Communication to CUI Community on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

CUI Together
While Concordia University Irvine’s campus is temporarily closed, we want to remain connected to our community. Welcome to CUI Together.

May 14, 2020

Update on return-to-campus planning

Members of the Concordia Community,

Plans for our return to campus continue to take shape. Although we don’t have all the answers yet, we want to provide you with an update on how we are planning, identify areas we are currently addressing, highlight health and safety measures, and lay out a plan for future communications.

As a small, private Lutheran Christian university, we are blessed to be located on a hill overlooking the city of Irvine within a secluded, gated community, with buildings and green spaces spread over 70 acres, and an average class size of 15 students. These factors allow us flexibility to safely modify our class modalities, plan for physical distancing, control the flow of outside traffic through our campus, and offer spaces for outdoor recreation.

We are committed to providing students with a meaningful collegiate academic experience, while working to minimize risk for everyone – students, staff, faculty, as well as our neighbors and families. The health and welfare of our students, staff, and faculty is our highest priority.

Return to Campus Plan

While we all would like to express certainty, we do not know what the public health status of our community or state will be in August. However, we are optimistic that we will be able to safely open the campus in accordance with state and local guidelines, allowing us to have students return to campus with modifications in place for in-person courses.

Our planning is focused on an on-time opening of the fall semester on August 17. Housing is planning phased move-in dates over a four-day period, rather than the typical two-day period to reduce campus traffic and better maintain physical distancing during move-in. Freshmen will arrive first for Student Orientation, Activities, and Registration (SOAR), and returning students will arrive later. Some student leaders and student groups may be allowed to return sooner for leadership training and preparation. Housing will reach out to students with dates and times for move-in.

Task Forces

In April, three task forces with representation from our administration, faculty, and staff were established to assess and plan for the return to campus.

On-Ground Operations, Services & Spiritual Life Task Force

This group’s charge is to plan for the physical reopening of campus in fall with modifications for physical distancing. Areas being addressed are:

  • Facilities, including classroom and residence hall configurations for physical distancing
  • Chapel/Spiritual Life
  • Plans for isolation and quarantine spaces in the residence halls
  • Food Service modifications
  • Wellness Center enhancements
  • Athletics operations
  • Student Experiences

Read message from CUI Interim Athletics Director Crystal Rosenthal »

Academics, Admissions & Marketing Task Force

This task force’s charge is to plan for academic program delivery in the fall. This group is considering and planning for various scenarios. Areas being addressed are:

  • Format of academic offerings (face-to-face, online, hybrid, hi flex)
  • Format of co-curricular activities (music, theatre, forensics)
  • Format of convocations and commencements
  • Instructional technology aids to modify in-person courses
  • Admissions and financial aid strategies
  • Communication plans for faculty, staff, students and families

Finance & Advancement Task Force

This task force is charged with planning financial scenarios. Areas being addressed are:

  • Finance/Budget
  • Investments/Cash-Flows
  • Fundraising needs
  • Endowment

Safety & Health Measures

We are cautiously optimistic that our region will soon allow the return of most personnel and students to campus. In order to minimize the risk to our campus community, Concordia University Irvine is developing detailed health and safety plans consistent with the Governor’s plan, Orange County Health Agency guidelines, and CDC guidelines for public health.

To help mitigate risk, we are investigating resources for:

  • Temperature and symptom tracking, contact tracing, isolation, and support
  • Partnering with local health care providers to provide virus testing
  • Physical distancing in service areas, residence halls, classrooms, and gathering spaces (chapel, cafeteria, etc.), including physical barriers (such as screens and dividers), modified seating configurations, and distance markers
  • Guidance concerning the use of PPE (face coverings, etc.) in public spaces
  • Enhanced sanitation practices, including regular cleaning, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipe dispensers installed throughout campus
  • A campus-wide communication campaign, signs and other measures to communicate safety measures

Communicating with You

As the pandemic situation in our nation and our community remains fluid, we know that our plans need to be flexible. Concordia’s leadership team will continue to communicate official updates with students and families every two weeks, beginning Wednesday, June 3. You will receive other updates, as well, from academic and student service offices with important information about your return to campus. We encourage you to visit www.cui.edu/COVID19 for the latest updates and information, or email COVID-19@cui.edu so that we can direct your questions to the appropriate office.

Concordia & Higher Education in California

We understand that other public and private universities, community colleges in our area, and regional athletic conferences are making different decisions for the fall semester. They are making decisions that are appropriate to their context and circumstances, just as we are.

As a small, private university, we have several distinct advantages that allow us to proceed with in-person instruction, with all due caution. Our relatively small enrollment and small class sizes, coupled with our spacious campus and flexible instructional modalities, allow us to prepare for in-person instruction so that we can provide our students with the on-campus experience they seek while mitigating risks to our campus community.

Concluding Thoughts

I sincerely wish that we could give you a more definitive plan for the fall, but the truth is no one can predict the conditions we will face in the next few months. We will continue to monitor and prepare for contingencies should circumstances change. We sincerely look forward to welcoming our faculty, staff, and students back to campus.

