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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

In consultation with state and city government, we have moved to online instruction as of Monday, March 16, for the rest of the spring semester. 

For the most immediate updates on the spread of COVID-19, we recommend these resources: 

We have a full archive of all messages related to COVID-19 and resources for students, faculty and staff on this website. And our FAQ website is a searchable knowledge base of all the frequently asked questions that have come up related to this situation.

Messages to the Loyola Community

May 20, 2020: To Faculty, Staff and Students from the President

This is a moment of hopefulness. Our city and state have worked very hard to “flatten the curve” and reduce the rates of infection and hospitalization to a point where we can start to cautiously move forward. The sacrifices we made have mattered.

How does that affect Loyola? Right now, we are in our own Phase 1. Those who can work from home should continue to do so, which means most of us right now. For faculty and staff, I know that some of you are desperate for the comfort of your offices and to escape the mayhem of your home (I certainly am), but we need to wait. We will reopen some critical research activities on campus, but otherwise we will focus the university’s resources on planning and preparing for the fall semester.

For students, summer school will remain online (as most of it was intended to be anyway). Summer school registration is up, probably in part because you are all more experienced at online. Faculty and staff will remain committed to being there for you, wherever you are. We ask that you continue to stay safe and be careful.

Let me describe our plans for Phase 2, the fall semester. These plans will continue to be made more specific as we work through every logistical detail. And our plans will remain flexible, as we make sure we can react to the changes that will inevitably come our way. We are working closely with Ochsner Health System, one of the best in the country, to help us with our planning and to continue to run our student health clinic. Through them, we also will have better access to testing.

Fundamentally, the more we do to limit the risk to our community, the more likely we are both to stay safe and to continue to function on campus. Here’s a thought experiment that has helped us in our planning. Imagine, once classes begin, that you had to make a contact tracing list of everyone you had potentially exposed. How long would your list be and how many people would then have to also isolate for two weeks? The shorter we can keep those lists, the more cautious and disciplined we are, the better we’ll be able to continue.

Here is what our new world will look like.

Students will need to sit six feet apart in the classroom. Some classes will move into larger classrooms to spread out seating. Other classes will be divided into cohorts between virtual days and in-person days. Faculty who have health vulnerabilities and those over 65 will be encouraged to teach entirely online so we can protect them while reducing crowds on campus in general. And we will work to protect our most vulnerable students.

We will teach in hybrid, flexible ways using the opportunities that technology has to offer. And we will be installing more technology in as many classrooms as possible. Students, please know that means that faculty are working very hard this summer to find the very best ways to teach under entirely new circumstances. You saw how well they did with a few days notice this spring. Because they are (as they often tell me) obsessed with teaching you well and mattering to your lives, they will be finding new and creative ways to do more.

After Thanksgiving, we will move to online operations for the remainder of the semester. For students, that saves many of you the expense of two trips home and it protects our community from the exposures of travel.

In January, the University’s spring semester now begins later, on January 19 for all but the College of Law, which will start on January 11. This later start gives us additional flexibility to handle any disruption in the fall. And we will be launching a new two-week (entirely optional) January term for undergraduates, with exciting courses. More details to follow for undergraduates, graduate students, and the College of Law.

Common Spaces: 
We will work on ways to stagger travel between classes. Elevator capacity will be limited to avoid crowding, so those of us who can take the stairs are going to get into better shape. Stairways will have clear directions.

We have been working with Ochsner to walk the campus, thinking through the configuration of our residence halls, dining areas, libraries, common areas, offices and classrooms. We will be moving out lots of chairs into storage to make sure we stay farther apart. In good weather, we will do more outdoors – from teaching to eating. We will be wearing masks in most settings, and, I hope, using the opportunity to create new forms of individual expression and make the best of it.

Constant cleaning: 
We will focus our cleaning efforts on bathrooms, common areas, doorknobs, elevator buttons, and the surfaces that need them most. And we will have cleaning supplies everywhere so we can all help spray surfaces before we touch them.

Student life: 
We will have less density in our residence halls and particular public health efforts aimed at students who live on campus, including regular temperature checks. Students, we will be relying on your tight-knit community and fierce loyalty to Loyola to help us keep the virus off of our campus.

We will continue our intensive support of students through everything from the Student Success Center to Campus Ministry, from academic advising to student counseling.

We will avoid large gatherings -- student performances and athletics will have far more virtual audiences, which will include family and friends around the world. We will be more creative about creating community without our usual hugs and crowds. And despite the logistical obstacles, or because of them, those experiences will bond students together in friendships like nothing before.

For faculty and staff, those of us who can do our work from home will continue to do so, possibly coming in with staggered shifts. We have created a Returning to Work website with some information and will continue to update and refine it as our plans evolve. I know we’ll get through this together. Because here is the thing -- Loyola survived the last pandemic a century ago, and since then, two world wars and Katrina. To be a Jesuit institution means to be innovative, to solve problems with duct tape and ingenuity. To be Jesuit means to be ambitious on behalf of mission and determined beyond measure. And it means to create community regardless of distance, because our values and our passion get through any obstacle.

We got this.

May 5, 2020: To Students from the Senior Vice President for Enrollment, Marketing and Student Affairs (Update on May 14, 2020: the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Report is now available.)

In response to the unprecedented economic and social impacts of COVID-19, the United States Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The largest relief act in American history, the CARES Act makes provisions for institutions of higher education and stipulates that at least 50 percent of institutional relief funds must be used to provide students emergency financial aid grants to help cover expenses related to the disruption of on-campus operations due to the coronavirus. Eligible student expenses include: food, housing, course materials, travel expenses, technology, health care and child care. Recipients of the funds must be eligible to receive federal grants or loans, and only students in on-ground programs as of March 13 are eligible.  

Last week, Loyola University New Orleans received $2,913,258 total, and half of that ($1,456,629) is being dispersed to our neediest students who have been impacted by the disruption caused by COVID-19, many of whom are facing financial challenges and struggling to make ends meet.  

Working with deliberate speed, Loyola has developed a two-phase system and process for dispersing these funds.  

  • In the first phase, Loyola will distribute $1,243,800 of the funds immediately to students with the highest demonstrated need.  
  • All Loyola students who filed a FAFSA this academic year and who had an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of $0 - $5,500 will receive a CARES Act grant from Loyola in the amount of $900. Approximately 1,100 undergraduate students and 300 law and graduate students are eligible for the grant under these criteria. Students will receive notification from the Student Financial Services office notifying them of their eligibility and the process for receiving their grant.   
  • Loyola has set aside the remaining 17 percent (approximately $213,000) to provide CARES Act grants to students who do not meet initial eligibility requirements but have incurred expenses as a result of COVID-19.  We created an online form to request funds.  A committee will review requests weekly until the remaining funds have been depleted.  

We realize that the financial needs of our community are likely greater than these funds can cover.  If you are not sure whether you qualify for funding under the CARES Act, we strongly encourage you to fill out the form.  If you do not meet the qualifications for the federal aid, there may be other emergency funding or institutional aid available to help you. We will filter every application through every option available to best meet as much need as possible.

We have set up an FAQ page that will hopefully address your questions.  As always, we are here to help.  Please email or call us at 504-865-3337.  Good luck with finals and stay healthy and safe.  

May 1, 2020: To the Loyola Community from President Tetlow

We’ve almost made it.  We’re almost through exams and the academic year.  And I know I keep saying it, but I need to tell you yet again how proud I am of all of you and how grateful.   

And I want to brag about what a difference Loyola men and women for others are making.  Here are just a few examples.

  • Loyola’s science, art and design departments made two large donations of personal protective gear to local healthcare systems.
  • The Facilities Department cleaned and sterilized empty residence halls to provide housing for healthcare workers and first responders in the battle against COVID-19, extending the offer to local healthcare systems and the City of New Orleans.  The city has flattened the curve enough not to need the housing, but we stand ready to help. 
  • Loyola biophysics senior Baasel Syed is spearheading Project Wolf Shield, a plan to manufacture 300 face shields using Loyola’s state-of-the-art 3-D printing equipment.  Baasel and Art and Design Chair John Seefeldt secured $4,000 in grants from the Community Catholic Foundation and the Almar Foundation to help them buy supplies.
  • Countless of our nurses are working on the front lines saving lives.  Our own Kate Kemplin, MSN, DNP, launched the Ryan Larkin Field Hospital in New York. The incoming president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, is Loyola alum Sophia Thomas, DNP, who is helping set policy and fight for workplace safety. 
  • The law school’s Workplace Justice Project is helping area residents cope with workforce impacts caused by COVID-19, including drafting unemployment legislation, working to secure paid leave and relief funds from the public money generated by workers in hospitality, service and tourism industries, and serving as an essential communication and resource hub.
  • Before leaving campus in March, many students used their Wolf Bucks to make last-minute donations to Iggy’s Cupboard (because that’s how Loyola students roll) and it continues to provide food to students remaining on campus and in the area. 
  • Loyola’s Community Mental Health Clinic, launched last year by the Counseling Department, continues to serve its existing client base and is working on additional capacity to counsel first responders.  
  • The Recirculating Farms Coalition, led by Marianne Cufone, director of the Center for Environmental Law at Loyola, assembles low-cost fresh food bags and delivers them door-to-door to residents in low-income neighborhoods.
  • Alumni Affairs launched “Check in with the Pack”, a virtual opportunity to connect with older “Golden Wolves” keeping safe at home.
  • The Jesuit community continues to livestream Sunday 10:30 a.m. Mass with help from Student Life and Ministry, which has created vast online resources available to students, faculty, staff and residents.
  • Two Loyola professors – Dr. Simone Rambotti and Tavell Kindall, RN, APRN, DNP – recently joined the state’s COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force.
  • The College of Law is now partnering with the United Way of Southeast Louisiana to provide legal guidance to help child care providers seeking relief funding to navigate the crisis.
  • Graduate students in the teacher education program quickly pivoted to teaching online while learning to be teachers at the same time. Many of them work in schools that serve children from impoverished backgrounds or those who have special needs.

Whether members of the Wolf Pack are making masks at home, teaching and learning in virtual classrooms or serving daily on the front lines, we bring a passion and spirit to anything we do.

April 28, 2020: To Students from President Tetlow

Dear Loyola Students,
I can’t tell you how much I wish I could eliminate all uncertainty right now and tell you exactly what the next several months hold. Or how eager we all are to give you back every opportunity the world has put on hold for you.  What is within our power -- and what we are working tirelessly to do -- is to make careful plans to maximize our chances of being together in person, and to handle whatever life may throw at us.   If state and local officials allow it, we will  reopen on campus for the fall semester on time, prepared for any further periods of disruption.  

1. Health and safety.   Careful reopening will require new realities for us -- a campus in which we protect the most vulnerable in our community by allowing them to work and learn from home, while the rest of us are able to return to campus precisely because we will be very careful.  

We have partnered with Ochsner Health System, a national industry leader and one of the largest hospital systems in the country, to help us develop safety protocols.  We will have access to far more testing, including antibody testing.  We will obsessively clean and facilitate your ability to wipe down surfaces.  We will spread ourselves out in classrooms and common spaces to avoid large gatherings.  We will give each other lots of love and respect, but without hugs and physical contact.  

2. Flexibility in forms of teaching.  We are also preparing for the possibility of disruption, and praying hard that it will not happen again.  Faculty will put enormous effort this summer into ensuring their classes can be taught effectively and creatively both in person or on-line.  Providing the highest quality Loyola education will be their guiding principle. This time they will have far more time to maximize what technology can achieve, to share their best ideas, and to help those colleagues who may have struggled with the online format.  Faculty will be working very hard this summer to make sure you get the excellence you deserve.  Course teaching evaluations are now open and students can communicate with their faculty what works and what they think needs improvement in the courses. And we will be asking you soon what worked well, including ways we should keep using technology permanently to improve our teaching, and what needs improvement. 

3. Flexibility in schedule.   We still plan to start classes on August 24th, but if waiting a little longer helps us to reopen in person, we will wait a little longer.  We are also discussing the possibility of finishing in-person instruction at Thanksgiving, with the last week of class and exams online.  This would allow those of you who need to travel to head home and stay there through the Christmas holiday.  We understand that this requires a balance of the notice you need to make plans versus maximizing our ability to bring you back to campus.   We will make decisions as quickly as the fog of uncertainty clears, but no later than early July.  

