California Baptist University update on coronavirus developments
CBU to resume some classroom instruction for 2020 Summer Session 2
California Baptist University plans to resume limited face-to-face classroom instruction for the 2020 Summer Session 2, officials announced today.
The notice from the CBU Executive Council comes after the university transitioned all academic programs to remote instruction and shifted many employees to working from home during the spring 2020 semester. That unprecedented move followed an order by the Riverside County Public Health Officer to close all schools, colleges and universities in the county in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The closure order for colleges and universities was rescinded May 9, 2020, permitting CBU to schedule a limited number of in-person classes for Summer Session 2 starting June 29.
CBU plans to reopen student housing and continue face-to-face instruction for the fall semester. A university task force is developing plans and recommendations to welcome students for classroom instruction during Summer Session 2 as well as for the fall terms.
“Our top priority is to provide a safe environment for students and employees as they return to campus,” said Kent Dacus, CBU vice president for enrollment and student services.
“Students are looking forward to a vibrant campus experience and we look forward to welcoming all of our new and returning students,” Dacus said.
NOTICE TO CALIFORNIA BAPTIST UNIVERSITY EMPLOYEES
We are excited to announce that California Baptist University will begin welcoming students back to campus to attend the second term of the summer semester in face to face classroom instruction which begins June 29.
We are also excited to welcome back employees that have been working remotely. It is anticipated that offices will be open June 8 and moving toward full capacity to support the return of students and resumption of face to face instruction.
As restrictions imposed during the coronavirus pandemic are being relaxed, places of employment across California are opening operations almost daily. CBU recognizes the special service of employees who continued working on campus since March, covering essential duties and responsibilities during the closure.
Offices have been cleaned, hand sanitizing stations, individual hand sanitizers and employee face covers have been ordered, and additional cleaning products will be available for personal workspaces. We are asking that employees respect others by maintaining appropriate social distancing. Additionally, we ask that all employees use a face covering in common spaces and when interacting with others.
As CBU moves to resume full capacity operations on campus, supervisors will continue to provide guidance concerning duties, responsibilities and work location.
California Baptist University
Message from President Ellis re: Fall Semester
We have reached the end of an academic year unlike anything ever experienced!
On behalf of the California Baptist University faculty, staff and administration, I want to express our admiration for your outstanding Lancer Spirit amid the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of all the lessons learned this year, flexibility, patience and perseverance arguably mark the CBU experience as never before.
I am greatly encouraged to report that returning students are registering for fall classes at even greater numbers than last year. We are eager to see them all next semester as we also welcome new first-year and transfer students into the Lancer Nation. As always, CBU is committed to help you Live Your Purpose!
Still, I am sure you and your family have many questions. The main question on many minds is simply this: will the CBU campus be open for education this fall?
I want you to know that we are doing everything in our power to be ready to welcome students to our beautiful campus in August—not virtually, but in person! To reopen the campus, however, we need to be coronavirus safe. This includes developing plans for testing, tracing, and containment, as well as new spacing, food service delivery options and enhanced safety guidelines for campus activities.
While there is considerable uncertainty in the battle against this global health crisis, we are nevertheless planning to face the challenges that lie ahead. This spring, I created a task force to develop comprehensive plans for returning to classroom instruction in the fall 2020 semester. We will share details as soon as possible.
I assure you we will continue working diligently to ensure a safe campus environment. Until there is a vaccine, few places in the world will be coronavirus free. We do not know when new waves of COVID-19 may occur, or what health and travel restrictions may be enacted. And any number of reasons—ranging from student and employee safety to State of California public health directives and the potential for a coronavirus resurgence—may necessitate other options.
If significant health and safety risks require, we will be prepared to shift decisively and nimbly to a different scenario than we now envision. We look forward to reopening California Baptist University and enjoying the vibrant campus experience once again.
May the Lord continue to bless!
Ronald L. Ellis, PhD.
Millions in financial aid helps thousands of CBU students
California Baptist University (CBU) has distributed more than $3.4 million in emergency financial aid grants to thousands of students under a provision of the federal CARES Act designed to help students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CBU-administered grants were made possible by the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) established pursuant to Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
In April, CBU was awarded $7,913,118 from HEERF with the requirement that no less than 50% of those funds be distributed to students as emergency financial aid grants. As of April 30, 2020, the university had disbursed $3,471,200 of emergency financial aid grants to students. CBU also set aside more than $485,000, the remaining HEERF balance, to fund supplemental grants to students who demonstrated higher need.
