To: OSU Faculty and Staff

From: Edward Feser, Provost and Executive Vice President

September 10, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

As we witness widespread wildfires throughout the western United States, please be aware that many OSU students are employed as firefighters, work in roles supporting firefighting efforts, or have personally experienced loss due to fires in their home communities.

As a result, these students may need to delay their arrival for fall term classes, depending on their specific situation. Please accommodate these students to the fullest extent possible.

For example, we ask that in-course deadlines be extended by a minimum of two weeks for students who are delayed because of wildfires, allowing them to begin classes as late as Oct. 12. Because we recognize that some students may be at an academic disadvantage if they miss two or more weeks of class, we ask that advisors work with such students to explain their options in light of late arrival. The Center for Teaching and Learning is available to consult with faculty about options for designing compensatory academic experiences, and can be reached by calling 541-737-2816 or through e-mail at ctl@oregonstate.edu. It is up to the course instructor to determine what constitutes a reasonable compensatory experience in a given course, but we ask for sensitivity and understanding in all situations.

Students affected by the wildfires who choose to delay their enrollment until winter term will receive a refund for fall term registration already paid or they may drop without penalty through October 9.

Please note that OSU along with all Oregon public universities are complying with Gov. Kate Brown’s request made today asking the state’s universities and colleges to assist students who are engaged in battling wildfires. In many cases, college students make up 30% of those on a fire crew.

We are grateful for all those working hard to save lives and property, and our hearts go out to all families and individuals who have been affected by the fires. We also recognize that many faculty, staff, students and their families have been impacted by the wildfires and may have need for assistance for essential accommodations, services and support, and likely have general concerns or questions.

The following resources are available:

Corvallis campus students:

Office of the Dean of Students for general resource support and referrals.

CAPS for mental health and counseling support.

OSU-Cascades campus students:

Student Care Team for general support and referrals.

Student Wellness for mental health and counseling support.

Employee support:

Employees seeking confidential support may contact Beyond Benefits, OSU’s new employee assistance program, at 855-327-4722, or visit its website. Note that OSUbeyond is the organization web ID needed for initial registration for the Beyond Benefits program.

Employees or students with emergency needs may also wish to call 211 or use this link for assistance in finding emergency resources in the community in which they live.

You may also want to help those affected by the wildfires. Anyone wishing to volunteer or contribute food or other supplies to evacuees located at the Benton County Fairgrounds should call 541-224-1339 or visit this website for more information. OSU employees living outside of Corvallis should visit their local county emergency operations website to provide assistance to others impacted by the fires. Meanwhile, the Red Cross is recommending that wildfire relief be made by making a financial donation or by signing up to volunteer.

Thank you for doing all you can to support our students, faculty and staff affected by wildfires and please stay safe.

Sincerely,

Edward Feser
Provost and Executive Vice President