4. Focus on your future.  Loyola prides itself on giving you the skills, the strategy and the contacts to get jobs after you graduate.  We know from our job placement data that we succeed.   Now, as the economy has shifted so dramatically under the feet of graduating students, we are even more determined to help you start your career.  Loyola’s career services programs have been working tirelessly to help students adjust to new realities and to help foresee where opportunities will shift.  We also offered many graduating seniors admission and scholarships to our graduate programs, and for those who are seeking jobs, our career services will be available to them after they graduate.  Know that we are determined to get you across the finish line of graduation, but also beyond.   Cura personalis means that we care enormously about you and the rest of your life, long after you achieve your degree.

Know that Loyola has overcome serious obstacles in our century-old history, including Katrina, and we will do it again now.  Because we are not a huge bureaucracy, we have the ability to be nimble and creative.  Because we are utterly obsessed with your futures, we will be working incredibly hard -- planning and preparing for every possibility.   What drives us is how eager we are to see your faces again, even if it will be a while before we can give you the big hugs we know you need right now.  

April 27, 2020: To Faculty and Staff from President Tetlow

I want to give you an update as best I can given the ongoing levels of uncertainty.  I will also host a virtual town hall later this week for us.
We are furiously planning for the fall semester in working groups: Public Health (to determine necessary policies of testing and protocols), Academics, Social Distancing Logistics, Workplace Policies, and Student Engagement.  Many of you are helping us with that planning, and we will be asking for further input through the Faculty and Staff Senates.  
1. Social Distance
The only thing that is clear right now is that we will not be able to return to business as usual anytime soon.  Our hope is that we can reopen campus operations carefully in August while preserving social distance and continuing to protect those with the highest risks.  Regardless of what happens, clearly some more vulnerable faculty will need to teach online in the fall, and some staff will need to continue working entirely from home.
In order to reopen in person, we also will need to create less density on our campus.   We may end up taking turns in the office so that there are fewer of us present.   We will find ways to spread students out in common spaces, from the dining hall to the library.  The deans and academic leadership are planning on how to keep classrooms less dense.  We can schedule courses in larger classrooms (and spread out our course schedule to achieve that.)  We can also split larger courses into shifts, and are working to install more technology to outfit “smart classrooms.”
2. Teaching and Engaging Students Differently
In order to achieve all of this, we will need to teach as much as possible in hybrid models.  Better integration of technology into even traditional teaching has three advantages for us.  One, it makes it easier to achieve reduced density on campus and to teach students who have health vulnerabilities, or are just out sick.  Two, it makes us more prepared to go online if and when we face further disruption, and to do so without as much work to plan a course entirely in the alternative.  Third, we will learn some new tricks that will permanently improve our pedagogy.  
As we work to persuade students to come back to Loyola, or to start here in the fall, we have good arguments to make about why they can trust us to teach well.  About 150 of our faculty have already completed training courses to teach online, and they can help train the rest of us.  We can do more to use the best tools of online teaching (as opposed to our necessarily retrofitted efforts this spring.) We can truly engage students and add to the quality of what we do even in a traditional classroom.
After exams are over and grades are in, we’ll be taking on the hard work of leaping forward into the future overnight, to make it possible to deal with whatever life throws at us.  This will require a daunting amount of effort. But just as we always strive to improve our teaching in the classroom, we also need to continue to up our game for hybrid and fully online modalities.  We owe it to our students.

For the staff, we also will need to find more ways to engage students in every aspect of campus life virtually -- in a way that preserves social distance and can withstand periods of further disruption away from campus.   Students learn as much from each other and the community we help them create as they do in the classroom.  We’ll continue to be very creative to preserve that experience for them.  

3. Flexibility of Schedule
If we get a green light from local officials over the summer, we might start classes a week or two early, to maximize time in person before potential disruption.   Or if shutdowns continue, we might start later, eliminating fall holidays to allow a more compressed semester.   Our goal is to avoid, if at all possible, beginning the semester fully online, though we need to prepare for that possibility as well.  
We will give ourselves deadlines to make these decisions, and we’re eager to give all of you, and our students, time to make plans.  But the more flexible we remain, the more likely we are to be able to function in person. 

4. Innovation and Core Principles
As I’m sure you’re reading in the national press, higher education faces an existential threat.   We all grapple with great uncertainty about retention and admissions and thus our revenue for next year.  At this moment more than ever, it is critical for all of us to ask fundamental questions of how we operate.   Loyola has already done much of that hard work getting through our own recent financial crisis, which leaves us in a far more stable place than we were a few years ago.  We are a nimble institution at a moment when that is crucial.   But we have also already exhausted the obvious solutions in our recent turnaround.
We are working hard to maintain our levels of retention and admission, and will know more on those results soon. In the meantime, we need to use this chance to get ourselves ready to respond quickly to whatever comes.  Every institution in the country will take a hit, from the greatly reduced endowment income for the wealthiest institutions, to lost residence hall revenue, to the 20% of college-bound students reporting rethinking their decision.  
This is a moment that I hope we’ll ask ourselves who we would want to be if we were building from scratch, not just adjusting the traditions of a century-old institution.   I am very conscious of our limited bandwidth just now, but this must be the moment that we identify the ways we can make our lives more efficient and less difficult – for staff, faculty and students.   I’m asking each of you to think of problems that we have kicked down the road for years and see if we might solve them now.  Given the enormity of the challenges ahead, this will not be a moment when the answer to questions about why we do illogical things can ever be, “because we’ve always done it this way.”
Among other things, we will work with the University Senate this summer to improve our curriculum, to make it more efficient for students and for faculty, to maximize the first-year undergraduate experience when we lose the most students, to encourage interdisciplinary courses among the colleges and between graduate programs.  This is not a moment to merely tinker, but a time to consider who we want to be.
Watching the 2006 Saints/Falcons game the other night made me remember how difficult it was right after Katrina to imagine the future that would unfold.  It made me remember in a visceral way how exhausted we were then.  We know, more than most, that we will get through this – that it will take longer and be harder than we imagine, but we know we will get through it.   We’ll do that because we know that our mission is critical – to the success of our students and to the rebounding of the American economy.

April 17, 2020: A Video Message from President Tetlow


April 8, 2020: To Graduating Students from the President

We know how deeply important it is to you and your families to celebrate all of your hard work, and to honor your achievements with due pomp and circumstance.  We need to come together in New Orleans, to give you the opportunity to hear your name and walk across the stage to receive your diploma, just as you’ve planned since your first day at Loyola. 

We plan to hold our formal 2020 Commencement ceremony the weekend of August 7-8, at one of the most beautiful venues in the city - Loyola University New Orleans. 

We will make this into a super-spectacular commencement/homecoming weekend with as many of our traditional events as possible. While some of the details are still being worked out, we have created these FAQs to address some of your questions and concerns, and we will be reaching out to you again soon to gather some information that will help us plan.

In the meantime, we will have far more certainty as the weeks and months progress, so please don’t buy nonrefundable plane tickets or hotel rooms. As we get closer, we’ll release a schedule of events, compressed to make it easier for those of you coming from afar. We will also livestream the ceremonies for those who cannot make it in person, so your families can celebrate you properly.

I can’t wait until we can be together again to celebrate all your wonderful accomplishments, but in the meantime, we can have a little fun online. As I mentioned in my email Monday, we will hold a virtual celebration on May 9th to mark the original commencement date.  The May 9th broadcast will be a celebration, not a virtual graduation ceremony.  We want a chance for you to connect with your friends and professors, and a moment to turn to your loved ones at home, and say: “I did it!”

We continue to hope and pray for the safety of our communities, and for the opportunity to come together in August.

April 8, 2020: To Faculty and Staff from the Director of Human Resources

As a mom of a 4 year old, I understand the challenges many of us are currently facing homeschooling our children while working from home and planning for the new school year ahead. 

With that in mind, I wanted to remind everyone of EdNavigator, a benefit that provides free educational guidance and support to families with children in K-12.  This benefit is available to all Loyola University New Orleans employees. 

Through this partnership, employees have free access to expert “Navigators” who provide personalized educational guidance and support. Navigators include local teachers, counselors and school leaders who have an insider’s perspective on schools and deep roots in the New Orleans community. Through this benefit, you will be able to connect to a Navigator via EdNavigator’s free mobile app to get help with everything from finding schools to understanding report cards. Instructions on how to set up the app are here.

EdNavigator is now launching a free, once-daily publication for parents that will last as long as the school closures.  Called One Great Thing for Tomorrow, it will be distributed via email to anyone who subscribes.  Content will be short and simple, focused on helping families make the most of each day when schools are closed.  One Great Thing is based on the premise that parents do not need everything – they need a few things that are genuinely useful. The first edition is available here

To subscribe to the daily version, visit this link.  Only an email address is required – EdNavigator will not collect any other contact information.

April 7, 2020: To Faculty from the Interim Provost

I hope everyone continues to be healthy and is in good spirits. This week we hope to just have a few announcements and reminders. Starting next week my emails will come every Tuesday and Thursday, unless something develops requiring more frequent communication from me.

This week’s faculty Q&A webinar with me and the deans will be on Wednesday at 2 p.m. You can join the webinar using this link. Some have asked if we could have these meetings at different times. Best practice is to provide a predictable time for these conversations to happen. You can always see the recorded sessions here and you can reach out to me, your dean or chair with issues.

Our Blackboard Client Services Representative Dr. Angela Robbins will be hosting a workshop on Blackboard Skills on Wednesday, April 8th at 11 a.m. We hope you will join us for this Loyola-specific training. The Association of College and University Educators is also offering a series of webinars over the next couple of weeks on effective online instruction. Learn more here

Please remember to take time off during Easter break, this coming Thursday, Friday and Monday. Our faculty, staff and students have been working so hard the last few weeks that a bit of restorative time enjoying Easter Sunday with family and friends (even if by social media or virtual conference) is what we all need.

Some undergraduate students are reporting not having enough information in some classes for effective decision making with regards to selecting the P/F option by April 26th. It is important that faculty provide clear assessments of how students are performing in their classes so that students can make this important decision. Make sure your Blackboard gradebook is updated with all student assessments other than last week’s activities by April 20th. If you use a different way of conveying performance please make sure you communicate this information to students clearly.

While we thank all of you for your continued work during these trying times, we'd like to especially acknowledge our adjunct faculty who often balance their commitment to Loyola's students with professional obligations outside of the academy. We are grateful for your dedication and diligence on behalf of our students. 

April 6, 2020: To Faculty from the Interim Provost

Dear Faculty,

This message is for those of you teaching in undergraduate programs (other than the RN to BSN program). For information about Pass/Fail in the College of Law or in graduate programs please look for more information from your respective Deans.

Moments ago we sent this message to undergraduate students about opting in to Pass/Fail grading. I encourage you to watch the short video so that you know what this will look like from the student-view. In addition to the student-facing FAQs that we link below, we have a few faculty-facing FAQs linked here. Please refer questions about financial aid to the team in Financial Aid and Student Financial Services. There are just a few exemptions to P/F grading for students in Music Therapy, Music Education, Teacher Certification, and certain pre-health courses. These have been built into the system and should not impact you as an advisor unless you advise in these areas in which case you should contact your chair or director.

Your grading roster will appear in LORA with an additional note about grading type. Students who opt into P/F grading will be highlighted as such. Normal grade rules refer to A-F grading.

Dear Students,

I am writing to let you know that the portal in LORA to select Pass/Fail grading is now open. It is important that before you make your selections you consult with an academic advisor and/or your course instructors and review the FAQs we have put together for P/F as there may be special circumstances related to your major or to your financial aid situation that you will want to carefully consider. The deadline for making this choice is April 26th so you have plenty of time to consider your options.

This short video put together by Dr. Paul Buehler, Director of Academic Advising in the PanAmerican Life Student Success Center will guide you through the mechanics of making the choice. QJ8GHCMyMlfE/?sr=SgUrFM

I know that whatever grading scale you choose, that you are committed to the Jesuit ideal of the pursuit of excellence. Even in these trying times, we know that you are doing your very best and we are here to support you.

