COVID-19 is a rapidly changing situation. Your well-being is our top priority. Together with VCU Health, we are working around the clock to take proactive steps to ensure the health and safety of our students, patients, faculty and staff. So many of the services you have come to rely on are now being offered as a Virtual VCU.
In this unprecedented time, your Ram family is pulling together to answer your questions. We will communicate with you directly and often through your VCU email as well as VCU Facebook and Twitter. Continue to send us your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will update this site as plans and procedures are determined or changed.
A message from VCU President Michael Rao
Even though we are not together physically right now, we still are very much connected. We are, as always, One VCU. I recorded a video message to ask that we all stay connected by sending messages of hope and encouragement to each other on social media using #OneVCU.
Remember to stay safe, stay well, and I’ll be seeing you virtually.
Michael Rao, Ph.D.
President, VCU and VCU Health System
4/3/2020 8:38 p.m.
- Due to the impact of COVID-19 on K-12 school systems throughout the country, VCU has decided to move the freshman response deadline from May 1 to June 1 for students who were accepted to the university by April 1. Review the checklist.
Academics and classes
- NEW: Courses in summer 2020 sessions beginning before July 9 will all move to remote instruction (online). Summer 2020 sessions that begin on July 9 and July 20 will maintain their currently scheduled format. We will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 and will be prepared to move the July 9 and July 20 sessions to remote instruction (online) if required. We anticipate making a final announcement about the July 9 and July 20 sessions no later than May 29. Additional information is available on the Summer Studies 2020 Update Webpage.
- Tuition and Mandatory Fees (University, Library, Technology, Campus Learning Center, Activity, Health, etc.) ensure VCU can provide instructional and support services to students as they pursue their education. Although VCU has moved to remote instruction for the Spring 2020 semester, we continue to provide essential services that promote, facilitate and support student learning in a remote environment. Thus, no reimbursement for tuition and/or mandatory fees will be granted for the Spring 2020 semester. If you are interested in learning more about the services provided by specific offices, please visit their website or contact them directly. The staff and faculty continue to work tirelessly to provide you a quality education and student experience to ensure that you can finish Spring 2020 strong.
- A new, temporary pass/fail grading option for undergraduate and graduate students has been established for the spring semester. The VCU Faculty Senate passed a resolution in favor of the new grading option. Details are available on the Spring 2020 Pass/Fail Option webpage. In addition, emails announcing the new option have been sent to undergraduate students and to graduate students.
- Student success remains the core of VCU's mission, and during these “remote” times, VCU's goal across the university is to continue to provide resources to help all of VCU's students accomplish the successful completion of this semester. A summary list of resources available to students: https://altlab.vcu.edu/rapid-response/students/.
- Technology Services has provided information to help individuals navigate the process of improving their internet connections, or finding alternative means to connect while still maintaining social distancing so that they can teach, learn, and work during the rest of this semester. Information about free and low-cost wifi, data and hot-spot options is also included at: https://ts.vcu.edu/askit/network-services/home-network-troubleshooting/.
- Students who are part of the federal work-study program will be paid up to the amount of their award on the normal semi-monthly pay schedule. Student workers (non-federal work-study) will have their payments continued through May 9. Payment is a calculated weekly rate based upon scheduled hours, as reflected in past earnings between January 13 and March 6. Payment continues on a semi-monthly basis. Payment is calculated by Payroll Services. Some students whose work is being performed remotely, such as student tutors or help desk support, have been asked to continue working and are provided with premium pay (1.5 times your regular hourly rate). Supervisors have reached out to you if your work falls into this category. For full details, visit https://hr.vcu.edu/covid-19/.
- RamStrong, VCU’s collective wellness resource for faculty and staff, now offers resources specific to the COVID-19 crisis, including tips for staying active, connected and emotionally healthy.
- VCU has issued a statement on reporting COVID-19 cases, based on guidance from local and state health authorities. Read the full statement.
- VCU will be issuing refunds/credits for housing and dining. Information regarding refunds/credits to your student account will be communicated to students by April 9. Given the circumstances, the payment plan due date originally scheduled for April 9 will be postponed to May 4, and the May 2 due date will be postponed to May 26. For the full message from VCU President Rao, visit: https://news.vcu.edu/article/Major_COVID19_announcements.
- VCU will be issuing refunds/credits for student parking permits. Information regarding parking permit refunds/credits will be communicated to students by April 9.
- VCU Health has updated its COVID-19 screening process for visitors. Effective immediately, visitors entering VCU Medical Center will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 at entrances. This includes the entrances to our pediatric and adult emergency departments. Visitors exhibiting signs or symptoms of COVID-19 are not permitted to enter VCU Medical Center. This is an update to the hospital's visitor screening process and does not apply to patients. VCU Health is not turning away any patients in need of medical care. For details, please visit: https://www.vcuhealth.
- The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation has issued guidance for research continuity to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the VCU research enterprise. For more information, visit https://research.vcu.edu/covid-19.
Virginia Commonwealth University remains committed to promoting a culture of inclusion for all its employees, patients and students. Discrimination or discriminatory harassment is not only unlawful, but it is harmful to the well-being of our university community. We are aware of the news reports regarding bullying, harassment and stereotyping of Chinese Americans and persons of Asian descent in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19). There is no place for this sort of behavior, especially not at VCU. Our university values, specifically those related to diversity and inclusion, have withstood many difficult situations and trying times, and they will not falter now.
Please be assured that VCU will make every effort to prevent the occurence of unlawful discrimination and, if necessary, take prompt and appropriate action to remedy and prevent its reoccurence. Every member of our community is asked to:
- Become familiar with the university’s policy on preventing and responding to discrimination in the VCU Policy Library.
- Consult with Equity and Access Services or VCU Human Resources for additional guidance on how to maintain a bias-free environment.
- Encourage individuals affected by this type of misconduct to file a report of discrimination or harassment with Equity and Access Services.
- Bookmark and share information on university or community agencies that offer support or services, such as VCU Counseling Services.
- Offer nonjudgmental support and empathy to those affected.
This is a rapidly changing situation, and we know you have questions. We are working to answer those questions and will be communicating with you directly on an ongoing basis as plans and procedures are finalized.
VCU’s Incident Coordination Team and VCU Health System’s Coronavirus Task Force are working together around the clock to monitor and update response plans.
We remain in close contact with the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and continue to take proactive steps to ensure the health and safety of our students, patients, faculty and staff.
In the meantime, this site is updated at least once a day and includes the latest university actions, information, and recommendations. VCU Health also maintains a COVID-19 website that includes frequently asked questions and additional resources.