Important Coronavirus Information

Please check this page for regular updates regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, including recent messages to the campus community.

Summary: 

  • As of 3/16, all classes are being taught online or through other alternative methods.
  • All scheduled university and alumni events are canceled until further notice.
  • All clinicals and practicum are suspended for nursing and nuclear medicine students.
  • The library will close its physical location but will continue to provide online and remote services.
  • The Student Recreation and Fitness Center and Island Sports Center are closed.
  • RMU Downtown and the RMU 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing Laboratory are closed.
  • All events at the UPMC Events Center have been canceled at least through 4/12.
  • The VITA tax site is closed until further notice. RMU suggests that taxpayers use MyFreeTaxes.com.

Recent Updates

March 25: Important Information Regarding Spring 2020 Requirements

Dear Students:

Robert Morris University is making the following accommodations to assist students in meeting their educational and graduation goals in recognition of disruption caused to the academic semester by the transition to online and distance instructional methods due to the COVID-19: 

Course Withdrawals -- Robert Morris University will extend the deadline for course withdrawals for spring semester 2020 for both second 8 week and 15 week classes to the last day of class,  Monday, April 27, 2020. Most students may opt to withdraw from courses via Sentry through April 27th.  Please note that:

  • International students will continue to need permission to withdraw from a course from the Center for Global Engagement. 
  • Division I student athletes will continue to need permission from Athletics. 
  • Veteran students will continue to need permission from the Center for Veterans and Military Families.
  • Permissions will not require a hard copy form but will be processed via email requests and approvals.
  • Course withdrawals have the same impact as a grade of No Credit.  There is no impact on the student GPA. At this point in this semester, a withdrawal would not impact a student’s financial aid package. However some academic requirements for state and federal aid would still apply. You can review these policies at https://www.rmu.edu/admissions/financial-aid/policies.
  • Similarly to a No Credit grade, a W grade awards no credit for a course. A course may need to be repeated and the W graded course cannot satisfy a prerequisite requirement. 

Student Engagement Transcript -- Completion of the Student Engagement Transcript will be waived for May 2020 graduates.

Renaissance Awards – In order to allow for students who would have completed the award requirements this semester, if it were not  for the disruption, the following actions will be taken:

  • Credit for the Global Experience category will be awarded to any student who made arrangements to study abroad this semester or this summer. 
  • Credit for the Undergraduate Research category will be awarded to any student who started a research project or thesis this semester, regardless of whether or not they were able to finish. 
  • Credit for the Professional Experience category will be given to anyone who began an internship, practicum, or clinical experience regardless of whether or not they were able to complete. Note that in some instances full credit may be given for internships if a majority of hours were completed and course objectives met. 
  • Credit for the Leadership, Service, and Arts, Culture and Creativity categories may be granted through appeal directly to Donna Anderson, Senior Director, Engaged Learning and Community Involvement, at andersond@rmu.edu.

Incomplete Grades – The RMU policy on Incomplete Grades will apply to students who are unable to complete course requirements due to factors outside their control (such as closure of a laboratory).  We will work with students to complete work as soon as it is possible. Students who feel they may need more time to complete coursework due to the transition to online or distance learning should discuss their concerns with instructors. The final decisions on any Incomplete grade awarded will be made by the instructor. 

Questions about these changes should be directed to your academic dean or the Office of the Provost at academicaffairs@rmu.edu

Sincerely,

Mary Ann Rafoth, Ph.D.

Provost

March 22: Urgent COVID-19 Notification

The Pittsburgh Transportation Group, which operates RMU’s shuttle service, informed the university today (March 22) that one of the company’s drivers has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

The driver’s most recent shifts were from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., March 7, 8, 14, 15 on the All-Nighter Shuttle that goes from Yorktown Hall to campus to the Wal-Mart on University Boulevard.