Take care and stay healthy,

Maria Calzada, Ph.D.
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

April 6, 2020: To Students from the Interim Provost

Dear Students,

I am writing to let you know that the portal in LORA to select Pass/Fail grading is now open. It is important that before you make your selections you consult with an academic advisor and/or your course instructors and review the FAQs we have put together for P/F as there may be special circumstances related to your major or to your financial aid situation that you will want to carefully consider. The deadline for making this choice is April 26th so you have plenty of time to consider your options.

This short video put together by Dr. Paul Buehler, Director of Academic Advising in the PanAmerican Life Student Success Center will guide you through the mechanics of making the choice.

I know that whatever grading scale you choose, that you are committed to the Jesuit ideal of the pursuit of excellence. Even in these trying times, we know that you are doing your very best and we are here to support you.

Take care and stay healthy,

Maria Calzada, Ph.D.
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

April 3, 2020: To Students from the President

Dear Students,

We made it through week three, though it seems like month three. I’ve heard from so many of you about the obstacles you have overcome, and I can’t tell you how humbled I am by you. All of you are dealing with disruption, anxiety and the absence of your friends and community. Many of you are scrambling to find internet and laptops (please let us help you with that!) and struggling to find a quiet and safe spot to study. Many of you are losing jobs you needed and comforting your families through their own financial hardship. And some of you work in health care and other essential industries and are on the front lines, risking your lives for the rest of us.

As I talk to the faculty and staff, who are doing their own similar juggling, I can’t quite describe how proud they are of you. We have always bragged about how fiercely determined Loyola students are – now you take our breath away. We are determined too, working as hard as we can to give you the opportunity you deserve.

Know that we will spend time next year making sense of all of this, of thinking through what the crisis has revealed about the cracks that exist in our society. From criminal justice, to education, to the widening disparities of wealth, this has given us a stark reminder of where we need to do better. And at Loyola, we have even more motivation to hone your skills to go out into the world, solve complicated problems, and make your lives and career matter.

For those of you graduating, I sent this by a separate email to you, but I cannot wait for the chance to celebrate your achievement in person. We will come together virtually on May 9th, but as soon as the fog of uncertainty lifts, we will also come together in person as soon as possible. I am determined to hand you your diploma, to hear the cheers of your supporters and to hug every one of you.

Please keep sending me your questions, your thoughts, your stories and pictures of your new “classmates” at home.

April 3, 2020: To Graduating Students from the President

After incredible amounts of hard work, and now utter heroics to get to the finish line, you are the cusp of achieving your dreams. And I am determined to hand you a diploma in person.

It is clear now that it won’t yet be safe to do that on May 9th. We have been busy working on an alternative plan, studying the public health research to choose a date with the most opportunity of sticking. Ideally, the situation will have lifted and we can move forward later this summer, with enough lead time to give you proper notice and ability to plan. But we do not yet know if that will be possible.

On May 9th, we will do something together virtually to mark the occasion, and for purposes of your resume and future plans, you will be official by then. But that will not be a substitute for coming together in person.

I can’t quite describe how much I wish I could offer you certainty, so you can continue to imagine that lovely moment when we can be together again to celebrate, with even more joy than usual. Right now, the world has denied me that power. Know that it is an enormous priority for us, and we will stay in constant contact with you. I know you have many other questions about Commencement. We are preparing FAQs and will share them with you next week.

April 3, 2020: To Students from the Senior Vice President of Enrollment, Marketing, and Student Affairs

As promised, I am writing with an update about room, board and parking credits/refunds due to Loyola’s move to online classes and reduction in campus programs and services. Thank you for your patience as we worked through the details of this unprecedented event.

If you lived in campus housing, we are in the process of posting prorated room credits to your student accounts. Your individual credit amount is based on the last day of the week you officially checked out of campus housing; whether it was the week ending March 16th or the week ending March 23rd. Students who left campus housing after March 23rd will receive further prorated room credits based on weekly increments. The amount will appear on your student account as a credit that will be applied to any remaining balance owed to Loyola for the 2019-20 academic year. If you do not owe a balance, the credit will be applied to your Fall 2020 semester bill. If you are a senior who has applied for graduation and does not owe a balance, you will automatically receive a refund to the address we have on record. If you would prefer to receive a refund rather than a credit, please use this link to make the request.

We are also in the process of posting prorated meal plan credits to your accounts. For residential students, the credit is based on the last day of the week you officially checked out of campus housing. For commuter students the prorated credit is based on your remaining balance as of March16, 2020. Any remaining Wolfbucks will automatically roll over to the fall semester and will need to be used by December 31, 2020. Only graduating seniors with remaining Wolfbucks are eligible for refunds on declining balances.

Finally, we are issuing prorated credits for parking fees based on the week ending March 16, 2020. This credit will also post to your student account, if applicable.

Each of these credits will appear separately on your student account and will be named:

  • 20S Covid-19 Refund - Housing
  • 20S Covid-19 Refund - Meal Plan
  • 20S Covid-19 Refund - Parking

We are proceeding this way to ensure as much accuracy and transparency as possible. Please note: Due to our information systems, credits will appear as they are posted over the next two weeks and may not appear all at once.

We realize that many of you may have questions. The teams in Financial Aid, Student Financial Services, Residential Life and Information Technology are working as quickly as possible to apply these credits. More information can be found on the FAQ website.

Please contact Student Financial Services at or 504-865-3337 for help with your specific questions. If you choose to call, remember that folks are working remotely and please be ready to leave a voicemail. Your message will be returned by the next business day.

April 3, 2020: To Faculty from the Interim Provost

My next webinar for faculty is scheduled for Wednesday, April 8th at 2 p.m. Please mark your calendars as we plan to hold these every Wednesday. It is great to hear from you; and the Deans, Carol Ann, Erin, and I are grateful to have this way to stay in touch. Previous webinars are recorded and posted here.

We remain grateful to each of you for your care and concern for our students. The number of BIT reports being submitted is at an all time high. The Department of English wins this week’s award for most comprehensive reporting! The team at the Student Success Center is doing much of their follow up outreach by text message. Students who are not engaging with Blackboard may also be avoiding email (or having difficulty accessing it reliably). If you would like to reach out to a student in your class or one of your advisees by phone you can find this information in LORA. Some faculty have reported good results when they have contacted their students this way and we know that students respond more frequently to those they have connections with. The screenshot shows how to contact students in your course. To find advisee contact information, go to “student advising” on your LORA toolbar and select “contact a student.”

Our anonymous feedback form also remains open. In a recent submission to this form, one of you expressed concern that employees continue to pay for parking during this time. You will notice on your paystub moving forward that parking is no longer being deducted.

We are all doing the best we can during this difficult time. Some of you are caring for loved ones, trying to homeschool while getting your own work accomplished, sharing technology with others, and/or just trying to keep your heads above water. Thank you for everything you are doing. If you need support to continue research (and this may just add stress to already busy schedules and certainly is not something additional we want to add to your plates), CFI and the Office of Grants and Sponsored Research is working on providing weekly grants updates.

Some of you have also expressed concerns about academic integrity in your courses. We have developed a new webpage with some tips for increasing integrity in Blackboard courses, especially on exams and quizzes. Please reach out to the Online Learning Team or CFI if you have additional questions. This new page mentions the use of Respondus Lockdown Browser and Monitor. See this video for more information about Respondus. Note, Respondus has software requirements and cannot currently be used on Chromebooks. Students must be given ample warning that this software will be used in a course, so we will be working on adding information to the blue box under the course name on LORA. Instructors will need to tell us that they plan to use Respondus in a Summer or Fall course. We will be in touch soon regarding optional implementation in courses. Unfortunately given the need to provide students notice about the technology requirements, this tool is not available until summer session.

On Monday we will launch the portal to opt-in to P/F grading for undergraduate students. I will be in touch with more details about what that will look like for students and for faculty in my next email. For now, I would just like to express my sincere gratitude to Stephen Lousteau, Bill Butler, Jerilyn Richoux and the entire team in IT who worked to make this possible with very little notice.

April 1, 2020: To Faculty from the Interim Provost

There was an important typo in my last email. The last day of classes is April 29th. The last day to opt in to pass/fail is April 26th. You can view the full academic calendar here.

We have heard reports that some students are going through a second wave of moving as they first moved in with off-campus friends and are now fully moving home as the situation in the city gets national press coverage. We are grateful for your continued flexibility. I am also continuously astounded by your generosity. One of you used the anonymous feedback form to inquire about where you could donate to support students. University Advancement has set up a student hardship fund. You can select that in the drop down menu here. If you have a computer in good working order that you would like to donate you may drop those off to LUPD and IT will make sure they are ready to go when a student is identified by BIT.

While support for students is always at the forefront of our minds, I want to let you know that we know COVID-19 has also had profound impacts on you as a scholar. While we have moved to extend the tenure clock by one year, we also want to support your research and writing in small ways. Annie Weaver remains available for telephone and Zoom consultations about grant possibilities. Please email her if you would like to set up an appointment. The Center for Faculty Innovation will also be creating some Zoom writing retreats -- a dedicated time and place for you to quietly write with accountability to others. If you have tips for how you have been able to maintain your scholarly productivity during this time feel free to share your story.

As a reminder, I continue to have webinars for faculty on Wednesdays at 2 p.m. Here is the link to tomorrow’s Zoom webinar.

Today, I would like to recognize and thank Rachel Hoormann and her team in Marketing and Communications. They have worked tirelessly to maintain a high level of community and connectedness that needs to be celebrated.

March 30, 2020: To Students from the Interim Provost

I hope that you are adjusting to your online classes. The deans and I know that the faculty are working very hard to help you continue on your paths to your degrees, but we also realize that this is a very stressful time for everyone and that many of you may be juggling your studies with family obligations. The deans and I have approved an extension of the last day to withdraw for many undergraduate students this spring. All undergraduate students, except for RN-BSN students, are eligible to withdraw up until the last day of classes--April 29th. This is true for students who were online-only students before the COVID-19 situation and for students who were on-campus students. We hope that you will continue to do your best in your courses, but want to give you this flexibility in these unprecedented times.

Loyola’s faculty and staff want to offer you as much support as they can while our community is spread out all over the country. Now, more than ever, It is very important that Loyola has up-to-date contact information for you so we can get in touch to see how you are doing and how we can help. Please log into LORA and make sure we have the correct information on file by Friday, April 3. Follow these steps to check and update your record.

  1. Sign into your LORA account
  2. Select Personal Info
  3. Select Personal Phone Numbers

There are several options:

cell phone (your cell phone #),
parent's cell #,
emergency notification (this number receives alerts about immediate threats on campus including severe weather and active shooters - in almost all cases, this should be your cell phone #)

LORA screenshot phone numbers

March 27, 2020: To Faculty from the Interim Provost (updated at 7 p.m. on March 27, 2020)

I  hope as these days of social distancing continue that you are settling into the transition and the shock of the initial change is subsiding. Our initial focus was just to get everyone up and running but as we continue we need to be thinking ahead to what the next few weeks might bring.

Sickness: while we sincerely hope that no one becomes so ill that they cannot complete teaching their courses, we need to be sensitive to this possibility. If you are teaching on Blackboard, in the event of an emergency your associate dean, chair or a colleague could be given access to pick up where you left off. If you are not teaching via Blackboard it will be much more difficult for another person to understand what grades you have already assigned and whether you are tracking with the posted syllabus. Even if you are using other tools, please keep an up to date gradebook in Blackboard and speak with your associate dean, chair or director (whoever the next level of administration is) about your specific contingency plans. For undergraduates, up-to-date grades are an important part of how a student will decide whether to opt in to Pass/Fail. Dr. Dan Guo has put together this wonderful shared drive with numerous step-by-step how-to guides for using Blackboard, including using the gradebook.

Internet Outages: we have had reports from a small number of faculty members that they’ve had disruptions to their home internet service. While a smartphone can be used as an emergency hotspot, it often won’t work well for recording and posting longer lectures. While we understand things will happen that are beyond your control, consider thinking about what lo-fi ways you can continue your instruction if technology fails. Some examples of lo-fi ways are: using the Google Suite in the offline mode (files will then be submitted when access is more available), allow telephone audio in Zoom (or other virtual) meetings, and providing readings and assignments in advance that can be worked on offline for an extended period

Easter Break: please take a break and allow your students to take a break. If you are holding synchronous sessions please do not hold class on Thursday, Friday, or Monday. These would have been university holidays and are still indicated as such on the university calendar. If you are teaching asynchronously students may opt-in to doing work during this time but we would hope that you would not make assignments due during a break.

