Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Information

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Fortified by our United Strengths | A Message From President Mirta M. Martin

Updated May 11, 2020 at 9:45 a.m.

Fortified by our United Strengths | A Message From President Mirta M. Martin

Dear Falcon Family,

As we look back on the extraordinary circumstances that defined this Spring semester, I wish to emphasize, once again, how proud I am of all of you.  You overcame many unforeseen challenges and achieved great success.  Congratulations to all!  Your resiliency and your resolve have strengthened our purpose, and you have shown a brand of bold and compassionate leadership the world so urgently needs in these uncertain times.

This weekend we celebrated the achievements of our graduates.  We appreciate the patience of many of our graduates as our third-party provider quickly addressed an unfortunate “glitch” in the delivery of our virtual commencement.  As I have noted all semester, these are new and unprecedented times and much of what is being done is new to all; your patience and kindness only accentuate my pride in you, our newest alumni.  Thank you.  Congratulations on your hard-earned achievement.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted lives and adversely impacted all our communities in substantial and heartbreaking ways. Some have lost loved ones, some have been ill, and some are struggling with the financial fallout from the economic shutdowns. My prayers and best wishes are with all who are suffering. This crisis has required us to do hard things already, and I am grateful to all of you—faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends—who have stepped up to help our University and your local communities. I especially want to acknowledge our Fairmont nurses, health care providers, public safety officers, and first responders, and teachers. You make us all so proud to be Falcons. You have kept the faith, and your actions keep us safe and well and give us all hope.

As we turn to the summer, I ask that we all continue to build in time to serve others. Let’s not be intimidated or paralyzed by the unknowns that lie ahead. Rather, let’s recommit ourselves to the well-being of others – to re-building the world around us to match our highest aspirations.

When we return later this year, we will be asked to create a reimagined Fairmont State University together - one that can steadfastly pursue its mission in the face of many difficult and possibly unforeseen challenges. Problems, undoubtedly, will crop up along the way, but problems don’t exist because they are insurmountable; they only exist because they lack a solution.  I know we will succeed because you have shown this semester you are more than capable of producing and executing novel and creative solutions.

The pandemic came upon us swiftly, and the totality of its impact and duration are in many ways tough to comprehend. The unwelcome news is many changes and ambiguities are likely to be with us for some time.  The good news is that Fairmont State will faithfully carry out our mission to serve our students, our region, and our state.  We will confront these unwanted circumstances with courage, grit, and innovation.  #WeAreOneFalconFamily; therefore, we will be fortified by our united strengths.  I am confident this fierce cast of Fighting Falcons is up to the historic challenge confronting us.  We will come through this unprecedented crisis stronger than ever.

May God continue to keep you and yours safe until we meet again,

M3

Mirta M. Martin, PhD
President
Fairmont State University

Previous Updates

Updated May 3, 2020 at 11:00 p.m.

#FalconProud | A Message From President Mirta M. Martin

Dear Falcon Family and most especially, dear members of the Fairmont State University Class of 2020:

Good evening to all of you.  I miss seeing you on campus.  I pray wherever you are, you are safe and healthy.  My thoughts and prayers remain with each of you.

Well, other than finals, the semester is over.  I know the COVID-19 pandemic has robbed us of so many milestones, and for our graduating seniors, it has taken away many of your “lasts” on campus.  Yet, despite the challenges you all faced – students, faculty, and staff – you finished the semester strong.  Well done!  You all make me #FalconProud.

Seniors, my heart breaks when I think about what you are missing, and I wish so badly things could be different.  Your sense of loss is real, and I know you must feel that many parts of your senior year have been “canceled.”  I grieve with you over the loss of more time together.  I regret you may not have the chance to say goodbye, face to face, too many of the professors, mentors, and classmates who meant so much to you during the special time we spent together learning and laughing on the Hill.  That said, nothing can ever break the bonds of love and affection that tie us together as One Falcon Family - even if for now, we must remain a safe distance apart.

Your legacy at Fairmont State will always be defined by the leadership and grace you have demonstrated during extraordinary times of upheaval and adversity.  You have navigated through the turbulent seas of an unforeseen storm with confidence and resolve.  Your generation’s short stint on this earth has been bracketed by “life-quake” events.  Many of you were born just a short time before the events of September 11, 2001.  You became teenagers as the nation was grappling with the Great Recession.  And now, you are entering a world reeling from the tsunami of a global pandemic that has abruptly upended any sense of “normal” in the way we work, live, and learn together.

Your resilience, compassion, ingenuity, and grit are truly inspiring!  You are the reason I know we will prevail over the challenges of today and emerge from this storm stronger and better.  You have always kept the faith, and we, at Fairmont State University will forever be grateful for your flexibility, support, and determination.  I am so immensely proud of every one of you;  you will always have a special place in my heart.  You are exactly why I have such high hopes for our next generation of leaders!  

Class of 2020, you have shown us the infinite capacity of the human spirit.  You have demonstrated that together, we are creative and powerful.  You have made us realize we need each other now more than ever.  You have committed to living “big” – to living a life of service, to living a life of consequence.

