Health Alert | Coronavirus (COVID-19)

In an effort to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, University employees are working remotely to support students and continue business operations.

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Current Students | CARES Act Grants

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Employee Update | May 28, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to you today with the message that the University, consistent with our practice since March 16, will extend paid status to employees through June 12. In extending this paid status, Rivier acknowledges the Governor’s current executive order and the gradual reopening of New Hampshire businesses.

In addition to this notice, let me sincerely thank each of you for your many efforts seen and unseen and acknowledge those working both remotely and on campus including the maintenance, custodial, grounds staff, and those ensuring business continuity across the University. Your consistent efforts have not gone unnoticed by our students and their families.

As the New Hampshire economy gradually opens up, Rivier remains committed to the health and safety of our entire community. Through best practices, education, screening and common sense, we will create an environment in which we can welcome the Class of 2024 and returning students to campus. Kurt Stimeling, Vice President for Student Affairs and Chair of the Emergency Operations Planning Committee, is working with a representative group from across the campus to anticipate a phased reopening of offices as we prepare for the fall semester.

No doubt you and I are reading and listening to multiple messages and directives on how campuses across the country are thinking through various scenarios, and Rivier is no exception. The University is committed to planning and communicating with all employees the timing and circumstances of this incremental return to campus. Rivier’s return to campus protocols will be distributed with ample time and initial flexibility for employees to coordinate a safe return to campus.

Little did we know that this new dimension of transformation would be thrust upon us and you have responded with generosity of spirit. I trust you and your families are well, and I thank you again for your continuing contributions which collectively strengthen the Rivier community.

Sincerely,
Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM
President

Employee Update | May 8, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

On Friday, May 1, Governor Sununu issued a modified Stay-at-Home 2.0 order effective until May 31 with guidance for specific industries related to health services, retail stores, hair salons, and restaurants.

As a result of this guidance and consistent with Rivier’s guiding principles including the importance of the health and safety of our community, the application of science to decision making, and our mutual responsibility as citizens, the University will extend paid status for employees through Friday, May 29.

Tomorrow would have been the University’s 85th Commencement, a period of celebration preceded by the excitement and enthusiasm of year-end ceremonies. A time of recognition, not only for our students but also for you as faculty and staff who have accompanied these students on their journey of transformation.

In contrast to last year’s memories, each of us continues to acknowledge the uncertainties of daily life. Family considerations, health concerns, the employment anxieties of many friends and neighbors all take on new meaning. Living in such uncertainty offers its own unique challenges calling us to embrace an ever-deeper reservoir of hope and resilience.

As I have shared, it is with confidence that Rivier anticipates not only our summer session but also welcoming returning students and the Class of 2024. While we have chosen not to speculate about the numerous scenarios that could unfold, we are well aware that our path forward will call for an intentionality in the application of recommended norms such as social distancing. This will no doubt necessitate a phasing in of on-campus operations consistent with evolving public health guidelines. And so, as a community, we acknowledge current uncertainties as we also recognize and appreciate our adaptability so well illustrated these past weeks.

As we move forward together as a community, I am confident that we will continue to make decisions in the best interest of our students, faculty, and staff, and I am grateful for your dedication and efforts seen and unseen. During these days we are fortunate to share the gift of a common mission and the sure hope that transforming hearts and minds to serve the world has never been so profound and embraced by so many.

Sincerely,
Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM
President

Student Message | April 29, 2020

Dear Rivier Students,

Congratulations on the completion of courses for the semester and the anticipation of graduation for those who are completing degree requirements. You have risen to the challenge of these days and have shown your resilience, adaptability and sense of perseverance. The entire Rivier community congratulates you and for our graduating students, we look forward to the time in which we can come together to celebrate your accomplishments.

As we continue this journey through the multiple impacts of COVID-19, I am writing to provide you with both updates and assurances:

Our faculty, program directors, academic advisors, and student services staff remain committed to supporting you as you accomplish your goals. Our technology call center and library resources are completely accessible to you as you complete final exam and course requirements.

The Office of University Career Services stands ready to support graduating students as you transition from the classroom to career. Please know you have the full support of our career services professionals behind you as you begin the next phase of your journey.

The University stands ready to welcome our returning students in every academic program as well as the incoming Class of 2024. Public health and public policy guidelines will evolve over the next weeks, and the Rivier community will be ready to respond with common purpose and common sense regarding the fall semester.