Jesus commanded us to love Him above all else and to love our neighbors as ourselves. As we endeavor to live out the Great Commission, we will continue to come together as a community of faith that trusts in God’s grace and will extend that grace and love to others in our midst. In a time of fear and anxiety ushered in by this unprecedented pandemic, we are aware that the world is in desperate need of hope. We educate and form each and every student to go out into the world and spread the hope and love of God in each vocation they pursue. The spread of the coronavirus has made this mission more important today than ever before!

For His Students,

Dr. Michael Thomas

Michael A. Thomas, Ph.D.
President, Concordia University Irvine

News for Students and Families

Financial Aid

Concordia University Irvine understands that families’ financial circumstances may have changed due to COVID-19. The Financial Aid Office is committed to partnering with you during this unprecedented time by reviewing your eligibility for financial aid and, where allowable, to adjust financial aid packages. If your eligibility allows for federal and/or state aid, additional documentation will be required. The Financial Aid Office will work hard to make this process as smooth as possible.

Families may submit the Loss of Income Due to COVID-19 through Google Doc or complete the fillable PDF and submit to finaid@cui.edu. Please note, changes or anticipated changes to income may not always result in a change to the financial aid offer, or may result in a one-semester revision that will be re-evaluated. Our staff is committed to working with each student who has concerns about their individual circumstances.  Specific questions can be directed to the Financial Aid Office.  Our office will notify you within 10 business days upon review of this information and what next steps are to follow.

Changes for New Incoming Students

  • CUI is waiving the SAT/ACT requirement. With test dates for the SAT and ACT cancelled, we are not requiring applicants for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 to take one of these tests. Athletes, please take note! If you are an incoming student-athlete, per NCAA regulations, you must take the SAT or ACT.
  • Enrollment Deposit deadline extended. The deadline for Enrollment Deposits has been extended to June 1, 2020. This includes deadlines for scholarship offers in the Honors Program and Church Vocations Housing Grants.

For more information about these and other accommodations for new students and families, please visit cui.edu/ugcovid19.


Campus Updates

Wellness Center

There have been no new cases of COVID-19 identified among our students, faculty, or staff in recent weeks. The three cases previously identified have all made a full recovery - Praise the Lord! In other good news, two anonymous donors provided over 1,500 face masks for our students and essential employees who remain on campus.

Planning for What’s Next

Concordia’s leaders are actively working to plan for a welcome students back to campus for the Fall semester. At this time, it is our intention to re-open the campus for the start of the Fall 2020 semester, if we are given the all-clear to do so from federal, state and local authorities. While much is still unknown about the path forward through this pandemic, CUI is committed to ensuring safe campus operations and compliance with all legal and health guidelines.

Three special task forces have been activated to plan for various scenarios impacting CUI’s financial and operational decisions. The work of these task forces will help CUI prepare to reopen the campus while observing modified practices to keep our students and employees safe. CUI’s leadership team will continue to communicate with the campus community as decisions are made.


Staying Connected - #CUItogether

Spiritual Care

Our campus community continues to come together in prayer and to share the Word. New chapel podcasts are posted every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday through the end of the semester. Starting the week of May 4, chapel podcasts will continue once a week. All podcasts can be found at MyCUI. To submit a prayer request, email prayers@cui.edu.

The Virtual Lounge

Concordia’s Virtual Lounge continues to offer a place for students, faculty, and staff to come together. Activities will continue throughout the summer. Watch your email for summer offerings in the Virtual Lounge.

The CUI Together website will continue to offer messages, resources, activities, and links to assist the CUI community in coming together while we remain apart.

In closing, these words of St. Paul, written from prison to the Christians in Philippi, can give us perspective on rejoicing in the midst of difficult times:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.(Philippians 4:4-7)

The COVID-19 Management Team

If you have questions about CUI’s response to COVID-19, please contact COVID-19@cui.edu.

  • Ann Ashmon, Senior Director of Communications
  • Scott Ashmon, Associate Provost
  • Kristy Fowler, Associate Dean of Students
  • Rick Hardy, Vice President of Enrollment, Marketing & Communications
  • Tim Jaeger, Executive Vice President for University Advancement
  • Michelle Laabs, Director of Student Health Services, Wellness Center
  • Melinda Martinez, Assistant Vice President of Human Resources
  • Gary McDaniel, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
  • Faith McKinney, Senior Director, Moon International Center
  • Lizz Mishreki, Director of Public Relations
  • Raul Morales, Director of Campus Safety
  • Steve Mueller, Chief Mission Officer & Dean of Christ College
  • Jason Neben, Director of the Office of Innovative Instruction and eLearning
  • Tim Odle, Vice President of Athletics & Facilities Services
  • Peter Senkbeil, Provost and Executive Vice President
  • Cheryl Smythe-Padgham, DNP, RN, WHNP-BC, Assistant Dean/Director of Nursing
  • Michael Thomas, President of Concordia University Irvine
  • Kevin Tilden, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
  • Ron Van Blarcom, General Counsel

Previous Updates

April 28, 2020 - CUI to welcome students back to campus for Fall 2020

April 28, 2020

‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’

Jeremiah 29:11

Concordia Students and Families,

I am reaching out to you to address the question on everyone’s minds: Will our students be able to return to campus for the Fall 2020 semester? I want to reassure you that it is our full intention to re-open the campus for the start of the new academic year, in accordance with all local, state and federal guidelines.

