campus services. We have curtailed activities and observed the social distancing practices recommended by public health officials. After much deliberation, we will institute additional changes that are necessary under the present circumstances.
We will provide all of our summer courses via remote delivery. While we had hoped the public safety concerns connected to COVID-19 would pass quickly, we believe this decision best safeguards the well-being of our students and employees. Registration for summer courses begins this week, and we are offering a Summer Incentive Scholarship Program for first-time AUM undergraduate and graduate students.
We will delay our Spring 2020 commencement ceremony, an important and unavoidable step for the health of our community. While our spring Class of 2020 will earn their degrees in May and become AUM alumni, the formal celebration of their success will be observed on Saturday, August 15. We delayed this decision as long as possible in the hopes that the COVID-19 pandemic would show signs of subsiding and that we would be able to gather for our university’s most special occasion at our usual time.
Of all the decisions that we’ve had to make during this difficult period, this one has been the most heartbreaking. This spring semester should be about our graduates completing their degrees and celebrating years of hard work with professors, family, and friends. However, this change is necessary in light of public health guidance regarding the avoidance of large gatherings. We will share information about how our graduates will receive their diplomas as soon as we have it, as well as a schedule for the August celebration. We hope that the timing of this decision will allow graduates, as well as their families and loved ones, time to plan accordingly.
We understand that this decision may add to the stress and uncertainty many of you are undoubtedly experiencing. That is why we have made some temporary adjustments to our academic policies. AUM’s Office of the Provost has examined grading options for students and faculty, as well as course withdrawal dates, and developed the following initiatives:
AUM will extend the deadline for students to drop a course with a “W” to Friday, April 24. Students are encouraged to consult with their academic advisors to understand how withdrawal might affect academic progression.
AUM will also offer a temporary expansion of pass/fail options. Once letter grades have been entered for Spring 2020 courses by the faculty, students will have the opportunity to request conversion of any passing grade to an “S” and any failing grade to a “U.” This temporary change will not impact how faculty members assign grades in their classes, but it will offer students the option to request a possible change after reviewing their final grades. S/U (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory) grades are not included in grade point average determinations and do not impact students’ GPA for “Satisfactory Academic Progress,” an important measure for continued financial aid.
Please visit our COVID-19 resource page and find additional details about the expansion of pass/fail options in the Student and Employee FAQ sections.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our everyday routines, but some things remain durable in this moment. Our faculty and staff remain committed to helping AUM students achieve success. And our soon-to-be graduates will build on the legacy of their predecessors by utilizing their education and talents to make their communities stronger through their work as educators, healthcare workers, entrepreneurs, researchers and more.
I remain immensely proud of AUM’s students, faculty, and staff during a period that presents a formidable but not insurmountable test for all of us. We will pass it because we are the Mighty Warhawks.
AUM Counseling Expert provides tips to maintain your mental health during Coronavirus outbreak
As changes continue to take place altering daily routines, travel, academic studies, and interactions with others due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), there will be thoughts of fear, moments of panic and uncertainty, and periods of anxiety.
Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM) students, faculty, staff, or anyone, can safeguard their mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak and quarantine periods by properly managing strong emotions, anxiety and feelings of helplessness, said Greta Chambless, director of AUM Counseling and Health Promotion Services (CHPS).
“It’s key to know during these uncertain times the importance of self-care and educating others about mental health to help breakdown stigmas associated with mental illness,” Chambless said. “Students especially can benefit from proper self-care because it helps to improve their mental health in addition to their personal and academic lives.”
To maintain your mental health and well-being during this period, Chambless recommends the following six self-care approaches:
About AUM Counseling and Health Promotion Services
AUM’s Counseling and Health Promotion Services office is staffed by licensed counselors and provides free confidential counseling services to all current students in a safe, nonjudgmental and confidential space. The office offers crisis interventions, individual counseling, group counseling, assessments, and referrals to students. Services also include free consultation, outreach, educational programs and trainings for students, faculty, and staff.
AUM employee reports positive test for COVID-19
An Auburn University at Montgomery employee has reported testing positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
The employee has observed self-isolation at home since reporting potential exposure. We wish them the best in their recovery process.
AUM has notified those employees who may have been exposed to the employee through workplace interaction. Those individuals have been asked to observe a 14-day self-quarantine.
The employee was last on campus March 16 and is not believed to have had contact with any students or with employees beyond those who have been contacted directly by the university.