UPMC, the university’s health care provider, has advised RMU to notify anyone who may have ridden the shuttle during that time, and out of an abundance of caution the university is notifying all students, faculty, and staff. Because the driver last worked on March 15, and symptoms are most likely to occur within five to seven days, all are deemed to be at low risk for infection. 

They should, however, monitor themselves for the next seven days for symptoms that include:

  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Shortness of breath

Anyone who has these symptoms should contact their personal care physician or go through the UPMC AnywhereCare app to be seen by a provider via telemedicine. If anyone has general questions about COVID-19, please call the UPMC My Health 24/7 Nurse Line (for UPMC Health Plan members) at 1-866-918-1591. 

Please note that Pittsburgh Transportation Group has taken numerous recent precautions to ensure that its vehicles were properly sanitized and to enforce social distancing among its drivers. These steps have included:

  • Beginning March 6, the company implemented pre- and post-shift sanitizer wipe downs of all high-touch surfaces.
  • Beginning March 9, the drivers’ break room was closed
  • Beginning March 11, the company instituted deep cleaning procedures on all vehicles using hospital-grade sanitizers in accordance with guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

As of today the shuttle service has been suspended until further notice. 

March 20: Important Updates for Resident Students

Dear Resident Students,

We are writing to share several important updates and reminders regarding hours for certain campus services and operations.  

RESIDENT STUDENT MAIL ROOM
EFFECTIVE THE WEEK OF MARCH 23rd

The Resident Student Mail Room, located in the Nicholson Center, will be open only on Wednesdays from 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM until further notice.

HOUSING SHUTTLE
The housing shuttle service between Yorktown Hall and the Gazebo will end on Monday, March 23 at 5:50 PM.  Yorktown Hall will be closing for the remainder of the semester.  

UPMC MYHEALTH @ SCHOOL CENTER
Students who wish to contact the MyHealth@School center should do so by phone at 412-397-6220.  The Health Center will have staff available Monday - Friday, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM, and will provide additional health-care instructions and referrals to you by telephone.

DINING SERVICES
FOOD SERVICE WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR CARRY-OUT ONLY

RoMo's Cafe
Monday-Friday: 9:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday/Sunday: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Yorktown Cafe (thru Monday, March 23)
Friday, March 20 and Monday, March 23: 9:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Yorktown Cafe will close at 7:00 PM on Monday, March 23 for the remainder of the Spring semester.

COLONIAL CUPBOARD STUDENT FOOD PANTRY
RMU's Food Pantry, the Colonial Cupboard, located in the Office of Student Life, will be open only on Wednesdays from 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM. 

COUNSELING CENTER
The Counseling Center is available to support students.  During business hours, therapists are seeing students via teletherapy - which means you can talk to someone from the comfort of your apartment or room.  To schedule an appointment, email counseling@rmu.edu or call 412-397-5900.  If you are in crisis during non-business hours, contact the University Police at 412-397-2424 or the Office of Residence Life on-call staff member at 412-397-5242 to talk with a therapist.

UNIVERSITY POLICE DEPARTMENT
The University Police Department, located in Barry Center, is available for emergencies 24/7, 412-397-2424.

March 20: Mail Room Update

In response to further updates to the urgent COVID-19 situation, the RMU Mail Room has made changes to operating days while preserving the essential mail services. 

Please note the following changes:

Faculty & Staff Mail 

Hours - Faculty and Staff mail and packages can be picked up on Wednesdays from 9:00AM - 9:45AM and 3:00PM - 5:00PM. Mail and Packages will not be available for pickup on other days.   

Contact- The Mail Room Phone number is 412-397-6345 and the email is mailroom@rmu.edu

Deliveries of mail and packages to offices will be suspended for the remainder of the semester. Mail and Packages can be picked up at 300 Grant Drive.

Pickups should be completed by a designated person from each department. The designated person's contact information should be shared with the Mail Room for communication and coordination of large packages. 

