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Dear Campus Community:

As we navigate through the unprecedented challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, I want to start by expressing my profound gratitude for your patience, understanding and resilience during this time.

The situation has unfolded so rapidly since my first communication nearly a month ago. We have all been working diligently to address new directives and recommendations from government and public health officials, being mindful of your health and safety at all times.

If there is one clear strategy that will help us suppress the spread of the virus and protect as many people as possible, it is to have stringent social and physical distancing.

Therefore, for the remainder of the Spring semester, NKU will transition to a “virtual continuity of operations” mode no later than April 1.

What this means is that nearly all our core operations will be delivered virtually. As we have adjusted to the latest guidelines, this process is underway. We have already converted all face-to-face meetings to phone or video conferences and transitioned many support services to an online format.

For Students:

Please be assured that this decision will not impact your educational journey. As the faculty work diligently to adapt classes to alternative instruction, I know there are many changes to your daily life that are causing much concern and anxiety. Which is one reason we have established the Student Emergency Fund.

We had hoped to hold the events that culminate the Spring semester, but that is no longer an option given the newest recommendations for gatherings. Therefore, we are:

  • Holding finals week through our online platforms. There will be no face-to-face exams.
  • Canceling Spring Commencement Ceremonies. All 2020 graduates will be invited to participate in December Commencements to celebrate all that they have accomplished—despite the unique challenges this year has presented.

For Faculty and Staff:

  • Faculty and staff will work from home to support the campus’ virtual operations. If you have a need to visit your office, please coordinate with your supervisors to ensure social distancing. 
  • NKU’s temporary pay process will keep staff in a full pay status through the end of April.
  • There are a few services that must remain physically open, for instance University Police, the Physical Plant, and mail services among them. Those working on-campus in these essential roles will have adjusted scheduled to create a safe onsite work environment.

Transitioning the university to this mode of operations no later than April 1, will allow us to plan accordingly, stagger our students moving out of University Housing, and allow the faculty and staff to gather needed belongings from their office to work remotely.

During this time, the Cabinet and the COVID-19 Preparedness Team will quickly develop and implement plans to make sure there is a smooth transition to NKU’s virtual campus operations. Even though we will be reducing our on-campus staffing to a minimum, please know that we will continue to support the students who remain in the residence halls.

As we have all learned, this situation is rapidly evolving and we will let you know if there are any changes to this timeline. If you have questions about how moving to a virtual campus will impact you, please email In addition, if you have suggestions or things we should keep in mind, please share those via email as well.

The true strength of an organization can be witnessed when a crisis descends upon it — and this is no ordinary crisis. I am proud of the way the NKU community is working together to meet this profound challenge. We will get through these troubled waters.

Once again – to the campus community - thank you for all that you do on behalf of the students and the university. Please stay safe and well and maintain appropriate social distance.

Ashish K. Vaidya

Ashish K. Vaidya, Ph.D.
Northern Kentucky University
Nunn Drive
800 Lucas Administrative Center
Highland Heights, KY 41099
Phone: 859-572-5123
Fax: 859-572-6696