Coronavirus (COVID-19)

July 10, Educational Plans June 26, 2020 FAQ June 18, 2020 June 3, 2020 May 19, 2020 April 2, 2020 Student Update March 27, 2020 Student Update March 16, 2020 Staff Update March 16, 2020 Student Update March 12, 2020 March 4, 2020 March 2, 2020

A message from Dean Kate Copeland
July 10, 2020

PNCA is committed to a safe, healthy, and responsible return to campus. This document outlines PNCA’s academic plans for Fall 2020, as developed by PNCA Faculty Leadership and reviewed by groups of students and staff. PNCA will release additional documents and information soon about other aspects of campus life that are important for a safe return to campus.

Overview:

PNCA plans to use a flexible, hybrid, and highly personalized approach for Fall 2020, providing you with the type of educational model that works best for you. Classes will be conducted with a variety of remote and in-person options, with details dependent upon the discipline and each student’s needs and choices.

PNCA’s buildings will be activated as maker-spaces to foster creativity and community; we anticipate that many PNCA students will want to come to campus regularly to use the facilities, so we’ve prioritized that to make sure you can use all the workshops, labs, spaces, and equipment you rely on. If you aren’t comfortable being on campus in person, your advisor will work with you to design a pathway that makes that possible.

The semester will start and end at the regular time. We’ll stop all in-person instruction by Thanksgiving, but the semester will continue after that, so you can work on your final projects and complete the semester safely.

Your education is in your own hands, and we’ll be here to support you every step of the way.

Inclusive Pedagogy:

Faculty are working systematically throughout PNCA to develop and implement anti-racist and inclusive curriculum, using an approach grounded in critical pedagogy. We are working to create an inclusive and safe environment for Black students, Indigenous students, students of color, and students from marginalized and underserved communities.

This pedagogical approach will be supported by many other structural changes at PNCA. These changes include a revised Student Concern policy, the creation of an Ombuds panel, revisions to PNCA’s hiring practices, trainings, Equity Plans for each department, and much more.

Class Structure:

Most studio classes will be offered with a hybrid approach involving both in-person and remote components. We’re working on a list that outlines details of every single class, so that you can ensure you’re signed up for the option you prefer. We’re also working to establish guidelines to ensure you have a consistent experience throughout the semester.

For studio classes, you can expect some things to stay the same and some things to be different. As always, your studio faculty will provide mentorship and individual guidance. Group activities will change because we’re reducing the number of people that gather together.

While detail will vary according to the class, you can expect some occasional (non-mandatory) large-group activities outdoors and in large spaces, some demos offered remotely with videos, some demos offered on-site in small groups, asynchronous and synchronous critiques, and mentorship from faculty. Contact with Studio faculty will sometimes occur in person, sometimes remotely, depending on the discipline and course. During class time, you’ll meet with the professor and your fellow students for technical and conceptual guidance, for critiques, and more. Zoom meetings will be limited to 90 minutes maximum.

Most Liberal Arts classes will be offered remotely, with participation in threaded discussion forums providing asynchronous possibilities, and in some cases options to join in person at a few points in the semester. Some Liberal Arts classes will have more in-person contact available and some Liberal Arts classes will be geared towards a more fully remote experience; we’ll make this clear in the list we provide. All Liberal Arts classes will be Pass / Fail / High Pass.

We’ll be clear about the delivery format for each class, so you always know what you’re selecting. If a class you want isn’t the type of delivery model you prefer, your Advisor can help waive those requirements and/or modify your schedule to a different order, so that your options for Fall 2020 are appropriate for your preferred style of learning.

We’re working hard to communicate clearly, to create consistency, and to ensure that methods are working. Since so much of this is new, we will ask for feedback from students throughout the semester, and conduct a more formal feedback process about classes at midterms.

Facility access:

We plan for continuous facility access throughout the semester, with structured sign-ups to reduce the number of people in each space at any given time (while circumstances could change due to state law, this is the current intent). We’ll prioritize access for making, research, and all forms of creative practice, in individual and small-group settings.

Masks and Social Distancing:

Masks are required in all shared spaces at PNCA. Physical distancing is required at all times.

Attendance:

One of the big changes at PNCA this fall is that attendance is not mandatory. We recognize that the outcomes of your education - the way you develop the skills necessary to graduate and succeed in your career - are the most important part.

We want to acknowledge that gatherings are a big part of the experience, so we do hope you’ll attend as many as possible, but we recognize that attendance is your choice - so attendance will not be required and calculated into the course grade.

If you can’t or don’t want to attend class in person, your instructors and advisor will work with you to find a suitable pathway forward.

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COVID-19 FAQs
Updated June 26, 2020

Summer Access to PNCA

Access to PNCA facilities is very limited over the summer as we prepare for a safe, thoughtful and well-organized opening this fall.