Print Jobs - For the time being as we continue to monitor COVID-19 we will not be able to complete any specialty print jobs at this time. 

We will continue to review the services offered and provide updates when needed.  

Thank you,

Print and Mail Services

March 19: Bookstore Operations

Dear Robert Morris University campus community,

Barnes & Noble College is diligently monitoring reports from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) as well as the Allegheny Health Department and University administration for updates and guidelines in regards to COVID-19. We have been, and continue to be, proactive in our approach to keep our stores clean. On a frequent basis, we are wiping down counters, door handles, equipment and other frequently touched surfaces. Additionally, we continue to encourage employees to wash their hands regularly with soap.

In regards to bookstore operations for customers, the physical store location will be closed per Allegheny County guidelines until further notice. Most normal bookstore services, such as buying books for summer classes, returning rentals and ordering school spirit products are still available online with free shipping options.  Customers can go to robert-morris.bncollege.com to place orders.

Staying true to our mission of supporting student success, we are pleased to announce we have joined with VitalSource to provide free access to digital textbooks through the remainder of the Spring 2020 term. To get started, students should visit https://bookshelf.vitalsource.com. Before students can begin searching for and reading ebooks, they will need to log-in or create a Bookshelf account with their institution-provided email address.

Students can start ordering books for summer classes on the bookstore website immediately and the bookstore will fulfill their orders as inventory becomes available. Many textbooks are available for instant download in digital format.  

Spring textbook rentals are due back to the bookstore on May 2nd, 2020. Students can retrieve a free shipping label to ship any rented textbooks back to the bookstore at the following link:

robert-morris.bncollege.com/shop/robert-morris/page/rental-book-return. All students who rented textbooks will also get reminder emails about when their books are due which include links to the shipping return process.

Textbook buyback is an in person process.  Barnes & Noble is exploring options and will update the campus when an alternative process becomes available.

We are still working through the details for students who were planning to pick up their regalia at Senior Salute or wish to return their cap and gowns and will provide updates as soon as they are available.

Please continue to visit the bookstore webpage for any updates or changes that may occur. The health and safety of our employees, as well as the students, faculty and alumni we serve, remain of the utmost importance to us.

Thank you

The Robert Morris Bookstore Team

March 18: Resident Student Information

Dear Resident Students,

We are writing to share important resident student move-out information and revised hours of operation for several essential campus services and resources.  The revised hours will be effective tomorrow, Thursday, March 19, 2020. 

RESIDENCE HALL MOVE OUT & RELOCATION PROCESS

Students who will be moving out, or have moved out already, should complete the following form. We ask that all students who are able to do so, complete the check-out process and vacate your room by Sunday, March 22.

Resident Student Move-Out Information - March 2020

Below is some important information to help with the Move-Out Process:

  • Return your room key in the Residence Life Key Drop Box outside the Residence Life Office in Washington Hall. Put your name, room, building, and date of move-out on the key envelope.
  • Mailroom keys can be returned to the Resident Student Mailroom located in the Nicholson Center. 
  • The Residence Life Office will be open Monday - Friday; 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM; Saturday & Sunday, 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM (March 21-22, 28-29 Only). If you need assistance or have a question after hours, please contact the Residence Life Office on-call number, 412-397-5242. 

Relocation: Students who wish to remain in the residence halls should complete this form.  Additional information will be provided by the Office of Residence Life.

Resident Student Request to Remain in University Housing - March 2020

Information Regarding Credits and Refunds

Housing:

RMU will issue a credit to those students who live in university-owned housing based upon the following schedule:

  • Departure through Sunday, March 22, pro-rated credit of 37%
  • Departure Monday, March 23 through Sunday March 29, pro-rated credit of 31%
  • Departure after Sunday, March 29th, no credit

In addition to the application of the pro-rated credit, specific situations with respect to institutional aid will be considered in the credit calculation.  Returning students will receive a credit that will be applied to Fall 2020, unless the student has a current unpaid balance. Students who are graduating this semester will receive a refund based on the formula above, which would also be applied to any unpaid balance.