The estimated total number of students at CBU potentially eligible to receive the emergency financial aid grants is 7,116. The university reports 6,380 students received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant under the CARES Act.
The emergency grant amounts that CBU students received were determined by a formula that incorporated Department of Education guidelines, Pell Grant eligibility, and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculated in FAFSA applications submitted for the 2019/20 academic year.
CBU sent notices by email to eligible CBU students about how the grants were being disbursed and provided updates to its public website.
NOTE: California Baptist University is providing this information to demonstrate compliance with requirements of the CARES Act for institutions receiving allocations from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.
CBU preparing to send CARES Act relief funds to students
California Baptist University is preparing to distribute relief funds to eligible students after receiving an allocation this week from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF).
Nearly 6,400 CBU students will receive disbursements totaling more than $3 million, according to Mark Howe, CBU vice president for finance and administration.
Administered by the Department of Education, HEERF was established and funded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress and signed into law March 27.
“CBU is using this funding to provide emergency financial aid grants to help students address pressing financial needs caused by the disruption of campus operations related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Howe said.
Howe said disbursements are being made in accordance with guidance from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education.
Amounts CBU students will receive are based on a formula that incorporates Department of Education guidelines, Pell Grant eligibility, and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculated in FAFSA applications submitted for the 2019/20 academic year.
Eligible undergraduate students will receive up to $800 each. The maximum amount for eligible graduate students is $300.
Howe said the disbursements, which may be considered taxable income, are being processed and it is anticipated they will be sent to students next Thursday, April 30, 2020. Disbursements will be delivered through ACH direct deposit for those that had register accounts as of March 31, 2020, or by check to the student's permanent address.
- To view “Department of Education’s Frequently Asked Questions about the Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under Section 18004(a)(1) and 18004(c) of the CARES Act”, click here.
- To view the guidance letter from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, click here.
CBU planning to be open for fall 2020 classes
California Baptist University is “prepared and planning” to reopen for the fall 2020 semester, officials announced today.
The notice from the CBU Executive Council comes nearly one month after the university transitioned all academic programs to remote instruction. That unprecedented move followed an order by the Riverside County Public Health Officer to close all schools, colleges and universities in the county in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The closure order currently is set to expire June 19.
CBU is planning to reopen student housing at its Riverside campus and resume on ground classes for the fall semester. The notice comes one week after CBU announced creation of a task force to develop plans and recommendations to safely reopen the campus when closure orders are eased or expire.
“We are hearing from many students that they are eager to return to campus and we are eager to welcome them—returning students and new students alike,” said Kent Dacus, CBU vice president for enrollment and student services.
“CBU is prepared and planning to ensure a safe environment for students, employees and visitors once the campus reopens,” Dacus said.
Task force to plan reopening CBU campus after coronavirus closure
California Baptist University has created a task force to develop plans to reopen the CBU campus once COVID-19 restrictions are eased or lifted.
President Ronald L. Ellis, Ph.D., announced the task force April 16, following a meeting of the CBU Executive Council, consisting of the CBU president and vice presidents.
The CBU campus has been closed to the public since March 13 under an order from the Riverside County Public Health Officer, shutting down all public and private schools, colleges and universities until April 30. The closures later were extended until June 19.
Ellis said the task force will recommend steps to help ensure safe conditions as students, employees and guests return to the CBU campus.
Leon Phillips, director of safety services, and Anthony Lammons, dean of students, will serve as task force co-chairs. The group will include representatives from Academic and Student Services, Facilities and Planning Services, Residence Life, Food Services, Information and Technology Services and other essential areas.
Duration of CBU remote instruction lengthens as closure order is extended
Remote instruction at California Baptist University will continue at least through June 19, following an extension of school, college and university closures by Riverside County public health officials.
The CBU announcement on April 2 followed an order by Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser, extending closure of the county’s schools to June 19 in response to current conditions of COVID-19.
The CBU campus remains closed to the public with all academic programs transitioned to remote instruction after all public and private schools, colleges and universities initially were ordered on March 13 to close until April 30. Today’s extension will include all locations until June 19.