In my many conversations with students in recent weeks, it is patently clear how much they miss the face-to-face interaction with their professors and the sense of community on campus. These are some of the hallmarks of the “Concordia Experience” and the reason why we are doing everything we can to bring the community back together as soon as it’s safe to do so.

The health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty is our number one priority. While much is still unknown about the path forward through this pandemic, CUI is committed to ensuring safe campus operations so that you will feel confident returning to the campus.

Concordia’s leaders are actively working on plans to welcome you back to the campus. While we cannot foresee the situation in the fall, we are working on a variety of options that will enable us to operate safely. These include modified configurations and practices to enable social distancing in the residence halls, classrooms, labs, chapel, dining facilities, etc. Concordia’s emphasis on small class sizes is a distinct benefit here, making the potential for classroom restrictions easier to plan for. CUI’s leadership team will continue to communicate with the campus community as decisions are made and details are available.

CUI is very fortunate to have a dynamic infrastructure that enables flexible class delivery, for both our undergraduate and graduate programs. Our faculty and academic support teams have done amazing work when asked to begin teaching remotely on very short notice this spring semester. While we intend to resume face-to-face instruction in the fall for undergraduates, our dedicated team is planning also for any instructional contingencies that may be necessary. At CUI, we offer fully online programs for graduate students. These courses will continue as usual this summer and beyond.

Our mission to be guided by the Great Commission of Christ Jesus and the Lutheran Confessions, empowering students through the liberal arts and professional studies for lives of learning, service and leadership will continue. We will work together, trusting in God’s grace, confident that we will emerge from this time stronger and unwavering in our commitment to fulfill our vocations to serve God’s people.

Concordia University Irvine has continually provided a holistic Lutheran Christian education to enable students to serve a world that is in desperate need of hope. Today, more than ever, this hope is needed!

May God bless you and your families during this most unprecedented time!

For His Students,

Dr. Michael Thomas

Michael A. Thomas, Ph.D.
President, Concordia University Irvine

April 21, 2020 - Update to the Community

April 21, 2020

It is hard to believe that the semester is almost at an end. Members of our community have been busy on multiple fronts - finishing up coursework, completing final projects, planning virtual events, finding ways to connect with and support one another, and planning for the weeks and months ahead. We specifically wanted to share some campus news and update you on the status of several key university operations.

If you have any questions, please email COVID-19@cui.edu.

April 6, 2020 - Update to the Community

April 6, 2020

Concordia University Irvine received reports of three positive cases of COVID-19 from a student, a faculty member, and a staff member. All of them are recovering and self-isolating at home. The student has not been on campus since the end of February. The deployed faculty member last visited the campus four weeks ago. Close contacts of the staff member within the CUI community have been notified and are on self-quarantine.

In accordance with health privacy laws, we cannot disclose the identities or personal information of the cases above. We are doing everything we can to support the individuals through what is undoubtedly a difficult time.

Please continue to stay at home. If you have to go out in public for essential activities such as shopping for groceries, caring for a loved one, seeking medical attention, or working in essential roles, please observe social distancing, wash your hands, and use a face covering in public settings.

Please also continue to hold up our community in prayer, especially those affected by the virus, during this critical time. We know that God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1.

If you have any questions, please email COVID-19@cui.edu.

Financial Aid

Concordia University Irvine understands that families’ financial circumstances may have changed due to COVID-19. The Financial Aid Office is committed to partnering with you during this unprecedented time by reviewing your eligibility for financial aid and, where allowable, to adjust financial aid packages. If your eligibility allows for federal and/or state aid, additional documentation will be required. The Financial Aid Office will work hard to make this process as smooth as possible.

Families may submit the Loss of Income Due to COVID-19 through Google Doc or complete the fillable PDF and submit to finaid@cui.edu. Please note, changes or anticipated changes to income may not always result in a change to the financial aid offer, or may result in a one-semester revision that will be re-evaluated. Our staff is committed to working with each student who has concerns about their individual circumstances.  Specific questions can be directed to the Financial Aid Office.  Our office will notify you within 10 business days upon review of this information and what next steps are to follow.


Continuity of Instruction for Students

As of Monday, March 23, all student coursework has transitioned online, with the exception of some internships, practicums, and other external practical experience courses.

  • For questions and assistance regarding online coursework, visit the Student Guidance for Continuity of Instruction resource page, which is updated frequently.
  • For questions regarding internships, practicums, and related external experience courses, contact your faculty advisor.

Remote Work for Employees

Concordia University Irvine employees were previously instructed to work remotely through March 31, with a return to work date set for Wednesday, April 1. Due to the present shelter-in-place guideline instituted within the state of California, remote work has been extended indefinitely. Once the shelter-in-place guideline has been lifted, university leadership will communicate a new date of return to work.


Mail Services

The Mail Room is still receiving and sending mail. Hours of operation are from 10 am - 2 pm, Monday through Friday. Mail will not be delivered, but can be picked up from 1-2 pm, Monday through Friday. Department supervisors have been asked to designate an employee to pick up mail. Residential students remaining on campus may pick up mail between 1-2 pm, Monday through Friday.