Commencement is an important rite of passage our graduating seniors have earned and deserve.  It is extremely disappointing we find ourselves in a situation where, for everyone’s safety, we must make the responsible choice and reschedule our face-to-face commencement to later in the fall.  However, we WILL celebrate your success, virtually, during our Spring Virtual 2020 commencement ceremonies on May 9, 2020.  Please make sure you take part.  This will become a keepsake as the years go by.  Then, on August 8, 2020, we WILL celebrate your accomplishments face-to-face and we WILL wish you well on your post-graduation journey.

As the book closes on this semester, I want all of you – students, faculty, staff, our greater community - to know Fairmont State University will always be here for you.  This fall, we will have the chance to see all of you and your families again, to celebrate your achievements, and to renew friendships. 

For our seniors, I can’t wait for the opportunity in August to congratulate each of you personally on your graduation! For our returning students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends, I cannot wait to welcome you back home to Fairmont State University.  Remember, Once a Falcon, Always a Falcon… because at the end of the day, #WeAreOneFalconFamily!

God bless each of you and your families.  Please stay healthy and safe.

M3

Mirta M. Martin, PhD
President
Fairmont State University


Updated April 26, 2020 at 9:00 p.m.

Finish Strong | A Message From President Mirta M. Martin

Dear Falcon Family,

As we close in on the end of the Spring term, I want to encourage you to finish the semester strong.  I know the past five weeks have been extremely difficult.  COVID-19 has upended the way we live, work, and learn together to a degree none of us could have imagined.  However, I want you to know I am so very proud of the way you have adapted, literally overnight, to new ways of learning, teaching and connecting with one another while separated from our campus home.  Good luck with those final projects and exams, students.  I have no doubt you will do exceptionally well.

Students, I am terribly sorry you have missed precious opportunities to live and learn together with your friends, classmates, faculty and staff.  I know you miss gathering in the Falcon Center to celebrate achievements or to talk about the future.  I am sorry you have missed the beauty of a Spring day on the Hill and the chance to take a well-deserved afternoon respite on the quad.  And, I am sorry you have not been able to work, in person, side by side with your incredible professors and mentors – to perfect your skills, enjoy their company, and soak in their wisdom.

This is a tough time for all of us.  We, the faculty, staff, and administration miss seeing you; we miss seeing each other.  We miss your energy, your enthusiasm, your creativity, and your laughter.  We miss sharing your passion to make a difference and your commitment to living a life of consequence.

Despite what we have lost this spring, I also want us to recognize what we have gained.  We have come together to form new and even stronger bonds.  We have demonstrated our resiliency, our resolve, our ingenuity, and our capacity for compassion.  We have come to value the importance of our shared humanity and the need to lift up one another.  We have grown as leaders in our communities.  We have not been paralyzed or discouraged by a menacing unknown.  We have kept the faith and beaten fear by action!   

And, we are grateful for the selfless exploits of others.  I want us to continue to remember there are many Falcons – students, faculty, staff, and alumni - who are gallantly fulfilling their roles during this crisis as first responders, as health care workers, as educators and social workers, in food services, and in numerous other essential capacities.  They are all deserving of our gratitude, our support, and our prayers.

Before I leave you to prepare for your final tasks of the semester, I want to thank you for your flexibility, your patience, your grace, your efforts, and sacrifice.  My gratitude extends to all our #OneFalconFamily – students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends.

There may still be some challenging days ahead, but I know that together, we are more than equal to the test.  Why?  Because #WeAreOneFalconFamily.  

May God keep you all safe and healthy.

M3     

Mirta M. Martin, PhD
President
Fairmont State University


Updated April 12, 2020 at 2:30 p.m.

One Better Decision | A Message From President Mirta M. Martin

Dear Falcon Family:

It has been a week since I checked in last -- and I pray that you are well and keeping safe.  I hope you are adjusting, as best you can, to the challenges of these uncertain times. 

Even though we are not together, the mission and essential functions of our university carry on.  Our faculty continues to reach out to our students to deliver the coursework digitally.  Our students continue to learn and grow. Public Safety and the physical plant make sure our campus and those who remain here are safe and cared for.  Our administrative teams work from their homes in support of our students, our future students, and the faculty and staff.  I am so very grateful for all of you, and I am inspired by how hard and incredibly well you are working together while we are apart.

With so much unknown about what the coming weeks and months might look like, I know these are difficult, even fearful, times.  Nevertheless, we must continue to do our best each day.  We must keep the faith!

Faith is that deep-down belief that drives us onward even when we may not have all the answers or know all the outcomes.  Our country, this Great American Experiment, was set in motion by faith. Our economy, our communities run on faith.  As a people, we have faith in the indomitable capacity of us all, united, to overcome the most ominous challenges, to constantly imagine and re-imagine a better future; to form a more perfect union.  Faith, most certainly, is the genesis of our American Dreams.       

I know for many of us, as action-oriented people, it is difficult to accept that one of the most important things we can do right now is to stay home.  However, we also realize the individual decisions we make today will ultimately affect all of us tomorrow.

I often talk about the importance of making better decisions each day.  When I speak to students, I challenge them to make one better decision each day about many aspects of their college lives; one better decision about their faith, one better decision about their health and well-being, one better decision about honesty, one better decision about academics and time management, one better decision about community service, one better decision about relationships, one better decision about drinking habits, one better decision about how we can be more compassionate and kind, one better decision about how to be more generous.  We still have not seen the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our world, nation, state and local community.  We can take heart, however, that the actions we are taking here at home - better decisions from each of us - are slowing the spread of the pandemic and flattening the curve.