Due to the mandated campus closure, California Baptist University Students in campus housing will receive a prorated housing refund for the five weeks remaining in the original Spring 2020 Semester, based on an analysis of the individual student’s account. It is anticipated that refunds will be processed within six weeks and mailed to the student’s permanent address on file with the University.
Students on a University meal plan are eligible to receive a refund for unused meal swipes and Dining Dollars, based on an analysis of the individual student’s account, not to exceed one-third of the current amount charged. It is anticipated that refunds will be processed within six weeks and mailed to the student’s permanent address on file with the University.
TUITION & FEES
CBU understands the concern over tuition and the financial strain that this pandemic is putting on so many. The University is focused on getting all students into the remote environment to preserve their credits, enable them to complete the semester, and to graduate on time, which is important financially to students and their families.
We expect the cost of fulfilling CBU's educational commitment through remote instruction likely will be higher. Consequently, there are no plans to issue tuition and/or fee refunds. The University is delivering on its educational promise to CBU students and will continue to do so.
California Baptist University extends move to remote instruction through the end of the spring term during COVID-19 emergency
California Baptist University is transitioning to remote instruction of all traditional undergraduate and graduate academic programs effective March 30, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic guidelines from public health authorities.
CBU officials announced plans to teach classes remotely for the remainder of the spring term after Riverside County Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser ordered all schools and universities in the county closed from March 16, 2020 through April 30, 2020.
In compliance with the county order, the CBU campus will be closed to the public as classes move to remote instruction for traditional undergraduate and graduate classes.
As previously announced, the university has extended the spring semester schedule a week through May 2 to make up for the one-week spring break extension.
Operations for the CBU Division of Online and Professional Studies will continue according to the published OPS calendar.
Per a directive from the Health Office of the County of Riverside on March 17, 2020 all schools, community colleges, colleges and universities are to remain closed from March 16, 2020 through April 30, 2020. CBU is currently observing this order and has determined to move to remote instruction for the remainder of the semester once the university is cleared to begin instruction again.
The Health Office of the County of Riverside has also mandated a prohibition of gatherings for at least 10 individuals during the same time frame. CBU has cancelled all events on campus during this period and will continue to adhere to the county’s mandate. More updates on this decree will be distributed as more information becomes available to CBU. The county has also given educational intuitions the discretion to determine the minimum essential personnel as required to support critical functions within campus.
CBU spring commencements postponed until August due to COVID-19 pandemic
California Baptist University has announced spring commencement ceremonies will be rescheduled for later in the year due to travel and public assembly restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
CBU officials said ceremonies originally scheduled on April 28 and April 29 are being moved to August 19 and August 20, 2020. Summer commencement ceremonies scheduled for August 18 will continue as planned. The decision comes amid issuance of strict new guidelines from local, state and federal authorities to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
University leaders decided to delay spring commencement activities just hours after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended canceling or postponing in-person events involving 50 or more people throughout the United States for the next eight weeks.
CBU officials acknowledged the move is disappointing, but said it is the right thing to do along with other significant actions prompted by the rapidly developing COVID-19 pandemic.
Last weekend, CBU officials announced that all academic programs are being transitioned to online delivery beginning March 30, at the end of an extended spring break currently in effect.
Additionally, after the Riverside County Health Director last week ordered the closing of all public and private schools and colleges in the county, the CBU campus is now closed to the public. Student residences remain open and critical campus operations such as safety and food services continue.
The latest information about COVID-19 developments at CBU is being updated regularly on the university’s website, calbaptist.edu.
California Baptist University moving all classes online during COVID-19 emergency; remote instruction begins March 30 with spring semester extended one week through May 2
California Baptist University is transitioning to online delivery of all academic programs effective March 30, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic guidelines from public health authorities.
CBU officials announced plans to teach classes exclusively online after Riverside County Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser ordered all schools and universities in the county closed from March 16, 2020 through April 3, 2020.
In compliance with the county order, the CBU campus will be closed to the public as classes move online and student residences remain open.
“This is uncharted territory for almost all of us,” said CBU President Dr. Ronald L. Ellis. “As we move forward together and adapt to this extremely challenging and fluid situation, I appreciate the cooperation of everyone affected by these decisions.”
Remote academic instruction will continue until further notice, a university spokesman said. While the CBU campus is closed to the public, student residences will remain open and critical functions such as safety services and food service will continue.