BFA students will not have access to the Glass building over the summer. There may be limited opportunities for students to access the 511 Building for small group activities with clear parameters and faculty support -- such as a proposed sign-making project in Printmaking. Other than that, we do not anticipate allowing BFA students into the 511 Building unless they are there to retrieve something. Please contact Campus Safety if you need to enter the building. campussafety@pnca.edu

The Low Res Visual Studies and Creative Writing MFA students do have access to 511 as part of their scheduled summer residencies. The LRVS will be able access Glass as per the Director of the Graduate School. (MK Guth will work out specific details with students and staff.) MFA thesis students will also be able to access Glass in mid-July to prepare for the MFA Thesis Exhibition in August.

General COVID-19 FAQs

How will PNCA implement physical distancing during the school year? We are implementing physical distancing policies in accordance with the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC), the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and Governor Brown’s office. All community members are expected to keep six feet of distance between themselves and others. We will place marks on the floors in spaces where people are likely to queue. We are limiting the elevators to two people and at a time, and the stairways will be designated as “one way” up or down. There will be other changes to common spaces to ensure physical distancing to the greatest extent possible.

Will students have to wear masks?

Yes, everyone on the building will need to wear masks in all public spaces as per the Governor’s order. We are determining if exceptions can be made for private studios and socially distanced offices.

Will the facilities be cleaned more frequently?

Yes, the common areas in the 511 Building and Glass will be cleaned several times a day. Sanitation protocols are being developed for shops, printmaking, and other areas with workstations.

Will students need to wear their IDs?

Yes, all members of the PNCA community will be expected to wear their IDs to enter and remain in the building.

What changes will be made to classrooms?

Our Facilities team and Academic Affairs are currently assessing classrooms to assure there is at least six feet of physical distance between students and students and the instructor. Class sizes will be limited to accommodate physical distancing. We are also establishing cleaning protocols before and after each room is occupied.

What changes will be made for social gatherings?

We will follow the guidelines issued by the state of Oregon and the Oregon Health Authority in regards to the size of social gatherings. For now, gatherings are limited to less than 25 people with appropriate distancing.

In the meantime PNCA faculty and staff are rethinking how we engage students in and out of the classroom to continue to provide a rich educational experience. How are rules for community areas of Art House adjusted? Only residents of Art House are allowed in the building. Gathering in the common areas will require physical distancing, masks and permission from the Director or Resident Hall staff. All common areas and high touch objects such as door handles and elevator panels will be disinfected several times per day.

The CDC has specified that there be 64 square feet per person in the living areas, or 128 square feet for two people. The apartments in Art House have been measured to ensure that each unit meets this requirement. Also, we are recommending that students in shared rooms with bunk beds sleep head-to-toe to provide seven feet of social distancing when sleeping.

If a student needs to self-isolate for a positive COVID-19 test or positive contact tracing, is there a policy in place? Is an isolation area being created?

A student who tests positive for COVID-19 will self-isolate in accordance with the guidelines established by the OHA. The majority of our students live off campus and they will be responsible for self-isolation, though the college may assist with food delivery, if necessary. Contact tracing is conducted by the Oregon Health Authority.

If the impacted student lives in Art House, we may move them to a separate unit, or allow them to stay in place if that is deemed safe by the OHA. We have adjusted attendance policies for students who are sick.

Can students attend class if they don’t feel well but don’t think it’s COVID-19?

No! All members of the PNCA community will be asked to do a health self-assessment check each day. If they are experiencing any symptoms of illness, they are expected to stay home. Students should notify their faculty and make arrangements to make up missed work.

Is there a plan in place if and when PNCA has a confirmed COVID-19 case?

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) will initiate contact tracing if someone tests positive for COVID-19. Neither the OHA nor the college cannot legally publicize the name of a community member with a positive test. However, we will assist the OHA in identifying people who may have been exposed. For example, we will provide class rosters of students who attended class with the impacted person. We will follow the guidelines established by the OHA regarding further action.

Please note that FERPA does not shield students from state or local authorities or medical officials in a state of emergency.

How many Art House students will you accept? Will it be lower to maintain social distance?

We will accept the usual number of students in Art House. We have determined that the Art House configuration is in compliance with CDC and OHA guidelines for congregate housing.

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Dear Colleagues,

Multnomah County (the county in which PNCA resides) has been given approval by the state to activate its Phase One reopening. With this direction, PNCA was able to start its Low-Residency MFA in Visual Studies program this week as scheduled, operating the college within a limited capacity, adhering to social distancing protocols, and with some degree of remote learning (as agreed upon by the faculty and students in those programs). The LRVS students will have studios in the building, and we are treating the LRVS program activation as a pilot to ensure that we can scale-up to an increased population on campus. At this time, we will not be opening the building for other students or to the general public. Faculty and staff are not expected to return to the building for the foreseeable future. At this time, we do not expect faculty and staff to return until the end of summer.