We are all rising to the occasion.  Extraordinary times call for extraordinary leadership - from all of us.  I continue to see examples of extraordinary and selfless leadership from members of our Falcon Family every day.  The great state of West Virginia and our nation are full of talented, neighborly, and resilient people.  As your University, we are here to support you.  As your President, I am honored to serve.  After all, #WeAreOneFalconFamily.

May God continue to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy.

M3

Mirta M. Martin, PhD
President
Fairmont State University


Updated April 12, 2020 at 2:30 p.m.

We Are Unstoppable. A Message From President Mirta M. Martin

Dear Fellow Falcons,

Greetings from Fairmont. I miss seeing each of you on campus and I send heartfelt prayers for your safety and health during these difficult times.  I write to you today to offer my encouragement and support and to update you concerning recent COVID - 19 developments on campus.

Earlier this week, a Fairmont State University student currently living in University Terrace was diagnosed with the COVID -19 virus. Our COOP team acted rapidly and with an abundance of caution.  In partnership with Marion County Health Department and MonHealth, we are continuing to look after the limited number of residents still on campus and to provide them with the resources needed to keep them safe and healthy.

I want to assure you the safety of our students, faculty, staff and our community continues to be our No. 1 priority. We will remain vigilant and proactive. We continue to seek out and implement the advice and recommendations from experts in the public health community and from our local, state, and national government leaders. 

Our faculty continues to focus on delivering the highest quality education.  Our transition to remote learning went remarkably well thanks to the efforts of each of you, our incredibly talented faculty and staff and hard-working students. We have put our innovative and creative culture to the test, and we have all succeeded beyond expectations.  I am energized by your spirit and by your ability to work together and support one another. Thank you!

I also realize this “new normal” is not optimal for many.  Some of you have reached out to me and shared you are dealing with spotty internet access, with family issues, with solitude, and with added stress.  If you need help, I’m asking you to reach out and address any concerns you may have so we may work with you. If you need additional or specific assistance in your courses, please reach out to your professors and let them know that you are struggling with the digital learning format.  You will find they are kind, compassionate and patient.  We will address specific issues individually.  

Also, our Tutoring Center remains available for all students to receive additional help.  Tutoring by appointment is available for students in a variety of subjects. For updated schedules and information about making appointments, please visit the tutoring center website.  Or, you may also contact the Tutoring and Testing Center directly at tutoring@fairmontstate.edu with questions.

If you wish to speak with someone about feeling lonely or stressed, about family issues or about anything else that is on your mind, please know that confidential counseling is still available to you. Confidential counseling services are available via secure video conferencing or by phone to students in most states. Please call (304) 333-3661 or email counseling@fairmontstate.edu to schedule a consultation or appointment.  We are here for you – now, and always.

I realize this is difficult on you and on many of your peers. We are trying to do our very best so you do not jeopardize all the hard work you put into this semester.  Our University team is hard at work augmenting a holistic communications plan for all our Falcon family. Our goal is to create even more connections, provide timely information and be imaginative as we continue to support and build our “virtual community” during these times apart. 

When I taught Organizational Behavior to graduate students, we often discussed resiliency in organizations. Two of the defining characteristics of a resilient organization were grit and integrity. Grit drives achievement and success, perhaps more than talent or intelligence. Grit is about finding strength and willpower to persevere. Integrity is about doing what’s right, what’s best for all, and creating a sense of fairness to which we all aspire. Together, grit and integrity make people and organizations unstoppable.

As Falcons, we get this. We are a tough, “can-do” bunch that has grit and integrity in spades! We know how to work hard and what it takes to get the job done. “Quit” is not in our nature. Together, we will move our University forward in a way that strengthens our institution and benefits our fellow man. Not a day goes by that someone does not email me or contact the University to share stories of how members of our Falcon family are making positive contributions to our communities. Our true colors, our commitment to service, are simply inspiring.  WE, the Falcon family are UNSTOPPABLE.

Our spirit is strong. We are united around our important work. Fairmont State University always has been, and always will be, stronger together. In the weeks ahead, we are going to need each other more than ever. We will, however, get through this together - while we are apart- and emerge even stronger.

Please know I am thinking of you and as we start week #4 of our remote teaching and learning, I am cheering you on. I look forward to the day when I can give you a hug and thank you personally for your flexibility, perseverance, patience, and support.

I pray God keeps you and all who surround you safe and well.

Wishing each of you a blessed Easter, and embracing the hope this day brings us.

#WeAreOneFalconFamily

M3

Mirta M. Martin, PhD
President
Fairmont State University


Updated April 7, 2020 at 3:45 p.m.

Fairmont State University COVID-19 Campus Update

Campus Community:

Earlier today, we learned of our first confirmed case of coronavirus disease, COVID-19, in one of our campus residence halls. As reported in the media, we are also aware of other potential cases within the community and expect that we will continue to see an increase in the number of people impacted as COVID-19 spreads.

As COVID-19 has continued to spread in our state, Fairmont State has worked over the last few weeks to drastically reduce the number of students living in our residence halls.

