Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Information

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Latest Updates

Fairmont State Campus COVID-19 Cases

Updated: 8:00 a.m. 9/24/2020 

Total Tests Administered On-Campus On-Campus Administered Test Results Provided Active Cases Administered On-Campus Active Cases Administered Off-Campus Recovered
3,704 3,703  0 8 14

Note: All data are provisional and subject to change based on information provided by local health departments.


#SOARsafe


Fairmont State to dedicate Pence Hall for COVID-19 quarantined students

In an effort to respond to Gov. Jim Justice’s request for Higher Education institutions to isolate and quarantine students on-campus, Fairmont State is shifting its quarantine strategy and transitioning Pence Hall to a dedicated facility to meet the special needs of these students.

The University’s COVID Task Force has been working daily since early this summer to prepare the campus for the return of students. This includes the management of active cases of COVID-19 on campus and processes for quarantining students who have potentially been exposed. As the pandemic continues, the University’s strategies continue to shift to best meet the needs of its students and requirements from local and state authorities.

Due to the historic nature of Fairmont State’s campus housing, a majority of unoccupied residence hall rooms feature communal bathrooms and are sprinkled throughout campus. Previously, to effectively quarantine students, Fairmont State had sought a hotel partner who could provide the amenities needed to safely house quarantined students while maintaining the highest of standards and best experiences. The University chose to engage the services of a Bridgeport hotel which is a premiere hotel location that includes on-site security, video monitoring, studio kitchens, private bathrooms and other modern amenities. This location was also chosen due to their COVID-19 business model that includes cleaning and staffing procedures to meet the needs of individuals in quarantine including health care workers and other essential employees. 

Over the next week, students currently living in Pence Hall will be relocated to other available rooms on campus. At that time, Pence Hall will be transitioned to exclusively house students in quarantine for possible exposure and those that have a confirmed positive case. The Bridgeport location will be phased out as we move through this process.

It is important to understand that currently, the overwhelming majority of students in quarantine have not received a positive COVID-19 test result.  Out of an abundance of caution and to reduce the likelihood of spread on campus, Fairmont State places students in quarantine who have had a primary exposure to someone with COVID-19, or who is symptomatic. These students remain in quarantine until the Marion County Health Department completes their contact tracing investigation, and the student is release by both the Marion County Health Department and Fairmont State.

COVID-19 Testing

Unlike larger institutions in the state who have health systems on their campus, Fairmont State, like all other regional institutions, does not have the facilities, tests or staffing to execute continued mass testing. Pending further directives by the Governor and the Higher Education Policy Commission, we will conduct any required testing as quickly and efficiently as possible.

All students who test positive are monitored by our COVID Task Force, COVID Student Liaison, and Student Health. As requested, the University continues to cooperate with the Marion County Health Department to complete investigations and contact tracing for positive cases connected with Fairmont State.

Additional Hotel Information

A campus official is located on the premises and students continue to receive the services they need, including: three meals a day delivered by Fairmont State food services; wireless high-speed internet; and daily check-in from a member of the Fairmont State COVID Task Force.  Mental health professionals remain available for all students. All costs are covered by the University.

Continued Access to Courses

Fairmont State is committed to the academic success of all of our students and has ensured quarantined students can continue to access their courses through synchronous instruction. This summer, all classrooms were equipped with video cameras and live streaming capabilities which has allowed faculty to provide synchronous broadcasts of each class. The University understood there would be a need for students in quarantine to continue to access classes in order to ensure satisfactory academic progress.  The University proactively prepared the facilities and personnel to meet this need.

Positive Food Service Employee

Fairmont State University has completed all phases of its free on-campus testing for COVID-19. In total, 3,704 tests were administered to faculty, staff and students. During this required testing, an employee of a third-party food service vendor tested positive for COVID-19 and was directed to remain off campus pursuant to the University’s health and safety guidelines. Following contact tracing by the Marion County Health Department, no campus health or safety concerns were reported.

University COVID-19 Dashboard

Upon receiving information of a confirmed COVID-19 case of a student, faculty or staff member, the University Dashboard is updated. Depending on new data, the dashboard may be updated multiple times a day or go a few days without an update.

There are currently eight active cases of COVID-19, all within the student population. Eight individuals have now recovered since the University began reporting data in late August.

University officials are looking at ways to provide additional data which may be required by health officials on the dashboard and will do so if an efficient and effective process can be identified.