Meal Plans: 

Returning students will receive credit based upon their declining balance at the time they check out of the residence halls. The credit will be applied to Fall 2020, unless the student has a current unpaid balance. Students who are graduating will receive a refund of the declining balance on their meal plan, which would also be applied to any unpaid balance.

 

The Office of Residence Life
(412) 397-5252
reslife@rmu.edu

March 18: Update on Commencement Plans

Dear students, faculty, and staff:

Earlier today Robert Morris University announced the unfortunate news that the Commencement ceremonies scheduled for May 8-9 would have to be postponed as a result of efforts to slow the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19.) 

Please note that the virtual commencement ceremony we have planned will be in addition to a rescheduled in-person Commencement ceremony and will be completely voluntary. We know that some graduates may not be able to attend a rescheduled ceremony and we want to celebrate their achievements nonetheless. 

As a result of feedback from students, we plan to hold the rescheduled, in-person Commencement ceremony during the Fall 2020 semester. 

We are still working through the details for students who wish to return their cap and gowns. 

As more information is available it will be posted to rmu.edu/commencement and rmu.edu/coronavirus.

Regards,

Dr. Christopher B. Howard
President

March 18: Important Commencement Update

Dear students, faculty, and staff:

Robert Morris University continues to join organizations and communities around the globe in taking measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). As you know, this is an unprecedented situation that changes daily.

Therefore, the university has made the difficult but necessary decision to cancel the on-ground Commencement ceremonies scheduled to take place May 8-9, 2020. I am very sorry this has to happen, and I can only imagine what a disappointment this must be to our graduating seniors and those preparing to complete master’s and doctoral degrees.

Please know, however, that we will find ways to mark this momentous occasion, for which you continue to work so hard under the most adverse of circumstances. Although details have not been finalized, we intend to celebrate with you in the following ways:

  • We will conduct a virtual Commencement ceremony that will be live streamed and will recognize every graduate who so chooses.
  • We will mail a souvenir program book to all graduates.
  • Undergraduate Honors medallions as well as other honorary cords and sashes will be mailed to each student who has earned those distinctions. 
  • We will provide an opportunity for students to participate in a future traditional Commencement ceremony, in person. We have yet to determine whether this will be a separate event, or whether we will extend to members of the Class of 2020 the invitation to participate in a special way at the May 2021 Commencement ceremonies.

I apologize that we are not yet able to provide as much information as you would like, or to answer all your questions today. We did, however, want to let you know as soon as possible that this year’s traditional Commencement ceremonies cannot take place.

The Office of Academic Affairs will provide future updates via email regarding Commencement, including procedures for students who wish to return their caps and gowns. We will also post updates to rmu.edu/commencement as well as rmu.edu/coronavirus.

Once again, I thank you for your patience and the support that you have provided one another.

Regards,

Dr. Christopher B. Howard
President

March 16: Urgent Coronavirus Update

Dear students, faculty, and staff:

The situation with the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is changing rapidly, as local, state, and the federal governments have taken an escalating series of actions to stem the spread of the illness. The president of the United States has declared a national emergency, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf ordered all K-12 schools to close -- and is encouraging colleges and universities to do the same -- while many local governments are prohibiting large gatherings.

Therefore, I am writing today to provide you with an urgent update regarding Robert Morris University’s plans for continued operations throughout the remainder of the spring semester. I ask that you read the following message carefully, as it includes important information for all members of the campus community.

I want to thank all of you for the patience and cooperation that you have demonstrated during our transition to online and other alternative methods of instruction, which began today. The last few days have been difficult, often filled with frustration, confusion, and disappointment. I am grateful for the support that you have given one another.

While we had intended to be ready to return to normal operations as early as April 6, it is clear this is no longer advisable, given the collective action required to keep our communities safe from the Coronavirus. The health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff is our highest priority.