In regard to this confirmed case, we are following existing protocols and working with local health officials to support the affected student and help reduce the spread of infection to others.

These efforts include:

Retracing the affected individual’s movements. Reaching out to people who have had close contact with the individual; these contacts have all been made at this time. Professional cleaning and disinfecting areas where this individual may have been present or visited for a prolonged period.

 

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider immediately and tell them that you may have COVID-19. Moving forward, for any additional cases we will continue to work closely with health officials, communicate directly with any close contacts and follow the appropriate processes. We are also asking all faculty, students, and staff to continue visiting our COVID-19 website which remains a one-stop-source for new guidance and information related to the University’s pandemic response.

Fairmont State University values the health and safety of our students above all else. We will continue to communicate with our campus community regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, as part of our ongoing efforts, over the past few weeks, we moved all students who remain in on-campus housing to residences where they have had limited contact with each other. This will allow us to help contain the potential spread of this virus.

Campus remains closed at this time. No employee, student or community member should be on campus including for recreational purposes.

 


Updated April 5, 2020 at 5 p.m.

Lead-Learn-Serve-Soar! A message from President Mirta M. Martin

Dear Falcon Family,

We've completed our second week of distance learning and you have embraced, without hesitation or complaint, our new innovative teaching and learning methods.  Well done!  Congratulations!

When we first discussed how we wanted our learning community to extend far beyond the face-to-face classroom, we knew we wanted to replicate, as close as possible, the best attributes of a Fairmont State education. We wanted it to be engaging and interactive. We wanted it to be supportive and to strengthen our bond as One Falcon Family.

Because we are blessed with a talented team of faculty and staff that would do anything for our students, and a cadre of students who are adaptive and eager to learn, the result has been a profoundly collaborative, creative, and groundbreaking effort designed to meet a great and evolving need.

Throughout our history, Fairmont State has been called upon to provide real leadership to our city, our state, and to the world beyond.  Today, we hear the call again. We must continue to do our part to stop the spread of this terrible pandemic, to help those in need, to encourage one another, and to keep the faith.

These are times I am sure none of us ever dreamed we would encounter.  It is clear the COVID -19 pandemic is more than a disruption; it is the defining event of our time. We can take heart that our University and our nation have risen to be the better of other life-shaking events.  Do not let fear and anxiety paralyze us. Continue onward; let’s beat this pandemic with caring and resolute action!

As I sit reading and answering emails and messages on my computer, I am uncomfortable with my daily solitude.  I miss being out and about and seeing all of you – students, colleagues, alumni, and friends. I miss your passion, your talent, your stories, your faces and yes, your hugs.  I am grateful we have such a strong and caring community that will sustain us. I have learned of many acts of generosity, of kindness, and of support undertaken by our students, our faculty, and our staff during this difficult and unsettling time. It makes me so very proud to be a member of our Falcon family!  

I know we will return to campus next fall better, stronger, and more united than ever. Your enthusiasm and commitment will take us to new heights. We have been able to overcome, adapt, and innovate. We are showing, every day, we have the right stuff to lead, and an indefatigable desire to serve our fellow man.

Keep it up Falcons! Keep a smile on your face:  Stay strong; continue to do the right thing!  Lead - Learn – Serve - Soar!  Together we can do this! Together, we WILL emerge stronger.  Let’s all walk by faith and let’s continue to find ways to help each other.

Thank you for your support and for all you continue to do for and with each other.  

You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

May God keep us all safe and healthy. 

#WeAreOneFalconFamily

M3

Mirta M. Martin, PhD
President
Fairmont State University


Semester to Finish Through Digital Modalities

Updated March 31, 2020 at 9 a.m.

Fairmont State Community:

Due to the continued spread of COVID-19 and recommendations by the CDC, White House, the Governor and the WV-DHHR, please be advised that Fairmont State University will complete the remainder of the semester, including final exams, through digital modalities.  

Although we will not be able to physically be together, the culminating achievements of our graduating students will be celebrated through a Virtual Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 9.  In addition to the virtual celebration, at this time we are also planning to observe our traditional Commencement rites and rituals later this fall.  A tentative date of Saturday, August 8 has been set.  Graduates will be provided more information regarding both events in the weeks ahead.

Students residing or who have belongings in the residence halls will receive communication through StarRez about when you may retrieve your items. This process will depend on when the campus is reopened per West Virginia’s Stay-at-Home mandate. 

In response to the devastating effects the novel coronavirus COVID-19 is having on our nation, Congress passed a $2 trillion stimulus package on Friday, March 27. Included in the package were resources to assist higher education institutions and their students. Once further guidance is received from the Department of Education on how those dollars can be used to credit our students, we anticipate being able to announce a plan. We know this is a stressful and frustrating time for all; we appreciate your patience as we continue to work through this together.

Also, please be advised that no students will be placed on academic suspension due to their spring 2020 grades.  For this semester only, students who do not meet the minimum academic standards will be placed on a “special probation.”  While on “special probation” students will be able to schedule for summer and fall courses but will be required to engage in additional communication and oversight from their academic advisor. 

As always, University updates can be found at www.fairmontstate.edu/COVID19. Questions regarding University operations can be sent to coronavirus@fairmontstate.edu.