Last day to withdraw: The deans and I have approved to extend the last day to withdraw for undergraduate students this spring of 2020 to April 29th, a few days after April 26th which is the last day to select the P/F option.

Faculty Webinars: The Center for Faculty Innovation continues to provide useful webinars. The next one is Monday, March 30 at 2 p.m., with the topic of “Instructors who have experience teaching in both physical and online classrooms: Sharing advice and lessons learned” Please click the link here to join the webinar. The CFI has a list of all upcoming webinars, tutorials and resources.

I will continue to have faculty webinars with me and the deans for the next few weeks, as needed. They will be on Wednesdays at 2 p.m. We will be sharing the links for the meetings by email and also they will be posted in the CFI site listed above. Here are the next two:
April 1, 2020 @ 2 p.m. Join using this link.
April 8, 2020 @ 2 p.m. Join using this link.

Previous sessions were recorded and are available at this link.

Continuing Online Instruction:The CFI will continue to post tutorials and guidance. We strongly recommend faculty print or save this Quality Matters checklist for emergency remote instruction. In particular, take note of the section on “Longer Term Considerations.”

Faculty Expertise: If you have a particular expertise related to the Coronavirus in any area, please let Patricia Murret know. This will be helpful to the community and will also continue to keep the name of Loyola University New Orleans as a source of expertise. One great example of this is Kim Mix’s article in Inside Higher Ed.

I would like to acknowledge the work of the following faculty and staff members who have been helping to assist their colleagues with online instruction: Mary Frances Seiter (Law), Brian Huddleston (Law) , Ford Miller (Law), Brian Barnes (Law), Amrita Datta (Nursing), Jonathan Peterson (Philosophy), Andrew Wolfe (Computer Science), Lisa Collins (Mass Comm), Nate Straight (Dir. OIRE), Mary Graci (Media Services), and also Curry O’Day (Media Services). Thank you!

Again, I appreciate all your efforts on behalf of our students. Please take care of yourselves, your families and your friends. You can always contact me if you have any questions or concerns. Or you can use this anonymous survey to let us know what you are thinking.

March 27, 2020: To Loyola Community from President Tetlow

So much has happened to all of us over the past few weeks, it feels like we’ve lived a year in the span of 14 days. All of you have been working so hard: from adjusting to teaching or learning online, to moving home, to managing your teams remotely. You’ve achieved it all at a moment when you and your families are dealing with great difficulty. I am so proud of each and every one of you, and I know that when we look back on this time, we will be amazed by what we have accomplished together.

I also know that we are all tired, and for that reason, I want to be sure that we all take a break for the Easter holidays as scheduled. I am asking all faculty to suspend synchronous classes on Thursday, April 9, Friday, April 10, and Monday, April 13. And I am asking supervisors to let their employees enjoy those days off unless they are providing essential services. It is important for all of us to take some time to reflect, refresh and recharge before we finish this strange semester.

We also need this time to observe Easter week and Passover. I hope that many of you will join me in watching our live-streamed Masses on Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter from Ignatius Chapel, with some added solos from our world-class music faculty. (Details to follow). I’ll also be joining friends, this time online, for our usual Seder meal. This year, we will listen to the stories of sacrifice, suffering and redemption with new ears and open hearts. We will continue the work of finding spiritual meaning in this disruption -- finding the lessons that will make us better people at the end of it all.

March 24, 2020: To Faculty from the Interim Provost

While this semester has resulted in unprecedented change for our campus and for the world, I am grateful that there are some things that have not changed. One of the things that has remained constant during this time is your genuine care and concern for our students. We are grateful for your continued flexibility with deadlines and attendance during this time. This is so important and so critical to ensuring our students' success and their desire to return to us when the pandemic is over.

A few of you have used our anonymous concerns form to share that you are worried about students' access to technology or financial well being as a result of job loss. Please complete a BIT report if a student shares a concern and especially if they request university assistance. The Behavioral Intervention Team ( known in a previous configuration as the Care and Concern Committee) is an interdisciplinary team of representatives from Student Affairs, the Student Success Center, and Mission and Identity among others. This group can triage student requests and also monitor for trends that the larger university community needs to be aware of. For example, BIT is working closely with the university library to get students without computers or reliable internet access the equipment they need, even with a shelter in place order. This process will allow us to know if student requests exceed our current resources so that we can source donations or buy additional equipment if appropriate. BIT can also direct students to resources offered in the University Counseling Center to support food stamp applications and other assistance.

We are in a place in most courses where early warning and midterm grades have passed but now, more than ever, there is a chance that students will struggle. We are pulling a list of students who have not been active in Blackboard in the last week and the team in the Student Success Center will be leading outreach to these students. We ask that you take a look at your gradebook in Blackboard where a default column lets you know the last time a student logged in. Please reach out to those in your courses who are inactive or falling behind with your offer of support. In cases where you aren’t getting a response or a student indicates they are having tremendous difficulty please alert BIT. Now would be a good time to bookmark that link for easy reference. We are getting occasional complaints about student issues in courses. One great strategy for learning about how students are feeling about the new organization and delivery of your course is to do a short anonymous survey using a tool like Google Forms or Qualtrics which are free to all university faculty members. Please email Carol Ann MacGregor if you need assistance with this.   

I want to remind you that the Pan-American Life Student Success Center is available to help our students virtually. All the SSC resources (tutoring, coaching, advising, accessible education, career development) are available to our students online.  Also, the University Counseling Center continues to offer anxiety workshops via Zoom. Please refer your students to this information

As registration advising begins, those advising meetings will become a critical time to show your advisees that you care about them not just as students but as people. For some of your students summer courses are an option to catch up on requirements, and many summer courses are available online. Please check in with them about how they are doing and use the anonymous feedback form or email Carol Ann MacGregor with any trends you are seeing. 

While retention and student success is shared work and we all must do our part, I offer special thanks to those who serve on BIT and the team in the Student Success Center who continue to go above and beyond in support of our students at this critical time. In particular, Diana Ward serves as the chair of BIT and takes on reading and organizing all BIT forms for discussion at the meetings. Thanks, Diana!

We will be hosting a second Q&A webinar for faculty this Wednesday, March 25, from 2-2:45 p.m., using this Zoom link. Last week’s meeting is recorded here. I look forward to hearing from many of you then.

March 24, 2020: To Loyola Community from President Tetlow

Our beautiful campus feels empty without you. I stopped by today to check on some of our essential workers and recorded this video message to you.

Wolf Pack, we got this!

March 22, 2020: To Students from Director of University Police & Emergency Management

Today, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards issued a statewide stay-at-home order that will go into effect at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 15 until April 12.This order comes on the heels of guidance from New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell on Friday, March 20, advising residents to stay home except for essential needs. While we have been encouraging social distancing and city officials have been asking residents to stay home as much as possible, the governor’s order underscores the importance of staying inside and physical distancing as a means to prevent continued spread of COVID-19.

Allowable activities:

  • Shopping at grocery stores, convenience stores and pharmacies
  • Medical appointments, although many providers are offering virtual visits
  • Picking up food at restaurants (either take-out or drive-thru)
  • Delivering food
  • Personal exercise outdoors, including walking pets

We realize that these restrictions are hard on most of you. A number of local grocery stores are now offering delivery, Grubhub and DoorDash drivers are still delivering food, and many restaurants now offer curbside pickup. And while playgrounds may be closed, some parks are still open for general recreation for small groups of ten or less, providing everyone maintains a distance of 6 feet from one another.

Louisiana currently has the fastest growth rate of confirmed cases in the world, and it is important that we all do our parts to avoid contact with others to slow the spread of the virus. There are a lot of plans for ways to keep our community connected during this time. Keep checking your email and watch our social media.

March 19, 2020: Online Town Hall with President Tetlow

March 19, 2020: To the Faculty from the Interim Provost

I hope everyone continues to adjust to our new reality of teaching online and other methods of social distancing and I hope everyone remains healthy.

I wanted to give you a few updates and reminders:

  1. In recognition of disruptions to research projects and other professional responsibilities, the deans and I have approved an optional extension of the tenure clock by one year for all tenure-track faculty. Keep in mind that the decision to delay the tenure review for a year rests on the individual tenure-track faculty member. Some may decide that they are ready for the tenure review in their original timeline, which is perfectly fine. If you have any questions, please consult with your chair and dean.
  2. This is a reminder of the Q&A Zoom meeting for faculty with me and the deans scheduled for today at 3 p.m. The purpose of this meeting is to informally connect and to address any questions you may have that have not been addressed already.
  3. The president has also scheduled a town hall meeting for today at 7 p.m. This event is open to faculty, staff, and students.
  4. In recognition of the disruption that the Coronavirus has placed and will continue to place on our students, the University Courses and Curriculum Committee and university leadership have decided to provide undergraduate students with expanded access to the Pass/Fail grading option for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. The first eight-week session ended before the current crisis and therefore is not eligible for the P/F option. Many students have contacted me thanking me for this decision and telling me they plan on working very hard to achieve A’s in their courses. The uncertainty of whether they or someone in their families will fall sick and that their studies will suffer makes this option one that they are very happy to have. Some courses will not be eligible for the P/F option, depending on accreditation or major requirements. We are working on identifying these courses with the deans. We are also developing a process through LORA for students to select into this option and Q&As on how this will proceed and will inform everyone as soon as we can.

The anonymous survey is still available to report issues and concerns. We received several reports with the following trends:

  1. Some of you are still uncomfortable with Zoom or other technologies. Since the survey was anonymous, we cannot follow up to help. Erin Dupuis and the online learning team are available for one-on-one support, as are a number of your colleagues. If you would like help, I encourage you to reach out. The OLT can even “observe” a Bb course and give you quick tips or add you as a guest to an existing online course so you can get ideas for your own courses.
  2. People are concerned about digital equity for students and faculty. We are too, which is why the library loaned laptops to students for the duration of the semester, IT purchased additional iPads that will be distributed to those in need when they arrive, and deans are lending equipment to faculty and students. If you know of a student with a particular hardship please submit a BIT report so that we can respond systematically to requests and document needs. If BIT receives reports that indicate that the demand is higher than what is available through the library and IT we may seek donations of older equipment from members of the community who want to help. If a faculty member has a particular hardship they can reach out to their deans or to me. Many internet providers are expanding access to their clients. Please check with your internet and/or cell providers to learn if this is available to you. Deborah Poole, Dean of University Libraries, put together this hot spot guide.
  3. Some raised a concern about the administration not reaching out enough to off-campus students. Rest assured that we continue to communicate with off-campus students about the situation and that we have made available to them the possibility of borrowing technology and access to Iggy’s Cupboard. We will keep assessing what more we can do for off-campus students in light of current events.
  4. Faculty report that students in 8-week online courses, including online program students, have raised concerns about expectations in these courses. While instruction “was always online” in these courses, we ask that you please keep in mind that students enrolled in online-only courses are also facing great difficulties. They may be sharing technology with siblings or with their own children, facing economic hardship, or trying to work from home while also homeschooling. It may make sense to waive deadline/late penalties in these courses or to make other course adjustments in order to allow our students to succeed in this unusually difficult situation.

I continue to be inspired by the work of our community. Today I will recognize and thank two librarians: Laurie Philips and Susan Brower. Laurie continues to work tirelessly to acquire free textbooks and materials for our students. Just recently her proposal to the Louisiana Library Network (LOUIS) to provide expanded materials was fully funded. Susan’s hard work was instrumental for Loyola to get Zoom! Thanks Laurie and Susan for your selfless service. Please note that while the library building is closed, the team in the library continues to provide many of the supports we have come to rely on. For example, you can continue to use this form to request streaming video be added to your courses.

March 18, 2020: To the Loyola Community from the President Tetlow

It’s time to come together. Join me for an online Town Hall tomorrow evening, Thursday, March 19, at 7 p.m., central time. We’ve chosen this meeting time to ensure you all can continue your classes - and join us from wherever you are around the country.

I’ll be speaking to you live from our own J. Michael Early Studio, here in New Orleans. We’ve set up a direct link on our YouTube channel, which will allow you to ask questions and comment in real time.

I’m already looking forward to it. See you then.

