Bowling Green State University students are being encouraged to go back to their permanent homes.

In a letter released on Monday, President Rodney Rogers said the university is making decisions in “unprecedented times.”

“While we initially hoped to allow our students to make a decision to move out of the residence halls or continue to stay during the online learning window, we now are strongly encouraging all students to remain, or if appropriate, to return to their permanent residence,” Rogers said.

Any students living in the residence halls who do not have a place to go, the university is still committed to honoring the housing and dining contract; contact Residence Life at as soon as possible.

Because of the public health concern, students living on campus who have already left their residence halls are strongly encouraged to not return to BGSU to retrieve their personal belongings at this time.

“However, I want to ensure everyone whose belongings are still on campus that we will safeguard them, and we will arrange for you to retrieve these items at a later date,” Rogers said.

If it is essential for the student to have access to the room to move out, the Office of Residence Life will send an email tonight with details and a schedule that begins at noon on Tuesday until Sunday. Students will be assigned a block of time to ensure social distancing.

“I recognize this is an inconvenience, and we will work with our students and be as flexible as possible if the assigned time block does not work,” Rogers said.

The university is continuing to finalize an appropriate housing and dining credit/refund model that is financially fair and equitable for all students regardless of when they retrieve their personal belongings.

“Please know that I understand this is a pressing concern for our students and families, and we are working diligently on a timely solution,” he said.

As previously communicated, the university will conduct virtual and online teaching and learning beginning March 23 until the end of spring semester.

“We are committed to supporting our students to complete their degrees on time. I want to thank our students, faculty and staff for their flexibility and adaptability. I know these changes have affected your BGSU experience in ways we could never imagine,” Rogers said.

Faculty and staff

In an effort to reduce employee density on the campuses and in accordance with Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s recommendations, beginning immediately and throughout next week, the university will be shifting as many employees as possible to work remotely until further notice.

Starting Monday, only necessary faculty and staff will be physically on campus and only critical research related activities will continue there.

In addition, certain facilities, such as the Student Recreation Center, will be closed to limit exposure.

“Staff supervisors will be in contact with their teams to manage workflow so we can continue operations of the University while from home, where appropriate. We understand that a faculty or staff member’s remote work may need to be flexible, including reporting half days for leave time or using this remote period for virtual professional development,” Rogers said.

Employees are able to take any of their accrued paid leave, and once exhausted, they can report hours that may result in a negative leave balance.

“In addition, we are also looking into modifying our policies for our sick leave bank for those with limited leave balances. Faculty leave guidelines are determined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. All faculty and staff members will continue to receive compensation for their work,” he said.

BGSU’s guiding principles throughout this pandemic remain intact. The university is committed to:

• prioritizing the health and safety of all our students, faculty and staff

• providing students the opportunity to continue their education

• assisting faculty as they transition to online learning

• offering services to students to support their online academic experience

• maintaining the operations of physical and technological infrastructure