Local News & Events
Written by K-NUW on January 27, 2020
Western New Mexico University Statement Regarding the New Coronavirus
Silver City, NM – Western New Mexico University works to ensure the health and safety of its community and is monitoring the global public health concern related to the new coronavirus (COVID-19). Through its website, WNMU is updating Mustangs on the university’s plan to protect students and employees while fulfilling its mission as a higher education institution.
According to the letter from WNMU President Dr. Joseph Shepard to the Mustang community on Wednesday, March 11, the university is identifying what impact a completely online course strategy would have on students and has authorized the math and computer science department to determine how it can move course materials online. “The good news is that all courses already have a Canvas shell; however, typically there is much training and support that needs to accompany those courses that are moved online. Dean Foster and the Office of Online Learning and Distance Education staff have created and will provide resources and support to adapt courses for distance delivery should decisions be made to go fully online,” President Shepard wrote.
WNMU is asking employees to allow students who report feeling sick to stay home and make up class assignments and even on-campus work-study hours at a later time.
WNMU is also examining field work and field placement, keeping in mind that WNMU has students with differing needs all over the country. “We need to be flexible, understanding, and at times more liberal in allowing for incompletes, which enable students longer periods of time to finish various practicums and placement,” President Shepard said on Wednesday.
The university is referring students experiencing anxiety because of the coronavirus to counseling services available to them through the WNMU partnership with Hidalgo Medical Services.
All official WNMU travel during spring break is suspended unless approval is given by the president’s office. “Arrangements are underway to accommodate basic operations in the unlikely event employees may need to work from home,” President Shepard wrote in his letter Wednesday.
“Given the dynamics and complexities of our university, one size does not fit all,” President Shepard said, noting he counts on WNMU leaders to make good judgements and offer understanding.
Current information will be available at wnmu.edu/covid-19-updates.