The health officer’s order closing all Riverside County schools supersedes an earlier CBU decision to extend the university’s normal spring break schedule. As a result, the university now is extending the spring semester schedule a week through May 2 to make up for the one-week spring break extension.
The changes announced March 14 apply to CBU traditional undergraduate and graduate programs. Operations for the CBU Division of Online and Professional Studies will continue according to the published OPS calendar.
“This unprecedented public health crisis clearly is impacting every member of the CBU campus community—students, parents, faculty and staff—and society at large,” President Ellis acknowledged. “I want to thank the entire Lancer Nation for your understanding and patience as we make significant adjustments to address a difficult and dynamic situation.”
Coronavirus update: 3/12/2020:
After careful consideration of the events concerning the coronavirus, especially in the past 24 hours, and out of an abundance of caution, California Baptist University leadership has announced they are extending spring break starting tomorrow March 13 through March 27. This affects traditional in-person undergraduate and graduate students. The Division of Online and Professional Studies will continue to operate under its normal schedule.
There are still no cases of COVID-19 on campus or directly impacting anyone associated with the university at this time. The extended spring break will allow university leadership to plan out an effective path for the remainder of the semester taking into account the rapid spread and unpredictability of COVID-19.
Furthermore, all outside group meetings, conferences and events are canceled through
the end of the month. This includes the men’s basketball game on March 17.
Students are strongly encouraged to return home for spring break. There is also a recommendation to bring your textbooks and study materials in the event you are requested to study through an alternative method.
CBU’s business operations will remain open during normal business hours.
Students are asked to frequently check their campus email and calbaptist.edu/news/cbu_update_coronavirus_1 for the latest campus updates and information regarding CBU’s plan moving forward.
California Baptist University continues to monitor the developments of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). It is important to note that there are no reported or suspected cases of COVID-19 on campus. While there are several confirmed cases of coronavirus in Riverside County, there are no confirmed cases in the City of Riverside.
The emergence of new cases of COVID-19 within the county has increased concerns within the CBU campus community. University leadership reaffirms its commitment to protecting the well-being of the Lancer Nation and working to ensure a safe campus environment.
University leadership is in regular communication with the Riverside County Public Health Department and the California Department of Public Health. Neither agency has recommended that CBU discontinue on-site classes or on-campus events. Therefore, classes and events that are planned for the next 30 days will go on as scheduled. This includes all CBU athletic events. Currently, the only exception is Grandparents Day, which has been canceled.
CBU understands this is a fluid situation and university leadership from across campus is convening regularly to monitor developments and identify steps that may be needed in the foreseeable future. As with any crisis that can change quickly and without warning, the university’s response to COVID-19 will be flexible, thorough and evidence based.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states the COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that is spread through human-to-human transmission—including sneezing, coughing or close contact. The complete analysis regarding COVID-19 is not fully known, however, the information so far suggests that most illness arising from COVID-19 is mild. Older individuals and those suffering from severe underlying health conditions seem to be at risk of developing more serious effects of the virus.
The CDC states: “For the majority of people, the immediate risk of being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to be low. There is not widespread circulation in most communities in the United States.”
The risk of contracting the virus is higher for people in places where ongoing community spread of the virus has been reported. Individuals who have come into close contact with persons with the COVID-19 and travelers returning from restricted areas are also at an elevated risk of exposure. The risk of contracting COVID-19 is strongly correlated to location of an outbreak.
The CDC recommends practicing vigilant hygiene measures in addition to avoiding contact with sick individuals to avoid the transmission of the disease.
To help implement these recommendations, CBU will conduct deeper cleans on campus, particularly in student housing areas, eateries and classrooms. Additionally, there is a food delivery program for students as needed. Please contact Student Services at 951.343.4217 for more information or to request a delivery. CBU is also in the process of ordering a large supply of non-perishable food as precautionary measure.
University leadership also urges faculty members, staff and students to stay home if they are feeling ill. Here are some recommendations from the CDC on how you monitor your symptoms:
- Symptoms compatible with COVID-19 include fever, cough or difficulty breathing.
- If people feel feverish or develop a cough or difficulty breathing, they should take their temperature, self-isolate, limit contact with others, and seek advice by telephone from a healthcare provider to determine whether medical evaluation is needed.
In a worst-case scenario, CBU has identified quarantined housing areas for students who have either been confirmed to carry the COVID-19 or suspected of coming in contact with a person with the COVID-19.
