COVID-19: CAS Resources

Message from the Dean

CAS Family,

All of us hope you and your loved ones are, and remain, well. Your health and safety has always been our top priority, and that has become even more important during this pandemic.

We are doing everything we can to help you succeed in this unprecedented situation. That is why we have put together this website compiling resources for students, faculty and staff. We are striving to keep it up to date with the latest announcements and any other tools we think might help you accomplish your goals.

We hope you find it helpful, and we would love to hear anything you think should be added to this site. Please feel free to contact me about that or any other questions or concerns you have as we all navigate this uncertain time together.

Stay safe and well, and Go Pokes!
Dean Glen Krutz

Statement from President Hargis - June 10, 2020

Dear Friends,

I hope this letter finds you and your family well. Even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, you can take pride in knowing Oklahoma State University completed an unprecedented academic year by continuing to deliver on its land-grant mission of teaching, research and extension, or service. 

We achieved success during this historic time thanks to the hard work and commitment of students, faculty and staff, as well as the passion and support of donors and alumni. The entire Cowboy family played a part. Thank you! 

I am pleased we will resume in-person classes with the Fall semester in August. We are working out the details to ensure the health of students, employees and visitors. The NCAA and Big 12 Conference are providing direction on the start of football and other sports. In all instances, we will follow federal and state guidance. We really look forward to having students back on campus.

While it was not the celebration we wanted, or the gathering together with family and friends that graduates deserved, we honored Spring 2020 degree recipients with an online event. Spring and summer graduates will be recognized more traditionally when they are invited to walk the stage during our December commencement.

Oklahoma State certainly answered the call to support our state’s response to COVID-19. In fact, in many respects, we led the way. 

In record time, we set up the state’s first COVID-19 testing lab in the College of Veterinary Medicine’s diagnostic laboratory in Stillwater. Thanks to the tireless work of researchers and volunteers, OSU was able to process up to 2,000 tests a day and helped reduce the state’s backlog in testing. As of this writing, we have processed more than 40,000 tests, which is nearly a third of the state’s total. Our outstanding work was featured in a May story in The Washington Post as well as local media outlets.

OSU also took the lead nationally in processing the alternative, far less invasive COVID-19 saliva tests. Collecting saliva samples greatly reduces exposure to medical workers and therefore the use of personal protective equipment. Also, at this time, our saliva testing is validating the efficacy of the test for FDA approval.  Kenneth Sewell, head of OSU research, and Johnny Stephens, VP of Research at the OSU School of Medicine, as well as others, have done an excellent job guiding our research efforts. 

Dr. Kayse Shrum, the president of OSU Center for Health Sciences, serves as Oklahoma’s Secretary of Science and Innovation and is a member of Governor (and OSU grad) Kevin Stitt’s COVID-19 task force. In addition to being on the front line of our state’s response, she has overseen OSU medicine’s extensive coronavirus work, which has included treating patients, mobile testing, expanded telehealth services, video clinics, modeling, contact tracing and more.

Numerous departments and groups collected and distributed protective gear. Among them, engineering faculty and students who used 3D printing at our world-class ENDEAVOR facility to create face shields for health care workers. Pete’s Pet Posse, the nation’s premier university pet therapy program, quickly pivoted its valuable work from face-to-face to virtual sessions.

Throughout the pandemic, OSU Extension Services continued to provide Oklahoma citizens vital information and resources related to health and well-being, food safety and production, finances and other areas. 

Alumni and donors stepped up in numerous ways. We were already enjoying a strong fundraising year before the pandemic. In fact, for the first time, OSU exceeded $100 million in academic gifts for three consecutive years. We have reached 60 percent of the $375 million Brighter Orange, Brighter Future campaign to support scholarships and success for students with financial need. That support now extends to students dealing with the impact of the pandemic.

In response to the pandemic, we launched the Cowboy Family Initiative in March. Funds we have received have given many students new hope and kept their dreams of an OSU degree alive. The fund supported a student hoping to enter med school whose family lost its home in a fire, a student who did not have funds for food, a student living out of a truck, as well as others.

In addition to Dr. Shrum at OSU CHS in Tulsa, OSU’s other campus leaders and their teams have done an excellent job during uncertain times: Pamela Fry, president of OSU-Tulsa; Brad Williams, president of OSU-Oklahoma City, and Bill Path, president of OSU Institute of Technology in Okmulgee. 

