South Dakota State University is monitoring the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Since being first detected in Wuhan, China, the illness has made headlines and spread to countries throughout the world..
The university's efforts are in collaboration with the South Dakota Department of Health as it continues to monitor the virus in South Dakota. The SD-DOH is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and health care partners across the state to address this unprecedented situation.
Worldwide infections are still climbing and the virus has tremendously impacted the United States. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) projects the U.S. will reach its peak around April 17. IHME projects the peak in South Dakota to be closer to May 1.
Important Information for Tuesday, April 7
The following section will be used to communicate important information on a daily basis pertaining to COVID-19. Please continue to check this area of the website on a regular basis.
Upcoming Administrative Holidays
The Governor and the Board of Regents have declared that the offices under their control will be administratively closed Good Friday April 10th and Monday April 13th (Administrative Holidays).
Temporary Tenure Review Extension
South Dakota State University is automatically extending the tenure review period for one year for all tenure track appointments in existence during the spring 2020 semester. A temporary South Dakota Board of Regents policy was developed enabling the extension in recognition of the disruptions to meeting research and scholarship, service, and teaching expectations during the COVID-19 crisis. Faculty may opt-out of the automatic extension prior to formal notification to apply for tenure by making written notification to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Human Resources office.
Professional Development - Remote Opportunities
In a joint effort between the Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, Human Resources and the Office of Continuing and Distance Education, a series of online courses is available for continuous faculty and staff development. There is no charge to participate in these classes.
Summer Term/Events Update
Per the South Dakota Board of Regents announcement April 6, South Dakota State University will continue online-only course delivery for all university instruction through the summer academic term. Summer term classes typically begin in May and continue through early August at SDSU.
In addition, SDSU will also cancel all campus events and activities until August 15.
Canceled events include:
- Summer sports and academic camps hosted by academic departments and intercollegiate athletics;
- Events held in the Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center;
- Events, including weddings, held by outside groups at university-operated facilities;
- All large-scale meetings/conferences scheduled in campus facilities by university and/or outside groups.
The event cancellation also includes university-sponsored events that occur off-campus.
Spring Grading Options Update
South Dakota State University is providing an alternative grading option of S/U for some programs and courses in recognition of the circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. A temporary South Dakota Board of Regents policy for spring 2020 semester was developed to allow students the option to select S/U (S = Satisfactory, U = Unsatisfactory) grades for some programs and majors.
If an S/U grade option is selected, students will receive all applicable credit for satisfactory completion of the approved course, but the grade does not figure in GPA calculations.
Additional information can be found in the Alternative Grading Option for Students announcement released on Friday, April 3.
Transportation Services is conducting only essential campus functions until normal campus activities resume, currently scheduled for May 15. The affected services include:
- Parking enforcement is not considered an essential campus function. If you are required to report to campus, you may park in in any regular stall near your building, regardless of permit designation. Please do not park in signed spaces, drive lanes, fire lanes, on sidewalks or in accessibility designated spaces without a valid Accessibility placard.
- There will be no parking permit fees for the months of April and May. As a result:
- If you are on a payroll deduction plan for parking permit fees, there will be no deduction for April or May; and
- If you paid-in-full for your FY20 permit, you will receive a credit for two months worth of parking fees that will be credited toward the purchase of your FY21 permit. There is no need to cancel your permit.
- Since the university-mandated travel ban is still in effect, any requests for motor pool vehicles must be approved by your department head and college dean or associate dean, if so directed (the appropriate vice president will monitor approvals). No state vehicles can be used without proper authorization. This notice applies to both motor pool vehicles and permanent/department assigned vehicles.
Transportation Services employees are working remotely and are not maintaining any on-campus office hours. Parking- or motor pool-related questions can be emailed or directed to 688-7275 (please leave a message). Phones and emails are monitored on a daily basis.
Online Title IX training
Due to changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline date for completing the online Title IX training has been extended from April 2 to April 24, 2020.
In addition, Michelle Johnson, the university’s director of Equal Opportunity and Title IX coordinator, has received emails from employees notifying her about concerns their training links expired. The vendor is working on this issue and the training links will remain active until April 24. You should be receiving a reminder email under "South Dakota Board of Regents Course Status Reminder."
The links are unique for each user and should not be shared. Please also note that all employees are required to complete the training. This includes hourly student employees, as well as graduate teaching, research and administrative assistants. Some such employees have completed the student version of the training, which satisfies the employee training requirement.
If you experience concerns while operating the training, please send an email to Human Resources.
Residence Hall Phased Checkout Plan
SDSU is following CDC and South Dakota Department of Health guidelines to the best of our ability at this time and suggest you do the same. Individuals who choose to participate in the move out process assume the potential health risks of doing so. Move-out takes place in three phases as follows:
Phase I Check-Out: March 30-April 9, 2020 - See schedule below for the date and time assigned to your hall, floor and room.
Phase II Check-Out: April 15-May 8 - Individually schedule move-out appointments. More details will be sent to your Jacks email after April 9th with a link to schedule appointments.
Phase III Check-Out: May 9 and beyond - Housing will reach out individually to those not moved out to discuss next steps and options.
Strict adherence to each student’s assigned times will allow the checkout to proceed within the social distancing criteria that will support the safety of everyone involved. Compliance with the indicated checkout times will also allow SDSU to adequately staff each checkout site.
For more information, visit the Residence Hall Phased Checkout Plan.
