DATE: March 16, 2020 at 3:15 pm
TO: Faculty and Staff

FROM: Dr. Richard Nelson, President

Although no COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Rhinelander or the Nicolet College District, the number and distribution of reported cases is likely to grow. Nicolet College is committed to doing its part to minimize this threat throughout our community the region. Because social distancing continues to be recommended as the most effective way to limit the spread of coronavirus, we are taking the following steps with regard to classes, meetings and events:

  • All Nicolet College classes, on campus and off, are temporarily suspended from Tuesday, March 17 through Sunday, March 22.
    • This temporary suspension will allow staff to convert face-to-face classes to alternate delivery modes (i.e. online, BlueJeans).
    • The College will remain open, but all students (regardless of delivery mode), are NOT required to attend classes the remainder of this week.
  • All classes will resume on Monday, March 23 via online (or other distance technology) and will remain in this delivery mode until April 24, 2020. Students should watch their College email for further information from their instructors specific to their individual classes.
  • All Nicolet College events, on campus and off, are cancelled or postponed until at least April 24. Events with more than 50 anticipated in attendance are cancelled or postponed until at least May 11.

At present, our goal is to keep Nicolet College offices open and, to the extent possible, continue to provide services within the limits of guidance received from WI DHS and other authorities. Some office hours may be curtailed and the availability of some services may be limited.

However, as we strive to serve others, we must also be sure to take care of ourselves and those who count on us.  With that in mind, we are temporarily relaxing our remote work policy. Employees who may need or prefer to work at home are encouraged discuss remote work arrangements with their supervisor. IT is gearing up to provide the necessary support for those who need it.

For those employees whose jobs require presence on-campus but who need to be at home due to elevated risk or other considerations, please discuss your situation with your supervisor. We will do what we can to make alternate arrangements. Our goal is to keep every employee whole in terms of earnings and benefits. No Nicolet College employee should be forced to sacrifice a paycheck in order to follow the recommendations of health and safety professionals.

In addition, revised travel guidelines and restrictions for all employees are effective immediately:

College-sponsored travel

  • College-sponsored international travel is cancelled until further notice.
  • College-sponsored interstate travel is cancelled until further notice. Exceptions for essential travel may be made by a member of the Executive Team. Travelers may be subject to self- isolation upon return. Travel to adjacent counties in Michigan is exempted.
  • Existing interstate travel arrangements should be cancelled wherever possible. If not, re-approval by a member of the Executive Team prior to departure is required. Your supervisor and College administrative staff can work with you to cancel reservations, seek refunds, etc.
  • Travel within Wisconsin should be limited to the extent possible.

Personal Travel

Per Wisconsin Department of Administration guidelines, employees who travel personally to a state that has sustained community transmission as determined by the CDC will not be allowed to return to their workplace for 14 calendar days after your return. At present, California, New York and Washington are included. Please note: COVID-19 has now been reported in 49 states. Numbers can rise quickly and unexpectedly anywhere. As a result, any or all out-of-state travelers may be required, with little or no advance notice, to self-isolate upon return.

Thank you for your cooperation, understanding and patience. Together, we will successfully navigate these uncharted waters and come out better and stronger than before.