Previous Update

COVID-19 Reminders and Resources

Falcon Family: 

As we continue our third week of classes, behaviors that were once foreign to us have become habits many of us have adapted to. Terms that were unknown just a few months ago are now part of our everyday vocabulary. We, as human beings, continue to be adaptable creatures who make choices for self-preservation and the preservation of those in our community.

As we said last week, this historic time is largely centered on choices.

  • Will I properly wear my mask on campus and in class?
  • Will I avoid going to parties where the virus can easily be spread?
  • Will I self-monitor for symptoms, quarantine if necessary, and truthfully participate in contact tracing?

By answering yes and turning these once foreign behaviors into habits, we can keep the Falcon Family safe and able to provide in-person instruction through the semester.

We have begun to be asked “Under what circumstances would Fairmont State go entirely online?” and “Under what circumstances would Fairmont State send students home?

University administration continues to work closely with local health departments and public health officials to track infection positivity rates nationally, statewide and on campus. All decisions will be based on data and on information received from health officials. 

Fairmont State is continuously monitoring the following indicators:

  • Percentage of tests that are positive.
  • County-specific incidence rates of COVID-19.
  • County-specific R-naught values (tracks the rate of transmission.)
  • Information on hospitalizations and hospital capacity.

This information will be regularly provided to University leadership to continually assess the current spread of COVID-19 so appropriate decisions are made. You may also view our COVID-19 Dashboard at www.fairmontstate.edu/covid19

We are so proud of all of our falcons and your choice to continue your education during these times. Fairmont State is committed to maintaining a safe educational environment for face-to-face learning this semester and beyond. Together we will be on the side of history that was able to keep campus open through November due to the courageous and selfless decisions that inspired others.

As a reminder, all students who missed the original COVID-19 testing dates must be tested during the makeup testing on Sept. 3. Daily emails have been sent to these students with additional information on how to schedule their test.

Below you will find additional reminders on a variety of topics related to COVID-19 on campus. Please use this email as a reference throughout the semester. It will also be placed on www.fairmontstate.edu/COVID19.


COMMUNICATION

Check Email Frequently

Please check your University email account frequently for updates from the University regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s very important that you open and read all emails related to the topic to keep you as safe as possible.

Answer and Respond to Phone Calls

It is crucial that everyone on our campus is alert to phone calls and emails, especially those that contain critical information about COVID-19. For example, if you’re considered to be a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19, you will be contacted by the associated County Health Department to quarantine. It’s important that you respond to that call and take immediate action to quarantine, otherwise the risk of community spread of COVID-19 increases on campus.

If you have questions throughout this fall, please email us at coronavirus@fairmontstate.edu.  

You can also stay updated by visiting www.fairmontstate.edu/covid19.

Update Your Emergency Alert Information

If you are not signed up for the University’s emergency text alert system, you can do so at my.fairmontstate.edu. Click on “Emergency Notifications” and enter your UCA and password. This alert system will be used throughout the semester to update you on operational changes due to COVID-19, emergency alerts and weather announcements.

ACCOUNTABILITY

COVID-19 enforcement 

The University is taking enforcement of COVID-19 protocols very seriously this fall.

Employees and students will be accountable for the following requirements:

  • COVID-19 test
  • Self-reporting a positive COVID-19 test result
  • Isolation and quarantine periods
  • Contact tracing efforts
  • Proper use of masks/face coverings
  • Local, state and federal physical distancing and maximum crowd size orders
  • Wellness checks

To view the Student Code of Conduct, visit the Student Conduct page.

COVID-19 Task Force 

Fairmont State has created a COVID-19 Task Force comprised of individuals from the emergency management team, student affairs, student health, student conduct, and Information Technology. The task force works closely with the local health departments to continually monitor active COVID-19 cases on campus based on testing information and self-reports. 

A representative from Student Health, Housing, or the Student COVID Liaison will be in continuous communication with all students who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are in quarantine. Additionally, Counseling Services will be alerted to assist students during this time. The Student COVID Liaison will work to inform faculty members if a student will miss in-person class because of a COVID-related event or a self-report of illness. 

WELLNESS

If you don’t feel well this fall

Students should immediately contact Student Health Services, (304) 367-4155, and the Marion County Health Department, (304) 366-3360. Then, students should immediately self-isolate, wear a mask, and report symptoms at www.fairmontstate.edu/reportillness.  Remember that masks are to be worn in any public spaces and in all classrooms at the University.