The Alabama Department of Public Health does not currently recommend additional measures beyond those described, but AUM will continue to monitor the situation and will advise appropriate individuals or groups accordingly should that change.
For more information about COVID-19, please visit our COVID-19 web page and FAQ sections for students and employees.
A message to our faculty and staff: AUM community appreciates your efforts
Dear Faculty and Staff:
I know that, for all of you, these are particularly uncertain times as we adjust processes and amend policies in responding to the challenges COVID-19 presents to our campus, community, state, nation, and world. Each day brings new information about how to mitigate the spread of the virus, which in turn necessitates change at a far more accelerated pace than we may be accustomed to in academia.
Please know that your efforts, as faculty and staff, are greatly appreciated. Many of you worked during your spring break to help prepare our students for the transition to remote learning while also balancing care for your own families as public schools announced closures and “social distancing” became a facet of our daily lives.
Our students also face considerable uncertainty as we collectively navigate challenging and rapidly changing circumstances. While we have tried to proactively address the items that are top of mind for our students, they may express unanticipated concerns or needs to their professors and staff members. Please encourage your students to direct these matters to our online Warhawk Help portal, and to utilize the FAQ section of our COVID-19 web presence.
With this being our first week back from spring break and our first experiment with a different operational and instructional model, it is expected that some of our processes will have rocky beginnings until we have an opportunity to test and refine them. These experiences represent learning opportunities for all of us and will help us become more effective in serving the needs of our students.
Each of our decisions during this uncertain time has been guided by the imperative of preserving the health and well-being of our campus community. Beyond that, we are focused on delivering – with as minimal disruption as possible – the high-quality educational experience and campus services our students have come to expect.
We do not yet know whether the COVID-19 will allow for a return to normalcy in short order or whether the changes we have made in response represent a new normal for an extended period. I can, however, say this with complete certainty: There is no doubt about who we are as a campus community.
Our faculty and staff are strong, compassionate, student-focused, creative, resourceful, and resilient. We will work together to ensure the needs of our campus community are met.
I want to thank each of you again for going the extra mile to help our students and the AUM family during this time of uncertainty. I firmly believe we will get past all of this.
Please continue to take care of yourself, your loved ones, and your fellow AUM Warhawks during this difficult time.
Update regarding AUM student housing
As mentioned in an earlier email, Auburn University at Montgomery will offer remote course delivery rather than face-to-face instruction for the remainder of the spring semester.
Based on guidance from public health officials regarding COVID-19, AUM encourages students not to return to campus residence halls. However, residence halls will remain open for those students who have a need for housing.
Those students who do not plan to return to campus housing this semester are encouraged to make arrangements to collect personal belongings and return room keys the week of March 23. Student accounts will be credited for the remainder of the semester once room keys have been returned.
Please complete our housing intent form to help us ensure that we meet the needs of our resident students and effectively assist those who wish to collect their belongings.
For additional questions, please contact Housing & Residence Life by email or call 334-244-3296.
AUM will continue to keep the campus community informed of new developments as details become available. Visit our COVID-19 resource page for all announcements pertaining to course delivery and campus operations.
Auburn University at Montgomery will continue remote course delivery through end of spring semester
In the interest of safeguarding students, faculty and staff, Auburn University at Montgomery’s plan to deliver course instruction remotely rather than face to face will be extended through the end of the spring 2020 semester.
AUM had initially planned to begin the transition to remote course delivery on Monday, March 23, on the first scheduled class day after spring break, and return to in-person instruction after April 10. The university has modified its plan in accordance with guidance provided by public health officials on mitigating the community spread of COVID-19.
“The safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff is our No. 1 priority,” AUM Chancellor Carl A. Stockton said. “We have continued to monitor developments with COVID-19, and have planned for a variety of scenarios. As circumstances change, we will be prepared to change with them.”
While no confirmed cases of COVID-19 have involved AUM students or employees, public health officials have encouraged individuals to engage in social distancing, maintaining a buffer zone of at least 6-feet, and exercising careful hygiene to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve.
AUM encourages students not to return to campus. However, residence halls will remain open for students who have a need for housing.
The university is maintaining campus-based staff in key operational units, including AUM Police, Admissions, Facilities, Financial Aid, Housing & Residence Life, Information Technology Services, Library, the Office of Global Initiatives, Online and Digital Learning, the Office of the Registrar, Student Health Services, the Warhawk Academic Success Center and Warhawk Transit.
