Additional modifications to university operations following stay-at-home order

March 23, 2020

Dear University of Oregon community,

We are writing to provide the latest update on the University of Oregon’s response to the coronavirus. Gov. Kate Brown today issued new orders for individuals, businesses, and agencies throughout the state as part of the continued effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Effective immediately, all Oregon residents are required to stay home, which is similar to steps taken by other states and metropolitan areas.

This is an incredibly fluid and evolving public health crisis, and we understand that each development and announcement creates new challenges for all of us. Thank you for your patience, cooperation, flexibility, and commitment. We are working diligently to inform campus of major changes as they happen. For the latest information, please visit and read our FAQs. Questions, concerns, or suggestions should continue to be directed to this web form or 541-346-7007 (staffed 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday).

In order to comply with today’s executive order as well as the March 19 executive order for higher education, the UO remains closed to the general public and operating remotely except for the following critical services:

  • Services necessary to support remote learning, which will continue through the end of spring quarter. Deans, in consultation with academic department heads and the Office of the Provost, will determine what on-campus critical support may be needed.
  • Library services necessary to support remote learning for the duration of spring term.
  • Student housing and related dining services.
  • University Health CenterUniversity Counseling Center, and University Testing Center and corresponding support.
  • Building systems, power plant, and utilities, although at reduced levels.
  • Research activities required to maintain laboratory safety, care for animals, plants and other living organisms, and maintain gas supply and equipment that cannot be safely powered off for extended periods of time.
  • Other critical research as allowed by the Office for the Vice President for Research and Innovation which will be listed in the FAQs.
  • Emergency response, such as police, fire marshal, and environment health and safety.
  • Incident Management Team.
  • Custodial services will continue to operate at reduced levels, but surfaces in common areas continue to be sanitized regularly.
  • IT services associated with onsite support of campus IT infrastructure and remote learning.

This is not an exhaustive list and subject to change on short notice based on operational needs connected to the COVID-19 crisis. Further information and guidance regarding the status of critical services will be updated on the UO’s coronavirus website and FAQs.

In an effort to help guide you through the weeks and possibly months ahead, below is a summary of decisions from our administration. We expect faculty, staff, and students to comply with these emergency measures, including:

  • STUDENTS AND INSTRUCTORS – The UO will provide remote education for the entire spring term, which begins March 30. Students and faculty can access all of their classes remotely via Canvas. For assistance accessing Canvas, visit Canvas support or Going Remote.
  • STUDENTS – While residence halls and some residential dining will remain open during spring term, students should only stay in campus housing if needed. Examples of housing need may include:
    • Students who would otherwise be without housing.
    • Students whose travel restrictions or travel safety preclude them from traveling home.
    • Students who would otherwise face an increased health or personal risk by travelling or returning home.
  • FACULTY AND STAFF – Only come to work if your supervisor has told you that your job fulfills a critical function. If you do not think that you are supporting a critical operation, but have been asked to report to your work site, you may contact your department’s human resources representative to confirm whether your work is critical.  
    • Do not come to work if you are sick.
    • If you do not think that you are supporting a critical operation, but have been asked to report to your work site, you may contact your department’s human resources representative or email to confirm whether your work is critical.    
    • Do not come to a work site to retrieve items from your office or visit colleagues. Only come to campus if you have permission from your supervisor. 
  • RESEARCH – Do not come to a work site except to engage in approved ramp down, continuity, or laboratory safety work. Critical research may continue only if strict social distancing and enhanced cleaning can be maintained. To continue research work on campus, please register on this VPRI web form.

These are truly unprecedented times for our university, the state, the nation, and even the world. It is imperative that we come together as a university community to support one another and deliver on our core mission of teaching, learning, and service. The UO community is resilient, and we will get through this together.


Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law

Patrick Phillips
Provost and Senior Vice President