Faculty and staff should not report to work or visit campus if they feel ill or show symptoms associated with COVID-19. Contact your primary care provider, HR, and your immediate supervisor. Then, self-isolate, wear a mask, and report symptoms at www.fairmontstate.edu/reportillness.

What to do if ... “I test positive/quarantine/etc.”

Students, faculty and staff with a positive test result will be notified by the local health department and a contact tracing investigation will begin. Please be honest and detailed when providing information on others who may have been exposed. 

As requested, the University will assist with contact tracing and also work with local health departments to determine if there is a need to decontaminate a specific facility or implement any additional mitigation measures.

Testing information regarding patients is regulated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) guidelines and will be kept confidential to the extent possible under the circumstances.

CAMPUS LIFE

Residence Hall Visitation

The global pandemic has changed the way we look at everyday situations. In an attempt to maintain the safest living environment within the residence halls, visitation has been eliminated.

  • Visitation by residents from within the assigned residence hall is strongly discouraged.
  • No room/suite/apartment should exceed its number of actual occupants.
  • No guests who do not live in the residence hall will be permitted to enter the residence hall.

For more information about life in the residence halls including updated regulations, please read the Residence Life Guide to Success

What campus will look like 

Campus looks different this fall, as the University has installed several measures for personal safety. Below are some of the ways campus has changed:

Campus facilities
  • Separate entries and exits will be designated for larger, heavily used buildings.
  • Personnel workflow and physical structure also may be adjusted to limit crossover in entrances, hallways and common spaces.
  • Individuals will be asked to walk to the right in common hallways, corridors and paths.
  • Plexiglass guards will create safe barriers in classrooms, point of sale locations, service counters and any area that requires or encourages close interaction.
  • Elevator riders should wear face masks, not overcrowd and exercise extreme caution. Only board an elevator if you feel comfortable with occupancy.
  • Signage will direct flow and traffic to stairwells.
  • As part of reducing density on campus, some facilities will be closed or have reduced hours, and services will be offered more efficiently virtually. You may want to call or email in advance of visiting a campus office to make sure they are available in-person.
  • For classroom buildings, students are asked to remain outside the building until the previous classes have finished and students from those classes have exited the building.
Falcon Center Services and Student Activities
 
  • The Falcon Center is open for food service. There are some changes related to safety guidelines but the Falcon Center will be open including Chick-fil-A, Chilaca, Starbucks, and the Dining Hall. There will be occupancy limits in place and seating will be arranged to ensure physical distancing.
  • Food distribution will be similar to past operations, with the exception of self-serve items, which will now be served by staff. There will be limited numbers of students allowed through the line, and tables will be spaced to observe social distancing.
  • The Falcon Center will be open for all students with safety and physical distancing protocols being observed including wearing a face covering. Areas for students to sit and/or complete homework will be available where social distancing can be observed. Students can also utilize similar areas in the library.
  • The Falcon Center gym, fitness rooms, weight room and indoor track will be open for faculty, staff and students. The swimming pool will be open to limited capacity. Locker room amenities may be limited. The staff is working with the Marion County Health Department to determine the scope of services available. Services may continue to change throughout the semester. Visit the Falcon Center page for the current hours of operation.
  • Student Activities continues to create programming that is engaging for all students. There will be opportunities to attend in-person and/or engage virtually. To attend in-person you must pre-register and follow all health & safety guidelines. Participation will require the use of a face covering and physical distancing where possible. Follow @FairmontStateSA on social media, check out the Falcon Flyer, or view the flat screen TVs on the 3rd floor of Colebank to stay informed about what opportunities are available!

Campus Update on COVID-19 Response and FAQs

Campus Community:

As students, faculty and staff return to campus and the start of the term is upon us, we continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and update procedures to keep the campus community safe. Through this process we have several updates to share with you. Please carefully review the information below. While some questions may not be specific to you, it is important to understand how the campus as a whole is handling COVID-19. Employees should refer all questions to your department chain, dean or supervisor. Students may email coronavirus@fairmontstate.edu with any questions.

CAMPUS VISITORS
In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID 19 on campus and out of an abundance of caution for our faculty, staff and students Fairmont State will not be allowing ANY visitors on campus until further notice. This includes recruitment activities and those visiting for academic purposes. Should you have questions please reach out to your supervisor.