While normal on-campus dining has been suspended, the university will continue to offer an array of pre-packaged foods and beverages for on-campus resident students. Students with specific needs or questions are encouraged to utilize the university’s Warhawk Help Portal.
Earlier this month, AUM canceled or postponed all campus events through April 10 and encouraged employees to work remotely. Those protocols will remain in place. No decisions have been made yet regarding the university’s spring commencement ceremony, which is currently scheduled for Saturday, May 9.
“Our faculty and staff have demonstrated remarkable dedication and resourcefulness in adjusting to a unique and fluid situation,” Stockton said. “We will do everything possible to minimize disruptions for our students as they continue their coursework, and we will continue to provide the high level of support and service they have come to expect.”
Transition to alternate operating model
Auburn University at Montgomery has transitioned to an alternate operating model. At this time, AUM continues to conduct full university operations. Supervisors are encouraged to be as flexible as possible to help minimize the spread of illness. Where possible, remote working is encouraged.
Where remote work is not operationally feasible, supervisors are encouraged to work with employees to establish flexible schedules that may allow those employees to come to work for all or part of their regular work hours.
All current employees will continue to be paid at their regular rate of pay through the spring term, even if they are unable to perform their normal job responsibilities.
Please see below for guidance, which is relevant while we are in alternate operating mode.
Administrative/Professional (A&P) and Faculty (Exempt) Employees
Full-time A&P and Faculty employees will be paid 40 hours per week.
Part-time A&P and Faculty employees will be paid based on their FTE, as they are today.
University Staff (Non-Exempt) Employees
Full-time Staff employees will be ensured payment of 40 hours per week, and any additional appropriate compensation for hours worked over 40 in the workweek. All Staff employees who are working will continue to clock in using Kronos, whether working on campus or remotely, to ensure proper payment of overtime and any relevant differential pay (shift differential, lead pay, etc.).
Part-time Staff employees will be ensured payment of the average of hours that were worked for biweekly pay periods 2-5 (January 5 – February 29, 2020). All Staff employees who are working will continue to clock in using Kronos, whether working on campus or remotely, to ensure proper payment of overtime and any relevant differential pay (shift differential, lead pay, etc.).
Temporary Employment Services Employees (TES) and Student Employees
All TES and Student employees will be ensured payment during this time, and will be paid an average of hours that were worked for biweekly pay periods 2-5 (January 5 – February 29, 2020). All TES and student employees who are working will continue to clock in using Kronos, whether working on campus or remotely, to ensure proper payment of overtime and any relevant differential pay (shift differential, lead pay, etc.).
Guidance for clocking in from home will be communicated shortly. Additionally timekeepers will receive guidance about payroll processing responsibilities in the coming days.
Note that this guidance may change as we consider the University’s response to this pandemic. We will evaluate employment options beyond spring term based on information at that time. Visit AUM’s COVID-19 resource page for new developments.
University finalizes temporary adjustments to business operations
While most Auburn University at Montgomery employees will be encouraged to work remotely between now and April 10, the university will remain open and attentive to the needs of current students, faculty, staff, and prospective students.
Several units will maintain campus-based staffing to provide ongoing service. These units include:
Each of these units will have at least one staff member present daily and will adhere to social distancing and other guidelines recommended by public health officials to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Campus trash will continue to be picked up daily, while all housing common areas and core administrative and academic buildings will be cleaned daily. The university mailroom will maintain hours Monday-Friday, from 8 a.m. to noon.
Students with specific questions or needs are encouraged to utilize our online Warhawk Help portal. Employees with questions may reach out to their supervisors. We will continue to provide new information as it becomes available, via email, AUM social media accounts, and our COVID-19 resources web page. Please continue to monitor each of these touch points on a regular basis.
Message from Dr. Carl Stockton, Chancellor of Auburn University at Montgomery – University finalizing plan to modify operations
Based on Alabama Department of Public Health updates on novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases within Alabama and Montgomery County, Auburn University at Montgomery will temporarily modify its business operations in order to safeguard staff and faculty as much as possible while also continuing to serve the needs of its students.
Senior university leaders will finalize an updated operational plan on Monday. All AUM employees who can perform their work assignments remotely will be asked to do so as soon as possible, but no later than the close of business on Monday, March 16.