Despite the pandemic, OSU celebrated many wonderful accomplishments this past academic year. 

But the Cowboy family also mourned the passing of two OSU legends. In late September we held a celebration of life for Boone Pickens, the Ultimate Cowboy who gave his alma mater more than $550 million and inspired others to join a historic transformation of our beloved university.

In May, Naismith Hall of Fame coach Eddie Sutton, who returned OSU to the national basketball stage with 13 NCAA Tournament trips and two Final Fours, died at age 84. 

One of major highlights of the year was the October opening of the McKnight Center for the Performing Arts, made possible by lead donors Ross and Billie McKnight and others. We opened the incredible new facility with the world-renowned New York Philharmonic. We have scheduled an impressive lineup for our second season, headlined by the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Anne and Michael Greenwood have made a significant impact on programs across campus and their latest major gift is creating a new home for the Department of Music that will provide a premier teaching and learning experience for music education at OSU. The Greenwood School of Music is connected to The McKnight Center and is expected to open in 2021.

In January, we announced one of the largest gifts in OSU history by alumni Kayleen and Larry Ferguson. The incredible $50 million donation from the Ferguson Family Foundation accelerated the funding campaign for an innovative research and teaching facility for the newly, and aptly, named Ferguson College of Agriculture.

In March, OSU celebrated a $1 million naming gift from Ray and Linda Booker for a new flight training center for OSU’s world-class aviation program. The pandemic delayed the opening of O’Brate Stadium, one of the premier collegiate baseball stadiums in the country thanks to the generosity of Cecil and Frances O’Brate. We eagerly await the first pitch in the new stadium.

In an important move to better deliver on our land-grant mission and prepare future leaders, we are combining the outstanding programs in OSU’s College of Education, Health and Aviation and College of Human Sciences to form the new College of Education and Human Sciences.

Oklahoma State had one of its best years for national scholars. Adrienne Blakey was named OSU’s 18th Truman Scholar, Cole Replogle was one of America’s 25 Gates Cambridge Scholars, and Josh Anadu and Blake Bartlett won Goldwater Scholarships.

All four of these student-scholars are members of Oklahoma State’s nationally recognized Honors College, which provides an environment to help students realize their intellectual potential and develop service and leadership skills. We have seen significant growth in the college and this academic year had a record of nearly 800 first-year students. The OSU Honors College was one of only ten programs nationally to receive the highest ranking for its curriculum. OSU has the top-rated honors college or program in Oklahoma. 

I am pleased Oklahoma State continued to build on its position as a national high education leader in diversity, winning various awards for our work to provide an inclusive and welcoming campus and learning experience.

The OSU Alumni Association is planning for the university’s centennial homecoming in October and is preparing for the launch of a new and enhanced membership program. The association is under the leadership of new president Rob McInturf, who replaced Blaire Atkinson. Blaire is now president of the OSU Foundation. Kirk Jewell retired in May after nearly 17 years as Foundation president. We thank him for his outstanding leadership and wish Kirk and Jan all the best.

In closing, I have never been more proud of the Oklahoma State University family. Despite the world being turned upside down by a global pandemic, we stayed on mission and continued to serve and lead. I’m excited about all we will accomplish as we move forward.

Thanks for the part you play in Oklahoma State’s success. You can view more video and pictures highlighting the academic year here. The First Cowgirl, Ann, and I hope you stay safe and healthy.

Go Pokes!

V. Burns Hargis

Prospective Students

Can I still visit campus?

Until July 21, you can experience the OSU campus virtually and schedule online appointments with admissions, the academic colleges, Residential Life, and The Honors College. You can participate in a virtual tour of campus, find your admissions counselor, and more from the admissions website. If you are interested in learning more about one of the College of Arts and Sciences majors, you can schedule a live virtual presentation and Q&A here.

Beginning July 22, you may select an on-campus experience Monday through Friday (limited) or a virtual experience Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can visit the admissions website for more information and schedule an in-person tour. 

Can I still apply for admission to OSU?

Yes! Our admissions team is working diligently to continue to process and accept applications. Seniors are welcome to apply and Juniors can start applying July 1. The application can be found here.

I’m a high school student, can I start taking concurrent courses at OSU?

Yes! Starting this fall, high-school seniors can take concurrent online courses free! Click here learn more about Cowboy Concurrent online.

Current Students

Are we going to have in-person classes in the fall?

