NSHE Chancellor Thom Reilly Issues Updated Guidance on COVID-19

LAS VEGAS – The Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Chancellor Thom Reilly sent an updated guiding document to NSHE’s eight institution presidents on COVID-19 Sunday March 15, 2020.

The memorandum includes updates about Campus Closures, Transition to Remote Instruction, and Vulnerable NSHE Employees.

To:  All NSHE Presidents

Fr:  Thom Reilly, Chancellor

Dt:  March 15, 2020

Re:  Memorandum Updated Guidance on COVID-19

As NSHE continues to ensure the safety of campuses and NSHE System Administration in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are following Governor Steve Sisolak’s closure of Nevada’s K-12 school systems. With a few limited exceptions, I am writing this memorandum to announce NSHE and its eight institutions are directed to end face-to-face student instruction at the earliest possible opportunity but under no circumstances later than March 18, 2020. This direction will remain in effect until further notice.

Campus Closures

UNLV, UNR, TMCC, and WNC, started their spring break this week and their students are currently not attending classes.

NSHE campuses will continue to remain open at this time, including dormitories, dining halls, student support services, and health centers for those students in need. As we are trying to limit social interaction, students with the ability to live off campus are encouraged to do so. However, no student currently living in a dormitory shall be deprived of their room.

Presidents retain the direction to cancel any event at their institutions to promote the practice of social distancing and are advised to do so where appropriate.

Transition to Remote Instruction

Most NSHE institutions have already transitioned to remote instruction. Given this dynamic and evolving situation and Governor Sisolak’s announcement today, I am accelerating my direction that institutions that have not already done so transition to remote instruction no later than March 18, 2020.

Please let me know if your institution needs any additional resources to meet this deadline. When transitioning to remote instruction, please include contingencies and provide access to resources for students who may not own or have access to a personal computer or other technologies.

Presidents have the discretion to allow career and technical labs, clinics, and practicums on a case-by-case basis to continue for students currently enrolled in health science and other programs that cannot be delivered remotely. Those programs provide instruction and training for Nevada’s future health care providers and will allow, where applicable, students expected to graduate this semester the ability to enter the health care work force.

NSHE Employees

Providing resources to our students is our top priority. All employees at NSHE institutions and system administration are expected to continue showing up and working in their respective positions in their normal course. Any changes in this direction will coincide with direction from the Office of the Governor.

NSHE employees who consider themselves members of the defined vulnerable population for COVID-19 as set forth by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines are advised to consult with their supervisors and human resource department on available work accommodations.

Ongoing Communication

Please consult with me directly if your institution requires any deviation from this memorandum.
NSHE System Administration will continue working collaboratively with the Office of Governor Sisolak and all county, state, and federal health officials regarding COVID-19. The health and wellbeing of Nevada’s public higher education community continues to be our utmost priority in this developing situation. We are encouraging our campus communities to keep perspective, demonstrate empathy, and show respect.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and are encouraging everyone to follow the guidelines and advisories issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and state authorities.