COVID-19 Update: Rowan intensifies on-campus safeguards

COVID-19 Update: Rowan intensifies on-campus safeguards


On Monday, March 16, Governor Murphy signed an executive order that introduced far-reaching measures the state hopes will limit the spread of COVID-19. 

Changes for residential students
With the changes required and recommended by the executive order, and considering the increasing spread of COVID-19, Rowan University is reviewing our capacity to safely house students on our Glassboro campus. We recognize some students have unique circumstances that require us to maintain some housing and dining services. However, we will be asking all other students to return to their homes. 

Students are not expected to move out of housing immediately. We ask that you please wait until we are able to provide details before you return to retrieve belongings from campus and check out of residential facilities, which we anticipate being able to do tomorrow. We will need to stagger students returning so to comply with social distancing protocols.

We know that there are many questions about leaving campus before the end of the semester. We are in the process of determining how to compensate students as soon as possible. We thank you for your patience with this complex issue. 

Changes for employees
As of today, there are no known cases of COVID-19 at Rowan University and we remain fully operational. Even so, to provide more safeguards against the spread of the virus, Rowan will begin a multi-day drawdown of employees starting on Wednesday, March 18, in which the majority of employees will work from home. 

Rowan’s steps to reduce the number of employees on campus align with state and national efforts for social distancing. Fortunately, most employees can continue their work at home. 

To achieve this drawdown, Rowan’s senior leadership team has categorized employees into three groups: physically essential, remotely essential and non-essential.

  • Physically essential are those employees who have been asked to continue working on campus.
  • Remotely essential are those whose work is essential to their department’s ability to continue operations, but their work can be completed from home.
  • Non-essential, a contractual human resources term, refers to employees whose work supports the core activity of a department but who may accomplish their work at home or who could be reassigned to help another department. 

All employees will be informed by March 18 of their classification and when they will shift to work at home (which will begin no later than Friday, March 20). We ask employees to work with their supervisors to develop a work plan, understanding that the plan may change depending on departmental needs. 

We recognize that some students depend on work-study positions for much-needed income. Supervisors will speak to student workers about their positions and decisions will be made about their workload on a case-by-case basis, keeping in mind social distancing protocols.

Although the University will draw down to only physically essential employees remaining on campus, classifications can change week to week, depending on the department’s obligations. 

We continue to emphasize that nothing is more important than protecting the health and safety of our students and employees. For many, Rowan is their home. Several hundred students have remained on the Glassboro campus during spring break and many more live in the surrounding communities. 

We consult daily with health care experts and higher education counterparts on a multitude of concerns and contingencies and will continue to do our best to share information in a timely manner in the face of tumult.

Thank you for your patience and flexibility. 


Ali A. Houshmand