North Dakota University System’s 11 colleges and universities are continuing to monitor and assess the environment of our campuses after the state announced the first case of coronavirus yesterday.

Campus presidents met with university system officials in Bismarck this week during a planning session guided by Dr. Joshua Wynne and Dr. Paul Carson, an infectious disease specialist. Shortly thereafter, State Board of Higher Education Chair Nick Hacker, Chancellor Mark Hagerott, Wynne and Dr. Dean Bresciani met with State Health Department Director Mylynn Tufte and senior members of the governor’s staff.

Campus leadership has been empowered to take appropriate action they think necessary – with the guidance that the health, safety and well-being of campus communities as the highest priority.

“As this situation continues to evolve it is important for our presidents to have the flexibility to find their best way forward while keeping the health and well-being of their students, staff and faculty as a priority,” Hacker said. “This type of coordination and collaboration is essential for response planning.”

Hagerott noted that communication among NDUS institutions and state agencies has been open and supportive since response planning began on March 3.

“We appreciate the support of the governor’s office and the state health department,” Hagerott said. “Some campuses have already used their flexibility to transition certain courses to be online-only, although we respect that this may not be the preferred option for smaller campuses, with small courses requiring a more hands-on approach to learning.”

Information about the university system’s ongoing response to the virus can be found at https://cts.ndus.edu/coronavirus/.