We are focused on preserving the most essential functions of the university with the minimum possible number of campus-based personnel to maintain recommended public health practices of “social distancing.” This model is expected to be in effect through Friday, April 10, unless circumstances dictate otherwise.
Final determinations on assigned work locations for employees (on-campus vs. remote) will be made by supervisors based on each employee’s assigned job responsibilities and whether they support a critical element of university operations. Supervisors should communicate as soon as possible with employees in their units to discuss arrangements.
We will continue to provide new information as it becomes available, via email, AUM social media accounts, and our COVID-19 resources web page . Please continue to monitor each of these touch points on a regular basis. As conditions change, we will be prepared to adapt to them.
This is not an easy time for our campus, our state or our nation. Please know that I appreciate the patience, dedication, resourcefulness, and resilience of our amazing AUM staff and faculty. Thank you for all that you have done, and continue to do.
Message to students from Dr. Josh Roberts, Dean of Students, Diversity and Inclusion
Warhawk Family –
I want to provide a series of updates regarding the Auburn University at Montgomery community and the COVID-19 virus. This is a challenging time. We are simultaneously making decisions in the best interest of public health and the safety of the AUM community, as well as grieving the loss of experiences that we were looking forward to sharing together – moments ranging from community and campus events, student organization activities, Spring Break travel, athletic events, class presentations, group projects and more.
Please know that we are dedicated to making decisions that put safety first and strike the appropriate balance in proactively addressing the realities surrounding us without unnecessarily complicating AUM’s mission to provide education.
AUM campus leaders are diligently deliberating on the best protocols to adopt during this global emergency. These protocols are being developed in consultation with public health officials, Auburn University administrators, networks of experts, medical providers, and governmental officials. Many decisions can only be made once full campus operations are restored, and many more decisions will be made by campus service departments through the next few days.
We expect to provide more detailed information on changes to campus operations beginning next week.
In the meantime, I would like to share with you some updates:
WARHAWK HELP PORTAL
On Monday, a new Warhawk Help portal will launch on your MyAUM homepage. This portal will serve as your one-stop shop to ask any questions regarding the changes to AUM’s normal operations and any student support services that you may need. This user-friendly portal will allow you to select from a wide variety of categories and submit any question that you may have regarding the effect of AUM’s COVID-19 precautions and any needs you may have. We ask that, beginning on Monday morning, all inquiries regarding campus changes and student needs be directed to the Warhawk Help Portal. This system is designed to expedite the university’s ability to meet your needs as quickly as possible.
HOUSING AND RESIDENCE LIFE
While campus activities will be postponed or canceled during this time, we believe that it is important to allow AUM students the opportunity to utilize the resources that they have, including campus housing facilities. While we are pleased that we are not closing our residence halls, we anticipate adopting a series of additional rules designed to promote social distancing practices and maximize public health. Such rules will include changes to the campus visitor polices and alterations to the authorized capacities of university common spaces.
CAMPUS DINING SERVICES
Campus Dining Services will begin adopting additional precautionary practices to ensure food safety. This will include a temporary suspension of traditional dining services and a significant increase in the availability of pre-packaged food and bottled beverages available throughout campus. In an effort to serve students, all prices on bottled and pre-packaged items will be discounted or sold at cost.
Warhawk Transit will operate Monday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Warhawk Transit will also be restricting rider capacity at below the maximum levels in order to ensure additional space between all passengers.
STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS & CAMPUS ACTIVITIES
All campus activities will be postponed or canceled until at least April 10. We know that this complicates a wide variety of organization activities including elections. Student organization sponsors and officers will be receiving information about accommodations that can be made to help student organization functions return quickly and with minimal interruption once full campus operations resume.
The Wellness Center will remain closed during this time. It is our desire to limit access to high-risk environments that may lead to significant increases in public infection rates.
HEALTH CONCERNS / POTENTIAL COVID-19 CASES
Student Health Services will maintain regular hours of operation during Spring Break and throughout the period in which AUM is utilizing remote instruction. All students (or campus employees) who suspect exposure are asked to call Student Health Services at 334-244-3281. Any student contacting Student Health Services will be asked a series of questions provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Students who meet the criteria for COVID-19 will be asked to present to Student Health Services. The student will be examined and if determined to meet criteria, will be referred to the Alabama Department of Public Health to undergo testing and receive care. While AUM will take every possible step to minimize the potential for COVID-19 to affect students, faculty and staff, it is important for you to know the facts about how healthcare professionals are handling potential cases.
