Cal U moves to remote operations in response to concerns about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)


Jeff Helsel

“Stay well” is the message on display as the sun rises over Cal U’s Convocation Center, Wednesday morning, March 18, 2020. As the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to spread throughout the world, Cal U announced a move to remote operations. Students will not return to on-campus classes for the remainder of the spring term.

Geraldine M. Jones, President, California University of Pennsylvania

March 16, 2020

To our Cal U community,

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread, the University is adjusting its response out of concern for the health and safety of our students, our employees, and the communities where we live and work.

University leadership is closely following developments on the federal, state and local levels as conditions change. Nothing matters more than the health and safety of our students and employees, and to date, we have no cases of COVID-19 presumed or confirmed on campus. However, we believe it is in the best interest of our entire Cal U community to be proactive in our response.

Consequently, Cal U will move to remote operations beginning Wednesday, March 18. All classes will be delivered online or via distance learning. After preparing their courses for online/distance learning, faculty will be teaching remotely. With the exception of those essential employees required to maintain campus safety and vital operations, employees will be working remotely as well.


  • If you are enrolled in a 100% online program, it’s “business as usual.” Continue your courses as planned. If you are taking one or more classes online, your classes resumed as scheduled after the regular spring break.
  • If you are enrolled in an on-campus (face-to-face) program, you are currently on an extended break until March 27. Beginning March 30, all of your on-campus courses will be taught via online/distance education until further notice.
  • Our residence halls will be closing. All students with rooms in the residence halls are asked to remove their belongings and check out no later than 4 pm. Sunday, March 22. Dining services will end and access to the halls will be restricted after that time. If you have questions, please contact the Housing Office at 724-938-4444. Additional details regarding refunds for housing and dining services will be provided at a later date.
  • The off-campus apartments at Vulcan Village will remain open. All activities are canceled until further notice. No visitors are allowedand no gatherings or parties are permitted.
  • Student teachers, interns and students engaged in other experiential learning should NOT report to their internship/learning sites. As outlined in the March 15 email to students (see “Important Messages” at, please notify the appropriate person at your internship/fieldwork site and contact your professor to explore the possibility of alternate learning activities.
  • Student workers and graduate assistants will continue to be paid, but they should NOT report to work until further notice.
  • Manderino Library will be closed, but students can access library services online through the library’s website. Librarians will be on call. Cal U is aware that some students may lack the technology needed to complete coursework online. Watch your campus email for further information on this topic.

Cal U intends to complete the semester as scheduled, but our formal Commencement ceremony will not be held this spring. (Seniors, stay tuned for further information regarding your graduation!) Please contact your professors if you have questions about specific courses.


For faculty who are teaching a 100% online program or any online course(s), it’s “business as usual.” Faculty who teach on-campus courses should continue working to convert their face-to-face courses for online delivery or distance learning beginning March 30. The provost/VP will outline the duties of non-instructional faculty as needed.

For the safety of our students and our communities, students have been advised that all student teaching, internships, fieldwork and other experiential education have been suspended for the rest of the semester. Please work with those students to explore alternate routes to course completion where possible.


With the exception of those essential employees required to maintain campus safety and critical University operations, all union members, non-represented staff and administrators will be working remotely until further notice. Please review the March 15 message from the Office of Human Resources on employees working remotely (see “Important Messages” at If you have questions, contact the HR Office at 724-938-4427.

These are extraordinary times, and I understand that these measures are unprecedented. I appreciate your patience and cooperation as Cal U adjusts to a situation that is changing day by day. Please know that decisions are being made with the best information available – and always with the best interest of our students, faculty and staff foremost in our minds. Nothing is more important than your health and safety.

Keep well.

Geraldine M. Jones
University President