Building Access

Beginning Monday, March 23, all buildings on campus will be locked. In order to gain access to any campus building, you will need to contact Campus Safety dispatch at (949) 214-3000 for key assistance.


Spiritual Care

Although we are apart, our campus community continues to come together in prayer and to share God’s word. New chapel podcasts are posted every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. All podcasts can be found at cui.edu/mycui by clicking the podcast banner. To submit a prayer request, email prayers@cui.edu. In the days ahead, more spiritual resources will be forwarded to the campus community.

March 23, 2020 - Update to the Community

March 23, 2020

As we enter a new week, we wanted to update you on the status of several key university operations. We pray that you are staying healthy and taking care of yourselves spiritually and physically.

For information about housing and dining credits, storage and shipment of personal belongings, and contact information for student-service related departments, please see the March 17 update.

For questions about campus operations, student and employee resources, or other general inquiries, please email COVID-19@cui.edu.

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint(Isaiah 40:31).

March 17, 2020 - Update to the Community

March 17, 2020

At this time, university leadership has made the difficult decision to close the campus and limit operations to essential staff and services only. We believe that a shelter in place order is imminent for our area in the days ahead, as there is now evidence of community transmission in Orange County.

This situation is continually evolving and it is strongly encouraged that you should leave campus as quickly as possible and return to your permanent address. Should the city, county, or state impose further restrictions, this will severely impact, or prevent, your ability to leave. See information below about leaving items behind. We are directing students to leave campus by Thursday, March 19, by 5:00 pm.

If there is a compelling reason why you cannot return home, you may apply to stay. For those who must remain on campus, we are committed to maintaining food and other basic services for you. See information below about how to proceed with checking out of the residence halls, how to apply to remain on campus, and information about other university services.

Please note: Information below regarding Housing and Dining Credit has been updated to include clarifying details from what was previously posted.

Housing and Dining Credit: Updated

Leaving campus on or before March 19, 2020

Your prorated credit of housing and meal plan fees, for the period from March 19, 2020 through the end of the term, will be credited to your student account in May and applied against Fall 2020-2021 housing and meal plan charges. If you are a graduating senior in the Spring 2020 term, credits will be issued in May.

Approved extension beyond March 19, 2020

Your prorated credit of housing and meal plan fees, from your confirmed move out date through the end of the term, will be credited to your student account in May and applied against your Fall 2020-2021 housing and meal plan charges. If you are a graduating senior in the Spring 2020 term, credits will be issued in May.

Approved exception to stay through the end of spring semester

Those who receive an approved exception to stay through the end of spring semester will not receive a credit for housing or meal plan fees.

Please contact edgar.lopez@cui.edu if you have questions and/or Spring payment plans inquiries. Additional information will be posted to cui.edu/Bursar as it becomes available.


Personal Property Storage and Shipping

Concordia University Irvine recognizes that certain circumstances warrant the need for individuals to leave behind personal property in an effort to vacate the residence halls before the noted time of 5:00 pm on Thursday, March 19, 2020. In an effort to support those who have to leave property behind, we are working to develop formal processes to manage this personal property. This is not a process of convenience and is only being provided for those who have had to vacate items in an effort to leave in a hurry or who were unable to return to campus to retrieve belongings. After 5:00 pm on March 19, 2020, we will evaluate all rooms where residents have moved out. Rooms approved for extension beyond the checkout date will not be evaluated until the student moves out. Should items be left in a room by a checked out resident, the university will inventory, box, and label personal property.

To provide clarity about what students can expect in this process, the following information is provided:

Retrieval of personal property

Students who have left campus, but not officially checked out and still have items remaining in their room should initiate check-out procedures and retrieve their belongings by the check-out deadline of Thursday, March 19, by 5:00 pm.

Should a student be unable to retrieve personal property by the checkout date, the student can work with the university to gain access to their space for removal of items. Please contact RES@cui.edu to arrange a time for pick up of items. There will be no charge to hold items until April 1, 2020.

Arrangements for storage and shipping must be communicated to RES@cui.edu by April 1, 2020. If no request for storage or shipping is communicated by April 1, items will be considered abandoned and donated to a shelter.

Inventory and boxing of items

Once the inventory and boxing period begins after April 1, University Services staff will enter all vacated rooms and inventory any items remaining and box up items. Boxes will be tagged and noted as property of the name of the resident student. Items will remain in the room awaiting guidance from the student on whether the items should be stored until a later date or sent out for shipping. There will be a charge of $100 per student to box all items.

See the Item Shipping section below for details on shipping. If you prefer to use a third party for storage and moving solutions, U-Haul is offering special rates at this time: visit uhaul.com/storage.

Item storage

We will begin charging for storage on April 1, 2020. Any student with items left on campus will be charged $75 per month (or portion thereof) for storage of items. The student will be billed to their student account the amount covering the period of time between the official start date and the date their belongings are retrieved or shipped, whatever comes first. Items will be held in storage until August 16, 2020 for students who have requested campus storage.