March 18, 2020: To the Faculty and Staff from the President Tetlow

I have such an overwhelming desire to hug each of you, so when this is all over, get ready. In the meantime, I’ve gotten a few questions about how this will impact us as an institution that I want to address.

Given that we just regained our financial footing, how is Loyola doing? The financial impact of this has hit us with lost conference revenue, filming, and prorated refunds we felt compelled to make on housing (and probably meal plan as we negotiate with Sodexo.) Thus far, knock on wood, the impact should be within our current cash flow. For those of you who speak accounting, while we won’t have a balanced budget under generally accepted accounting principles -- which require us to budget millions for depreciation -- we should still have an operating cash surplus.

How does this affect jobs? We have no intention of making layoffs and need all of you more than ever.

What do we face in the future?> Right now, we face uncertainty about the potential impact of the crisis on next year’s retention rate and admissions. I am happy to tell you that we are at least starting from a position of strength. Our undergraduate retention rate from fall to spring was 95% -- our highest ever. (Law and graduate also remain high.) Initial undergraduate admissions results were up over last year’s good year, and law is holding even despite fewer LSAT test takers.

What we can’t yet know is how this will impact the future choices of students around the country, and indeed the world. Will students want to stay closer to home? Will they end up preferring online, or will they get a massive reminder of how precious a campus community really is? Will students take time off in the fall rather than deal with any ongoing uncertainty? Your thoughts on these subjects are very welcome. The institutions that best predict the future and adjust will be in a far better place.

Some of you have asked me what you can do. We are working on ways you will be able to help us recruit admitted students once things calm down. Meanwhile, each and every one of you affects retention. My hope is that Loyola students will understand the value of being in a place where they are known -- surrounded by warmth and kindness. So while this is a very trying moment for all of us (I’m typing this as Lucy keeps insisting that she wants to add emoticons), it is crucial that we communicate well and frequently. Whether you teach, or advise, or work in student finance, you’ll have to deal with displaced anger, heightened anxiety and general angst. (Face it, many of us have that in our households right now.) Let’s lead with empathy. Let’s summon stores of patience we never knew we had. Let’s overwhelm them with our Loyola-ness.

Whatever comes, all of higher ed is in much the same boat. We will continue to scurry and adjust in the short term, but also turn our eyes towards the future. We will use our Jesuit training to see beyond the noise and find the best strategy to go forward. After all, we’ve had any traces of denial or complacency stripped from us years ago, replaced with creativity and gumption. We are Katrina-trained. We are determined. We can do this.

March 17, 2020: To the Faculty from the Interim Provost

We made it through the first day! You are the best! Thanks very much for all that you did to prepare in a very short time.

In order to keep track of issues that you have encountered, please complete this anonymous survey reporting on any concerns.

Please take advantage of the time available today (Tuesday) and tomorrow between 8 a.m.-4 p.m. to come to your offices and get all the materials you need to continue your courses. This is necessary for many reasons, not the least of which is the possibility that we will soon be asked to remain in our homes as has happened in Italy and within the U.S. in San Francisco. Another reason is the need to secure our campus with limited police and facilities personnel. I know this is unprecedented and I ask for your understanding and cooperation. If you have a personal hardship about this please contact me and your dean. Note that the Monroe Library will also close tomorrow at 4 pm.

As a reminder, advising and registration have been moved back to allow everyone a little bit more time. Advising now begins March 30th and registration will open April 13th for law students, April 15th for graduate students, and April 17th for undergraduate students. Please refer to the registration guidance linked here for more details. When we’ve had a little more time to adjust, we hope you will continue to have meaningful conversations with our students about their plans via videoconference, phone calls, and emails.

Please know that we know that this is an incredible time of transition and you are working very hard. Our goal is not just to continue our operations, but to ensure that all of our students return in the fall. I can report to you some of the concerns we have heard from students and parents and offer these suggested ways you can help make them feel more supported during this time (and ways we can also help you feel more supported):

  1. Concern: Some students reported that they had not heard from their instructors.
    Solution: In my previous email, I asked you to be in touch by Monday, March 16th. If you have not yet done so, please make sure to email all your classes right away so that they know you are well and thinking of the transition to online.
  2. Concern: Students are concerned that they will be penalized for not being able to complete all assignments this week as they travel back home or otherwise move to online learning. Remember as well, with K-12 schools closed, many students will have become caretakers for younger siblings and may be sharing their computers.
    Solution: Please be flexible in the next few days (weeks) with your assignments and expectations and communicate this flexibility to your classes.
  3. Concern: Some of our adult learners are now facing taking courses while their children are home from school. Many of you will relate to this as parents of young children.
    Solution: Again, please be flexible and consider waiving all late penalties.
  4. Concern: Some students have issues with “attendance” of synchronous class sessions. Solution: Make sure you record all your synchronous meetings, that you post them on Blackboard, and that you do not penalize students for missing synchronous sessions. For example, if you are using Zoom, you can record directly to the cloud and share your recording on Bb. There are other recording tutorials on our website. My own daughter was facing a timing issue with work if she was expected to be present in synchronous lectures (her job is within a 15-minute walk from Loyola.) Students in other time zones may face issues with being “present” during usual Central Time classes.
  5. Concern: Many of you will be replacing hands-on assignments with additional written work to make up for lost content or contact hours. We do not want you to sacrifice academic quality, but we ask that you consider how a student who is taking five courses and might suddenly have five or more new assignments they did not have at the beginning of the semester might feel at this time.
    Solution: Remember these are not normal times. Be creative in re-aligning work with the new realities. Consider anonymously surveying your students about their preferences/concerns.
  6. Concern: Some students and parents have expressed concern about faculty members falling sick and having difficulty teaching courses.
    Solution: I am also concerned about this. We need you healthy, so please listen to the authorities and to Loyola regarding social distancing and self-isolation. Many of you will have the added concern of your school-age kids being home and requiring your attention. Hopefully, you will stay healthy for yourselves, your family and friends and your students. Please make sure that your course materials, expectations, assignments are accessible through Blackboard so that in the event we need to assign someone else to complete the course for you we can do so.
  7. Concern: Students and faculty are still new to Zoom and are not quite sure how to use it.
    Solution: There are several tutorials available on the CFI website and we are working on more. We are also putting together “Team Zoom” - a group of faculty and staff volunteers who will be able to join into your meetings and help moderate chats or participate in practice sessions. Susan Brower is currently working on the details and we will soon send out a “request for Zoom help” form.

In a previous email I thanked Erin Dupuis for all her hard work. Today I need to recognize Dan Guo, Jim Dugan, and Eric Wiltz, our online learning team. They have been more amazing than usual in the last few days. Thanks, Dan, Jim, and Eric for all you do. Please let me know of other people I should recognize in my emails.

We have scheduled a Question & Answer webinar for Thursday at 3:00pm. Please click on this link to join. More webinar information (including joining by phone) will also be posted to the CFI website under “Instructional Strategies”.

We thank you for all that you are doing to support our students. Please let us know if there are ways we can better support you. The anonymous form is one way to do so.

March 16, 2020: To Students from the Chief Communications Officer

I am sure you are tired of getting so many emails, but there is much to communicate with you in this rapidly-evolving situation. Here is some additional information you need to know as you prepare to leave campus.

In keeping with guidance from the city of New Orleans, the University Sports Complex has closed indefinitely. We will freeze all community memberships until we reopen. For personal training clients, unused personal training sessions will remain on your respective accounts until we restart training sessions. Members with locker rentals, please contact Assistant Athletic Director Jordan Gabriel ( or Facility Coordinator Tim Kettenring ( to set up appointments to retrieve the contents of your lockers. We hope that everyone remains safe and healthy and look forward to seeing all of you again when we resume business operations.

LUPD will be doing our “Check My Ride” program to help students assure their vehicle is safe and roadworthy as they depart campus. Students are encouraged to stop by LUPD on their way out to have an officer accompany them to check their vehicle.

The following services will be provided:

  • Check of engine oil and other fluids
  • Check of tire condition and tire pressure (including spare)
  • Check of wiper blades
  • Window cleaning
  • Air Freshener
  • Instruction on how to conduct their own safety check of their vehicles (if desired)
  • Checklist of items checked and notes of any concerns for future reference

The J. Edgar and Monroe S. Library hours are now reduced to:
Monday-Thursday: 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Friday: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Thank you for your cooperation - and please continue to check your email. We will continue to provide timely information.

Take care, and stay healthy.

March 16, 2020: To Faculty and Staff from the Interim Provost

The situation related to COVID-19 is changing very rapidly. We have indications that it is possible that Mayor Cantrell may impose significant restrictions in the City of New Orleans. For that reason I am asking all faculty to come to campus to get any and all materials they may need to teach for the remaining of the semester.

To that end, our main campus buildings will be available Tuesday and Wednesday between 8 am and 4 pm for faculty to retrieve all needed materials. After these times we cannot provide access to offices as LUPD will be concentrating their efforts on the safety and wellbeing of our remaining students on campus. If this provides an undue hardship for you, please let me know.

As with other campus evacuations, our Continuity of Operations Plan contemplates the need of allowing certain science faculty access to campus to take care of labs (for example the rat lab). This access will be available through card access with their ID cards. To the extent allowed by city and state authorities this is still possible with an authorized access card to Monroe Hall.

I appreciate your support and hard work during these uncertain times.

March 16, 2020: To Students and Parents from President Tetlow

COVID-19 is spreading more quickly in New Orleans than in other areas and we suspect (although we do not have any insider information) that travel restrictions and stricter bans on public gatherings may be imminent. For students off campus, be aware that if you intend to head to a home farther away, you should make those plans quickly.

For students on campus: we currently have more than 400 students who have elected to remain in the residence halls. We are concerned that the state may soon ask us to empty our campus of all but those who absolutely cannot go anywhere else. We are aware, for example, that some of you cannot return to families currently infected or isolating, or to countries with border closures. We know that some of you may literally not have another home to go to. But for the rest of you, we worry that our ability to provide emergency services for so many of you is not adequate to the potential situation.

We are asking you to leave the residence halls quickly unless you have an emergency reason to ask to remain. (You can apply for that permission here by tomorrow at 9 a.m.) For anyone who goes, we will issue a pro-rated refund as previously announced. Our current deadline for you to pack up and make it home is this Friday, March 20th, but if travel restrictions are issued before then, you may effectively get less time.

We know it may be more difficult for many of you to get all of your belongings home, so we will be working on storage options and will communicate directly with you about those. And we will continue to offer shuttles to the airport and all the help we can.

I’m really sorry that this is hitting you on the first day of online classes. We made sure that those classes would be recorded, so you can always catch up if events get in the way. Faculty are working to be entirely flexible and we will let them know about this change in events. And I’m sorry about the changing rules. We had hoped that this wouldn’t be necessary and that keeping the campus more open was the best way to serve our students. Like you, we are working with constantly changing circumstances and a new reality that has been hard to fathom. Thank you for your patience. Right now, we all need to focus on safety.

March 15, 2020: To Students from President Tetlow

Whether you’re living in New Orleans right now or elsewhere, we need your help in keeping our communities safe. There was a St. Patrick’s Day party on Magazine Street yesterday that made national news. People gathered in dangerous crowds and some loudly bragged about spreading the virus. I cannot imagine that Loyola students would act that way, but I want to reach out and ask you to live up to our values.

We are relieved that this disease seems to have much less impact on the young. But remember that COVID-19 could have a devastating impact on some of your classmates who have health conditions, as well as all of us older people. I remember feeling immortal at your age, but we have never had a stronger reminder that the risks we choose affect other people.

I can only imagine how eager you are to gather in groups and comfort each other. This is a bewildering situation when we cannot reach out to each other in a crisis – we can’t even hug. But the reality we face is that being there for each other means doing it at a distance. (New Orleans has issued the following guidance to bars and restaurants and we have a social distancing plan on our website.)

Wolf Pack – some day you will tell your grandchildren about this. ave a story that you will be proud of. Remember who we are.

March 15, 2020: To Students from the Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Tomorrow, the Loyola community starts a new challenge: online teaching and learning. I know the spirit, work ethics and determination of our students, so I know you will rise to the occasion. Please know that your faculty are here for you. If you encounter difficulties, raise your hand (electronically) and let them know. Also, know the Pan-American Life Student Success Center is here for you with coaching, advising, accommodations, and tutoring.