If a student does not feel well enough to present to the clinic, a Student Health Services staff member will be made available to go to the student’s room and evaluate. At any time, a student who has difficulty breathing should be triaged to the closest emergency department.
Any student who is determined to be a likely case of infection or a confirmed case, but does not meet the criteria for admission to a local hospital, will be isolated from other students and assisted with care by a staff member who has personal protective equipment.
We appreciate your flexibility and commitment to safety during this time. Our desire is to protect students, faculty, and staff and avoid unnecessary risks. Our goal remains, as always, to be a model of safety, compassionate care, and innovation.
We believe in your future, and all of these decisions are designed to put students first and meet your needs.
Thank you in advance for your patience, cooperation, and partnership.
Alabama Department of Public Health confirms COVID-19 case in Montgomery County
On Friday, March 13, the Alabama Department of Public Health reported one confirmed case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Alabama. ADPH reported that one Montgomery County resident, who had traveled outside the state and returned, was tested on Thursday. The test result came back as positive Friday morning.
Updates on confirmed cases within Alabama will be available on the ADPH website: http://alabamapublichealth.gov/infectiousdiseases/2019-coronavirus.html
Gulf South Conference suspends all athletic activities
The Gulf South Conference, the NCAA Division II league in which Auburn University at Montgomery is a member, has suspended all athletic activities to help safeguard student-athletes, coaches, support staff and spectators.
Learn more: https://aumathletics.com/news/2020/3/13/baseball-gulf-south-conference-suspends-all-athletic-activity.aspx
AUM moves to online classes effective Monday, March 23.
Auburn University at Montgomery will temporarily move from in-person instruction to remote delivery of course content. The change in course delivery will become effective on Monday, March 23, after AUM’s spring break, and will remain in effect until Friday, April 10, unless circumstances dictate an extension. AUM faculty will contact students on steps they should take to continue their academic coursework. Our goal is to resume in-person instruction as soon as it is reasonable to do so.
While no confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Alabama as of this announcement, we believe this decision is necessary to safeguard our students, faculty and staff. Based on information available from epidemiologists and public health authorities, the best course of action is to try to limit potential exposure through “social distancing” in order to protect members of the campus community.
We encourage AUM students to make wise decisions regarding their health and safety. They may choose to go home during spring break and continue their studies online from there through April 10. Our residence halls will remain open, and no student is required to leave. The Wellness Center and normal dining operations will be closed between March 14 and April 10. Alternate dining options will be available. Additional information on dining and residence halls will be forthcoming to students.
There may be a few challenges associated with the temporary transition from campus-based, face-to-face instruction to alternative delivery formats. We are doing everything possible to minimize disruptions to university operations and maintain a high-quality educational experience for our students. We appreciate everyone’s patience during this transitional period.
See Chancellor’s Message to Students here.
Coronavirus information session to be held Tuesday, March 10.
AUM Student Health Services will host a coronavirus (COVID-19) information session on Tuesday, March 10 from 5 – 6 p.m. in Taylor Center 221. The session will include an overview of travel precautions, prevention methods, and how to identify the difference between the flu and COVID-19. A Q&A session will follow. The session is free and open to all students, faculty, staff and student organization leaders.
University suspends sponsored international travel
Following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding novel coronavirus (COVID-2019), Auburn University at Montgomery will temporarily suspend all sponsored international travel for faculty and staff.
All future sponsored international travel for the purposes of conducting Auburn University at Montgomery business will require the approval of the Office of the Chancellor until the suspension is lifted. Last week, AUM announced the suspension of all study abroad activities to protect the safety of students and and faculty.
According to the World Health Organization, as of March 3, COVID-2019 cases have been reported in more than 70 countries. While there are no known cases of the virus in Alabama at this time, the CDC reports that cases have been been confirmed in 12 states — Georgia, Florida, Texas, California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
AUM will continue to closely monitor updates and follow guidance from the CDC, the Alabama Department of Public Health and the U.S. Department of State.
As a reminder, with spring break approaching, AUM strongly advises all students, faculty or staff planning personal international travel to closely monitor COVID-2019 alerts and precautions at all layovers and final destinations. Travelers are also encouraged to register for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, a free service provided by the U.S. Department of State that informs U.S. citizens and nationals of safety conditions in destination countries and provides information in the case of natural disasters, civil unrest or other emergencies. No matter where you plan to travel internationally, those plans may be disrupted or altered by changing conditions connected to the spread of COVID-2019.