California Baptist University is committed to the continued health and safety of all employees, particularly considering the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus domestically and internationally. In response to this rapidly developing situation, new travel policies have been implemented to minimize the impact of the virus spread on CBU.
Effective immediately, all business-related travel by any CBU employee to any domestic or international destination for the purpose of attending off-campus events, including but not limited to conferences or seminars, is now prohibited. This travel policy shall remain in effect at least through June 30, 2020. This restriction applies to any off-campus activities, including continuing education events and scholarly presentations. Any exceptions to this policy must be approved in advance by the president and area vice president. Routine, necessary local travel for system operations, such as secondary site clinical work, procurements, couriers, etc., will continue as scheduled.
Any cancellation costs incurred by the implementation of this policy shall be covered by departmental funds. Any employee choosing to disregard this policy, however, shall be ineligible for reimbursement of travel-related expenses from departmental funds. In addition, any required quarantine resulting from such travel shall not be paid unless the employee has paid leave or sick leave hours available.
Employees should carefully heed the most current CDC guidelines and recommendations when considering personal travel. Should an employee travel to a location that has CDC restrictions and/or to a domestic location experiencing community transmissions of the COVID-19 coronavirus or where a state of emergency is in effect, any required quarantine resulting from such personal travel will not be paid unless paid leave or sick leave hours are available.
Thank you for your cooperation.
CBU has been and will continue to monitor travel within its community and take precautionary measures when deemed necessary. Therefore, CBU is continuing to enforce travel restrictions for its faculty members, staff and students for Alert Level 2 and 3 areas according to the CDC.
If you have traveled outside the U.S. in the past month or plan to travel abroad, please let our Student Services office know at 351-343-4217.
The continued vigilance of everyone is important to minimize the potential impact this virus and other diseases can have on the campus community. As CBU leadership strives to foster a safe campus environment, everyone’s participation is encouraged, and we thank you in advance for all you do to keep our campus community safe.
Coronavirus update: 3/3/2020:
CBU is closely monitoring the developments of the coronavirus (COVID-19). It is important to note that there are no confirmed cases or suspected cases on campus. The risks associated with catching the COVID-19 in the U.S. are still minimal.
With that said, CBU is aware of the growing public concerns for the COVID-19. To address concerns, CBU has been in contact with the Riverside County Health Department Center for Disease Control to monitor their responses to the virus. Additionally, CBU is forming a COVID-19 task force that will meet frequently to discuss the developments surrounding the COVID-19. The group will also keep the CBU community aware of the important information associated with the virus.
CBU is also continuing to enforce travel restrictions for its faculty members, staff and students that now include Alert Level 2 and 3 areas according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Tracking travel abroad
As a cautionary measure, CBU would like to keep track of our community’s recent travels. If you have traveled outside the U.S. in the past month or plan to travel abroad, please let our Student Services office know at 951-343-4217.
Our continued alertness is important to reduce the potential impact this virus and other diseases can have on the campus community. As we strive to foster a safe campus environment, we encourage everyone’s participation and we thank you in advance for all you do to keep our campus community safe.
WHAT IS CORONAVIRUS
According to the CDC, the COVID-19 virus is a respiratory illness that is spread through human-to-human transmission―including sneezing, coughing or close contact.
In reported illnesses, patients have had symptoms such as:
- Shortness of breath
Contact the CBU Wellness Center or your healthcare professional if you develop any of these symptoms. Please note that we are experiencing a strong flu season that has similar symptoms. You are more likely to catch the flu than the COVID-19 virus.
*Preventative measures against respiratory illnesses include:
- Flu shot
- Good hygiene – by washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth frequently
*The previous information was taken from the CDC website.
Coronavirus update: 1/31/2020:
California Baptist University is carefully monitoring the Novel Coronavirus 2019 that originated in China and has spread to numerous other countries including the United States. Public Health information at the local, state and national levels indicate the CBU community currently is not at risk of infection. CBU has suspended travel to China and is identifying members of the campus community who have been in China since the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus 2019 so that appropriate measures can be taken if needed to limit exposure.
For additional information please see the following links provided by the Riverside
County Department of Health:
California Department of Public Health (CDPH)
County of Riverside Department of Public Health (DOPH)
CDC most current EPI info on 2019-nCoV