I recognize that that there are many questions about fall classes and PNCA’s plans to return to campus, as well as the current state of our planning. I am sharing what we know today. This is a highly dynamic and ever-changing situation, but I want you all to have a general overview of our current plans. We will be making announcements as we receive concrete information from the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, Oregon Health Authority, and Governor Brown, but here are the current assumptions.

For now, assume that:

• Elevators will be limited to no more than two people

• There will be "down stairwells" and "up stairwells"

• Sanitation, workplace, and equipment cleaning will happen throughout the day

• Masks will be required in all spaces other than private studios and offices

• Everyone will need to wear their IDs to enter the building

Art House will remain open. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we need to provide 64 square feet of living space per student. We are in compliance with that guidance.

The COVID-19 Planning Group is organizing the return to the 511 and Glass buildings for fall. As part of that effort, all offices will need to review their spaces and develop plans to create adequate social distancing and/or staggered work schedules. You may need to consider how you meet with students (online or in person or some combination) and if you will need to strictly schedule appointments or can still offer "drop-in" hours. Interdepartmental projects and meetings will also need to adjust their standard operating practice and daily routines. You should operate under the assumption that we will not return to the traditional way of work (all of us in the building at the same time), and many people will work remotely as appropriate. Departmental supervisors will be developing individual departmental plans with their team. These plans will then be submitted to the COVID-19 Planning Group to develop a comprehensive community approach for a safe return to campus for faculty, staff and students.

Facilities along with Space Planning are developing and evaluating traffic patterns and classroom configurations. Signage, wayfinding, and "safe community" materials have been produced in collaboration among Facilities, Communications, and Student Life. Plans continue to be developed for both the 511 and Glass buildings and will be announced as they are finalized.

It remains our intention to return to in-person instruction in the fall. Academic Affairs is working on curriculum development and schedules. That is a complex and complicated project and will roll out later in the summer. Our plans to return to campus will comply with Governor Brown’s emerging strategy to reopen Oregon and will be informed by guidance from the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission.

Our priority continues to be the safety of our faculty, staff, and students, while preserving the quality of the student experience. We will provide further updates to the community as information becomes available. In the meantime, if you have additional questions, please direct them to your supervisor or the VPs within your departments.

I once again thank everyone in the PNCA community for your collective abilities to adapt to this ever-changing environment.

Thank you,

Chris Maples
Interim President

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A Message from Interim President Christopher Maples and Board of Governors Chair Scott D. Musch

Dear members of the PNCA Community,

On behalf of the Board of Governors and the senior leadership of the college, we want to thank you for your dedication and hard work to assure a successful completion to the academic year for our students. Since PNCA transitioned to remote instruction and operations in mid-March, the PNCA community has risen to this unprecedented challenge together. Your collective abilities to engage the remainder of the spring academic semester via remote platforms was inspiring. Featuring the dynamic works of our MFA and BFA Thesis students on a new web-based gallery and the celebration of this past weekend’s virtual 2020 Commencement demonstrates that as a community we are united in our support of the student experience and their collective success.

We continue to focus on our fall recruitment. Our undergraduate admissions counselors as well as department heads and chairs within the graduate program are having direct conversations with prospective students and graduate candidates. We are reviewing applications, conducting interviews, securing acceptance deposits, hosting virtual open houses, and most recently we launched an enhanced virtual tour of the campus.

PNCA’s leadership is actively monitoring the COVID-19 situation through participation in virtual roundtables and conversations with our AICAD colleagues across the country, as well as the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and the Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities.

Like many of our AICAD colleagues and our neighboring colleges and universities, PNCA is developing contingency plans for the fall semester. It remains our intention to return to in-person instruction in the fall. Many options are being considered, such as delaying the start of the fall semester, blending remote and in-person classes, and adjusting class schedules to allow for greater physical distancing once students are back on campus.

The most recent update from the Oregon Health Authority has indicated that Multnomah County (the county in which PNCA resides) has submitted its guidelines to the state for consideration and approval to begin the Phase One reopening on June 12, 2020. Should this occur, PNCA will work to open the campus to the summer Low-Residency in Visual Studies, implementing COVID-19 protocols to remain in compliance with the health and safety guidelines required by the State of Oregon and the Oregon Health Authority.

Our priority is to assure the safety of our students, faculty and staff, while preserving the quality of the student experience. Our plans to return to campus will comply with Governor Kate Brown’s emerging strategy to reopen Oregon and will be informed by guidance from the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission. We hope to announce the plans for the college’s fall semester as soon as we possibly can based on when we receive clear directive from the state.

