Skip Repetitive Navigation Links

IMPORTANT Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

March 13, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

Significant efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) are taking place throughout our state, our nation and our world. As we approach the weekend we want to support our campus community by sharing new and updated guidance on several important areas. Please note that, as before, this information is subject to modification based upon rapidly changing circumstances.

Stay Informed. Stay Connected.

As the virus and the response continues to evolve, please make sure to check our website for any updates or send us an email if you have any questions:

Academic Instruction

Classroom Instruction 
The college is cancelling classes from Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 20, 2020.
 During this time, the college will remain open. Faculty members are currently revising instructional plans in order to transition to remote course delivery  through the web, video or teleconferencing tools, and other alternative methods that are available.
On Monday, March 23, classes will resume through online and/or alternative delivery until further notice. All in-person class instruction will be suspended unless an exception has been approved. We will continue to closely monitor this course of action as the situation evolves. 

All faculty will provide guidance to their students for remote course completion.

Additional guidance and resources for instructional continuity will be shared with faculty members from the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Following the schedule of the Rhode Island Department of Education, Henry Barnard School will be closed from Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 20, 2020.

Academic Advising
Academic Affairs and Student Success divisions are working to identify alternative solutions in addition to face-to-face advising, including remote advising. Additional guidance will be forthcoming.

Internships and Clinical Placements
Internships and clinical placements will continue as long as they, their faculty member and on-site supervisor feel it is appropriate to do so. Should students have to stop attending, alternatives are being developed by faculty members.

Music, Theatre and Dance
All rehearsals are cancelled (both on and off-campus) and performance juries will not be held this semester until further notice.

Campus Operations

The college remains open. Please contact the appropriate campus offices for hours of operation.

Effective immediately, the college is limiting external public access to its buildings and facilities until at least April 7 to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Students, faculty and staff will continue to have access to the facilities and buildings. The public can still connect with the college through our website.

We will continue to closely monitor this course of action as the situation evolves. 

Effective immediately, the Little East Conference has suspended play and practice until April 6 or until further notice. Accordingly, all athletic practices and games involving Rhode Island College athletics will be cancelled and/or postponed during this time. Athletic facilities, as with all other campus facilities, shall remain open.

Campus Events
All remaining visual and performing arts events and shows, including those at the Bannister and Chazan Galleries, will be canceled or postponed.

All other events, regardless of size, shall be cancelled or postponed until April 7. We will continue to closely monitor this course of action as the situation evolves. 

If you have questions about campus events, contact the Office of Campus Events and Conference Services at 401-456-8900 or

College Operations and Business Meetings
Each division or unit will continue to establish meeting schedules that are necessary for continued business operations while observing practices that can help to minimize the spread of the virus, such as teleconferencing and videoconferencing. If you should have any questions regarding your division’s operations, please contact your supervisor.

Student Experience

On-Campus Living
Residence halls and the Donovan Dining Center will remain open. Students may remain on campus, but those who choose not to do so may contact the Office of Residential Life and Housing for additional information. For students who choose not to return, refunds will be not issued.

Financial Aid
The Financial Aid Office is available to discuss students’ questions related to their education.

Student Employees and Work Study Students 
We know that many of our students rely upon work study programs to support their educational needs. We are asking each supervisor to communicate with these students to discuss plans regarding students’ return to campus.

Student Activities and Events
The college is cancelling all student events until April 7 or until further notice. We will continue to closely monitor this course of action as the situation evolves. 

As of today, there has been no change to commencement or associated activities. Commencement remains scheduled for Saturday, May 16. As the situation continues to evolve, graduates and their families will be notified well in advance of that date should there be any changes.


Working Remotely
Effective immediately, the college will follow the State of Rhode Island’s Teleworking Policy until further notice. Where telework is a viable work option and an application to telework has been approved by the appropriate administrators in accordance with the Teleworking Policy, the employee may temporarily work from home. Visit the Human Resources website for the appropriate forms.

Leave Periods
Employees out of work due to a mandatory quarantine period as a result of traveling on work-related business are eligible for paid administrative leave. Non-work-related exposure resulting in mandatory quarantine will be covered by available leave options including:

  • Sick leave
  • Family Sick Leave
  • Annual leave (vacation)
  • Personal Days
  • Compensatory time
  • Leave without pay
  • Medical leave without pay  

Employees who are sick and exhaust all available accrued time may request advance sick time in accordance with applicable personnel policy or bargaining agreement rules.

Employees who exhaust all accrued time and advance sick time, may wish to explore sick bank options.

Employees who have been advised to self-quarantine and for whom a telework arrangement is not an option, may discharge accrued vacation, compensatory time, and personal time or take a leave without pay.  All such situations must be discussed with the employee’s immediate supervisor and the Director of Human Resources before they can be approved.

Essential Employees
In the event of any office closures, essential employees who are scheduled to work are expected to report to work unless otherwise excused. Essential employees will vary depending on the time of year and the operation they serve. Your supervisor will notify you if you are an essential employee.

If a case of COVID-19 is reported within the campus community, additional guidance will be provided regarding leave procedures for employees who contract COVID-19 or are exposed to the virus.


Domestic Travel
Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, all college-related non-essential domestic travel by employees is suspended until further notice. Please consult with your supervisor and funding provider to determine whether your college-related employee domestic travel is essential. We urge you to consider alternative methods, such as teleconferencing.  Anyone including students who has traveled domestically should monitor their health for 14 days after returning from travel.& Please check with the CDC for the latest travel information.

International Travel
All college-sponsored international travel has been suspended until further notice, subject to changes based on new information or guidance. If you have traveled internationally in the last 14 days, health care officials are requiring you to self-quarantine for 14 days from the time one has returned to the United States, regardless of travel location. Additional guidance can be provided by the CDC or our Health Services Office.

Students should visit the Student Life website for more information about travel.

Stay Informed. Stay Well. Stay Connected. 

Take care of yourself and our campus community.

Following guidance from the CDC, the college is recommending a number of mitigating activities each of us can take to minimize community transmission of COVID-19 and to promote a healthy campus environment:

  • Create habits and reminders to avoid touching your face and cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze (and immediately dispose of the tissue). 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds, and if soap and water are not available use 60-95% alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. 
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched, such as doorknobs, tables, desks and handrails.
  • Limit food sharing.
  • Stop handshaking and use other noncontact methods of greeting.
  • Maintain distance (approximately six feet or two meters).
  • Increase ventilation by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning.
  • Use teleconferencing and videoconferencing for meetings when possible. If not, hold meetings in open, well-ventilated spaces.
  • Stay home from work and school when you feel sick. 

Our mental health is as important as our physical health. As this situation progresses, we know that anxiety, fear and concern are also increasing. There are a number of resources available to support overall health and well-being during this time. 

Please remember that at Rhode Island College, a healthy environment is also an inclusive environment. The risk for coronavirus is tied to one’s travel history or close contact with someone who has traveled to an impacted area, not someone's nationality. Our college community remains committed to values of diversity and inclusion, and as such, we know that each of you will live those values, even in the midst of the present circumstances. 

Thank you.

Let me reaffirm that our community of students, faculty and staff is extraordinary. I am witnessing first-hand and hearing stories about how members of our campus community are taking bold action to support our students through the semester, all while finding solutions and helping each other through this challenging time. Because of you, we are a stronger community and we will get through this together.

Yours in education,

Frank D. Sánchez

Page last updated: March 16, 2020