Our summer term begins on May 18, and I invite you to consider registering for an online course that will support your degree completion plans. If you have not yet registered for the fall semester, our academic advisors and success coaches are available to assist you.

As you know better than anyone, the Rivier experience is highlighted by personalized experiences defined by faculty expertise and on-campus and online services that support your success and achievement. I am confident that in the days ahead Rivier’s values of personal engagement, distinctive academic programs, and the opening of the new Science and Innovation Center will serve you well as you prepare to meet the ever-growing and diverse needs of your family, your profession, and your community.

Rivier’s mission is evident in our commitment to community and vibrantly shared in the stories of alumni and students serving on the front lines. I invite you to engage with the University through social media and to view stories that highlight our mission online at www.rivier.edu/news.

I applaud you for your commitment to your academic studies and for continuing to make substantial progress toward your goals during these unprecedented times. I wish you and your families good health and safety during these days.

Sincerely,
Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM
President

Employee Update | April 27, 2020

Dear Rivier University Faculty and Staff,

As our community continues this journey through the multiple impacts of COVID-19, I am writing to provide you with both updates and assurances:

  • In response to Governor Sununu’s Executive Order of Friday, April 24 extending Shelter-at-Home until May 15, the University is extending paid status for employees from May 1 to May 15. Faculty and staff contracts and appointments will remain as stated.
  • Local and national media are reporting on the colleges and universities who are thinking aloud regarding potential scenarios for the fall semester. I am pleased to report with absolute clarity:
    • While class instruction and campus operations are taking place remotely, the University remains open for business. Each of you deserves credit for the work you are doing to advance the University and meet the needs of students during these unprecedented times.
    • Summer session enrollment remains strong and students are committed to moving forward with plans to earn their degrees, and for many, preparing for an expanded role in healthcare.
    • Fall 2020 registration for continuing students is consistent with last year and first-year deposits are consistent with the University’s change in the deposit deadline to June 1. The Admissions team continues their proactive outreach to students and families who value Rivier’s on-campus environment, committed faculty, and the personal engagement of academic and student affairs staff.
    • The University stands ready to welcome the Class of 2024 and our returning students in every academic program. Public Health and public policy guidelines will evolve over the next weeks and the Rivier community will be ready to respond with common purpose and common sense.

It has never been more important to communicate to our students and their families that a Rivier education, at every level, is a personalized experience defined by faculty expertise and on-campus and online services that support student success and persistence. I am confident that in the days ahead Rivier’s values of personal engagement, distinctive academic programs, and the launch of the new Science and Innovation Center will serve students well as they prepare to meet the ever-growing and diverse needs of their families and their communities.

Rivier’s mission is evident in our commitment to community and vibrantly shared in the stories of alumni serving on the front lines. I invite you to view these stories at www.rivier.edu/news.

I wish you, your families, and the many communities that you support good health and safety during these days.

Sincerely,
Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM
President

Employee Update | April 7, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

As these unprecedented days continue, the hearts and minds of the Rivier community are fully engaged in service to students and family, teaching and learning, and to the many communities to which we belong.

This week offers a special opportunity to reflect on a deeply held sense of hope that is such a part of the human spirit. For the Christian community, Easter reminds us of the hope that life is changed not ended through the Resurrection. We also remember our Jewish brothers and sisters who commemorate Passover this week and their hope of both divine deliverance and protection through salvation history. And for all, we share in the hope that comes with the first signs of Spring.

During these days, your many remarkable accomplishments have not gone unnoticed.

  • Teaching and learning are robust and academic planning and collaboration continue. Academic support resources and advisement activities are accessible virtually to all our students and are supporting continuing retention strategies.
  • Student engagement remains strong as we continue to support our students remotely and serve the needs of students and families as they move out of residence halls and as our seniors prepare to complete their academic experience next month.
  • Virtual Accepted Students Day was a wonderful success recognizing inter-divisional collaboration, creative efforts, and a can-do spirit as we continue to recruit and anticipate welcoming the newest members of the Rivier University community, the Class of 2024.
  • Commitment to business continuity in the areas of finance, financial aid, accounts payable, budget analysis, facilities, essential services, and the demands of supporting our employees through the Office of Human Resources have all remained not only functional but also highly flexible and creative in meeting the challenges of the day.
  • The work of technology, especially the support offered through the implementation and extension of VDI and our newest, most valued apps of Zoom and Teams, continues unbroken. Instructional technology updates have been lifelines and behind the scene efforts related to servers, cybersecurity, and application of new remote technologies remains strong.
  • I invite you in a special way to follow Rivier on social media as the University engages students and personally celebrates its alumni who are making a difference on the front lines providing health and comfort to so many of our citizens. In addition, we are reaching out to our most generous donors with a call for additional scholarship support.
  • In addition to all these efforts, construction of the Science and Innovation Center continues unabated and the complex cross-divisional work necessary for a July move-in date is accelerating.