Every effort is being made for faculty to maximize in-person instruction for all students on campus this fall. However, hybrid and online options may be used to accommodate challenges in scheduling.

Will students need to wear face coverings on campus during the fall 2020 semester?

All OSU students, staff, faculty, contractors, vendors, suppliers, and visitors must wear a face covering (mask) upon entering any campus building. We know that COVID-19 can be spread when people are asymptomatic, which means they don’t know they are sick yet. Wearing face coverings has been shown to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to others.

What will pre-finals and finals week look like during the fall 2020 semester?

In-class instruction and in-person exams will be completed by Thanksgiving break. Pre-finals week and finals week will be offered virtually. Exams will be offered on-line and synchronously, with proctoring in order to minimize academic integrity concerns. On-campus services and project labs will remain open for students.

Is graduation canceled?

Oklahoma State University has postponed the May 2020 commencement ceremonies until Dec. 11 and 12, when we can celebrate our entire Class of 2020 together in Stillwater. These ceremonies will celebrate our spring and summer 2020 graduates, as well as our fall 2020 degree candidates. This plan will be continually evaluated as the fall semester proceeds. For the most up to date information click here.

Is homecoming canceled?

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the OSU Alumni Association will be unable to host the 2020 edition of America’s Greatest Homecoming. The centennial celebration originally scheduled for Oct. 26-31 will now be planned for fall 2021. For more information, please click here.

I’ve never taken an online course and don’t think that I will be able to make good grades. What should I do?

Take a deep breath. Faculty and staff are stressed too about having to transition to online courses. Give everyone a grace period to figure out what works and what doesn’t.

OSU’s tutoring centers are also transitioning online for you. You can virtually meet with LASSO, the Math Learning Success Center (MLSC), and the Writing Center for continuous assistance during this time.

In terms of your grades, make sure to stay on top of whatever your professor is assigning. Set aside time each day to focus on schoolwork. Having a space set aside that is specifically for working on course work isn’t a bad idea either. Be in constant communication with your professor. If you have questions or fears, ask them! For a full list of tips and resources visit our Canvas Community page.

I am really stressed about the situation surrounding Covid-19. Are there resources available to help me?

You are not alone. This is a stressful time and there are resources to help you. The Department of Wellness has put out a list of tips for staying mentally and physically healthy right now that can be found here.

  • Therapy Assistance Online is available to anyone at OSU with a working @okstate email address.
  • 855-225-2SAM (2726) (Student Assistance by Mercy) has licensed counselors available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to crises, and provide referrals and consultations.
  • In response to the COVID-19 situation, OSU University Counseling Services is offering free video counseling services through their contract with MDLive to any OSU student who is in need. MDLive provides students with licensed counselors who can provide timely access to counseling via their video or phone platform. Please call 405 744-5458 for more information on getting set up with this service.

Where can I find the latest updates involving OSU’s response to Covid-19?

There is a dedicated website to Covid-19 which you can find here. OSU is constantly sending out new information to students, parents, staff and faculty, so please check your email often. You can also follow okstateCAS on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for updates from CAS.

Where can I find FAQs for graduate students?

The Graduate College has posted answers to frequently asked questions for graduate students on their website.

Are there any additional resources for graduate students?

There are free resources for OSU post-docs and grad students through the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity NCFDD regarding COVID-19, which includes everything from shifting to online teaching to self-care.

To claim your free Institutional Membership, complete the following steps:

  • Go to http://www.facultydiversity.org/join
  • Choose your institution from the drop-down menu.
  • Select “Activate my Membership”
  • Complete the registration form using your institutional email address (i.e. @okstate.edu)
  • Go to your institution email to find a confirmation/welcome email. Click “Activate Account” in the email.

Faculty

What are OSU’s expectations for working from home?

OSU has an FAQ to answer your questions about working from home and other logistical questions. Also, HR provided tips for telecommuting.

The College of Education and Human Sciences have crowd-sourced some of their favorite resources for balancing working from home and educating from home. Click here for more details.

Are OSU employees required to undergo COVID testing as a requirement of employment?

For some areas, yes – especially when those areas are required by external agencies to complete COVID testing such as Athletics or are consistently placed at higher exposure risks due to their positions such as University Health Services. For the remainder of the University, no – COVID testing is not required for employment.

For more information, please click here for the OSU Coronavirus page.

What restrictions are there for meetings and events?

When having events, this includes meetings, please abide by social distancing regulations and University and CDC guidelines. If possible, please continue to conduct meetings and events virtually.