Updated Guidance from Scott Harris, M.D., M.P.H., Alabama State Health Officer
The situation continues to evolve rapidly. The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is asking that all universities and colleges implement their plans to mitigate and control the spread of disease on their campuses. Students and staff returning from Level 3 or Level 2 countries with active community transmission may have been exposed to COVID-19 and ADPH recommends students and staff self-monitor for 14 days after leaving the affected area. In addition, citizens can call 211 for answers to common questions beginning on or after March 3, 2020.
The best way to prevent illness it to limit exposure to potentially ill persons. All students and staff should use “respiratory etiquette” and practice the following preventative actions:
University suspends study abroad trips due to coronavirus concerns
In response to the spread of novel coronavirus, Auburn University at Montgomery will suspend future study abroad activities in the interest of prioritizing student and faculty safety.
While there are no known cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-2019) in Alabama at this time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that an outbreak of the disease has spread throughout China and to more than 50 other countries and territories, including the United States. While the State Department has not issued travel restrictions for countries other than China due to coronavirus, restrictions could take effect for additional countries.
AUM will continue to closely monitor updates and follow guidance from such agencies as the CDC, the Alabama Department of Public Health and the U.S. Department of State.
AUM strongly advises all students, faculty or staff planning international travel for spring break or the summer to closely monitor COVID-2019 alerts and precautions at all layovers and final destinations. Travelers are also encouraged to register for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, a free service provided by the U.S. Department of State that informs U.S. citizens and nationals of safety conditions in destination countries and provides information in the case of natural disasters, civil unrest or other emergencies. No matter where you plan to travel internationally, those plans may be disrupted or altered by changing conditions connected to the spread of COVID-2019.
AUM encourages members of the campus community to prevent the spread of the flu and other respiratory diseases by following the guidelines offered by the CDC. These tips include:
AUM Student Health Services has provided additional information on novel coronavirus, as well as additional tips and best practices here: ADPH Coronavirus Guidance February 2020.pdf. Located in Irma B. Moore Hall Room 102, Student Health Services offers a primary care clinic for AUM students. Services include health screenings, physical examinations, immunizations and laboratory testing.
AUM will provide updates as new information becomes available.
What is novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?
2019-nCoV is a newly identified coronavirus that is causing an outbreak of pneumonia illness. It was first identified in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.
Since then, the virus has been identified in multiple other countries, including cases in the U.S.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), human coronaviruses are common throughout the world and usually cause mild to moderate illness in people. This new virus is a public health concern because:
What is the risk?
The CDC considers this new virus a public health concern based on current information. The CDC and the World Health Organization are closely monitoring the situation and providing ongoing guidance.
Symptoms and transmission:
Symptoms may be flu-like, ranging from mild to serious, and include:
The CDC recommends avoiding non-essential travel to Wuhan, China. Chinese officials have closed transport within and out of Wuhan, including buses, subways, trains, and the airport. AUM strongly advises all students, faculty or staff planning international travel for spring break or the summer, including study abroad opportunities, to closely monitor COVID-2019 alerts and precautions at all layovers and final destinations. Travelers are also encouraged to register for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, a free service provided by the U.S. Department of State that informs U.S. citizens and nationals of safety conditions in destination countries and provides information in the case of natural disasters, civil unrest or other emergencies. No matter where you plan to travel internationally, those plans may be disrupted or altered by changing conditions connected to the spread of COVID-2019.
If you must travel:
People infected with 2019-nCoV should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. Currently, there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for 2019-nCoV infection. (source: CDC)
There is no vaccine to prevent this virus, and the CDC advises that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
Here are everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:
Recommendations for people with respiratory symptoms:
If you have symptoms of fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing and in the last 14 days you:
What is the campus health service doing about 2019-nCoV?
Currently, AUM is monitoring the situation as it develops and will provide updates as necessary. A
Campus Health Resources
A primary care clinic is available for AUM students at Student Health Services in Irma B. Moore Hall Room 102. Students can receive care from a certified registered nurse practitioner for a nominal co-payment. Services include health screenings, physical examinations and laboratory testing.
Taylor Center 101
7400 East Drive Montgomery, AL 36117
8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday