Graphic of coronavirus

Coronavirus FAQs

The following information is provided for University students and faculty.

Coronavirus Information for Students

Is the University Open?

Yes. While the University remains open for a small population of students who need housing, many services are being provided remotely and some facilities have closed, including Sprague Library and all computer labs. As this situation evolves, all members of the campus community should check the What’s Open web page before coming to campus and should use social distancing strategies.

Can Residents Come back to Campus?

COVID-19 has been a rapidly changing situation on campus and in light of the current climate in New Jersey, the University has decided that for the health and safety of the campus community, all students who do not have a legitimate reason to remain on campus (e.g., international or visiting students, this is your permanent residence, have inadequate resources outside of the University to complete academic work) are asked to remove all of their belongings from the residence halls and move to their place of permanent residence. All students must vacate their space and complete the check-out process with their building’s front desk or office by no later than 4 p.m. on Monday, March 23, 2020. While this decision was not made lightly, we feel this is the best decision to support the well-being and safety of our students.

View all Residence Life information on the Student Information web page.


Can I Get a Refund for the Semester?

For more information on refunds, please view our news article.

Please keep in mind that deadline dates for refunds have passed at this point in the semester. View Important Dates web page.

When Will my Classes Resume?

All of your classes this semester will continue. Most courses will move online but there may be a few exceptions for courses that require in-person instruction, such as studios or labs. [Addendum – Tuesday, March 17: All courses will move online beginning Monday, March 23.]

How Will I Find Out Whether My Class Is Moving to Online or Will be Offered in Person?

[Addendum – Tuesday, March 17: All courses will move online beginning Monday, March 23.]

I Need Help with Academic Questions

For advising help, please contact your School or College’s advising office:

The Academic Success Center provides tutorial services and supplemental instruction. View the Academic Success Center website.

What Safety Precautions Is the University Taking at This Time?

Here are the University’s operating protocols:

  • The entire instructional program for the spring semester will be delivered 100% online or through other virtual methods. No student shall be required to come to campus for instructional purposes.
  • As of Sunday, March 21, the only campus dining options will be Sam’s Place, which will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. every day to serve resident students with “Fix Your Plate and Go” service, and The Student Center Convenience Store, which will provide “grab and go” service Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. All persons on the campus are required to follow the established guidelines to prevent spreading the virus. Adherence to the guidelines is not optional; it is mandatory. Stay at least six feet away from other people. See: Social Distancing Strategies.
  • Residence Hall: View information on the Student Information/Residence Life section.
  • Student organization activities are cancelled. Groups are encouraged to hold meetings through electronic methods.
  • Large conferences have been canceled.
  • We are requiring anyone who has come into close contact with a COVID-19 patient, traveled to another country, or disembarked from a cruise ship to self-quarantine for 14 days. See our FAQs for Travelers for details on this policy.

All of us have a role to play in keeping our community safe from contagious diseases. Wash your hands well and frequently, substitute a smile for a handshake, don’t share eating implements or cups, cover your coughs and sneezes, stay home if you are sick, and seek medical treatment if you are experiencing symptoms that suggest that you should.

Will Events Be Affected – Such as Commencement or the Convocations?

The University will continue to carefully monitor the COVID-19 situation and make decisions about events based on the most current recommendations of public health authorities. If there will be any changes to Commencements or Convocations, the University will inform the campus community in early April.

Other events including student-run and greek events have received further instruction from the Center for Student Involvement. Get details for student organizations and Greek Life.

[Last Updated: Saturday, March 21]

Coronavirus Information for Faculty

What is Expected of Faculty Members as the University Responds to the Risk of COVID-19?

To assure that students have the opportunity to complete the spring term successfully and to minimize the risk of exposure to the virus by reducing the density of the campus population, the University will shift all courses to online delivery, effective March 23. Already fully online courses will continue as scheduled, and School of Nursing courses will transition to online delivery on that School’s specific schedule. All faculty members teaching during the Spring semester are asked to make this transition as smooth as possible for our students.

Will the University Be Open?

Yes. While the University remains open for a small number of students who need housing, many services are being provided remotely and some facilities have closed, including Sprague Library, Alexander Kasser Theater, the Recreation Center and all computer labs. Check the What’s Open web page.

Will the Semester Be Extended?

No. The Spring 2020 semester will end as scheduled on May 12. Over the remainder of the semester, faculty should make up any instructional time lost due to the extension of Spring Break by a week.

Are Faculty Expected to Continue Teaching Their Courses, Advising Students, Conducting Research and Performing Service?