Where can I find resources for teaching online?

At the bottom of this page under Teaching Online! Also, there are three recommended websites for finding more CAS online teaching resources:

  1. ITLE – A great place to get started if you’ve never taught online.
  2. CAS Instructional Design – Expectations and resources for high quality online teaching, specific to CAS.
  3. CAS Online Instructional Network - A Canvas repository of resources made by CAS faculty.

Are there any CAS recommendations for proctoring exams?

A recent announcement from the provost’s office stated, “Please remember faculty cannot add additional costs to students as courses are moved online. Federal law requires that all costs associated with a course must be posted when students are enrolling. As such, do not implement test proctoring services or other programs that will charge your students a fee not already approved and associated with your course(s).”

Any fees related to proctoring must be paid from the associated department, and must therefore receive department head approval. Many testing centers are currently closed, and online proctors are becoming increasingly difficult to find. Therefore, we recommend you find an alternative approach to assessing your students.

Here are some resources for alternative approaches to traditional paper-based testing, Canvas tips to avoid academic dishonesty, and examples of Canvas exam strategies.

Where can I go for guidance about mitigating the impact on my research?

For information regarding your research lab, you can reference the university research continuity guidelines.

Can I still submit Academic Alerts?

Yes, please do! Advisors are working remotely to help students succeed in their courses or drop them if needed.

Any additional resources for OSU faculty, including our post-docs or grad students?

There are free resources for OSU faculty, post-docs and grad students through the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity NCFDD regarding COVID-19, which includes everything from shifting to online teaching to self-care.

To claim your free Institutional Membership, complete the following steps:

  • Go to http://www.facultydiversity.org/join
  • Choose your institution from the drop-down menu.
  • Select “Activate my Membership”
  • Complete the registration form using your institutional email address (i.e. @okstate.edu)
  • Go to your institution email to find a confirmation/welcome email. Click “Activate Account” in the email.

Staff

Are OSU employees required to undergo COVID testing as a requirement of employment?

For some areas, yes – especially when those areas are required by external agencies to complete COVID testing such as Athletics or are consistently placed at higher exposure risks due to their positions such as University Health Services. For the remainder of the University, no – COVID testing is not required for employment.

For more information, please click here for the OSU Coronavirus page.

What are OSU’s expectations for working from home?

OSU has an FAQ to answer your questions about working from home and other logistical questions. Also, HR provided tips for telecommuting.

The College of Education and Human Sciences have crowd-sourced some of their favorite resources for balancing working from home and educating from home. Click here for more details.

What restrictions are there for meetings and events?

When having events, this includes meetings, please abide by social distancing regulations and University and CDC guidelines. If possible, please continue to conduct meetings and events virtually.

Where can I find the latest information on sick leave and annual leave?

OSU has an FAQ to answer your questions about sick leave, annual leave, pay, and working from home.

I work with students regularly, how can I stay informed with the information going out to students?

Much of the information being shared with students is being posted on this student support website. You can also follow CAS on Facebook and Twitter, as we are sharing and posting resources and recent announcements for our students.

What can student workers do during this time?

HR sent a recent announcement about student workers, and will update their FAQ soon to reflect the following information:

May student employees work during this time?

Yes. Please maintain social distancing protocols as indicated by the CDC. Student employees may also telecommute at this time if work is available from their supervisors.

I am not able to work at this time including telecommuting options. Am I eligible for any type of pay at this time?

Yes. The university will provide pay for student employees for the week of March 23 to assist during this transition. This pay will be based upon the average pay earned by the student employee during the past semester. If the student did not anticipate work following spring break, no payment would be provided.

Am I eligible for pay under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act?

All employees, regardless of classification, are eligible for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Beginning April 2, the provisions of FFCRA will be provided to all OSU employees for COVID-19 related absences for illness, care of dependents who are ill or care of dependents due to disruptions to childcare. More information related to this topic will be provided prior to April 2.

Are there any resources to help employees with stress or anxiety during this time?

Here are some resources you can access online during this difficult time.

  • As of January 1, 2019, all OSU/A&M employees and their covered family members on the BlueCross BlueShield of Oklahoma health plans have access to virtual visits through MD Live.
  • Therapy Assistance Online is available to anyone at OSU with a working @okstate email address.
  • Download the Calm app on your mobile device for free to practice controlled breathing and practice soothing meditation from wherever you are telecommuting.