Item shipping

A student may opt to have their items shipped once items have been inventoried, boxed, and labeled. The university will only ship items that can fit into standard sized moving boxes. The student will be billed the total cost for shipping of items, as well as any monthly rate for storage, starting the first day of the storage period and ending the date of shipping. Items must be shipped on or before May 1, 2020.

Abandoned property

Any personal property that is not claimed, or for which arrangements for storage have not been communicated by April 1, will be considered abandoned and donated to a local shelter.

We recognize that these are very difficult times and students are facing many challenges. We will continue to make every attempt to make these processes convenient and be supportive of students with special circumstances. Should any adjustments be made to these policies and procedures, timely notification will be made. If you have any further questions please email RES@cui.edu.


Food Service

For students and essential staff remaining on campus, Bon Appétit has already instituted a Grab-and-Go service. Community members may pick up meals at the cafeteria, but cafeteria seating will not be available beginning Wednesday morning, March 18. Beginning Friday morning, March 20, individuals will be allowed into the cafeteria in groups of 10. Community members are strongly advised to observe social distance guidelines during mealtimes.


Public Spaces Closed, effective Wednesday morning, March 18

  • Chapel
  • CU Active fitness center
  • CU Arena (gymnasium and weight room)
  • Library
  • Founders Bookstore

Offices Closed, with service remaining remotely by email and online through April 1, unless further guidance is provided

Update: Chapels moving forward will be podcasted audio recordings (not live-streamed) by speakers 5-10 minutes in length on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.


Wellness Center

Health Services will remain open to serve only the students who are approved to stay in housing.

  • Wellness Center Hours: Monday-Friday, 9am-4pm. Phone number: (949) 214-3102. You must call ahead for an appointment if you have, or suspect that you have, a fever, or if you have a cough.
  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) will not be providing face-to-face counseling at this time. Students who are currently in counseling will be contacted for the option of telehealth for consistency of care and provided referrals when appropriate. Students in crisis should call the National Suicide Prevention Line at (800) 273-8255, use the crisis text line by texting “help” to 741-741, call 911, or go to the local hospital emergency room. A list of local counseling referrals can be found on the Wellness Center website.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, 'My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.' For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.(Psalm 91:1-4)

March 16, 2020 - Update to the Community

March 16, 2020

As you are no doubt aware, regional and national developments surrounding COVID-19 continue to change rapidly. We will continue to keep you informed of new decisions and updates regarding our campus response via email and on our website cui.edu/coronavirus. Please direct any general questions or comments about items not covered below to COVID-19@cui.edu; our leadership team will respond as quickly as possible.

Events

  • Chapel will continue with appropriate social distancing maintained. The Chapel staff is exploring options for alternative worship formats in the days ahead. View Livestream »
  • Campus events (e.g. athletics, theatre, arts, etc.) are cancelled through May 1. This may be extended as circumstances and guidelines change.
  • Academic courses previously taught face-to-face will commence online starting Wednesday, March 18. These transitioning classes will not be in session March 16 and 17; however, existing online courses will be offered as scheduled.
    • Please refer to Student Guidance for Instructional Continuity and check this document daily for updated information.
    • Students who do not already own or have regular access to a laptop or tablet they can use for online education should contact Kevin Black in Financial Aid to discuss possible solutions.
  • Commencement is being postponed until August 8, 2020. The previously scheduled Nursing Commencement will remain on August 15, 2020. More information will be communicated and posted at cui.edu/graduation as details become available.

Housing

Our residence halls remain open with services in place. Students who want or need to remain on campus are welcome to continue to do so. For questions pertaining to housing, please contact Gilbert Fugitt, Dean of Students, at gilbert.fugitt@cui.edu or (949) 214-3057 or Kristy Fowler, Associate Dean of Students, at kristy.fowler@cui.edu or (949) 214-3064.


Library

The library remains open with services in place. Students who do not have laptops or tablets are encouraged to use the library computers for class-related work if needed. Please maintain a 6-foot distance in all seating areas, as in other public areas of campus. For questions pertaining to the library, please contact librarian@cui.edu or (949) 214-3090.


Food Services

Food services will remain open, with the following modifications:

  • All self-service of food is suspended.
  • Food is being plated and served by Bon Appétit staff members.
  • To-go containers are available at no extra charge.
  • Individuals will be asked to maintain a 6-foot distance in all seating areas; table placards remind all diners of this CDC recommendation.
  • More seating areas adjacent to the main cafeteria are being opened to allow for appropriate social distancing.
  • Bon Appétit is ready to transition to “Grab-and-Go” food service, if necessary.

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we continue to modify our operations.

In uncertain times like these, we pray that you find St. Paul’s words to the Roman Christians particularly comforting:

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us…. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.(Romans 8:18, 38-39 ESV)

March 13, 2020 - Update to the Community

March 13, 2020

We were informed today by Park Place Building Management, the office-site location that houses our Department of Nursing, that an employee in the 3333 Michelson Drive Bldg tested positive for COVID-19. That person is presently being monitored by the Orange County Health Care Agency. The last day that this person reported for work was March 6, 2020. The individual is not affiliated with Concordia’s Nursing program and did not enter their offices. The Nursing classrooms are in an adjacent building in the same complex with shared facilities, like entrances and cafeteria.

