Provost: Flu contingency plans will put students first

William Laatsch, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, released a statement to the campus community today (Thursday, April 30) expressing confidence in UW-Green Bay’s ability to deal with any possible disruptions from a Swine Flu outbreak.

University operations are continuing as normal. Academic leadership and emergency management teams are, however, finalizing contingency plans should any end-of-semester adjustments be necessary, the provost said.

“We are getting questions from students, faculty and staff, which is understandable,” Laatsch says. “Final examinations and commencement are a very hectic and important time.”

One thing working in UW-Green Bay’s favor is the calendar itself, Laatsch noted. The University is completing Week 13 of its 14-week second semester, with the final scheduled day of instruction Friday, May 8. Final exams begin the following Tuesday, with Spring Commencement for graduating seniors scheduled for Saturday, May 16, at the Kress Events Center.

Said Laatsch: “I want to reassure people that, regardless of any adjustments that might be necessary, we’re going to complete this semester, grades will be assigned, credit will be granted. And we’ll accomplish this in as timely a manner as possible so our students can continue their educational pursuits on schedule.”

He said it would be premature to publicly list the options administrators are considering. While some schools in affected localities have announced selective cancellations, postponements and contingency plans, the academic calendar at UW-Green remains unchanged.

“We appreciate the potential severity of the situation and are monitoring it closely,” Laatsch said. In consultation with UW System and state officials, the University will adhere to any public health, state or federal directives. “At the same time, we owe it to our students to reassure them they can focus on their studies without playing the ‘what if?’ game. If there is a disruption, we’re going to make it a priority to minimize any inconvenience or stress for students.”