How the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting PNCA’s finances

As communicated last month in an email to the PNCA community, the college has begun the development of its Fiscal Year 2020/2021 budget to present to the Board of Governors for approval during their annual meeting in June. The intention was to move the college to a balanced budget. COVID-19 is making this more difficult. The pandemic is having a profound effect on higher education institutions, as with most businesses. Current expectations are leading us to forecast a potential 15%–20% decline in Fall 2020 enrollment and retention. This rate of decline is predicted nationally for colleges and universities, with most other institutions reflecting this forecast in their financial planning for the next academic year.

Actions already taken to address the challenge

During this critical time, especially given the unpredictability of the near future, PNCA took decisive action and implemented a hiring freeze, as well as a freeze on all non-essential spending.

PNCA applied for and received funding from the Payroll Protection Program established by the CARES Act. This was an extraordinary feat in a very time-sensitive and complicated process. This relief funding has allowed PNCA to continue to pay our staff their regular pay through the pay period ending June 20, 2020 (pay date of June 26, 2020), irrespective of their ability to work their regular hours due to COVID-19.

Additional changes we need to make

Going forward, enrollment remains our main source of revenue and will be affected under these pandemic conditions, so we have to implement additional spending restrictions in order to enhance our options for the future. In anticipation of this potentially significant decline in revenue, the college will need to make financial adjustments to the budget effective immediately in order to reduce the current operating budget by approximately 15%. These are critical decisions for the college as we continue to brace against the unknown in order for PNCA to remain as strong and healthy as possible.

  1. Effective July 1, 2020, the college’s senior leadership will take a temporary reduction in pay.
  2. PNCA will suspend its 403b contribution for all full-time faculty and staff from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.
  3. It is necessary to implement a number of furloughs through August 15, 2020. Furloughed employees will continue to receive PNCA health benefits and are eligible for unemployment benefits. In addition, some PNCA staff will have their hours reduced. These furloughs will impact 15% of our employees. While we hope to bring each of these staff members back at the beginning of the semester, the dates and the length of the furlough may change as plans for the next academic year become clear.
  4. We will continue to monitor the fall undergraduate and graduate enrollment numbers and then determine, pending the revenue forecast, the need for further, temporary, tiered salary reductions for all full-time faculty and staff.
  5. PNCA will need to implement a number of carefully considered layoffs for staff and faculty whose positions will be eliminated during this pandemic and recovery period. This is a separate group of staff and faculty from those in the furlough program. These layoffs represent 9% of full-time PNCA employees.
  6. There have been nine positions over the past several months that have been vacated and will not be filled during Fiscal Year 2020/2021. These positions are in the Advancement, Communications, Academic Support, Student Support, Registration, Financial Aid, and Business Office departments.

The Path Forward

This past April, in response to COVID-19, PNCA’s Board of Governors voted to postpone the conclusion of the Presidential Search until the country and the economy are back to a degree of normalcy. The college remains in discussions with the finalist. As PNCA continues to navigate these uncertain times, the decision was made to temporarily extend the current contract for Interim President Chris Maples.

We anticipate that the changes being announced today will place PNCA in a stronger position to adjust to the unpredictable realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a community, we are in this together. We recognize that these financial adjustments affect everyone in the PNCA family to some degree, and they are difficult decisions to make. Please know that the college is implementing these tiered approaches to budget reductions to have the least amount of impact as possible on students, faculty and staff. The relief funding from the Payroll Protection Program allowed us to maintain positions through most of this current fiscal year, ending June 30th. Our tiered approach heading into the next fiscal year is intended to be thoughtful and considered, monitoring the pandemic’s impact on enrollment, and adjusting where necessary to support our students and deliver upon the mission of PNCA.

We remain grateful to all of you for your collaborative spirit, strength, determination, and resilience, all of which have become hallmarks of the PNCA community.

Sincerely,

Scott D. Musch
PNCA Board of Governors Chair

Christopher G. Maples, PhD
PNCA Interim President

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While recognizing that we are in an ever-changing environment, PNCA intends to return to in-person instruction this fall, including access to classrooms, studios and facilities. We are also monitoring the potential to resume instruction this summer if Governor Brown lifts her order for the closure of all colleges and universities, currently in effect until mid-June. Engaging various departments and expertise from within the college, PNCA will form an Expanded COVID-19 Planning Group to identify best practices specific to COVID-19 protocols to remain in compliance with the health and safety guidelines required by the State of Oregon and the Oregon Health Authority.

Even though we intend to return to in-person instruction in the fall, PNCA, like many of our AICAD colleagues and our neighboring colleges and universities, is developing contingency plans for the fall semester. Many options are being considered, such as delaying the start of the fall semester, blending remote and in-person classes, and adjusting class schedules to allow for greater physical distancing once students are back on campus.