Due to possible exposure to COVID-19, all Nursing faculty, staff, and students were recommended to go on self-quarantine, effective immediately, until March 20, 2020.

At this time, there is no cause for concern and no need for further quarantine among faculty, staff, and students who work, attend classes, or live in the residence halls on our main campus at 1530 Concordia West.

If you visited the Park Place facility or interacted with any Nursing faculty, staff, or students in the past week, please alert us by email: wellness@cui.edu for students and hr@cui.edu for faculty and staff. Again, there is no need for self-quarantine at this time. We will contact individuals who interacted with Nursing faculty, staff, or students if anyone who is now on self-quarantine is diagnosed with COVID-19.

We care about your health and safety, and will continue to provide regular updates regarding possible exposures within our campus community. If you have further questions or concerns, you can email the COVID-19 Response Team at COVID-19@cui.edu.


A Message from the Office of the President

As regional and national developments continue surrounding COVID-19, we want to keep you informed of new decisions and updates regarding our campus response. This situation continues to change day by day; please check your Eagles email and cui.edu/coronavirus frequently for the most up-to-date official information.

At times like this, rumors start to fly, and it’s easy for inaccurate information to spread. Please consider the source of any information you receive, and please think carefully before forwarding it to others. Please direct any general questions or comments about items not covered below to COVID-19@cui.edu; our leadership team will respond as quickly as possible.


Academics

All students will receive a separate email today with detailed instructions about our transition to online instruction, which officially begins on Wednesday, March 18. Please use the time between now and then to use some of the tutorial materials provided so that you can increase your knowledge and skills in the use of online learning tools. Students who do not already own or have regular access to a laptop or tablet they can use for online education should contact Kristy Fowler, Associate Dean of Students to discuss possible solutions.


Athletics

All CUI Athletics games, competitions, and practices are cancelled for the remainder of the Spring semester. The NCAA has cancelled all events, and the PacWest Conference has suspended all events through March 30. For athletics updates, visit cuieagles.com.

CU Active, the weight room, and Open Gym hours will remain available to all students.


Arts Events

All rehearsals, concerts and performances are cancelled for the remainder of the Spring semester, with the exception of Junior/Senior Recitals. No outside attendees will be allowed at recitals, except immediate family members. Live-streaming will be made available for students who have opted to return home for the remainder of the semester. Contact Jeff Held, Assistant Dean, School of Arts and Sciences with any additional questions.


Chapel Worship

Regularly-scheduled morning Chapel services will continue. Please observe the standard 6-foot social distance guidelines if you choose to attend.


Other Events

A decision about Commencement will be communicated next week. All mission and service trips have been postponed through summer. To check on the status of other university-sponsored campus events and activities, contact academic program leadership or the Office of Student Affairs.


Wellness Center Update

As with every other cold/flu season, CUI does have procedures in place to isolate students who are ill or who need to self-quarantine, both for on-campus and off-campus residents. Please be respectful of the privacy of others.

  • Presently, CUI does have two students in isolation with illnesses not related to COVID-19.
  • A member of the CUI community is under self-quarantine off campus after possible exposure to COVID-19 on a recent trip abroad. The individual has not been on campus since returning from the trip.
  • The Wellness Center remains open Monday-Friday 9am-4pm, for both medical and counseling services. Please visit cui.edu/wellness for more information and psychological tips on managing COVID-19.
  • Students who have a fever, or believe they have a fever, should call the Wellness Center ahead of time at (949) 214-3102, so that they can be screened by phone, and minimize their wait time.

Please continue to hold one another up in prayer, reach out to friends who are experiencing anxiety and fear, and know that the faculty and staff are here to support all of you. We cherish the promises our Lord has given: Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).

March 12, 2020 - Update to the Community

March 12, 2020
A Message from the Office of the President

We have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak and understand the fear and uncertainty that this health crisis has created for the Concordia University Irvine community and beyond.

Out of an abundance of caution for the entire campus community and the broader community, Concordia University Irvine is cancelling face-to-face instruction effective Friday, March 13 and will transition instruction to online formats effective Wednesday, March 18.

The safety of our students and employees is our top priority. While CUI's campus remains open, and no cases of COVID-19 have been reported on our campus, we have activated this response to limit the spread of the virus. In accordance with the advisory issued recently by the California Department of Public Health and Governor Gavin Newsom, the University has taken the actions that are listed below. However, this situation remains very fluid. Members of the CUI COVID-19 Response Team are in constant, close communication with local and statewide healthcare agencies. We will be issuing regular updates in the coming days.

Continuity of Instruction Plan

  • Starting Friday, March 13, all face-to-face and hybrid classes are cancelled to allow a smooth and orderly transition to the online format. These classes will resume online on Wednesday, March 18.
  • Existing online courses will continue without disruption.
  • All CUI classes will remain online until the end of finals week for the Spring Semester.
  • Clinicals, internships, selected labs, student placements, and service-learning opportunities will continue unless otherwise specified by the Department Chair and/or Dean. We will monitor these areas subject to public health agency guidance and input from community partners.
  • Students should regularly check their Eagles email for communication from professors and staff regarding instructions for online coursework.