As an update, University employees will remain on paid status through Friday, May 1. This date is consistent with New Hampshire’s Stay-At-Home Order. Please continue time keeping and remote work policies as previously communicated. Only essential personnel and those approved through their vice president are permitted to be on campus.

Thank you for your many efforts seen and unseen and the strong belief that our sharing of faith, learning, and social responsibility will support the confident hope of an ever-stronger future.

Sincerely,
Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM
President

Health Alert | March 27, 2020

To the Members of the Rivier University Community,

I am writing to update you on Rivier University’s response to COVID-19. These are, of course, unprecedented times of uncertainty and disruption to family life, workplaces, and our shared social institutions especially health care and public services. It is my hope that the University’s communications have brought some small relief to that uncertainty while reinforcing the University’s commitment to support the health and safety of our community by following public health recommendations. Know that Rivier’s mission of transforming hearts and minds to serve the world has never been stronger. It is this spirit of transformation that has given life to the innovation and flexibility which is supporting teaching and learning. 

Rivier continues to monitor and respond to the ever-expanding guidance of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the State of New Hampshire. As you know, the most consistent advice from public health professionals relates to the value of social distancing which has proven to slow the spread of COVID-19. In addition to this guidance, Governor Sununu has issued a stay-at-home order for New Hampshire through May 4.

With the University’s primary consideration being the importance of the health and safety of our Rivier community, I am alerting you to the following decisions:

Online Instruction:

All class instruction will continue in an online format through the close of the Spring 2020 semester. Summer I and Summer Long classes will be scheduled for online instruction. I would like to recognize the efforts of faculty, students, and the many staff members who are demonstrating agility and resilience in the face of the unprecedented implications of COVID-19. The Regina Library online resources will remain available to students.

Commencement:

The May 9 Commencement ceremony will be postponed. Rivier joins a growing number of institutions across the country who have made this decision, which is based on our commitment to follow federal and state guidelines and support the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and extended community. The University will hold a ceremony in the future to honor our graduates. It is important to know that for those who have completed degree requirements, your degree will be officially conferred in May.

To the Class of 2020, I know that this postponement of Commencement will be particularly disappointing. I can assure you that our entire Rivier community looks forward to celebrating your accomplishments. I look forward to the future when I can present your diploma to you personally and celebrate this momentous occasion with your family and friends. The Office of Student Affairs will communicate specific plans when there is greater certainty in our region when large group assemblies may resume. 

Students Living on Campus:

Following the Governor’s stay-at-home order, Rivier’s residence halls remain closed. When additional state guidance is available, resident students will receive further communication regarding the process to completely remove their belongings from the residence halls. The University will implement a move-out plan which implements best practices for safety, travel, and social distancing. Room and board charges for the spring semester will be prorated. The Office of Student Financial Services is receiving guidance from the Federal Department of Education and specific communication will be sent to you.

Rivier University Employees:

Employees will remain on paid leave through April 10 and will be updated by the Office of Human Resources regarding pay beyond this date. With public health guidance continuing to evolve, employees will be notified when a return to work date is available. Please continue timekeeping and remote work policies as previously communicated. Only essential personnel and those who are approved through their vice president are permitted to be on campus.

Landry Early Childhood Center (LECC):

The Landry Early Childhood Center will remain closed until further notice. As you can appreciate, public health guidance continues to evolve. The LECC will communicate any additional information directly to families.

Rivier Campus Events:

All campus events are canceled through Saturday, May 9. This includes University-scheduled events and external group events planned on campus.

Rivier Institute for Senior Education (RISE):

All RISE classes will resume in the fall.