As we make the move to online teaching, we will inevitably experience some technical glitches. Our providers (Blackboard, Zoom, etc.) are working with many institutions across the country simultaneously going online, so they may also face some difficulties. Be patient with us, and we will sort it all out.

If you encounter difficulty logging into Single Sign On, you can email, and Blackboard Support is available through our Online Learning Team. Visit this page, which covers some of the basics of Blackboard and has the contact information of people who can help.

We have assembled a set of FAQs on our website and are updating them frequently. We are also posting information about the hours when various services and buildings will be open for students remaining on campus, and how to access services online. If you still have questions, please submit them to

Please keep checking your Loyno email and the website, as we continue to communicate as quickly as possible.

Above all, take good care of yourselves and each other.

March 15, 2020: To Faculty and Staff from the Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Thanks very much for all your efforts in the last few days. The Board of Trustees passed the following resolution on Friday:

The Board of Trustees commends the President, Interim Provost, Senior Leadership, Deans, Faculty and Staff for their diligent work in responding to the threat of COVID-19 to ensure the safety and well-being of the entire Loyola Community. In particular, we commend the past and present efforts of establishing distance learning models that maintain the continuity of academic excellence for all students.

As we prepare to go to fully online teaching starting Monday, I want to remind you that only essential personnel (those who are needed for the safety and care of our students and facilities) should be on campus. This means that office managers, student assistants, student researchers, and other student workers and non-essential staff need to be working from home. Most of our campus will be shut down, except for very specific areas that we will make available for student use.

Let me give a special thanks to Erin Dupuis, Associate Vice Provost and Director of the Center for Faculty Innovation, who has done an amazing job helping everyone prepare for next week. Erin and her team are still available for support. Email her at Also, you can send Erin your tech questions (Blackboard, Zoom, LORA, etc.) She will triage and send the issues to the appropriate place.

Faculty, you are very strongly encouraged to teach from home. IT has given permission for faculty and staff to take computers home for this purpose. If you absolutely need to come on campus to prepare and deliver your classes, please let us know by using this form.

March 14, 2020: To Parents from President Tetlow

Together with you, we have worked hard to support your students at a very trying moment, helping them process their disappointment and grief about the dispersion of their beloved community. Know that we will do everything we can to be there for them, here on campus or far away. We continue to offer every possible student service that we can at a distance, from academic advising and offering counseling by video call, to live streaming Mass. We are constantly updating our website with this and other helpful information.

You’ve had a great many questions that we are eager to answer and things we want to tell you, so forgive my long email.


I have no doubt there will be hiccups on Monday, so thank you for helping your students have patience. As hard as our faculty have prepared, there will be inevitable struggles for them. Our technical providers also face an unprecedented increase in traffic as much of higher education, and now K-12, moves online. We also quickly purchased more computers to lend to students who don’t have easy access to their own. (Some of you have asked about donating to a student hardship fund, which you can do here by choosing that option in the drop-down menu).

I want you to know that our faculty have been remarkably creative. Music ensembles will perform on video meeting software. We have found ways to teach science labs online. And we have all been learning new tricks. Yesterday, I watched former Loyola president Fr. Jim Carter, 92 years old, eagerly learning how to edit lecture videos for his physics class.

Residence Halls

While we strongly recommend students go to the greater safety of home if they can, we realize that for some of our students leaving the residence halls is very difficult, particularly on short notice. For that reason, we have kept the campus open for these remaining students and are making some facilities available to them, including the library and the health clinic. We will do everything within our power to keep them safe, though we continue to urge those who can to head home.

For those of you who brought your students home from residence halls (or will be doing so by next week) we have made the decision to offer students a prorated housing refund. This represents a financial loss for us, because our costs do not go down during this period and we will not be laying off any staff. But we have decided that we need to make the offer to help families in need. If any of you would like to donate that credit towards the needs of another student, as one of you has already offered, that would be an enormous help right now for many of our families facing really difficult circumstances.

(Here are the logistical details – the credit will appear on students’ accounts and be put toward balances owed, if any, and reduce the balances of monthly payment plans, if used. For those accounts with no balances, students can opt to receive a refund or put the credit toward their fall bill. Graduating seniors without account balances will automatically receive a refund. We will be designing a system to communicate with you efficiently about this.)

Meal Plans

We are also in negotiations with Sodexo, with whom we contract for food service, about meal plans and Wolf Bucks. At a minimum, there will be lower food costs we expect to pass back to you. We will get back to you as quickly as we can.

I also want to tell you that many of your students purchased food at the campus store this weekend to donate to Iggy’s Cupboard for their peers. They blow me away.


There were few students more distraught this week than seniors, who lost the chance to say meaningful goodbyes and to finish their last performances and athletic events. I spoke to a senior yesterday who wanted me to know that as a first generation student (like a third of our students), her family must see her walk across that stage and achieve their collective dream. I want you to know that we are determined, whatever the world throws at us, to have Commencement. We also want to host as many of the activities leading up to it as possible, with added student performances. My hope is that this will happen as scheduled in May, but if events force our hand, we will delay rather than cancel.

Days and Weeks Ahead

For those of you whose children have abruptly moved home, I wish you luck as you continue your renegotiation of your relationships with them as young adults. I overheard a student saying she had forced her mother to sign a written contract about household rules before she agreed to go back home. It made me laugh, but also have empathy for all of you in this period of forced and anxiety-filled time together. I will be thinking of you as I figure out how to home-school my own seven-year old daughter, for whom ten minutes of homework requires an hour of negotiation. This is uncharted territory for all of us.

Most of all, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your remarkable support for us. I brag all the time to my colleagues at other universities that Loyola has the best parents ever. Your emails to me have always brimmed with support, gratitude for particular faculty and staff, productive advice on how to make us better, and love for this community. And now, at this difficult moment, you have had our back.

We tell you how much your children lift us up. I want you to know that you do too. Thank you for your patience, your support and your love of Loyola.

March 14, 2020: To Students from President Tetlow

You’ve had a great many questions that we are eager to answer.


For graduating seniors, graduate students and 3Ls, I can’t tell you how much my heart breaks that this crisis has robbed you of your last months on campus. I spoke to a senior yesterday who wanted me to know that as a first generation student (like so many of our students), her family must see her walk across that stage and achieve their collective dream. I want you to know that we are determined, whatever the world throws at us, to have Commencement. We also want to host as many of the activities leading up to it as possible, with added student performances if we can. My hope is that this will happen as scheduled in May, but if events force our hand, we will delay rather than cancel.


I have no doubt there will be hiccups on Monday, so thank you for having patience. As hard as our faculty have prepared, there will be inevitable struggles for them. Our technical providers also face an unprecedented increase in traffic as much of higher education, and now K-12, move online.

We also quickly purchased more computers to lend to students at the library and are trying to think of ways we can help make sure all of you have the ability to make this sudden transition.

I want you to know that our faculty have been remarkably creative. Music ensembles will perform on video meeting software. We have found ways to teach science labs online. And we have all been learning new tricks. Former Loyola president Fr. Jim Carter, 92 years old, is eagerly learning how to edit lecture videos for his physics class.

Residence Halls

While we strongly recommend students go to the greater safety of home if they can, we realize that for some of you leaving the residence halls is very difficult, particularly on short notice. For that reason, we have kept the campus open for these remaining students and are making some facilities available to them, including the library and the health clinic. We will do everything within our power to keep students on campus safe, though we continue to urge those who can to head home.

For those of you who made the decision to move out from the residence halls (or will be doing so by next week) we have made the decision to offer a prorated housing refund. This represents a financial loss for us – our costs do not go down during this period because we will not be laying off any staff. But we have decided that we need to make the offer to help you at a time of real financial uncertainty. We are also asking those families who can afford it to donate towards the students who most need it right now.

(Here are the logistical details – the credit will appear on students’ accounts and be put toward balances owed, if any, and reduce the balances of monthly payment plans, if used. For those accounts with no balances, students can opt to receive a refund or put the credit toward their fall bill. Graduating students without account balances will automatically receive a refund. We will be designing a system to communicate with you efficiently about this.)

Meal Plans

We are also in negotiations with Sodexo, with whom we contract for food service, about meal plans and Wolf Bucks. At a minimum, there will be lower food costs we expect to pass back to you. We will get back to you as quickly as we can.

And for all of the students who rushed to the campus store this weekend to donate food to Iggy’s Cupboard, you blow me away!

Creating Community

We are busily working on ideas to stay together across this isolation we all now face – watch our website for updates. We want to use our Loyola YouTube channels to communicate regularly and to broadcast your thoughts and your talents. So be thinking of ways we can do that well because we are going to need your help to create as much virtual Loyola as we can.

March 13, 2020: A Video Message from President Tania Tetlow

March 12, 2020: To Students from the Senior Vice President of Enrollment, Marketing and, Student Affairs

I want to applaud you for rallying to solve problems, get things done, and show up for one another despite any shock following yesterday’s announcement. As you know, things are rapidly evolving, and it’s important that we all continue to work together as a community.

We are responding first to primary concerns regarding the health and safety of our campus, while continuing our teaching mission. Our top priorities include moving all classes online as we help students to make contingency plans, and in many cases, to leave campus. All decisions are being made with the greater good and our entire campus community in mind.

Questions are popping up all the time, and we have noticed some consistent themes. This email is meant to provide more information so you and your families can more easily make better decisions. I also encourage you to continue to look closely at the Student FAQs at, where we are housing all messages and information.

Tuition Refunds
There are no plans for any adjustments to tuition. The University has put significant time and resources into planning and preparation for this sort of scenario. It’s a wonderful development in the digital age to know we can move to teaching online swiftly and continue our academics with minimal disruption to students’ academic progress. You will have the same faculty member teaching the same course but in online format, which pedagogically has been shown to be as effective as classroom instruction for student learning. We realize that there may be a perception that there could be a loss of community feel in moving to online, but our instructional design experts are working to make sure that our students will continue to benefit from the same small class size; personal attention and community feel that are the hallmarks of a Loyola education.

Room and Board Refunds
We have received many questions related to room and board and whether there will be any refunds. Unfortunately, we are not able to refund housing or meal plans. However, we hear your concerns and are considering other alternatives. This is a rapidly evolving situation. We will continue to communicate as decisions are made.

Student Employment
Student employment at Loyola will continue. All student workers will be paid, whether they participate in the Federal Work Study program or work directly for Loyola. They will also have work to do. That work may look different - students who stay on campus may be moved to a new department and students who go home may be assigned new work online. We are getting creative so we can provide opportunities and fulfill our promise of employment to you. Be on the lookout for more information in the coming days.

If you have a significant financial hardship and do not have a computer at home, we have a limited number of computers available for checkout at the library.

Residential Life
All students have been asked to complete a form indicating their housing plans for the semester. The deadline to complete the form is 5 p.m. on Friday, March 13.

Move Out
Students are encouraged to return home for the rest of the semester - and handle their academics remotely. Those who leave campus are asked to pack up their rooms and move out their belongings before they go. Vacated rooms will likely be used to rearrange occupancy in the most ideal way for safety, health and comfort and the semester progresses.

We ask that students leaving campus make every effort to depart by Sunday evening, however, departure dates remain flexible and at the discretion of the student’s and family’s needs. All students returning home must turn in their keys - if you need to return later this semester you may do so, by appointment. Please call Residential Life at 504.865.2445.

If you are not able to bring your belongings with you, you may work with a local storage company for your needs. University and Student Services (USS) is the new preferred vendor of Residential Life and will assist in arranging boxes, pick up and storage, or shipment home. Personal items may not be stored in your room. If you have general questions about storage, please call Residential Life at 504.865.2445.

Media outlets are also reporting that U-Haul is offering 30 days of free storage for students returning home for reasons related to coronavirus. This is something you should explore on your own.

Shuttles to the Airport
In partnership with Tulane, Loyola is offering free shuttles to the Louis Armstrong International Airport.

I hope you find this information helpful. Loyola will continue to communicate with you regularly as this situation evolves.

March 11, 2020: To Students from Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dear Students,

As President Tetlow just announced, like many universities around the country dealing with the Coronavirus situation, we will transition to online teaching starting on Monday, March 16th, 2020. The remainder of the spring semester 2020 will be completed online.To help everyone in the transition to online teaching, classes will be cancelled on Thursday, March 12th and Friday, March 13th.