This week, PNCA received a planning matrix tool issued by the Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges & Universities which is currently under review by the Oregon Health Authority. This matrix has been issued as a reference tool to colleges and universities with proposed guidelines to inform the development of their contingency plans. These guidelines for the Phase One reopening of Oregon’s Colleges and Universities are still under review by the Oregon Health Authority and have not yet been approved. Phase Two guidelines are still under discussion within the Oregon Health Authority and the review process has not yet begun.

On March 23rd, Governor Brown ordered all colleges and universities to move to online instruction through at least June 13th. While PNCA has begun developing contingency scenarios, our plans will comply with Governor Brown’s emerging strategy to reopen Oregon and will be informed by guidance from the Oregon Health Authority. Currently, no date has been set by Governor Brown or the Oregon Health Authority for the Phase One reopening of Oregon’s Colleges and Universities.

Our priority is to assure the safety of our students, faculty and staff. PNCA hopes to announce the plans for the college’s fall semester by the end of June.

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PNCA has heard from students on Homeroom, by email and through social media, and we want to address some of the questions we’ve received so far.

First, we want to acknowledge the hard work that PNCA faculty and staff have been putting in over the last few weeks to find creative and effective ways to transition the curriculum into an online environment. This isn’t what anyone expected or wanted, but all of us here at PNCA have been going above and beyond to make these final few weeks of the semester successful for students.

Here are some answers to the questions we’ve been receiving:

Will the semester be postponed?

No, the last few weeks of the semester will not be postponed. Senior BFA students and second-year MFA students have been working toward a Spring 2020 graduation for years, and we are determined to support and celebrate their achievements. We are making plans for virtual thesis exhibitions and online events to acknowledge Commencement. Our intention is to hold a full and formal Commencement ceremony in December, too.

Also, we are adding a “pass/no record covid” option for those students who would prefer that to a traditional letter grade. We are also looking at extending the “Incomplete” period for students who want to finish their coursework beyond the end of the semester. Details about the grading option and “Incomplete” period extension will be announced soon.

Faculty and staff are working diligently to ensure a successful completion of this semester. Please contact your faculty, advisor, ASC, or Student Life if you need additional support.

Will there be any refunds?

Studio rental fees are being refunded at a prorated amount for BFA and MFA students who have been assigned studios. Locker fees will be refunded.

Also, payment plans have been deferred to allow students more time to pay on their accounts. Students with payment plans received a deferral form to complete and send back to Student Accounts. Students will be allowed to register for the fall semester if they have completed the form or their account is in good standing.

What about the students in Art House?

Students have not been evicted from Art House, and as a result, many are still living there. Art House is their home while they are attending PNCA. They have been asked not to gather in the common areas and to adhere to all COVID-19 best practices. The facilities manager has arranged for frequent cleaning and disinfecting of common areas and surfaces. The RAs are still living in the building and planning safe and engaging activities for residents.

We have arranged for students in Art House to be able to order a meal from Ramona for delivery on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. They have received a separate communication about this. Any student with a PNCA ID can get a free lunch from Yo.

What about additional mental health counseling?

Students who have used up their ten free sessions may appeal for additional free counseling. Speak to your PNCA therapist about this possibility.

Is the administration talking to other art colleges about what they are doing?

Yes, PNCA is in frequent contact with the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD), the Oregon Alliance of Independent College and Universities (OAICU), the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC), the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA).

Does anyone at PNCA have COVID-19?

There are no confirmed cases of the virus associated with PNCA at this point, but you should still remain very careful. Continue to practice social distancing and wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. The Oregon Health Authority has predicted that we have not yet seen the peak of the infection. We realize everyone is anxious right now. The immediate future is uncertain and we’re working hard to be flexible, accommodating, and supportive of students and the entire PNCA community.

Please take good care of yourselves and each other. Continue to send any questions and concerns to Student Life at studentlife@pnca.edu.

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As a result of the decision to deliver all classes online for the rest of the semester, PNCA is planning to issue prorated refunds of studio fees to both BFA and MFA students who had studios as part of their programs.

While the details are still being worked out, the refunds will cover the period of time from March 20 through the end of the semester (May 17). Once we have a better understanding of how COVID-19 may affect our summer operations, we will provide more information on summer access to studios.

Additionally, all students using PNCA’s payment plan system have been offered extensions on their payments. We hope the extra time will help students weather this economic crisis and still be able to register for fall classes.

Student Activity Fees will not be refunded, as Student Council and the Graduate

Council are still active and the fees comprise their budgets, but the councils can still determine how they wish to use their remaining funds to benefit students. The Technology Fee also will not be refunded, as it is being used to support the student experience during this highly unusual and demanding time.