Yes. The University will continue to deliver its mission of teaching students, conducting research, and serving the public. During this public health emergency, some of the ways in which we deliver that mission will change, but the mission itself is unchanged. Faculty are vitally important in delivering that mission, and the University will do its best to provide the necessary support and assistance to Faculty as they continue to perform their irreplaceable role in these difficult circumstances.

How Can I Conduct a Discussion or Debate in an Online Environment?

Use Canvas Discussion, Conferences (interactive video conferencing embedded in Canvas), or Chat; conduct synchronous sessions; organize students in small groups for online discussion if you have a large class; Canvas discussions accept various formats for student responses. For further ideas, please access the self-paced Canvas Orientation for Faculty, or register for a workshop via the ITDS training registration site.

How Can I Ensure that Quizzes and Exams are Secure?

Use LockDown Browser (LB) to set up a quiz or test. LockDown Browser creates a restricted test-taking environment and does not allow other windows to be opened during the quiz and helps prevent cheating. When students use LockDown Browser they are unable to print, copy, go to another URL, or access other applications.

What Strategies Can I Use to Prevent Academic Dishonesty in an Online Course?

For written assignments, use Turnitin in Canvas assignments. For a quiz/test, set up time frame and length, randomize answers , or randomize questions using Question Banks in Canvas.

Where Can I Get Help if Canvas or Other Support Technology Doesn’t Work?

Faculty in the Feliciano School of Business (SBUS), College of Education and Human Services (CEHS) and the College of Science and Mathematics (CSAM) should contact their local academic technology teams during their scheduled business hours and may contact the IT Service Desk, outside of normal scheduled business hours. All other faculty (in the College of the Arts (CART), College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) and the School of Nursing), all non-faculty across all Divisions and all students can receive support through the IT Service Desk by calling 973-655-7971 or by emailing itservicedesk@montclair.edu.

Please also view our Information Technology FAQs for further assitance.

How Can I Accommodate Students Who Are Registered With the Office of Student Disability Services?

Supporting students with disabilities in online courses is not difficult. In Canvas, instructors can provide differentiated time frames for assignments and quizzes/tests to accommodate student needs. Instructors can also provide individual students with additional time to complete their quizzes/tests. Faculty should always advise students who may have disabilities to contact the Disability Resource Center for support and accommodation: Disability Resource Center

What Can I Do for Students Who Report Limited or No Access to the Internet or to a Computing Device at Home?

Some providers are offering free internet service for students during this crisis. We have researched some options and listed them on the Internet Access and Hotspot page. For other technical support, visit our Technical Information page.

Students can also visit the Student Services website, which has additional information and resources.

Please also view our Information Technology FAQs for further assistance.

Where Can Faculty Go With Questions?

First go to your Department Chair, next to the Office of the Dean. See also the guide to moving courses online, on the Office of the Provost site: Moving Courses Online Guide.

Where Can Students Get Help, Such as Advising or Tutoring?

The University’s academic support services remain open. Refer students to The Academic Success Center, the Center for Writing Excellence, and your college or school’s advising center.

What Resources are Available to Help Faculty Deliver Instruction Online?

The Office of the Provost has issued a comprehensive document to guide faculty in making the transition from in-person to online instruction: Transition Documentation.

Of particular note are these resources:

What if I Need Support for Teaching with Technology?

In order to support faculty with this online transition, Instructional Technology & Design Services (ITDS) and the Office for Faculty Advancement (OFA) has prepared a series of live, online, synchronous training workshops and web-based resources, which are listed below.

1. Online, Synchronous Training Workshops

Teaching Online for Academic Continuity

Canvas Web Conferencing

Using Panopto for Teaching Online

Introduction to Canvas

Leading Effective Discussions, Teamwork and Collaboration in Canvas

Designing Assignments, Quizzes & Tests in Canvas

Creating Your Back-Up Teaching Plan

2. Web-based Resources

Teaching During University Closures

MSU Canvas Orientation for Faculty

Pedagogical Strategies and Practices for Online Teaching and Learning

Back-Up Teaching Toolkit – Ensuring Academic Continuity

3. Virtual Support Sessions

ITDS is holding virtual support sessions daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to help faculty with specific questions. Faculty can ask questions about pedagogical approaches and technology that can be leveraged to communicate with their students, deliver course materials, offer lectures, enable course interactions, and assess their students.

Faculty can join anytime between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. for a remote session and connect with ITDS staff.