Faculty will contact you on Monday, March 16th with instructions, materials, assignments, and other communications regarding how to proceed with your courses. Check your email often, log into Blackboard, and follow your professors’ instructions. As many of you are digital natives, I am confident that you will step up to the challenge of online learning and will find it an enjoyable and engaging experience but your professors are also here to support you with this transition. Please be open with them if you are having difficulty navigating the course or have questions about how to do something you have not done before. If you have had success in online courses in the past, we hope you will help your friends and fellow students who are newer to this.

We will inevitably experience some technical glitches as we move online. Our providers are working with many institutions across the country simultaneously, so they may also face some hurdles. Be patient with us and we will sort it all out.

If you encounter difficulty logging into Single Sign On you can email and Blackboard Support is available through our Online Learning Team. Visit this page which covers some of the basics of Blackboard and has the contact information of people who can help.

I expect that many of you will go home and continue your spring semester from there. Some students will need to remain in New Orleans. The Monroe Library, the Danna Center, the Rec Plex, Monroe Hall and the Communication Music Complex will be available for student use, unless further communication states otherwise. The team in the Pan-American Life Student Success Center will be able to support you with success coaching and advising, tutoring, and career development from wherever you are this semester.

I am sure you have many questions about internships, independent studies, service learning, undergraduate research, etc. Your first point of reference is the faculty member teaching your course. We also have assembled a set of FAQs here. If you still have questions please submit them to

Please know that our number one priority in Academic Affairs is working with your professors to do everything within our power to ensure that you finish the semester strong and that you remain on the path to timely graduation.

Above all, take good care of yourselves and each other.


Maria Calzada, Ph.D.
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

March 11, 2020: To Faculty from Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dear Faculty,

President Tetlow just announced that we are suspending on-campus courses effective Thursday, March 12th and Friday, March 13th, in order to give all of us time to prepare to go to full online teaching starting Monday, March 16th, 2020. The remainder of the spring semester 2020 will be completed online.

As a campus community, we have been preparing for online teaching for quite some time and most of you are fully prepared for the transition. Here are additional resources we are making available to help you with the transition:

  1. The online learning team (Jim Dugan, Dan Guo, and Eric Wiltz) and Erin Dupuis (Associate Provost and Director of the Center for Faculty Innovation) will be available virtually and for in-person sessions for one-on-one training. Please fill out this form if you need one of us to contact you for a session.
  2. We will host a series of webinars with topics ranging from the very basics of Blackboard to mastering more complex features. These webinars will allow ample time for individual questions. We are also opening up the self-paced Blackboard 101 training we offer to faculty before they start teaching online and have made some adjustments to allow faculty to complete only those modules that they need. For those who want the most crucial content, we recommend starting with the third module on creating a course in Blackboard. Please contact Dan ( if you would like to be added to this course. For all information related to these options, please see this document
  3. Please check the CFI website for more information and for links to tutorials. This page is a work-in-progress and will continue to be updated with new information, including resources and webinar schedules.
  4. All faculty currently teaching courses were added to Zoom as licensed users. You need to accept the invitation received via email for the system to add you. More information about Zoom integration into Blackboard is coming soon.

At a time like this, it is important that we come together and help those in our community who may struggle with this transition. If you are a faculty member with experience teaching online or using Blackboard and you would like to volunteer to assist other faculty, please fill out this volunteer form. Depending on the volume of requests for assistance, we may need your additional expertise to help all of Loyola’s courses run smoothly.

It is likely that many students will return home and continue with the online courses there. The Danna Student Center, the Monroe Library, Monroe Hall, SportsPlex, and the Music and Communications Complex and many Student Affairs offices will remain open in order to meet the needs of students who are not able to travel or have no place to go. Some students will remain in the residence halls. WFF will concentrate their efforts in keeping these areas clean. The Law dean will have specific information about law student access in the Broadway campus.

Faculty are encouraged to work from home, but if you need to access your offices to prepare courses, you will be able to do so. Let us know through this Google form if you will need access to campus facilities. If you are a staff member who teaches you will get additional guidance from HR as it relates to your staff responsibilities.

Make contact with your classes on Monday, March 16th with instructions, materials, assignments, and communications regarding how to proceed with the courses. We would like to remind you that you are not expected to have a fully functioning online course and to recreate your classroom within a matter of days. Start by assessing your syllabus. What do you need to adjust? What needs to be prioritized? Develop an immediate presence on your Blackboard course and communicate with students what the new expectations are. Post your “new” syllabus for students to review. Work on getting up the basics - readings, PowerPoint presentations, etc. The Online Learning Team and CFI can help you make your course more engaging (and help you post assignments, quizzes, and exams) once we get the basics finished. (Law faculty should await instructions from your dean.)

There will inevitably be challenges as we work to move online. As you know many universities nationally are moving to online teaching, which will add pressure to systems like Blackboard, Zoom etc and system crashes beyond Loyola’s immediate control are possible. Please be patient and try to remain creative and positive through this. We have developed FAQs. Check there first and if your question is not answered submit it to

Above all, take good care of yourselves and your families. We are incredibly grateful for flexibility, creativity and effort.


Maria Calzada, Ph.D.
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

March 11, 2020: To Parents from Senior Vice President of Enrollment, Marketing and Student Affairs

Dear Parents,

I am forwarding this message which we sent to campus moments ago. I realize that this decision is going to give rise to many questions. We are doing our best to anticipate questions that you and your student will have about our move to online teaching for the remainder of the semester and we have included a link to FAQ pages , which we hope will help answer many of your academic and student life questions. We will be adding to them frequently over the next few days as we continue to think through all the logistics.

Please know that our strong preference, wherever possible, is for students to return home for the duration of the semester. We know that returning home is not an option for some of our students so our decision to remain open is to make sure we continue to meet the needs of our student body.

Thank you for your continued patience.

Sarah M. Kelly, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President of Enrollment, Marketing and Student Affairs

Dear Students,

As President Tetlow mentioned in her email to campus, I am writing to provide more information about campus operations in the coming days as we prepare to finish the semester online.

Classes are suspended Thursday and Friday to allow faculty members time to prepare for online teaching and to allow those of you who can to head home. Undergraduate students will be receiving a form asking you to let us know your plans so that we can best support you throughout the rest of the semester. For those living farther away, several airlines have reduced ticket prices in order to fill empty seats and enacted extra safety and cleanliness protocols. If you already had a ticket for Easter break or to go home at the end of the semester, airlines are being far more flexible about change fees. We are asking that all students who do leave campus housing, at whatever point, pack up their belongings as you would at the end of the semester.

Please know we will accommodate any students who need to remain on campus, but you are likely to be more comfortable at home. We anticipate the need to move students who are staying on campus to different rooms, perhaps even different residence halls, so that we can ensure the safety and comfort of our residential students in light of the possibility of a smaller staff presence.

While many University offices will remain open, we anticipate services will be modified, with reduced hours or changes to normal operating procedures. We will keep this information updated on our website. For example, beginning, Monday, March 16th, the Orleans Room will be the only on-campus dining option and will change to a grab-and-go format. That is important to create “social distancing.” The Monroe Library and the University Sports Complex will remain open.

Student health remains a primary concern regardless of where you are located. Student Health Services is available for phone consultation by calling 504-865-3326. Office hours are 8:30 am --4:45 pm, M--F. For virtual healthcare, please use the Ochsner Anywhere app. The Ochsner On Call nurse consultation line is also available 24/7 at 1.800.231.5257. The University Counseling Center remains open for the duration of this week and will be moving to online operations on March 16th.

We realize that this is a significant disruption to the semester but in light of the most recent guidance we’ve received from local, state and national outlets we feel compelled to take these steps. Our Loyola community remains strong.

Sarah Kelly, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President

March 11, 2020: To the Loyola New Orleans Community from the President

Dear Loyola,

In consultation with state and city government, we are going to move to online instruction beginning Monday, March 16th, for the rest of the spring semester. In the last few days, it has become clear that there now exists community spread of COVID-19 in New Orleans.

We will cancel classes tomorrow and Friday to give faculty time to finalize their preparations, and to give students time to pack and move out if they plan to leave. Faculty will begin teaching online on Monday.

The campus will remain open , but we will now avoid gatherings in classes and we will begin canceling public events (more on that soon.) We will continue to keep campus housing open because we recognize that it will prove difficult for some of you to get home. But we encourage those who can to head home and work from there.

Academic and Student Affairs will follow up shortly with many more details and our webpage should answer many of the questions you may have. We appreciate your patience with us as we try to communicate as efficiently as possible.

For staff , those of you who can do your jobs from home without affecting the ability of the campus to care for students and function, and anyone with particular health concerns, should work from home beginning Monday. (Supervisors will have those conversations immediately and we will all use these next two days to prepare). Faculty should teach from home. For now, Whelan Child Care Center remains open.

This is not the basis for our decision, but I also want to inform you that a faculty member and two of our undergraduate students had lunch this weekend, at a downtown conference, with someone who was subsequently diagnosed with COVID-19. They discovered and reported this last night. The professor and these two students, who all live off-campus, are self-isolating and do not have any symptoms. I have spoken to the director of state public health, who tells me that there is not a reason to broaden that circle more widely -- those who later interacted with the faculty and students do not also need to self-isolate. We will continue to update you on all such information.

I cannot tell you how proud I am of our community for remaining calm, quickly solving problems and being there for each other. We are living through history here, and reacting in a way we’ll be proud of later. However it is that you pray, please do. Pray for those who are sick around the world. Pray for all of us to get through the impacts of the disruption, particularly the most vulnerable among us. And pray for the health care workers and all of those who bravely care for us.

All my best,

Tania Tetlow

March 10, 2020: To faculty and staff from the President

To give a little more clarity to the travel guidance:

  • All University-related international travel is prohibited.
  • All personal international travel is strongly discouraged.
  • All official non-crucial domestic air travel is prohibited. If you have questions about that, talk to your supervisor, department head or dean.
  • We strongly urge extreme caution and judgment for your personal domestic travel.

Academic classes and dining operations will continue as normal with heightened cleaning protocols and great flexibility about sick leave, attendance policies, and any individual who has heightened personal risk.

Anyone who returns to campus from a location with community spread (this is very hard for me to define given constantly changing circumstances, but I am asking you to be on your honor about where there is risk), must fill out this form to see whether you must self-isolate first. The form should be open to anyone, but if you have trouble accessing it, be sure you are logged into your Loyola gmail account in the web browser you are using.

March 9, 2020: To faculty and staff from the President

This is an update on travel, both personal and professional. As the virus spreads domestically, it becomes much harder to create categorical protections.

1. If you return from a place where there is community spread of coronavirus, we will need for you to tell us via this form. It will probably be necessary for you to self-isolate upon your return to be sure that you do not unwittingly spread the virus to our community. You can find a constantly updated map of all reported cases here.

2. For official travel, we do not travel as frequently as many bigger institutions, so we have the capacity to make case-by-case decisions about what it is prudent and crucial. For those of you who have already booked travel through Concur, we will be in touch if we have questions about whether your trip is necessary. If you booked outside of Concur, please use the form to discuss it with us.

For future travel, please speak to your supervisor or department chair or dean about whether it is important enough to go forward right now.

Thank you for your patience, your honesty, and your concern for the people around you.

March 9, 2020: To faculty and staff from the President

Please see the following message sent to students just now. I hope that you will help us reassure them while taking their anxiety seriously. And please remember the earlier messages about being flexible about mandatory attendance policies in class.

I hope we can use this time wisely to prepare for the possibilities of teaching online and working from home (for those whose essential duties won’t require them to work on campus.)

In general, know that we will continue to communicate constantly and let you know the minute any decisions are made.

March 9, 2020: To students from the President

There was an announcement today of the first presumptive diagnosis of coronavirus in Louisiana, a person who lives in Jefferson Parish and is currently at a hospital here in New Orleans.

At this point, we are NOT yet moving to online teaching, but I want to begin talking about that possibility and what it might look like. We are in close touch with state and city public health officials and will react very quickly to any guidance they might give us about the need to create social distancing.

We have invested a great deal of time, for more than a year now, in preparing our faculty to teach online in case of an emergency. (I never thought I would be so grateful for the obligation to do hurricane planning.) Some classes will be easier to move online than others, but we will be creative and flexible and make it work. And I pray that it does not become necessary.