As I shared with students last week, although our campus is closed, the spirit of Rivier remains strong. I continue to be impressed by your efforts both seen and unseen which have made possible our transition to both remote instruction and remote business operations. As our many communities adapt to evolving challenges, I want to share with you our strong belief that our sharing of faith, learning, and social responsibility will support an ever-stronger future.

Sincerely,
Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM
President 

Health Alert | March 18, 2020

To the Members of the Rivier University Community,

I am writing to update you on Rivier University’s response to COVID-19 and to express our support for you and your family during these unprecedented times.

Rivier continues to monitor and respond to the ever-expanding guidance of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and New Hampshire State government as we also measure our response with three primary considerations which include:

  • The importance of the health and safety of our Rivier community
  • The recommendations of scientists and public health professionals
  • The mutual responsibility that we share to limit the spread of COVID-19

Based on these factors, I am alerting you to the following decisions:

Online Instruction:

All instruction will continue in an online format through Friday, April 3. This date is consistent with the guidance from the NH Department of Education. At this time, on-campus instruction is projected to resume on Monday, April 6. This is an evolving situation so please stay alert for additional information. The Regina Library online resources will remain available to students.

Students Living On Campus:

Rivier’s residence halls are currently closed. At this time, the University anticipates opening residence halls on Sunday, April 5 at 8 a.m. You will receive additional information to confirm the reopening. Students should not return to campus until invited to do so.

Rivier University Employees:

Rivier University employees will remain on paid leave through Friday, April 3. At this time, it is projected that University employees will return to campus on Monday, April 6. Information related to timekeeping and remote work policies will be sent to employees through the Office of Human Resources. Only essential personnel and those who are approved through their vice-president are permitted to be on campus.

Landry Early Childhood Center (LECC):

The Landry Early Childhood Center will be closed through Friday, April 3 and is projected to open on Monday, April 6. The LECC will communicate additional information directly to families.

Rivier Campus Events:

All campus events are canceled through Sunday, April 5. This includes University-scheduled events and external group events planned on campus. 

Rivier Institute for Senior Education (RISE)

As previously announced, all RISE classes have been suspended until further notice.

I would like to recognize our faculty, academic resources and student affairs staff along with many other departments who have creatively identified ways to serve our students and support the business continuity of the University during these days. It has truly been an exceptional effort to work together for the benefit of all. Thank you for your work both seen and unseen.

The University continues to monitor COVID-19 guidelines and will respond with updated information as it becomes available. Notification related to the resumption of on-campus classes and operations will be sent to you on or before April 1.

 As the Rivier community shares in this time of faith, learning, and social responsibility, I want to thank each of you as we look to the greater good in protecting and supporting the many communities to which we belong.

Sincerely,
Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM
President 

Health Alert | March 13, 2020

This is the fourth communication from Rivier University regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19). At this time, I would like to particularly recognize the work of the Rivier Health Alert Response Team (HART) an inter-disciplinary and cross-functional team of Rivier leadership monitoring the emerging issues related to COVID-19. To be clear, there have been no incidences of COVID-19 at Rivier University.

The unprecedented events of the last several weeks have reminded us of the interconnectedness of our many communities, and the importance of accurate and timely medical and public health information as a foundation for decision making.

The University’s over-arching concern is for the health and well-being of our faculty, staff, and students. This is combined with our responsibility as active and informed citizens to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. In consultation with senior leadership, I am alerting you to the following decisions:

On-Campus Classes:

From Monday, March 16 to Friday, March 27, all classes will be delivered 100% online. Students will receive communication from their professors on how to proceed with their specific coursework. Students involved in off-site clinical, practicums, and student teaching experiences will be contacted by their program directors for specific instructions. On-campus classes are tentatively scheduled to resume Monday, March 30. A resumption of on-campus instruction will be considered and communicated to you via email on or before March 25. The Regina Library online resources will remain available to students.

Students Living in Residence Halls:

The University will close our residence halls and we ask that all resident students vacate their residence room no later than Tuesday, March 17 at 5 pm. Tentatively, the University anticipates opening residence halls on March 27. However, this decision is contingent on public health recommendations. You will receive additional information on or before March 25. At this time, we are confident that the majority of our resident students can meet this requirement. Resident students who wish to remain on campus for a legitimate academic reason may petition Residence Life by visiting www.rivier.edu/residencestay.