Updated March 27, 2020 at 4:40 p.m.

Keep The Faith! Stay Connected! #WeAreOneFalconFamily A Message From President Mirta M. Martin

Dear Everyone,

I continue to lift each of you in my prayers, and I trust this note finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy.

Monday marked an historic moment in our University's history as we began delivery of virtual instruction (and advising) to all our students. Our faculty, students, staff, and administration deserve kudos for leaping into this uncharted territory without hesitation or complaint.

Today, as we bring to a close our first week of learning, teaching and working remotely, we are also making history.  We are all rising to the challenge of these extraordinary times with good humor, compassion, and resolve while delivering an incredible education and extraordinary services.  Thank you!

The coming weeks as “Virtual Falcons” won't be easy, but we will press on together, learning from both the opportunities and the challenges of our new reality.  We will be reminded of the irreplaceable value of our “high- touch” community and the strength and joy we find in our shared humanity.  This, of course, is at the heart of a Fairmont State education.

In the end, our story will be one of how we lifted each other up during these difficult times, and how we did our best each day as individuals and as a University to mitigate the effects of a global pandemic.  It will be the story of how we changed and adapted, how we taught and learned, how we served our neighbors, how we were kind to each other, how we put aside our differences and helped one another, and how we emerged even stronger.  And, how we did all of this by bonding even closer together.

I am inspired by your unwavering commitment to one another and by your devotion to be the best learners, educators, and professionals you can be. I have been encouraged by your kind emails, notes, calls, and prayers.  I am proud to call myself a Falcon!

Our campus may be closed, but our mission and our desire to serve are alive and as powerful as ever.  We truly are the wellspring of aspiration and inspiration for West Virginia!  From my office, I feel your warmth and your support for one another in new and profound ways.  Thank you!

Keep the faith!  Stay connected!  #WeAreOneFalconFamily

I look forward to welcoming you back home soon.

Be well and stay healthy,

M3

Mirta M. Martin, PhD
President
Fairmont State University


Updated March 23, 2020 at 8:00 a.m.

#WeAreOneFalconFamily A message from President Mirta M. Martin

Dear All,

While it has only been a couple of days since I last communicated with you, I hope and pray this note finds you safe and healthy.  I am checking in with you this morning, to assure you that you are not alone – we are going to get through this – and we are going to do it together.

Today is the first time in our history that we have not all gathered together on campus to welcome each other back from spring break, and to continue to do what we do best – provide a superb and affordable education to the next generation of leaders.  Today, we begin a new chapter in our journey.  I want to assure you, wherever you are, you are not alone.  We will come through these trying and uncertain times together, and we will emerge even stronger.

Today, we begin to move forward in new ways as a community of caring scholars and professionals. It will not be easy, and sometimes, it will feel uncomfortable, but we must stay together - stay connected - even while being kept physically apart.  I ask each of you to keep alive what makes us unique – our high touch culture - even in these times of remoteness.  Let the hug become a phone call; let the impersonal exchanges of email or text be surrounded with warmth and compassion.  Remember you are not alone.

This health crisis and the daily upheaval it causes in our lives cannot dominate our minds nor diminish our spirits. Indeed, let these very necessary disruptions in our daily activities give us a chance to think intentionally about the direction of our own lives, the importance of faith, family and communities, and on a truly worldwide scale, about our shared humanity.

Remember to look out past the doors of our own homes.  Find ways to connect and support each other - our classmates, our colleagues, our families, members of our community – every day.  Keep in mind pandemics hit the most vulnerable the hardest. Even when we must become more and more isolated, we must find ways to stay connected and help those who are food-insecure, those who may lose their jobs, struggle with childcare, cannot pay bills, cannot leave their homes, or face medical emergencies and loss.

There is much to be done in the days and weeks ahead. We remain in constant communication with our local state and national leadership pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.  I urge you to follow the advice and direction that we share with you through the ALERT emails and through our dedicated website: (www.fairmontstate.edu/coronavirus). 

When our patience gets short, remember what made you smile, and be kind and compassionate to each other.  Be a mentor to those who need help.  Give freely, stay connected, and take the extra minute to do that random act of kindness.  It will come back to you tenfold.  We will find more and new ways to support one another and to help our communities and our country get through this.

How this chapter of our history unfolds will be largely up to each of us.  Our University is strong, and we will soar above the challenges before us. Together, we will come out of this crisis stronger. 

Let’s embark on this new journey together, with an unending effort to stay connected and look after each other.  We will soon be reunited.  I believe in the heart of the Falcon family and in that unending spirit, faith and love that binds us as one.  #WeAreOneFalconFamily

I pray God continue to bless and protect each and every one of you and your families.

Be well and stay healthy.

M3

Mirta M. Martin, PhD
President
Fairmont State University


Updated March 20, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.

Be safe and stay healthy a message from President Mirta M. Martin

Dear Falcon Family,

As we finish out the week, I hope that wherever this note finds you, it is a place where you are safe, healthy and in the company of loved ones. 

You’ve heard it often by now; these are unprecedented times for the country, State of West Virginia, and certainly, for Fairmont State University.  Our priority remains unwavering – to protect our Falcon family. 