Continuity of Housing and Food Service

  • Concordia University Irvine is committed to maintaining continuity of campus operations for students.
  • The residence halls remain open. We are not asking students in our residence halls to move out, and they are welcome to remain on campus.
  • Students may choose to return home at their discretion.
  • Food services will remain open, with the following modifications:
    • All self-service of food will be suspended.
    • Food will be plated and served by Bon Appetit staff members.
    • To-go containers will also be made available at no extra charge.
    • Individuals will be asked to maintain a 6-foot distance in all seating areas.

Guidance for Events on Campus

  • Chapel will continue, with the following modifications:
    • To enforce social distancing, students, faculty, and staff will be asked to sit 6 feet apart.
  • In accordance with present NCAA guidelines, athletic competitions will continue, with the following modifications:
    • Games and competitions will continue until further notification.
    • No off-campus spectators will be allowed.
    • To enforce social distancing, students, parents, faculty, and staff attending athletic events will be asked to sit 6 feet apart.
  • On-campus music, theatre, and other special events scheduled between Friday, March 13 and Tuesday, March 17 are cancelled. We will continue to evaluate options and announce the status of future events at a later date.

Guidance for Individuals who are ill or who are in High-Risk Groups

  • If you are ill, stay home or stay in your dorm room. Do not go to class. Contact the Wellness Center for a same-day appointment (949-214-3102).
  • Students who have underlying health conditions that put them at risk for complications from COVID-19 are encouraged to reach out to the Wellness Center for guidance.
  • Students who are at high risk and who wish to pursue alternative education arrangements should contact the Wellness Center. Similar alternative accommodations are being offered to our faculty and staff.

The Concordia University Irvine community is understandably experiencing various emotional responses to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. Fear, anxiety, sorrow, worry, uncertainty are all very normal responses. However, Concordia is a community and a family. We care deeply for one another. Please hold one another up in prayer, reach out to friends who are experiencing anxiety and fear, and know that the faculty and staff are here to support all of you. During these times, we also should lean upon our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Psalmist reminds us where to turn when we are feeling scared and fearful: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear. (Psalm 46:1-2a). May God provide you and your families a measure of comfort and strength in the coming days.

For His Students,
Dr. Michael A Thomas
President of Concordia University Irvine

March 11, 2020 - Update to the Community

March 11, 2020

We continue to monitor and respond to the COVID-19 outbreak and are planning for a range of scenarios as well as short- and longer-term impacts. At this time there are no confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus on the CUI campus. All operations and classes continue as normal.

These are challenging times, and we want to assure you that we are in regular contact with Orange County Health Care Agency officials and the California Department of Public Health. In keeping with the most recent guidance from the CDC for institutions of higher education with no identified cases on campus, CUI classes are continuing without interruption. We recognize that such guidelines can change as circumstances evolve in our area, and we will keep the community apprised of any changes.

March 5, 2020 - Update to the Community

March 5, 2020

Governor Newsom has declared a state of emergency in California to ensure that resources are made available to properly respond to COVID-19. Although there are cases throughout the state, there has not been an identified cluster. The first death in the state due to COVID-19 was in San Francisco, which is over 400 miles north of CUI. It is also projected that nationally, reported cases will go up as testing is expanded and becomes more available.

There have been confirmed cases this week in Orange County that were related to a recent travel to a geographic area of high risk. Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) assures the public that the risk of local transmission remains low in our community.

CUI has no confirmed case at this time and is operating normally. CUI administrators continue to monitor the rapidly evolving situation and are working closely with our health care agency partners.

For those returning from Spring Break, please check the CDC Travel Information as guidelines constantly change in regards to potential restrictions upon your return.

March 3, 2020 - Update to the Community

March 3, 2020

Dear Concordia Community,
Concordia University Irvine (CUI) continues to closely monitor the situation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19). As our team of administrators continues to work with local, state and federal agencies, we wanted to bring you the latest update.

CUI continues operating normally. There is no confirmed COVID-19 case—student, faculty, or staff member—at Concordia at this time. Classes and events continue as scheduled.

Yesterday, key CUI staff members participated in a conference call with the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) led by OCHCA’s Medical Director of the Division of Epidemiology and Assessment. He shared the latest information and guidance on novel coronavirus (Covid-19).

OCHCA is working with federal, state, and local partners including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and health care providers to prepare and to care for individuals who may be at risk or have tested positive for COVID-19. According to the OCHCA, there is no recommendation in Orange County to cancel school, business or community events at this time. Should a decision, in the future, need to be made to close a college or university, this decision would come from the Orange County Health Care Agency. While our health care agency partners remind us that one patient case at CUI, for instance, does not equal a campus closure, our key staff members are working together to create a contingency plan. It’s important to note that Orange County has had only one confirmed case of coronavirus. That individual, OC Health Care Agency officials report, has fully recovered. The case has no evidence of person-to-person transmission and risk of infection to the public in Orange County is still considered to be low.