CLASS ATTENDANCE PRIOR TO TEST RESULT
Students who have not received their COVID-19 test results by the time they are scheduled to attend in-person classes should NOT report to in-person classes until they receive a negative test result. Students should attend scheduled class sessions remotely via live stream delivery. Please work with your students to accommodate this attendance structure.

ATTENDANCE and ASSIGNED SEATING
In order to allow for accurate contact tracing to occur, it is essential that class attendance is taken for each class session. Please be sure to make a distinction between who is attending class in-person and who is attending digitally. In addition, all students should be assigned a seat for the semester in order to contain the risk of exposure. This will be critical information needed during a contact tracing investigation.

UPDATED FAQs

How is the University managing student COVID-19 cases?
Fairmont State has created a COVID-19 Task Force comprised of individuals from the emergency management team, student affairs, student health, student conduct, and IT. The task force works closely with the local health departments to continually monitor active COVID-19 cases on campus based on testing information and self-reports. 

A representative from Student Health or the Student COVID Liaison will be in continuous communication with all students who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are in quarantine. Additionally, Counseling Services will be alerted to assist students during this time. The Student COVID Liaison will work to inform faculty members if a student will miss in-person class because of a COVID-related event or a self-report of illness. 

How is it not against HIPAA for people to be notified if someone tests positive?
Students, faculty and staff will be notified privately by the local health department if they test positive. Those identified as a close contact will be notified they have been exposed, but no personal, identifying information will be given.

As an instructor, how will I know if students are missing class due to a potential COVID-19 exposure or event?
Faculty will receive a form email from the COVID-19 Student Liaison informing them that a student is unable to attend class due to a COVID-19 related matter or event and will not be back in class for at least XX days. Faculty should work with these students to develop alternative plans to allow for continued progress in the class until they physically return.

This email is not confirmation that there has been an exposure to faculty and/or other students.  The associated County Health Department will be in contact with those people identified as being “secondarily exposed.”  Please continue to conduct class as currently structured until further notice. 

If one student in a class tests positive, will all students in the class have to quarantine? 
Only those who have been within close contact of a person who tests positive will be asked to quarantine. This request will come from the associated Health Department via a contact tracing investigation.

A close contact includes:

  • Having been within 6 feet of someone diagnosed with COVID-19 for a period of at least 15 minutes in any environment, regardless of the use of face coverings or masks; or,
  • Living in the same household as a person with COVID-19,
  • Caring for a sick person with COVID-19, or
  • Being in direct contact with secretions from a person with COVID-19 (e.g., being coughed on, kissing, sharing utensils, etc.) 

How will course requirements be met when a student has to quarantine/self-isolate for possibly a week at a time, in multiple instances?
It is the expectation that during the next academic year, all course material necessary to meet the course learning goals will be available to students in the event of a mandated quarantine or isolation. Even in quarantine or isolation, a student will be able to keep up with class content, as well as any class requirements. Synchronous, live broadcasts of all classes will be available to all students.  It is further expected that all classes will be recorded. Communication with instructors is key to continued success within the course, so all  students should keep their instructors informed of any situation that may impact class attendance.

How will we know how COVID-19 is affecting the University community as the semester progresses?
Our public health partners will work with our COVID Task Force in identifying the number of positive cases and potential spread of the virus in the community. That information will inform the actions the University must take to keep campus safe. You can follow Fairmont State’s COVID-19 testing results on the campus testing results dashboard— www.fairmontstate.edu/covid19.

Under what circumstances would Fairmont State go entirely online? Under what circumstances would Fairmont State send students home?
University administration is working closely with local health department and public health officials to track infection positivity rates nationally and statewide. All decisions will be based on data and on information received from health officials.  The University will communicate with its community as information is made available.

Fairmont State is continuously monitoring the following indicators:

  • Percentage of tests that are positive.
  • County-specific incidence rates of COVID-19.
  • County-specific R-naught values (tracks the rate of transmission.)
  • Information on hospitalizations and hospital capacity.

This information will be regularly provided to University leadership to continually assess our local situation so appropriate decisions are made and communicated in a timely basis. 

What if I feel ill or begin to show symptoms of COVID-19?
Students should first contact Student Health Services, (304) 367-4155, and the Marion County Health Department, (304) 366-3360. Then, students should immediately self-isolate, wear a mask, and report symptoms at www.fairmontstate.edu/reportillness.  Remember that masks are to be worn in any public spaces and in all classrooms at the University.