The Falcon spirit has been evident throughout the week, as all of you have embraced the steps to transition our operations from on-campus to remote work/work-from-home operations beginning Monday, March 23. 

As our Governor stated in his press conference to the state—we must try to work from home as much as we possibly can.  We must accept this challenge so that when we come out of this world-wide situation – and we will - we come out a stronger Falcon family and a stronger institution. 

I wish you to know how grateful I am for each and every one of you. This change in modality is a significant shift for our institution. This is a time for our cast to band together to make this much-needed working arrangement successful.  You have all taken this past week in stride.  You have done what was needed to ensure our students’ academic progress is not affected.  You have attended training and you have strategized with your teams and supervisors about how best to perform your job function remotely. Thank you!  Your efforts have not gone unnoticed.  They are so greatly appreciated!

I am aware that you all have been receiving many emails and an abundance of communication from our Alert@fairmontstate.edu email account in the past week.  Our team has been working around the clock to provide you updates as we receive them.  I wish to implore you to please read all the material that has been sent to you in full. 

In addition, what you have been provided this week, you will continue to receive information from the Alerts email address and your supervisors.  Should you have any questions, please address them to your supervisor, chair, dean, or vice president. 

For the most updated COVID-19 information as it relates to the University, I request you please visit www.fairmontstate.edu/coronavirus  All communication is posted to this site.  

I realize that this is a time of stress and uncertainty for us all. I am so thankful for the work you all have done this week, last week, and every single day - Thank You!  We will get through this together.

Remember, Falcons soar – that’s what we were made to do. “Soar Falcons” is not just an impactful social media hashtag: It’s our way of life.  And that way of life, that distinctiveness, that compassion, that care, that kindness – that’s what will get us through until we are reunited again.

I can’t wait to see each of you – faculty, staff, students, alumni, friends and community family back on campus in the near future.

Be well and stay healthy.

All my very best,

M3

Mirta M. Martin, PhD
President
Fairmont State University


Updated March 14, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.

A message from President Mirta M. Martin

Dear Falcon Family,

Let me begin by saying wherever this message finds you, I hope you and your loved ones are healthy and safe. I want to thank the dedicated staff, faculty, and community leaders who have worked tirelessly for days to help our University respond to the current COVID-19 situation. I tell everyone I meet; Fairmont State is home to dedicated and caring education professionals, and hard-working, talented students. YOU – the faculty, staff, and students of Fairmont State – you are the heartbeat of this great institution, and I have never been prouder to be a part of this family. 

I write today with important information for our Fairmont State community. We continue to monitor developments related to COVID-19. Our first priority has been, and must continue to be, to safeguard the health of our Fairmont State community and of our neighbors, even as we continue with our mission to provide a transformational education for our students and to serve the vital interests of West Virginia. 

While there are no known cases of COVID-19 on our campus nor in our community, and West Virginia continues to be designated as low risk, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the spread of COVID-19 a pandemic. More than 2,000 cases have been confirmed across the country. Continuing developments concerning this public health emergency have brought us to the conclusion that it is in the best interest of our campus community, the City of Fairmont, and communities beyond, that we take measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

We have decided, therefore, to suspend all face-to-face classes, through Friday April 24. All courses will be delivered digitally beginning March 23, 2020.  We will continue to monitor the situation and provide regular updates.   

  • Students with face-to face course instruction are on extended spring break from Monday March 16, through Sunday March 22. During this time, our faculty and staff will plan for academic continuity and prepare for digital delivery of instruction.
  • Classes will resume in a digital format on Monday March 23. Students should expect to hear from faculty about their courses and should stay in touch with faculty about their coursework. Please remain flexible and be aware that faculty are being asked to transition from in-class to remote instruction within a few days. There may be glitches and technical issues that will need to be resolved but we will make every effort to make this transition as smooth as possible. Decisions on finals will be forthcoming.
  • Campus housing is not closed. Food service options will continue to be available on a carry-out basis in the Dining Hall and the Library.  However, because our main concern is the safety of our students, we are not encouraging them to return to campus due to potential health and safety concerns of COVID-19. The Falcon Center and Student Health Services will be closed through April 24. 

More Resources for You
We’ve created a new web site (www.fairmontstate.edu/coronavirus) that contains important information for our community about COVID-19. The site is updated daily as additional information is released. Please use it as your first source of information related to this quickly developing situation.

On this site you’ll find:

I am truly disheartened we must disrupt for a time the caring, high-touch environment that our small classes and our physical campus provides. I am confident, however, that our unified efforts will see us through this emergency and leave our University stronger than ever.  I have no doubt we will all work together to achieve the same level of academic excellence and performance that has always characterized our University.  I thank you for that solidarity.

The COVID-19 pandemic is an evolving situation. We are closely monitoring events and we will continue to keep you updated as we learn more. In addition to visiting the site mentioned above, please pay attention to any emails you get from me, as well as University Relations and Marketing via our ALERT email. 

The most distinctive characteristic of Fairmont State University is our strong, caring community. For over 155 years, we have remained ever resilient and ever hopeful.  Our love for each other and for our University has forged an unbreakable bond.  I know the disruptions and uncertainties caused by this situation demand much from all of us. Thank you for your understanding and your support as we confront a rapidly evolving challenge none of us has faced before. Thank you for your willingness to do what is best to protect our beloved community. 