In the meantime, this is a moment for us to continue to up our game on health and safety. We have been focusing our campus cleaning more on bathrooms, doorknobs, and high-traffic areas. We are thinking through every contingency.

Many of you have asked us what you need to be doing right now. Here is what we ─ really all of us around the country right now ─ need to be doing.

  1. Most obviously, washing hands ─ thoroughly and constantly. Remind each other. Take pride in it. Make up silly songs that last the recommended 20 seconds so it won’t seem like such an eternity. Havoc has some tips to help you stay healthy.
  2. This is now a moment for “social distancing.” We at Loyola are affectionate people ─ we have a hard time with the awkwardness of not reaching out for a hug. Let’s collectively transition to elbow bumps or foot greetings and calling each other “boo.” We are getting to the point where it is very hard to predict where the virus may be across the country. It is time we create some physical distance from each other, as hard as that is in practice.
  3. If you have symptoms including fever, cough, or shortness of breath, contact the Student Health Services at (504) 865-3326 or your own doctor. Loyola has also partnered with Ochsner Health to provide a new virtual clinic to give us increased access to medical care.
  4. Stay home if you are sick. I want you to know that we have asked faculty to be very flexible about mandatory attendance policies so that any student who is sick understands that they can and should stay home (which by the way, is always the case and we have reminded them of that too.) Student Health Services continues to work with the students in our community who have particular health concerns. If you have particular health issues that put you at greater risk and have not yet reached out to them, please do so.
  5. I can only imagine how anxious this is making most of you feel. I struggle ─ I think we all do right now ─ to put the risks in context without minimizing the suffering the virus (and our necessary reaction to its danger) is causing. Please feel free to reach out to the Counseling Center when you need help, as well as to faculty, staff and all of us.
  6. Avoid travel in general. We are lucky that we have already completed Mardi Gras break safely, but we ask that you think twice about traveling at all during these next months, including Easter break. I don’t ask that lightly and want you to know that airlines are being fairly flexible about change fees right now.

We particularly ask that you avoid personal travel to any place where there is community spread of coronavirus, including in the U.S., because if you do so, it may become necessary for you to self-isolate before returning to campus to avoid unwittingly spreading the virus to our community. You can find a constantly updated map of all reported cases here. If you have engaged in such travel anyway, you must tell us via this form before you can return to campus. We may get to a point where such travel restrictions become moot, but right now it is important for us to support the attempts by public health officials to isolate the virus.

If you have questions not answered here, or on our webpage, you can email

While we may be forgoing hugs for the time being, this is the time to come together in spirit and support each other.

March 5, 2020: To students, faculty, and staff from the President

As we return from spring break, I want to assure you that Loyola remains vigilant in preparing for coronavirus, or COVID-2019. We are in constant touch with healthcare officials to make our plans with their guidance. We will continue to communicate frequently with all of you and to update our website with need-to-know information.

As we struggle with uncertainty and vulnerability ─ two of my least favorite emotions ─ I want to take a moment to reflect on what we might learn from this strange experience. Because ultimately, the moral challenges presented by this crisis are actually the same ones we face every day in less dramatic circumstances.

As we make decisions about our own health and safety, we now have a visceral reminder that what we do affects others. We do not act alone in the risks we choose to take.

As we begin to look askance at every friend who sneezes, we are reminded that the opposite of love isn’t hate; it’s fear.

I worry that we might make pariahs out of those exposed in our community, or someday, those actually infected. It would be ironic to behave that way at exactly the moment we all understand that we might find ourselves in the same situation as those we shun. And yet, it is all too human to preserve our own sense of safety by wanting to blame those who suffer. It’s human, but irrational and mean.

Here is the thing. If there is any community capable of resisting those temptations, it is Loyola. You take such pride in being there for each other. You have such courage, rooted in faith and values.

I pray (hard) that we will not face dramatic moral tests in the days ahead and that our Loyola community will remain safe. But I think it’s worth remembering that these are the same moral decisions that will challenge us for the rest of our lives. Some of them come labeled as a crisis and a clear test, but most of them don’t.

Let’s use this moment to double down on being men and women for others. Let’s remember that our very vulnerability and uncertainty makes us human ─ capable of great love and courage.

February 28, 2020: To students from the Senior Vice President for Enrollment, Marketing and Student Affairs

Loyola University New Orleans is closely monitoring the COVID-19 (Corona) virus and working with local, state, national and international partners to keep our campus safe and healthy. As of today, there are no known cases in New Orleans or Louisiana. As we return from the break, we need to take steps to protect our community.

If you traveled to one of the countries listed on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Level 2 watch list (currently, Italy, Iran and Japan), it is crucial that you respond to this email letting us know. We can then decide whether you will need to delay your return to campus, or self-isolate, to ensure that you ─ and our community ─ are ok. We will work with your professors to make sure you can continue in your courses. This applies to all students, whether or not you live in University housing. We are also requiring the same of our faculty and staff members who traveled to these countries over the break.

Loyola has set up a website with the most up-to-date information and FAQs about COVID-19 (Corona) virus. Again, if you traveled to Italy, Iran, Japan or any affected area over the break, please respond directly to this email and we will help you.

February 28, 2020: To faculty and staff from the President

We are going to err on the side of over-communication right now, but I have a few things to tell you right away.

First and foremost, if you are sick, please stay home. It’s cold and flu season, and we need to keep our community healthy right now. (And this is a radical idea that I’m just starting to learn myself, but you actually get better faster when you rest.) If you have concerns about your amount of sick leave, contact your supervisor so that we can be flexible.

Very importantly, if you have traveled to any of the countries where the CDC recommends avoiding nonessential travel or where the virus has begun to spread, contact a supervisor or dean to discuss whether it’s safer for you to self-isolate for two weeks to make sure you’re OK. This is mandatory, and we will be sending the same message to students before they return from spring break. We would find ways that you could work from home or teach online.

On campus, we will be asking WFF to focus on better cleaning of bathrooms, doorknobs, etc. Feel free to become obsessive about wiping surfaces. We should model for the students and each other washing hands thoroughly and constantly.

We have gathered together a group for emergency response and have been busy planning and preparing, consulting with health officials and our own School of Nursing. We will also, all of us, pray hard that our community and the rest of the world will be spared the worst impacts of the virus.

In the meantime, let’s be vigilant, remain calm for our students and stay aware.

February 28, 2020: To faculty from the Interim Provost

In keeping with our monitoring of the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), I am seeking your help.

When they come back from break, students will range from being oblivious to being incredibly anxious about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Please try to signal appropriate awareness and calm to reassure them.

If this disease spreads in pockets of the U.S., as now seems likely, the CDC guidance warns of a real possibility of bans on social gatherings, which would explicitly include schools. Many schools in China have moved to fully online teaching in a matter of three weeks, as covered here. My expectation is that we are well prepared to teach online given all our hurricane evacuation planning, but let’s take a moment to reflect and prepare.

As part of our ongoing Blackboard support and Continuity of Operations Plan, please take a moment to complete this year’s new Annual Blackboard Readiness Check. The deadline for completion of this check is Wednesday, March 4th. If you do not fill in the survey by this date, your dean or department head will be in touch with you. I estimate that this will take you less than five minutes to complete, so please complete it as soon as possible. We cannot over prepare for interruptions to our normal operations, and this exercise can only serve to keep us vigilant and ready for any situation. Here is the link to the survey:

Over the last three years as part of our efforts to develop online programs, we have been able to train more than 150 faculty in best practices for online teaching through a rigorous five-week training course. For those of you who have not had the opportunity to participate in this training, we can now provide the opportunity to enroll in a self-paced online training course. Please email Carol Ann MacGregor to find out how to register for this training. The Online Learning Team also offers one-one consultations for those faculty interested in further support.

Keep in mind that the decision to move courses online may come sooner to individual faculty. For example, if you are sick, you should avoid coming to campus so as to prevent the spread of your illness. Or, if you have traveled to one of the countries where the CDC recommends avoiding nonessential travel or where they are experiencing sustained community transmission of respiratory illness caused by COVID-19, you should self-isolate for 14 days. In that case you may be able to teach your courses online, as appropriate.

Additionally, I ask that you provide accommodations to sick students in your courses. There may also be a few students who may be asked to quarantine at their homes because they may have been exposed to COVID-19 due to travel or through contact with infected people. Please make all efforts to provide these students with ways to make up missed materials and assignments. Faculty may be able to use Collaborate, FaceTime or Google Hangouts to connect with students. Please contact your Associate Dean or Carol Ann MacGregor with related questions.

I take this opportunity to remind you that all international travel has to be approved by your dean and by me, particularly travel to places where the CDC recommends avoiding nonessential travel. In addition, I ask that you stay abreast of the latest information from Loyola regarding COVID-19 on this website, which includes FAQs.

Finally, I also ask that you take some time to once again familiarize yourself with our Continuity of Operations Plan over the next week or so. I’m asking Department Chairs and Deans to check in with you to make sure everyone is ready. In the meantime, we are busily preparing for all of the other logistical challenges we might face.

February 27, 2020

We are all watching the impact of the coronavirus in an increasing number of countries around the world and praying for those who are affected. We are in close contact with Loyola students studying abroad. And I want you to know that we are making thorough preparations in case the virus spreads closer to home, preparations that we hope will prove unnecessary. You can check this website for updates and information about the virus.

For now, we require that any travel to areas where the CDC recommends avoiding nonessential travel by faculty, staff or students be approved by the Provost.

In the meantime, I hope you will exercise the kind of caution that is a good idea through every regular flu season. Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly. Stay home if you are sick. This is a good time for us to take good care of ourselves and each other.

Each of you will have your own response to the onslaught of news surrounding coronavirus. Some of you may feel invulnerable and need to be reminded to pay attention. Others may be expending valuable emotional energy worrying in a way that doesn’t actually help. This is a moment to be aware, and to recognize the interconnectedness of our world as a source of empathy, and not just fear.

February 7, 2020

As some of you may have heard by now, Leon Sarpy Distinguished Professor of Law Chunlin Leonhard, who has been on sabbatical in China since June for her Fulbright year, is among the Americans evacuated this week to the U.S. and is now in quarantine at Travis Air Force base in Fairfield, California. The Department of Health and Human Services implemented this mandatory quarantine to ensure the safety and wellness of all Americans returning from China and limit the spread of coronavirus.

Law school faculty and staff have been in constant contact with Professor Leonhard as she waits to be cleared for travel. We are all grateful for the love and support of our close-knit community. And we are especially proud of Professor Leonhard, who remains cheerful and continues her scholarship and research of ancient Chinese commercial law, even while in quarantine.

At the moment, Americans are in far more danger from the common flu than from the coronavirus. The CDC makes regular updates here. Here are some simple tips to remain healthy and well.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze. This helps to contain your germs without contaminating your hands Use a tissue over your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough and dispose of dirty tissues immediately.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth since germs spread this way.
  • Do not share drinks or eating utensils with anyone.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces that may be contaminated with germs like the flu, such as doorknobs, keyboards, and phones.
  • Exercise daily.
  • Get an adequate amount of sleep/rest.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet and drink plenty of fluids.

We are sending our well wishes for continued patience and strength to Professor Leonhard and others in quarantine. We pray for the safety and healing of all those sick and suffering, especially in China.

January 23, 2020

Please be aware that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring a new coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The CDC is closely monitoring the situation and working with the World Health Organization.

From the CDC:
“Chinese authorities identified the new coronavirus, which has resulted in close to 300 confirmed cases in China, including cases outside Wuhan, with additional cases being identified in a growing number of countries internationally. The first case in the United States was announced on January 21, 2020. There are ongoing investigations to learn more.”

Anyone traveling to Wuhan should follow the CDC’s enhanced precautions. The CDC has begun entry screening of passengers on direct and connecting flights from Wuhan, China, to the three main points of entry in the United States and will expand that screening to Atlanta and Chicago in the coming days.

While the CDC considers this a serious public health concern, they consider the immediate health risk to the general American public to be low at this time. They will update information on the CDC website as the situation evolves. We will provide further updates if the illness presents a more direct risk to the Loyola community.

Links to FAQs

Coronavirus FAQ

FAQs for Students

FAQs for Faculty

FAQs for Employees

FAQs for Prospective Students

FAQs from Loyola University Police Department