We are doing our best to provide concrete answers and solutions as quickly as possible. Until further information is available, students with any questions or concerns should reach out to Student Life at studentlife@pnca.edu or Technology at helpticket@pnca.edu.

We have been monitoring the coronavirus pandemic and assessing PNCA’s response to this ever-evolving situation on a daily basis. Although we are not aware of any cases on the PNCA campus, I am writing today to announce that we are implementing operational changes to building, facilities and studio access, effective immediately. Safeguarding the health of the PNCA community and those with whom we come in contact is our first priority. To that end, PNCA will move classes online for the duration of the semester after spring break. We are also asking faculty and staff to make the necessary plans within their departments to work remotely by the end of this week.

Based in part on responses nationally and locally, the PNCA COVID-19 Task Force has concluded that the most responsible path forward is as follows:

BUILDING ACCESS

The 511 Building and the Glass Building will remain accessible this week (March 16 - 20) so that students can collect materials, works-in-progress, etc., that they will need to complete their work offsite. As of Friday, March 20 at 5 pm, both buildings will be closed to students. After Friday, if a student must access a building to retrieve something, please have them contact Jackson Seemayer in Student Life: jseemayer@pnca.edu.

Effective immediately, the 511 Building is closed to the public. Visitors must check in at the front desk and have an appointment.

PNCA’s 511 Building will remain accessible to faculty and staff Monday – Friday 8AM – 5PM, although we are asking that you work from home and only access the building if necessary.

CAMPUS SAFETY

Campus Safety will remain on duty during the rest of the semester. Please reach out to them with any concerns as you normally would at campussafety@pnca.edu.

ART HOUSE

Art House will remain open for its residents until the end of the semester. If you are an Art House resident and have questions or concerns, contact: gmurphy_reslife@pnca.edu.

LIBRARY

This closure also affects the Library. If you need physical library materials, please check those out this week. You will be able access online materials, as well as the ASC and Tutoring through virtual appointments. If you need to contact the library, please use: library@pnca.edu.

• Make an online ASC appointment here: https://calendly.com/pnca-support/remote-asc?month=2020-03&back=1. Make an appointment with our Writing Specialist here: https://calendly.com/pnca-support/asc-remote-writing-specialist?month=2020-03

PNCA STAFF AND FACULTY

PNCA staff and faculty will transition to working off campus wherever possible between now and end-of-day Friday, March 20. Individual department managers will be working with their teams to determine the most effective approach for their remote working situation. Please direct any inquiries to your manager or supervisor.

Today, the CDC recommended cancelling events with 50 people or more for the next 8 weeks and Governor Kate Brown strongly urged avoiding groups of 10 or more for the next 4 weeks. As well, Governor Brown has asked businesses to allow their employees to work remotely if possible and to honor the spirit of Oregon’s efforts to respond to this pandemic. We recognize that this will affect many PNCA programs and celebratory events, such as Community Education, Focus Week, Thesis Exhibitions, Commencement and the 2020 PNCA Awards Gala. We are engaged in conversations to develop alternative approaches to these programs and will continue to update you as details emerge.

While the majority of the faculty and staff will be working remotely, as a community we are committed to the ongoing operations of the college in support of a positive student experience during these unprecedented times. We recognize that this pandemic is causing major disruptions to our community, amongst our colleagues, and to our society, globally. I am both grateful to and impressed by the PNCA community’s dedication to our students and to each other, coming together in these times of unprecedented unknowns—all while continuing the forward momentum of projects in support of our students, academic programs, and the critical components of enrollment. Thank you all for what you do for PNCA and for everyone in the PNCA family.

I’m writing on behalf of the COVID-19 Task Force to let you know that we have made the difficult decision to deliver all classes online for the rest of the semester. We believe that this is in the best interest of PNCA students, faculty, and staff, our friends, families, and communities during this unprecedented time. We recognize that this is disappointing and will present some challenges.

This week, faculty are working hard to make plans for the online educational model that will start the week of March 30. We will share more about these plans as they evolve. For now, we want you to know that we will be responsive, attentive, and flexible to your needs. We will ensure that grading is done with thoughtfulness, care, and respect. PNCA Faculty are committed to your academic success and creative practice.

At this time we are determining how best to manage Focus Week and Thesis Exhibitions. We will let you know as these plans develop. Sadly, we will not be able to hold Commencement this spring. We are considering holding a ceremony at a later date once this current crisis has passed.

Please note that most staff and faculty will be working remotely. Please contact them via email.

Here are some other things to keep in mind:

BUILDING ACCESS

The 511 Building and the Glass Building will remain accessible this week (March 16 - 20) so that you may work in the shops and studios, and collect materials, works-in-progress, etc, that you will need to complete your work off site for the next six weeks. Friday at 5 pm, both buildings will close for the rest of the semester.