Please, take care of yourselves and one another. I look forward to the time very soon when I can give you all a big hug!

All my very best,

M3

Mirta M. Martin, PhD
President
Fairmont State University


Updated March 14, 2020 at 5:15 p.m.

As promised, University leadership continues to meet with our peer institutions, the local health department and the WVDHHR to monitor the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and make decisions that strike the best balance in continuing to service our students while maintaining safety. 

With that goal in mind, beginning Monday, March 23 through April 24, all class instruction will be delivered digitally. All online classes and previous hybrid courses which have already converted to online instruction will continue as originally scheduled beginning Monday, March 16. We will continue to monitor the current situation and a decision will be made on whether we finish the semester through digital instruction or return for face-to-face instruction after April 24.

At this time, staff should continue to report as previously scheduled. Mandatory training for faculty and staff will continue as scheduled for March 16-20.

DIGITAL RESOURCES

Additional information will be sent in the coming days to instruct students how to access their digital courses. In most instances, digital content and faculty communication will be delivered through Blackboard. We understand that some of our student population may not be able to successfully access digital instruction. Students who require access to equipment or broadband connections may use campus resources in the library. In addition, some internet providers including Comcast and Spectrum are offering free at home broadband for all students. Please reach out to those providers if you have questions.

FALCON CENTER—DINING, BOOKSTORE, STUDENT HEALTH AND THE NEST

The Falcon Center will be closed March 16 through April 24. Food service will continue to be available on a carry-out basis in the Dining Hall from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. daily.  Chick-Fil-A and the Library Starbucks will be open from 8 a.m.-2 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

For students experiencing food insecurity, the NEST will be available Monday – Friday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 4-6 p.m.  

The Bound for Success Bookstore will be closed March 16 through April 24. You may still purchase items through their online store at https://www.bkstr.com/fairmontstatestore. During this time, they are offering free shipping for online orders.  

Based on guidance from medical officials, Student Health Services will also be closed at this time. The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) established a hotline to address public and medical provider questions and concerns regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Operators are available 24/7, toll-free at 1-800-887-4304 to provide accurate information about COVID-19, the risk to the public and the state’s response.

HOUSING

Campus housing is not closed. However, because of the health concerns and the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic we do not encourage returning to campus due to potential health and safety concerns. If you wish to remain in campus housing, you must notify Residence Life of your intended return to campus and complete this form

For students who wish to collect items they may need through April 24, you may do so tomorrow, Sunday, March 15 from 1 – 5 p.m. Contact Housing and Residence Life with any questions.

CAMPUS EVENTS AND COMMUNITY USE

All campus events scheduled through April 24 should be rescheduled at this time. Campus will be closed to all community members. This includes the Falcon Center, all recreational use of the campus grounds and community use of the library.

TURLEY STUDENT SERVICES

Students are encouraged to call Student Services at (304) 367-4141 Mon. – Fri. between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to speak with a representative instead of coming to campus. Most questions can be answered over the phone. For issues that must be addressed in person, the center is opened and staffed. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Additional information for students, staff and faculty will be sent separately in the coming days. This is a rapidly changing situation and Fairmont State will continue to make decisions based on the safety of our students, faculty, and staff. We will continue to contact you as new information becomes available. You can also stay up-to-date at www.fairmontstate.edu/coronavirus.

If you have a specific question regarding general University procedures moving forward, please direct it to coronavirus@fairmontstate.edu.


Updated March 12, 2020 at 8:06 p.m.

In the interest of the safety and well-being of everyone involved in intercollegiate athletics and the public, Fairmont State University and the Mountain East Conference have suspended all athletic competitions, effective indefinitely. The decision was made with unanimous support of the league's Board of Directors following today's decision by the NCAA to cancel winter and spring championships for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year.


Updated March 11, 2020 at 4:30 p.m.

In light of the continued development of the spread of COVID-19 and in the best effort to maintain the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff, Fairmont State University has extended spring break for face-to-face classes only through March 20, 2020.

All online classes will proceed as originally scheduled on Monday, March 16. In addition, all hybrid courses will transition to online-only beginning Monday, March 16 until further notice. If you are a student in an online or hybrid course, please continue to access these courses online beginning Monday, March 16.

All staff should report to work as scheduled on Monday, March 16. Additional information for faculty will be forthcoming via University Relations and Marketing. Student employees should contact their supervisor regarding their return to work on Monday, March 16.

Students involved in nursing clinical practice and education majors engaged in clinical/field placements, as well as student teaching, will receive further guidance from academic deans.

During the extension of spring break, March 16-20, students should remain home. All student activities have also been canceled for this time period. For students living on campus, further communication may be sent via Housing and Residence Life. Should you need to retrieve items necessary for next week, you may only return to campus on Sunday, March 15 from 1 – 5 p.m. To request a housing extension, please complete this form.

Our campus will remain open and operational during this extension. The Falcon Center will operate under spring break hours. Please click here for a complete list of hours for services within the Falcon Center. The Turley Center will be open and available to assist students as needed. In order to maintain the safety of our students and staff, please call (304) 367-4141for assistance prior to visiting the Turley Center in person.

