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March 22, 2020: Statement from Interim President Shahrabi: COVID-19 situation updates

Dear Students,
I hope everyone is doing well and this message finds you healthy and safe during this time. The COVID-19 virus has changed our lives in many ways, from our jobs to our loved ones, our future remains uncertain.  Our unique RITK community is by its nature, problem solvers, and I trust that they will lend strength to their community and families during this uncertain time. Public safety and the health of our community is of utmost importance. Hopefully, this episode will soon subside, and we will regain some normalcy in our daily lives.
As you recall, the government of Kosovo has brought forth thedecision to close all public and private education institutions as of March 12th until March 27th, a decision which we have to abide by as well. In the meantime, Academic Affairs has created a robust continuity plan for distance education and we have moved all classes to an online format. We will continue offering all classes through the online format. We anticipate that we will return to normal operations and classes will resume, as scheduled on Monday, March 30. Of course there is a possibility that the government of Kosovo will extend March 27th to a later date. As part of our commitment to your academic pursuits, we will continue our online learning platform, which is now accessible, to provide you the tools to complete your coursework remotely. We understand the transition to distance learning will be unfamiliar to those who have not previously studied online. You should be reassured that faculty will help guide you through the process.
RIT provost and administrators have created pass/fail options, giving students flexibility during the crisis and to mitigate their anxiety. At RITK we have decided to expand the pass/fail options this semester due to the crisis. You will be allowed to select this option up until the last day of classes. Those of you that select this option and earn the pass grade will receive credits toward your degree completion without impacting your GPA. Please keep in mind that the pass/fail option may impact financial aid or scholarships that you are receiving. Please talk to your academic advisor prior to decide on the best course of action. In addition, the option of withdrawing from a course has also been extended to the last day of classes in order to minimize any adverse impact on your GPA.
We will continue to provide regular communication to the campus and are working continuously to balance multiple goals:
·         First and foremost, act to protect the health of the our community;
·         Continue our efforts to fulfill the core academic mission of the institute
·         Communicate as frequently and openly as possible.
We are all in this together and I continue to wish for good health for you and your loved ones and strength in weathering these times that will define us all. Thanks to all of you during this very challenging time.

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