After Friday, if you must access a building to retrieve something, please contact Jackson Seemayer in Student Life. jseemayer@pnca.edu

LIBRARY

This closure also affects the Library. If you need physical library materials, please check those out this week. You will be able to access online materials, as well as the ASC and Tutoring through virtual appointments. Please contact the Library at library@pnca.edu.

TECHNOLOGY Please use this week to make sure that you have the appropriate technology and Internet connection to access your online classes. Classes will be delivered via Zoom. If you aren’t sure how to use this platform, contact Technology (helpticket@pnca.edu) for support.

If you have a concern about your computer capability, please contact Technology immediately. They will help you find a workable solution.

STUDENT LIFE & MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING

Student Life will continue to offer a wide range of support for students, as well as access to our mental health counselors by phone, email or Google Hangouts. You can find out more by contacting the Student Life Office at studentlife@pnca.edu.

ART HOUSE

Art House will remain open for its residents until the end of the semester. If you are an Art House resident and have questions or concerns, contact gmurphy_reslife@pnca.edu.

CAMPUS SAFETY

Campus Safety will remain on duty during the rest of the semester. Please reach out to them with any concerns as you normally would at campussafety@pnca.edu.

Please continue to practice good hygiene and social distancing, and check Homeroom and the PNCA website for updates. Thank you for your patience and perseverance. Our creativity and support for each other will serve us well as we face this challenge together.

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In the best interests of everyone’s health and safety at PNCA and elsewhere, the PNCA COVID-19 Task Force has recommended the following:

Monday, March 16 - Sunday, March 22: Classes will be suspended to allow faculty time to prepare for online teaching. Shops, studios, libraries, computer labs, administrative offices, student services, and Art House will remain open so that students may continue to work on projects and assignments.

Monday, March 23 – Regularly scheduled PNCA Staff Holiday.

Monday, March 23 - Sunday, March 29: Spring Break (no classes); Shops, studios, libraries, computer labs, administrative offices, student services, and Art House will remain open so that students may continue to work on projects and assignments.

Monday, March 30 - Sunday, April 5: All classes online; Shops, studios, libraries, computer labs, administrative offices, student services, and Art House will remain open so that students may continue to work on projects and assignments.

Monday, April 6 and beyond: We will determine if classes remain online or resume as normal in consultation with state health officials.

PNCA will be cancelling all public events effective Monday, March 16 – April 13. Faculty and staff will use the time from now until spring break to develop alternative methods for delivering curriculum and managing operations which may involve running trial deliveries so that the faculty and student experience is as smooth and comprehensive as possible when we return from spring break.

All faculty and staff who are not ill and do not need accommodation (for themselves or their family members) are expected to report to work. Employees who are ill should not come to work. In some cases, a staff member may be able to work from home. Department directors have the authority to grant work-from-home days and approve flexible work schedules.

We understand that this communication will raise as many questions as it answers, and ask for your patience and support as we navigate this unprecedented situation together. PNCA is an exceptional place, with a foundational core of community and resiliency. I am confident that we will bring our collective skills and talents together to guide us through this difficult period.

Please recognize that the global spread of this virus is a fluid situation with new information surfacing daily. The COVID-19 Task Force is in daily communication with the Oregon Health Authority and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, and we will continue to update the community as information becomes available.

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CRITICAL UPDATES

At this time, we have decided to suspend all non-essential PNCA-related international and domestic travel. We realize this will be disappointing to many of the. However, we believe this is a prudent course of action, and necessary at this time to optimize the health and safety of our community. We will continue to monitor the global situation and let the community know when the ban is lifted.

Also, the College is strongly encouraging all active searches to switch to Skype or another virtual platform for interviews rather than have candidates come to campus. Again, this is to protect the health and safety of all participants.

KEY REMINDERS

  1. First and foremost, please stay home if you feel unwell and do not return to campus until you are symptom-free for 24 hours.
  2. Wash your hands thoroughly and often, and refrain from touching your face.
  3. Use hand sanitizer.
  4. Keep in mind that 80 percent of all COVID-19 cases are mild, so please take precautions to limit your interactions with others even if you don’t feel that bad.
  5. If you decide to seek medical attention, call your healthcare provider in advance so you don't inadvertently spread the virus.
  6. Please let your faculty or supervisor know you are sick.
  7. Faculty and staff are required to use PTO for any illness related absences. If you do not have enough accumulated PTO, please contact the HR Office at HR@PNCA.edu to explore available options.