University-related domestic travel is suspended for all non-essential University-related business through the end of the semester. Faculty with approved travel forms will be contacted regarding their upcoming travel. Staff who have approved travel should communicate with their Vice President regarding how to proceed.

If you must travel or have traveled within the last 14 days for professional or personal reasons, we ask that you voluntarily report your trip here so that we may monitor our travel footprint and share critical information with you upon your return.

This is a rapidly changing situation and Fairmont State will continue to make decisions based on the safety of our students, faculty, and staff. We will continue to contact you as new information becomes available. You can also stay up-to-date at www.fairmontstate.edu/coronavirus.

If you have a specific question regarding general University procedures moving forward, please direct it to coronavirus@fairmontstate.edu.


Updated March 6, 2020 at 8:00 a.m.

As we have journeyed throughout this week, Coronavirus (COVID-19) has brought our campus community many challenges that you have responded to with understanding and patience.

As the situation continues, we are receiving reports from across the country regarding stereotyping, harassment, and bullying directed at persons perceived to be of Chinese American or, more generally, Asian descent, including students.

In addition to caring for our bodies, the campus community is asked to help care for those students on our campus who may be targeted or discriminated against due to their ethnicity and perceived connection to an outbreak zone.  

As outlined in Board of Governors policy #GA-01, Fairmont State University is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive culture by promoting diversity, inclusion, equality, and intercultural and intercommunity outreach (2.1). The University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, age, physical or mental disability, marital or family status, pregnancy, veteran status, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, or gender expression in the administration of any of its educational programs, activities, or with respect to admission or employment (2.2).

Any faculty, staff, or university volunteer who violates this policy shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, including suspension, termination, or other disciplinary action as may be appropriate (3.4.1). Any student who violates this policy shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, including, in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct, suspension, expulsion, or other disciplinary action as may be appropriate (3.4.2).

In addition, Fairmont State is committed to bringing about mutual understanding and respect among all individuals and groups at Fairmont State University and to eliminating all forms of discrimination as provided by West Virginia and federal law (BOG Policy 8, section 2.1). Consistent with its comprehensive mission, and recognizing that the development of human potential is a fundamental goal in a democratic society, the Fairmont State University Board of Governors promotes an educational system that values cultural and ethnic diversity and understanding; that provides for the preparation of students for full and meaningful participation in a changing world; and that promotes equitable and fair treatment in every aspect of campus life and employment for all persons, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual preference, sexual orientation, age religion, veteran status, or disability (2.2).

During a global health outbreak, there is a lot of unfounded fear. Our international students are receiving support through EPICS (Educational Pathways for International Centers and Students) but it is a time when we all should be aware of perceived biases. Remember we are all one Falcon Family.

If you are a student, faculty or staff member and you are experiencing discrimination, please contact our Title IX Coordinator at (304) 367-4689 or via e-mail at titleix@fairmontstate.edu.


Updated March 5, 2020 at 8:00 a.m.

After much deliberation and monitoring of the current outbreak of COVID-19, Fairmont State University has decided to cancel two upcoming faculty-led international spring break trips to Ireland and Egypt. The cancellation decision considered guidance from the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), other public health experts and federal agencies encouraging institutions of higher education to cancel or postpone overseas travel and study abroad programs.

We understand that this decision will be disappointing to our students and faculty scheduled to travel, but it was not made lightly. The ability to guarantee the health, wellbeing, and safety of our students is top-priority for Fairmont State. As situations unfold across the globe, quarantine requirements, available transportation options, access to public sites and landmarks, and health care accessibility differ greatly depending on location. While some locations are classified as low-risk at the moment, this is a rapidly changing situation.

The University is working with the travel company to determine whether rescheduling the trips is feasible and will advise those previously scheduled to travel as this process unfolds. We are committed to finding a resolution with the sincere hope that our students can take these trips in the future.

For those students who have spring-break travel plans outside of university-sponsored trips, it is important to exercise caution while abroad. Please read below for more information, including prevention tips and resources on virus prevention and COVID-19.


Updated March 3, 2020 at 8:00 a.m.

As we head into spring break week for the University, we are aware that many of our students and faculty have travel plans for domestic and international travel. Below is current (as of 2/28/20) information about travel from the U.S. State Department and the Centers for Disease Control regarding COVID-19 (commonly known as coronavirus).

The U.S. Department of State has issued the following travel advisories:

Level 4 Travel Advisory (do not travel) for China and Iran and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that travelers avoid all non-essential travel to China. Level 3 Travel Advisory (reconsider travel) has been issued for South Korea and Italy, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that travelers avoid all non-essential travel to South Korea. Level 2 Travel Advisory (exercise increased caution) has been issued for Japan.

In addition, the CDC has issued guidance for student foreign travel for institutions of higher education (IHE) in which they urge IHEs to consider postponing or canceling student foreign exchange and travel programs given the global outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Please click here to read the full statement.

The safety of our students, faculty, and staff is always top priority for Fairmont State University. As news regarding COVID-19 continues to evolve we will update this page and communicate with the campus community.

These destinations are experiencing sustained community transmission of respiratory illness caused by COVID-19. The virus can spread from person to person. Older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel. According to the CDC, there is limited access to adequate medical care in these affected areas. You may be at risk of getting stuck in these countries or being forced to quarantine when you return home.