Faculty and staff should not report to work or visit campus if they feel ill or show symptoms associated with COVID-19. Contact their primary care provider, HR and your immediate supervisor. Then, self-isolate, wear a mask, and report symptoms at www.fairmontstate.edu/reportillness.

What happens if a student or employee tests positive for COVID-19? 
Students, faculty and staff with a positive test result will be notified by the local health department and a contact tracing investigation will begin. Please be as honest and detailed as possible when providing information on others who may have been exposed.

As requested, the University will assist with contact tracing and also work with local health departments to determine if there is a need to decontaminate a specific facility or implement any additional mitigation measures.

Testing information regarding patients is regulated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) guidelines and will be kept confidential to the extent possible under the circumstances.

What is going to happen when the flu and COVID-19 are here at the same time?
We recommend that students and staff receive the influenza vaccine to help prevent infection this flu season. The recommendations of wearing masks, social distancing, hand washing and proper hygiene will also aid in the prevention of other illnesses.

What protocols should faculty, staff and students follow while waiting for their University COVID-19 test results?
You will be asked to maintain physical separation as much as possible and avoid large gatherings to the fullest extent possible until the results of your test are available.

Faculty and staff should still report to work, but they must wear a mask/face covering as mandated, stay in their workspace as much as possible, practice physical distancing and avoid large crowds.

Students may not attend class while awaiting test results. Students can leave their residence hall room but should wear a mask/face covering as mandated and stay physically distant as much as possible, and follow all other Residence Hall Health and Safety Policies. Students should still be able to eat within the dining halls, but they should wear a mask/face covering and physically distance themselves while traveling to dining halls and when they are not eating. During this period, various virtual activities will be hosted for students to stay busy, meet people, etc.

Who came up with the definition of a close contact?
Fairmont State follows the guidance provided by the CDC on the definition of close contacts.

Why is it safe for faculty to come back but not all students?
We have taken significant precautions to keep our faculty and students as safe as possible within the classroom, including Plexiglas barriers, physical distancing and mask/face covering requirements. In addition, we’ve provided faculty with guidelines to assure that all students are following the necessary protocols. We understand that this situation is not ideal, but we know the importance of in-person instruction.  We are doing everything we can to continue that instruction.

Will everyone be tested before returning to campus?
Fairmont State will provide a free test to all students, faculty and staff who are returning to Fairmont State campuses. Students who are taking classes exclusively online will not be required to be tested.

Will students and employees be able to travel during the fall semester?
Fairmont State strongly discourages any student or employee from personal travel to locations other than their home and campus. In addition, the University remains closed to visitors.

Anyone traveling domestically outside of West Virginia is subject to a 5-day self-quarantine/self-monitoring period. This does not include commuting to work.

University-related international and domestic business travel for Fairmont State students and employees will be not be allowed. Individuals who are returning to the Fairmont State campuses from any international/cruise ship travel are subject to a 14-day self-quarantine/self-monitoring period.

Will temperature checks be done at entrances to buildings, offices, classrooms, etc.?
Temperature checks will not be part of the everyday campus experience for most faculty, staff and students. Some units with unique risks associated with their operations, such as Dining Services, may establish more stringent access controls, including daily temperature checks and health status questionnaires before reporting to work.

Will the University test new hires for COVID-19 as they come on board? 
Any new hires who will be working on campus, including those working in a hybrid capacity, will be required to complete a COVID-19 test.

Will there be a reduction in tuition for online class schedules?
No, there will not be a reduction in tuition, as students will continue to receive quality instruction and will be earning college credit toward commencement.  In addition, Fairmont State University did not increase tuition for this academic year in an effort to provide as much support to returning and new students.


Fairmont State announces phased return to campus—Fall semester to start Aug. 17

Campus Community:  

Over the last few days, many of you have shared your concerns, questions, and suggestions regarding the start of our fall semester. We have heard you. In partnership with the Marion County Health Department, WVHEPC, and other governmental agencies, Fairmont State University is taking immediate steps to address your concerns.   

We have chosen to continue to act with an abundance of caution to protect our Falcon family.  Therefore, today, we are announcing the delay of the start of the semester until August 17 in an effort to adhere to the directive of the Governor to test targeted populations of students for COVID-19. In addition, Fairmont State University will adopt a phased return to campus model which allows freshmen (and select other populations) to return to campus for in-person instruction on August 17. Remaining students will also begin classes on August 17 but will attend their first week virtually, including but not limited to just-in-time live stream that will subsequently also be available as recorded content. These students will then return to campus for face-to-face classes on August 24.  