How Are We Making Decisions

As you know, we are working closely with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission to provide the most up to date information and guidelines. I am attaching the March 6th FAQ from OHA and HECC for your review. Here is an excerpt regarding campus closures:

"Colleges and universities are not expected to make decisions about suspending classes or canceling events on their own. They can seek specific guidance from local health officials to determine whether, when, and for how long to take these steps. The recommendation on class suspension and cancellation may change in terms of geographic scope or duration as the location outbreak situation evolves."

Reinforce Anti-Bias

Some individuals in our community and around the country are experiencing stigma and discrimination related to COVID-19. This includes people of Chinese and Asian descent, as well as some returning travelers and emergency responders who may have been exposed to the virus. Please reinforce the principles of respect and anti-bias, and do not make assumptions of risk based on race, ethnicity or country of origin. It is important to remember that the virus doesn’t discriminate. There are no specific cultural groups or people of a particular heritage that are more or less likely to get COVID-19 following exposure or spread it to others.

We will continue to share information as it becomes available. Please feel free to contact Darby Knox with any questions or concerns at dknox@pnca.edu.
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Dear PNCA Community,

Yesterday afternoon the COVID-19 Taskforce participated in a conference call with the Oregon Health Authority's Public Health Director Dr. Dean Sidelinger and HECC President Ben Cannon to discuss the latest developments around the Corona Virus.

Here are some general facts and updates:

To date, there are three confirmed cases of Corona Virus in Oregon; eight people have tests pending; 115 others are being monitored, 227 have either completed monitoring or were determined to have no risk, samples for 18 patients await results, and samples for 29 patients have tested negative for COVID-19.

About 80% of people who are infected with the Corona Virus will experience mild symptoms. People with serious underlying medical conditions and the elderly may experience more severe symptoms and require hospitalization.

People returning from areas of known infection and those who have had contact with someone with a positive diagnosis for Corona Virus are being quarantined at home for 14 days. Quarantine occurs at the direction of the Oregon Health Authority.

Anyone experiencing mild symptoms should recover at home. You may return to work or school after you have been symptom-free for 24 hours. If you feel you need to seek medical attention, call your health care provider first and make them aware of your symptoms.

People are believed to be infectious while they are experiencing symptoms, which is why is it important to stay home if you develop a cough or a fever, and call your health care provider before you go to the office or clinic.

Frequent hand washing and the use of hand sanitizer (60% alcohol content) are considered highly effective for preventing transmission. Also, keep a 6-foot distance from anyone who is sneezing and coughing. The virus can live on surfaces but only for one to a few hours.

PNCA has stepped up cleaning of door knobs, railings, counters, and bathrooms.

If you have any specific questions, please contact Darby Knox at dknox@pnca.edu. We will continue to receive updates from the Oregon Health Authority, and will share them as we do.

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Dear PNCA Community,

This weekend, Oregon state officials announced the state’s second case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19); both individuals are from Washington County, Oregon, a neighboring county to the college and possibly a third individual from Umatilla County, Oregon. Health officials are actively testing people for the virus.

In response, PNCA has convened a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) task force of PNCA college administrators to respond to guidelines and implement recommendations made by government and public health agencies, including the State Department and the CDC.

It is important to note that the immediate health risk to the general U.S. public and the PNCA community remains low. The risk to individuals is dependent on exposure. Close contact with someone already infected is required for someone to contract the disease. The virus is thought to spread between people in close contact (within six feet) via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

While this news is understandably concerning, we are assured the state and local authorities are responding quickly to these cases. Oregon Governor Kate Brown has set up a Coronavirus Response Team to interact with state and local health authorities, hospitals, community health partners, and school districts to coordinate preparations and potential responses to COVID-19. Information related to the virus is changing rapidly, and we will continue to update the community as details become available. You may also wish to check the Oregon Health Authority website at: www.oregon.gov.

As we continue to monitor this evolving situation, we ask that all members of the PNCA community remain focused on prevention. To help reduce the risk for getting and spreading viral respiratory infections, including the COVID-19, we share with you helpful information below.

Accessing Medical Care

Anyone experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, which are fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, should immediately contact their healthcare provider. Students or any member of the PNCA community experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should contact a health care provider to arrange for a medical evaluation. We ask that anyone experiencing symptoms also notify Student Life, Art House, or Campus Safety staff so that we may assess how best to limit exposure by the campus community. Alternatively, members of the community may contact Darby Knox, VP for Student Affairs, at any time at dknox@pnca.edu or (585) 732-4538.

Prevention Strategies

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). As a reminder, the CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask. The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, please refer to the CDC website. Local information can be tracked through Oregon Health Authority and Multnomah County Health. We encourage community members who are planning to travel for spring break or other reasons to closely monitor travel advisories through the CDC and the State Department.

For further information or if you have questions, please contact any of the following campus offices:

We continue to closely monitor the situation and will provide further updates to the community as necessary.