Therefore, my leadership team and I have decided that we will continue with online and other forms of alternative instruction throughout the remainder of the spring semester, including finals week. In the days to come you will be receiving additional information regarding final exams, commencement, and the completion of all other academic requirements. I know you have many questions and concerns, and I am sorry that I cannot provide every answer at this time. We are still working through many details and I appreciate your continued patience.

In addition, we will establish a process for students living on campus to move out of their residence halls in an orderly fashion, taking the time they need to do so with care. Please note that students who cannot safely return home, for any reason, will be able to remain in campus housing. We will continue to provide essential services, including meals as well as medical care at the UPMC MyHealth@School center. We will do so in a manner that minimizes any health risks. Please be advised that we will likely designate specific residence halls where all students who remain on campus will be required to live.

At the bottom of this message you will find further information regarding the procedures for moving out as well as instructions for those who need to stay. You will also find details regarding room and board credits and refunds, which will vary by student, including fees also paid by commuter students. All of this information will be posted at rmu.edu/coronavirus.

Until further notice, only those staff members who provide essential services for the health, safety, and well-being of our faculty, staff, and students should continue to work on campus. Faculty are already working remotely, and unless instructed otherwise by their supervisors, all other staff should begin working remotely until further notice. Guidelines for working remotely can be found at rmu.edu/coronavirus, and I urge all employees to discuss their work arrangements with their supervisor as soon as possible if they have not already done so. Employees may also contact Chief Human Resources Officer Lisa Hernandez (hernandezl@rmu.edu) or Director, Human Resources Kristen Guy (guy@rmu.edu) for additional information and resources on remote working.

Other closings and cancelations include:

  • All RMU events are canceled until further notice; as noted above, the university will provide further information regarding commencement activities.
  • The RMU Library will close its physical location on campus but will continue to provide online and other remote services.
  • The RMU Student Recreation and Fitness Center will close at noon today through the end of the semester.
  • Effective 2 p.m.today, the RMU Island Sports Center will close to the public, in accordance with Allegheny County’s request that all nonessential businesses close for at least two weeks.
  • RMU Downtown and the RMU 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing Laboratory at the Energy Innovation Center are closed until further notice.
  • All events at the UPMC Events Center have been canceled at least through April 12, including Sesame Street Live. Please refer to the event center’s website, upmceventscenter.com, for updates as information becomes available.

I realize that while none of this is unexpected, given what has happened in the U.S. and abroad over the past several days, it is deeply disappointing. This is not how any of us envisioned the spring would unfold, and it is certainly not what we wanted. Our highest priority now is to keep all of you safe, and to provide our students with the highest quality academic experience, regardless of how it is delivered.

Thank you again for your help, and please see below for further information regarding campus housing, dining, and credits/refunds.

Regards,

Dr. Christopher B. Howard
President

INFORMATION REGARDING CAMPUS HOUSING, INCLUDING CHECK-OUT

Students who will be moving out, or have moved out already, should complete the following form. We ask that all students who are able to complete the check-out process by Sunday, March 22.

Resident Student Move-Out Information - March 2020

Students who wish to remain in the residence halls should complete this form:

Resident Student Request to Remain in University Housing - March 2020

INFORMATION REGARDING CREDITS AND REFUNDS

Housing:

RMU will issue a credit to those students who live in university-owned housing based upon the following schedule:

  • Departure today through Sunday, March 22, pro-rated credit of 37%
  • Departure Monday, March 23 through Sunday March 29, pro-rated credit of 31%
  • Departure after Sunday, March 29th, no credit

In addition to the application of the pro-rated credit, specific situations with respect to institutional aid will be considered in the credit calculation.

Returning students will receive a credit that will be applied to Fall 2020, unless the student has a current unpaid balance. Students who are graduating this semester will receive a refund based on the formula above, which would also be applied to any unpaid balance.