The delay for the start of the semester has a minimal impact on our Academic Calendar. Attached you will find our updated Academic Calendar including updated dates for finals and Commencement.  

Please read below for details on testing, move-in, when different student populations may arrive on campus, and when you will begin to attend classes in person. All classes will begin on August 17, regardless of the return to campus phase in which you fall. Course delivery will vary during the week of August 17 depending on your professors’ course content; however,  ALL classes will be held and live-streamed during their scheduled time.  

The Office of Residence Life will be sending information about move-in times and dates via your Fairmont State email to all students with an on-campus housing assignment for this fall.  

More information will follow regarding on-campus testing locations and testing procedures.  

To determine your class rank, visit my.fairmontstate.edu, and log in to FELiX. Click on Current Academic Program and if prompted, select the fall 2020 semester.  

GROUP 1—Will attend in-person classes beginning August 17 

WHO:  ALL First-time freshmen, all freshmen rank, international students, nursing students, education majors student teaching in the fall 2020 semester 

NOTE: Some student employees and graduate assistants will be notified by their dean or supervisor to return in group 1.  

August 9-11

Move-in for Group 1 residential students. Mandatory testing is required for all students.

August 10-13

Additional programming added for Group 1 residential students 

August 14-16 

Welcome Weekend—the first major programmatic event that students will experience at Fairmont State.  These events – including Convocation – are designed for all new students living on and off campus or transferring into Fairmont State. 

August 17

Classes begin with in-person course delivery for all populations 

GROUP 2—Will attend virtual classes Aug. 17-21; In-Person, on-campus classes begin August 24 

WHO:  Sophomores, juniors, seniors, and graduate students 

August 16-18

Move-in for Group 2 residential students. Mandatory testing is required for all students.

August 17

Virtual attendance begins (including but not limited to live stream and recorded content)—first-week only 

August 24

Face-to-face attendance for classes begins

Please continue to monitor your campus email for information about COVID-19 testing. 

Fairmont State continues to work daily with the Marion County Health Department, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (WVHEPC), Office of the Governor, and West Virginia DHHR to monitor the current spread of COVID-19.  We will continue to update our return to campus plans as information becomes available. We will also continue to inform our Falcon community as changes are made. 

Download a PDF of this announcement.

Download the updated 2020-21 Academic Calendar.


FALCONS RETURN HOME — Student and Faculty Frequently Asked Questions

Updated July 10, 2020 at 9:00 a.m.

Fairmont State University continues to work on safely bringing students back to our campuses to begin the fall 2020 semester, fully engaged in the classroom, laboratory, clinical, experiential, extramural, and co-curricular environments. Yes, things will be a little different but the same Falcon spirit will remain. 

Our Emergency Management team continues to work closely with the Marion County Health Department, West Virginia National Guard, and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources to create policies and guidelines that will help to keep our campus community safe. 

Throughout this process of preparation and implementation, our decisions continue to be guided by public health guidelines and the health, safety, and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and communities. As a result, the University may modify policies and procedures to ensure that the most recent guidance from federal, state, and local officials are being met. Continue to monitor this page for up-to-date information.

Please review the Student FAQ and the Faculty FAQ for answers to many commonly asked questions. As a reminder, the Fairmont State Return to Work Roadmap and Return to Work FAQ can be found on the Staff Info page

If you have any questions, please contact your supervisor, Human Resources at HR@fairmontstate.edu our emergency management team at emergencymanagement@fairmontstate.edu


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


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.

As with prior Fairmont State publications, these materials are meant to be consistent with guidance published by the federal, state, and local governments and the associated health agencies. This document is reflective of the relevant scientific and medical information available at the time of publication. These materials are not and should not be used as a substitute for medical or legal advice. Rather, they are intended as a resource for use in coordination with applicable government and related institutional policies and guidelines, and they remain subject to further revision as available data and information in this space continue to emerge and evolve.

NOTE: The lists are not exhaustive.  Further, the above link(s) are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only. They do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Fairmont State University, and Fairmont State bears no responsibility for the accuracy, effectiveness or legal status of the content of these external sites or for that of subsequent links. Please contact the individual site owners for answers to questions regarding content.