Rivier University Employees:

Given the quickly evolving situation related to the mode and method of transmitting COVID-19, Rivier University business operations will close as of 5 p.m. Friday, March 13. All Rivier University employees will continue to receive regular pay from Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 20. The University will continue to monitor public health information and best employment practices and will keep you apprised of a return to work protocol for the week of March 23. Additional information will be emailed to employees from the Office of Human Resources.

Rivier will activate its business continuity plan related to essential functions. Your divisional vice president will work with you, as appropriate, to support our students and critical University functions remotely. There will be a separate communication forthcoming from the Office of Human Resources.

Landry Early Childhood Center (LECC):

The Landry Early Childhood Center will close Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 20.  The LECC will communicate additional information directly to families.

Rivier Campus Events:

All campus events are canceled through March 27. This includes University-scheduled events and external group events planned on campus.

Student Athletics:

On March 13, the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) canceled all spring competition, practices, and championships for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year.

As the Rivier community shares in this time of faith, learning and response, I thank each of you as we look to the greater good in protecting and supporting the many communities in which we belong.

Sincerely,

Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM

President

Health Alert | March 12, 2020

Dear Rivier Community:

The following is the third communication from Rivier University regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Rivier continues to actively monitor COVID-19 developments and is working in conjunction with local, state, and federal public health authorities to ensure that our campus community remains safe. Please review the following information carefully:

  • As of March 12, 2020, the University is maintaining its existing course schedule. As the situation evolves, we will make the necessary adjustments.
  • The University has suspended all non-essential travel for faculty, administration, staff, and students. Please work directly with your Vice President regarding specific concerns.
  • All currently scheduled campus events remain as planned. We will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation daily. For future event planning, please work with your Vice President.
  • Based on current CDC guidelines for at-risk populations, effective March 16, 2020, the University is suspending Rivier Institute for Senior Education (RISE) classes until further notice.
  • Athletic events for March 13-15, 2020 are cancelled. The Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) may make additional adjustments to the schedule in the coming days.

Rivier University will continue to closely monitor COVID-19. Please continue to check your email and the Rivier website for ongoing updates.

As always and most importantly, please remain vigilant and follow all CDC recommendations for monitoring your health. We ask that you proceed with caution with respect to the health and safety of the Rivier community.

Sincerely,
Kurt Stimeling
Vice President for Student Affairs
Rivier University

Health Alert | March 10, 2020

Dear Rivier Community,

The Health Alert Response Team continues to monitor the ever-evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We remain in regular communication with the Nashua Department of Public Health and the NH Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Our intent is to communicate with you regularly with updates and impacts to the campus community.

  • The University continues to follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 guidelines.
    • The CDC has updated its recommendations regarding health monitoring and self-quarantine for individuals who have traveled on a cruise ship.
  • The University has implemented enhanced cleaning protocols for housekeeping and dining services.
  • If you are sick and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms:
    • You must stay home, contact your healthcare provider immediately, and inquire about possible COVID-19 testing.
    • Please also contact Kurt Stimeling, Vice President for Student Affairs, to alert the University of
      your situation.
  • To discuss a unique health concern:
  • Students participating in off-campus experiences (nursing clinicals, student teaching, internships, service-learning, community service, athletic events) must adhere to the following:
    • If you have been exposed to someone at an off-campus location who is known to have COVID-19 or is being tested for it, you must stay home for 14 days to self-monitor your health.
    • The University will work with you to make accommodations to complete any learning and/or work that is missed.
  • Students, faculty, and staff have access to many Rivier online systems.
    • Please familiarize yourself with your access options to Canvas, Email, Regina Library, Zoom, etc. by visiting our Knowledge Base.
    • Faculty: Dr. Doug Howard, Vice President for Academic Affairs, has provided guidelines to prepare you for online teaching.
    • Additional communication will be sent should any population be asked to learn or work remotely.

Thank you for remaining vigilant as you assess your own health status as the University works to support those directly affected.

Sincerely,
Kurt Stimeling
Vice President for Student Affairs
Rivier University

Previous Communications

Health Alert: COVID-19 | March 5, 2020

Helpful Links

  • Information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC)
    • What you need to know: Coronavirus Disease 2019 is a new disease that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person to person.
    • What to do if you are sick: If you are sick with Coronavirus Disease 2019, or suspect being infected with it, follow the steps in this fact sheet to help prevent spreading it to people in your home and community.
    • Additional Fact Sheets

Local Resources