On December 16, both the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania Department of Health recommended that colleges and universities delay the start of in-person classes to help mitigate the transmission of COVID-19.

Regrettably, we have seen a rise in coronavirus cases in our community, and there are significant concerns that this upward trend will continue.

We are committed to helping you achieve your academic goals, but we are also concerned about your health and safety, and the health and safety of our communities.

Because of the information we have and the predictions made by health experts, we will begin classes for the spring semester on Tuesday, January 19, via remote instruction.

In-person instruction for classes scheduled in that format will begin three weeks into the spring semester, which is Monday, February 8. We strongly encourage students to begin their remote studies for the spring semester away from campus and the Indiana community.

Some, although very few, classes will require in-person instruction the first three weeks starting January 19, because of accrediting requirements or other regulations. If any of your classes are in this category, you will be notified via email by your college dean's office by Friday, January 8.

Your dean or members of the dean's office are available to answer questions and concerns.

After February 8, courses will continue as scheduled. The current spring academic calendar will remain in place, as will plans about which students will return to campus, as announced in November.

University residence halls will be open and staffed, but, as stated above, we strongly encourage all students to continue their remote instruction away from campus and the Indiana community through Sunday, February 7. The Office of Housing, Residential Living, and Dining will post additional move-in options for on-campus students via MyIUP.

Students studying in the Academy of Culinary Arts, the Criminal Justice Training Center, and the Institute for Rural Health and Safety will not be required to shift to remote learning for this three-week period. These programs are among the few that will continue to be offered in the delivery method currently scheduled.

We strongly recommend that all students, when they return to campus, take advantage of on-campus COVID-19 testing. On the Indiana campus, testing will begin Monday, January 11, and will continue through mid-April.

This testing will be free to students; insurance will be billed if it is available, but no copay will be required. More information about testing and links for online registration for testing will be sent to you later this week.

I know this is a change from what we communicated in December, but because conditions related to the coronavirus pandemic shift rapidly, we must be willing to adjust the way we do business to keep you, our employees, and our community as safe as possible.

While we are asking you to study remotely for the first three weeks of the spring semester, all university resources—the Rhonda H. Luckey Center for Health and Well-Being, Health Service, and Counseling Center, as well as support services including the IT Support Center, Hawks Q&A Center, Career and Professional Development Center, Kathleen Jones White Writing Center, and many others—remain available to you.

The IUP Libraries will be open through January 17, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Starting January 19, it will be open Monday through Friday and on Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Beginning February 8, hours will be Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

If you need help, reach out to us. Although we are not physically together, we are here for you.

Please continue to enjoy your break and your time with family and friends. We will provide more information as it becomes available.