FAQs for Staff and Faculty

What is the latest status on the Fall 2020 study abroad program?
As a result of these growing global travel restrictions, we have made the very difficult decision to suspend all Fall 2020 study abroad programs. This decision was made after careful evaluation of advisories from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. State Department, Overseas Security Advisory Council, World Health Organization, and local public health authorities. ( See official announcement here). Most importantly, this decision was made in the best interest of the health and safety of our students and faculty.

We know this decision will undoubtedly come as a disappointment to our students who were planning to study abroad this Fall. In addition to health and safety, we proactively made this decision so that students can fully participate in registration for Fall 2020 on-campus classes as well the CSB and SJU Residential Life and Housing room selection process.

The Center for Global Education (CGE) team is working diligently to provide students with options to move their study abroad experience to another semester:

Students who were scheduled to be on a Fall 2020 study abroad program can elect to automatically transfer their spot to a place on the Fall 2021 program.

For some Fall 2020 study abroad programs, CGE is working to identify the possibility of moving the Fall 2020 program to Spring 2021. Please note, this option will not be available for all programs given Spring capacity issues at some of our international program sites.

If a student elects not to move their Fall 2020 study abroad program to another semester, they will be refunded the full application fee.

Students scheduled for Fall 2020 study abroad programs have until June 1, 2020 to choose an application refund or to apply their application money to a future study abroad program.

For more information on COVID-19 and Study Abroad, visit the Center for Global Education.
How does COVID-19 impact CSB and SJU’s Spring 2020 Commencement Ceremonies?

When we postponed the May commencement ceremonies, we had hoped to identify a date this summer when we could gather in person to celebrate the Class of 2020. We know the importance of this milestone for our graduates, and we share your preference for an in-person ceremony.

However, given Minnesota’s current  ban on commencement ceremonies, we recognize that it will not be possible to hold the ceremony our graduates deserve this summer. The changing orders by the state require that we continue to discern what might be feasible for an in-person gathering. 

At this point, we are looking for a spring 2021 date for the ceremony, preferably Memorial Day weekend. Thank you to the members of the senior class who have advised our ongoing decision-making. We will continue to engage students as we finalize a plan. Of course, any plans we make will be subject to the approval of government agencies and health officials. 

While we may not be able to gather in person right now to celebrate the Class of 2020, it does not diminish our students’ accomplishments. We share in the joy and pride of our graduates and new CSB/SJU alumnae/i. 

Should I wear a mask if I’m still on campus?
The Minnesota Department of Health recommends wearing cloth face coverings in campus settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., small computer labs and confined library spaced). Cloth face coverings do not include surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Medical grade masks should not be used for this purpose due to the need for those masks to be prioritized in other critical settings. Cloth masks should be created and worn in accordance with CDC guidance. Wearing cloth masks does not replace the need to adhere to frequent hand washing, avoiding touching the face, and practicing social distancing, which are our best tools to help prevent the spread of illness.
How does Minnesota’s Stay at Home Order affect faculty and staff?
Minnesota’s Stay at Home Order is designed to slow the spread of coronavirus in the state. Recently, Governor Tim Walz (D) extended the March 27 Stay at Home Order through Monday, May 18. During this time Minnesotans are asked to stay at home unless absolutely necessary. CSB/SJU faculty and staff who are already working remotely from home as of March 17, including the recently implemented scheduling changes, should continue to work from home until further notice. As the Stay at Home Order indicates, “all workers who can work from home must do so.” However, the Stay at Home Order also identifies higher education as a “Critical Sector.” CSB/SJU employees “who are performing work that cannot be done at their home or residence through telework or virtual work and can be done only at a place of work outside of their home or residence, are exempted” from the Stay at Home Order. Therefore, those workers who are working on campus as of March 17 should continue to report for work on campus. Announcements from the governor and the Minnesota Department of Health in the coming weeks will provide guidance as we plan for summer and beyond. Our goal is to open for fall semester with students on campus, while providing for the safety of our students, faculty and staff.
Are campus events cancelled due to COVID-19?
Since the Governor of Minnesota extended the Stay at Home Order to May 18, we continue to assess when we can safely resume campus events and bring employees back to campus. With our continued focus on ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all community members, we have determined that no events will be held on campus through July 2020. This includes fine arts programming, athletic camps at CSB, student events, weddings, etc. In addition, there will be no student and overnight event housing on campus through August 2020. As mentioned in previous communications, summer internships, undergraduate research and fellowships that were scheduled this summer must be completed remotely and be approved by supervisors and/or faculty.
I am impacted by the evolving local and global COVID-19 situation and I’m anxious and worried. Where can I turn for help?
Resources for CSB and SJU employees can be found at the following website: https://www.csbsju.edu/about/at-a-glance/family-friendly-resources/eap.
Can staff travel?
All college and university-related domestic and international air travel and overnight travel is restricted.
Will staff work remotely?
We encourage employees who can effectively work from home to continue to do so into June. Employees with modified schedules will continue with these schedules into June or until notified by their supervisors. Any additional schedule modifications will be determined by supervisors. CSB and SJU leadership will continue to work through details and provide communication about work expectations and resources.
Will I have access to my office on campus during this time?
Faculty and staff will have access to their offices via their key card as usual, but should limit the time on campus as much as possible.