Guidelines Remain the Same

Just like any regular flu season, it’s important that you continue to take precautionary measures to protect yourself and others from viral illnesses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face, eyes, nose, mouth.
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or your elbow.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you develop flu-like symptoms (fever, sore throat, cough, body aches) and seek medical help if needed.
  • Disinfect surfaces (door handles, desk) and shared equipment (phone, keyboard, mouse, etc.).

Look for hand sanitizer stations located around campus for your convenience. Visit the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention for handwashing guidelines.

New Wellness Center Guidelines

For students, there are new Wellness Center guidelines. From now until the end of this semester (Spring 2020), you must call ahead for an appointment if you have, or suspect that you have a fever, or have concerns that you may have been exposed to the coronavirus. This gives Wellness Center workers the ability to assess your risk over the phone, minimizing your time in the waiting room. You can reach the Wellness Center at (949) 214-3102 during normal business Monday-Friday 9 a.m.- 4p.m. If we’re away from our desk, leave a message with a good callback number; we regularly check our messages during normal business hours. If you believe that you have a fever after the Wellness Center has closed, call the Nurse Helpline on your insurance card, if available, or go to the nearest urgent care. If you have no insurance, go to the nearest hospital. Please note that the Wellness Center is not set-up for emergency or after-hours services. CUI is not liable for medical expenses incurred off campus. For all other visits to the Wellness Center, you may still walk-in for a same-day appointment. For urgent medical concerns, please call 911, or go to the nearest hospital.

Travel Guidelines

Students, if you traveled outside of the United States during Spring break and developed flu-like symptoms (fever and cough) within two weeks of your return, contact the Wellness Center by calling ahead for an appointment (949) 214-3102. Currently, travelers from China are on a mandatory 14-day quarantine; please let us know if you travelled to China. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recommends that travelers avoid nonessential travel.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 is an emerging disease, and there is more to learn about its transmission, severity, and how it will take shape in the United States. In the meantime, everyone can do their part to prepare and respond to this emerging public health situation. Thank you for your consideration. We’ll continue to share updates as they become available.

Here are some helpful links:

Stay healthy.

Blessings,
Michelle Laabs, MSN, FNP-C
Wellness Center
Concordia University Irvine

February 27, 2020 - Update to the Community

February 27, 2020

Orange County officials declared a local health emergency yesterday in response to COVID-19 infections worldwide. The move was in relation to the public uproar when federal & state agencies proposed the use of a state-owned site in Costa Mesa, a city in Orange County. There is no outbreak of COVID-19 in Orange County nor is there any new confirmed case. The Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) assures the public that the risk of local transmission remains low.

There is no confirmed COVID-19 case at CUI at this time and no interruption of classes and events. CUI has a pandemic plan in place and is being revisited to make modifications in response to COVID-19. The Moon International Center is monitoring the situation abroad and responding accordingly. The Wellness Center continues to work with local public health department and with American College Health Association in response to the rapidly evolving situation.

February 3, 2020 - Update to the Community

February 3, 2020

Orange County Health Care Agency Coronavirus Guidelines for Schools, Colleges & Universities

January 27, 2020 - Initial Update to the Community

January 27, 2020

Dear Concordia community--
As of today, there is a confirmed case of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Orange County. We have been informed that the individual is not a Concordia University Irvine student, faculty or staff member. We have learned that the individual acquired the infection directly from Wuhan, China, where this virus was first identified. The individual traveled to the US right before China closed their airport and banned travel from that city. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is closely monitoring events, the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) assures the public that the risk of local transmission remains low.

However, we take the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff seriously. Since the virus is new, there is still more to learn about how it spreads and how it can be prevented. For now, it seems like the incubation period is 14 days, although this number may change in the next few days as we learn more about it. If you have recently traveled or have been in close contact with someone who recently traveled to Wuhan, China, please contact the Wellness Center at (949) 214-3102 or wellness@cui.edu and we will assist you in monitoring your symptoms. According to the OCHCA, the coronavirus is spread, similarly to other illnesses like the flu and common cold, through coughing or sneezing by those who already have it. Symptoms can include fever, coughing and difficulty breathing. Concordia’s Wellness Center receives regular updates from OCHCA regarding the novel coronavirus along with recommendations for our Nurse Practitioners on surveillance, treatment, and reporting.

If you develop a fever, cough, body aches, sore throat or other flu-like symptoms without a recent travel to Wuhan, China, it is highly unlikely that it is due to the novel coronavirus and more likely that it is from the seasonal cold and flu virus.

CUI guidelines recommend observing these common precautionary measures to protect yourself and others from viral illnesses:

    • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
    • use hand sanitizers if water is not available
    • avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth
    • cover your cough or sneeze
    • avoid close contact with people who are sick
    • stay home if you develop flu-like illness (fever, sore throat, cough, body aches) and seek medical help if needed
    • disinfect surfaces (door handles, desk) and shared equipment (phone, keyboard, mouse, etc.)

Next Steps
Concordia University Irvine staff will continue to closely monitor this situation and work with appropriate agencies. We will provide additional updates as needed. We’re here to answer your questions and concerns. Please don’t hesitate to contact CUI’s Wellness Center at (949) 214-3102 or at wellness@cui.edu.

Sincerely,
Michelle Laabs, MSN, FNP-C
Director, Student Health Services
Concordia University Irvine

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