Meal Plans:

Returning students will receive credit based upon their declining balance at the time they check out of the residence halls. The credit will be applied to Fall 2020, unless the student has a current unpaid balance. Students who are graduating will receive a refund of the declining balance on their meal plan, which would also be applied to any unpaid balance.

Other Fees:

RMU will also provide credits and/or refunds, in accordance with the policies described above, for parking and student recreation fees. This also applies to commuter and resident students.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to move out of my residence hall?

We will establish a process for students living on campus to move out of their residence halls in an orderly fashion, taking the time they need to do so with care. Please note that students who cannot safely return home, for any reason, will be able to remain in campus housing. We will continue to provide essential services, including meals as well as medical care at the UPMC MyHealth@School center. We will do so in a manner that minimizes any health risks. Please be advised that we will likely designate specific residence halls where all students who remain on campus will be required to live.

Students who will be moving out, or have moved out already, should complete the following form. We ask that all students who are able to complete the check-out process by Sunday, March 22.

Resident Student Move-Out Information - March 2020

Students who wish to remain in the residence halls should complete this form:

Resident Student Request to Remain in University Housing - March 2020

How will we take our final exams?

We will continue with online and other forms of alternative instruction throughout the remainder of the spring semester, including finals week. In the days to come you will be receiving additional information regarding final exams, commencement, and the completion of all other academic requirements.

As an RMU staff member, how do I know if I am supposed to report to campus or if I can work remotely?

Until further notice, only those staff members who provide essential services for the health, safety, and well-being of our faculty, staff, and students should continue to work on campus. Faculty are already working remotely, and unless instructed otherwise by their supervisors, all other staff should begin working remotely until further notice. Guidelines for working remotely can be found at rmu.edu/coronavirus, and I urge all employees to discuss their work arrangements with their supervisor as soon as possible if they have not already done so. Employees may also contact Chief Human Resources Officer Lisa Hernandez (hernandezl@rmu.edu) or Director, Human Resources Kristen Guy (guy@rmu.edu) for additional information and resources on remote working.

Why do I have to pay full tuition when online classes cost less?

Although we are moving to online instruction, or other course delivery methods, we will continue to provide a high-quality academic experience. While some online courses at the university do cost less than on-ground courses, they also come with less financial aid. Students will continue to receive the same financial aid as they would under normal circumstances.

Will campus tours for high school students and other prospective students continue?

In person campus tours are canceled.

I moved out already. How can I return to remove any remaining belongings from my room?

Please call the Office of Residence Life at 412-397-5252 to arrange a time to return to campus to clean out your room.

I moved out already. Am I entitled to the 37% credit?

Yes, students who moved out at any point prior to March 22 will receive a 37% credit, unless they are a graduating senior, in which case they will receive a refund. If a student has an unpaid balance, the refund or credit will first be applied to that balance.

I am not living on campus next year. How will I be compensated for my unused meal plan or housing money?

You will be able to apply these credits to other charges.

As an RMU employee, how can I get my paycheck direct deposited?

In light of the current situation regarding COVID-19, we are requesting that all current employees receive salary payments by direct deposit. Please see the Direct Deposit Change Form for your use. Please complete the form and send it by secure email at ricea@rmu.edu from your RMU email. Please see these instructions for sending the email securely. If you choose to continue to receive paper paychecks, we have full expectation of preparing and mailing the paychecks as scheduled, but we cannot guarantee there will not be delays outside of our control, either through the US Postal Service or office availability of your selected bank.

If I am an employee who is feeling heightened stress or anxiety about COVID-19, where can I turn?

We encourage you to make use of the university's Employee Assistance Program by calling 1-844-833-0527 or going to  www.lifesolutionsforyou.com, using company code RMU.

Useful Resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Seasonal Cold/Flu Resources

Helpful Links

Additional Information

Information for Students

Information for Faculty & Staff

Visit MyHealth@School