Second-Chance Residence Hall Check-Out Process
Students and families who do not attend the Main Phase Move-Out scheduled for March 30 – April 9 can still retrieve their belongings. Students can schedule an individual check-out by selecting a time to check-out between April 15 – and May 8, evening and weekend times will be available. The scheduling site for Second-Chance Check-Out will go live on April 9. When the site is live a URL will be published to link to the site, simply follow this URL and schedule in any available slot. All student belongings will be stored in place in the student’s residence hall room. If you have extenuating circumstances please contact Residential Life administration at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rest of Spring Semester Moved Online
In response to Gov. Kristi Noem’s announcements pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic, the South Dakota Board of Regents has determined SDSU and the state’s other regental institutions will transition spring classes online for the duration of the semester.
Additionally, SDSU has determined commencement ceremonies will be postponed until further notice and there will be no campus activities or events through May 15. Read the COVID-19 Response: Rest of Spring Semester Moved Online message for additional information.
On-campus Events and Visitor Activities Canceled Through May 15, 2020
In the interest of public health, on-campus events and visitor activities are canceled through May 15. The following SDSU facilities will be closed until further notice: Wellness Center, McCrory Gardens, South Dakota Art Museum, South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum, the University Bookstore in the University Student Union, SDSU Dairy Bar, and Meat Lab. The Fishback Early Learning Center Preschool will also be closed. The kindergarten on campus is currently closed and it will continue to follow the schedule determined by the Brookings School District.
Campus Visits and Recruitment Events Canceled Through May 15, 2020
Campus visits and recruitment events will currently remain canceled through May 15. Students will be notified by Admissions staff members regarding changes to events or visits which they may already have scheduled. Read the Message from the Office of Admissions Regarding Coronavirus for additional information.
General COVID-19 Q&A
- What is coronavirus?
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
The potential public health threat posed by COVID-19 is high, both globally and to the United States. But individual risk is dependent on exposure.
For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low. Under current circumstances, certain people will have an increased risk of infection, for example health care workers caring for patients with COVID-19 and other close contacts of persons with COVID-19.
CDC has developed guidance to help in the risk assessment and management of people with potential exposures to COVID-19.
- What is the status of South Dakota State University during this pandemic?
Starting Monday, March 23, all courses at SDSU were moved online for the remainder of the semester. For important information regarding online classes, academic advising, tutoring, peer mentoring and supplemental instruction, Briggs library, etc., visit the Online Information for Students page.
Through May 15, 2020, as directed by the South Dakota Board of Regents and in keeping with the directive of Gov. Kristi Noem’s, SDSU is requiring essential personnel, as determined by their supervisors, to report to their assigned workstations. All other business operations are to remain active insofar as they may be fulfilled by employees able to work remotely during their normal work schedule, as determined by their supervisors.
- Are students getting a refund?
Refunds will be provided to students.Information about each refund is provided on the Refund Page online. All refunds will be posted to student’s accounts and will be applied to outstanding balances first.
- What are the spring grading options for students?
The nation’s response to the COVID-19 crisis has forced students to meet the challenge of rapidly changing learning environments. South Dakota State University is committed to maximizing student equity, success, and retention during this difficult time. In response, SDSU is working on options for students to take courses this semester under S/U grading (S=Satisfactory, U=Unsatisfactory). In S/U grading, students receive all applicable credit for satisfactory completion of the course but the grade does not figure in grade point average calculations. Most students will have the option of keeping their traditional letter grade or selecting S/U. In the coming days, the university will announce a formal policy regarding the S/U options. Please note that courses within some majors may be excluded from the S/U option due to licensure and accreditation requirements.
- Are there ways to deal with any stress I might be feeling during this pandemic?
When you hear, read, or watch news about an outbreak of an infectious disease, you may feel anxious and show signs of stress. These signs of stress are normal and may be more likely or pronounced for people who live in or have loved ones living in parts of the world affected by the outbreak. In the wake of an infectious disease outbreak, monitor your own physical and mental health. Know the signs of stress in yourself and your loved ones. Know how to relieve stress, and know when to get help.
- Where can students find answers to their questions?
A Latest Q&A website has been created for students. The page will be updated as information becomes available.
- Who can I contact if I have questions?
- The COVID-19 Response Team has set-up an email account that is monitored daily, including weeks. Please email your question to the account.
- Tips to keep yourself healthy
• Contact your medical provider if you become ill or believe you have come in contact with someone that may have the virus.
• Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze (with a tissue or into your sleeve)
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
• Avoid. close contact with people who are sick
• Stay home if you are sick
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the restroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
• If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- What is SDSU's current international travel guidelines?
The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is paramount to our university. Based on the rising threats of the coronavirus, the university reserves the right, according to university policy 2:11, to suspend international travel for faculty and students planning a university-sponsored event according to travel warnings issued by the U.S. Department of State.
Based on the State Department’s travel advisory and health advisory levels, the university has suspended all SDSU-sponsored and SDSU-endorsed international travel. This suspension will remain in effect until further notice.
Questions pertaining to international travel should be directed to the Office of International Affairs at 605-688-4122.
- Where can I find sources of information about Coronavirus?
Given the fluidity of the pandemic and how information is being updated as such a rapid rate, the following websites provide some of the best sources of information:
If faculty and staff are seeking treatment for COVID-19, please call your respective medical provider.
If people seek treatment for COVID-19 at Brookings Health System’s emergency department, call 605-696-9000. If they visit one of the local clinics for COVID-19 treatment, call that clinic’s respective phone number. Visit the Brookings Health System website and click on "our locations."