Classes to be Conducted Remotely Beginning March 18 Due to Coronavirus Outbreak


Courtesy of the University’s Marketing and Communications Office:

University President Father Malachi Van Tassell announced that the school will move to remote instruction, beginning March 18, in response to the global Coronavirus outbreak.

Below is Father Malachi’s message that was shared with the University community:

Dear Members of University Community:

I am writing to you today to share updates and decisions relative to Saint Francis University’s response to the global Coronavirus (COVID-19).  While there are no confirmed cases on our campus, the institution has made several decisions that are responsible for our path forward. Managing the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff of our community remains the institution’s top priority.

At this time, the University is requiring the following approach in an effort to move teaching into a virtual space and to minimize the number of students living on campus:


  • On-site classes will continue to be held until Friday, March 13th at 4:00 pm in order to allow for an appropriate transition.
  • Residence halls will close at 6:00 pm on Friday, March 13th.  We will work with students that need to remain on campus. Please expect further communication from Residence Life.
  • March 16th and 17th no classes will be held so that faculty, in conjunction with the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, can assist in preparing courses to be delivered using a virtual format.
  • Students on clinical rotations will be communicated with directly from their SFU Clinical Coordinator.
  • Campus events: In light of the rapidly changing situation we realize many events will need to be canceled or postponed.  The following factors are being used to determine the cancelation of campus events: the size of the event, the opportunity for social distancing, the opportunity to move events online, and whether the event is mandatory or voluntary.  The most updated list of canceled events may be found on the institution’s dedicated webpage. Instructions related to handling events are forthcoming.

March 18th – March 27th

  • All courses will reconvene virtually beginning Wednesday, March 18th.  Faculty will be in touch with their students regarding all course details.  A decision regarding the resumption of in-person classes will occur no later than Friday, March 27th.
  • If the determination is made to return to in-person classes, residence halls will re-open on Sunday, March 29th.

The rapid spread of COVID-19 along with nearly hourly developments relative to restrictions make planning challenging.  Saint Francis University is working hard to implement strategies to support our primary goal – ensuring the health and safety of the faculty, staff, and students of Saint Francis University.  At the same time, we continue to remain focused on the mission to educate our students.

The administrative team is working to communicate with those impacted.  The University established a dedicated webpage to share updates as they become available along with an email address ( to send questions and concerns.  The administrative team is dedicated to responding within 24 hours.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding during this difficult time.  We are confident the measures we are putting into place are the most responsible in the interest for caution and safety.  Please pay attention to additional email communications that are specific to faculty, alumni, athletics, and study abroad.

Please continue to keep the community in your thoughts and prayers as we navigate this unprecedented situation.