Are Faculty Expected to Continue Teaching Their Courses, Advising Students, Conducting Research and Performing Service?

Yes. The University will continue to deliver its mission of teaching students, conducting research, and serving the public. During this public health emergency, the ways in which we deliver that mission will change, but the mission itself is unchanged. Faculty are vitally important in delivering that mission, and the University will do its best to provide the necessary support and assistance to Faculty as they continue to perform their irreplaceable role in these difficult circumstances.

[Last Updated: Sunday, March 22]

Coronavirus Information for Employees

I Am Not Feeling Well, Should I Come to Work?   

Employees are encouraged to monitor their health and, in the best interest of their health and the University, to stay home when they are not feeling well or are sick.

Do I Have to Charge Sick Leave if I Am out of Work because I Don’t Feel Well or Have COVID-19?   

Employees should not come to work if they are sick. They should inform their supervisor and they should enter all absences in Workday. Civil Service employees (CWA, IFPTE, and Police unit members) should refer to the FAQs provided by the Civil Service Commission: State of New Jersey, CSC, COVID-19 FAQs   

When Should an Employee with Cold or Flu Symptoms (Who Has not Tested Positive for COVID-19) Return to Work?

Employees should return to work only after they have been free of symptoms for 24 hours and have a temperature of less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Does an Employee Have to Provide a Doctor’s Note to Return to Work?   

A doctor’s note is not required except as otherwise required for Civil Service employees under the Guidelines regarding Leave Time and Staffing – COVID-19 issued by the Civil Service Commission on Wednesday, March 11, 2020. State of New Jersey, CSC, COVID-19, Guidelines

What if There Is an Outbreak in My Community? Do I Need to Stay away from Campus?   

You should follow the instructions of the authorities that have jurisdiction over your community. If they are imposing travel restrictions, let your supervisor know as soon as possible and keep him or her informed as things change.

If I Need to Be out and Have no more Accrued Leave, Will I Lose Pay? 

At this time, employees should enter all absences in Workday for tracking purposes whether they have positive sick leave balances, or not.  Civil service employees (CWA, IFPTE and Police unit members) should refer to the FAQs provided by the Civil Service Commission. State of New Jersey, CSC, COVID-19, FAQs. Employees that meet the Temporary Disability Insurance eligibility criteria may apply for TDI. Employees can find information about the eligibility and application process on the State of New Jersey’s Temporary Disability Insurance website page.

I Am Concerned about the Risk of Getting this Virus and Would Like to Self-isolate. Can I Do that?   

As part of its strategy for reducing risk, the University will provide opportunities for social distancing, which may include working remotely or other arrangements.  Employees may also request to take sick leave or other accrued leave time and may also request leave without pay. Specific arrangements may vary based on the needs of the University, the unit and the nature of the employee’s role.

Are Employees Permitted to Work Remotely?

During the public health emergency, some Montclair State employees may be permitted to work remotely.The decision will be made by the supervisor with the approval of the division Vice President or Dean, and will be  based on the needs of the University and the unit. Not all job roles can be performed remotely and thus may not be eligible.

All remote work arrangements must:

  • Be reviewed and approved in advance by the division Vice President or Dean
  • May not exceed three weeks.
  • Be documented in writing, including:
    • The job duties to be performed remotely and
    • The identity of the supervisor to whom the employee will report during the remote working assignment
    • Be reviewed and formally re-approved if the permission is to extend beyond the maximum three-week period.

Remote work arrangements are always subject to change, based on changing circumstances and the needs of the University.

How to Submit Remote Working Request

  • Workday Submission:  Employees can log into Workday and follow the Submit Remote Work Request Instructions link to submit their remote working arrangement request.
  • Paper Submission: Employees can review the remote working arrangements questions listed above and provide responses to their supervisor in a paper submission.

Do Student Employees Have to Work?

The campus is open and student workers are welcome to work, but they will not be required to do so.

Will the State Health Benefits Plan Cover Medical Expenses Associated with Treatment for COVID-19?   

Employees have the same coverage that is currently available for any emergency or non-emergency illness, subject to the normal deductible, copay, or out-of-pocket amounts associated with their medical plan. For additional coverage details employees should contact their health care plan provider or visit the HR Benefits Medical Plan webpage. 

Will Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) Benefits Be Paid for Absences Related to COVID-19?   

Employees that meet the Temporary Disability Insurance eligibility criteria may apply for TDI. Employees can find information about the eligibility and application process on the State of New Jersey’s Temporary Disability Insurance website.

Employees who have exhausted all accrued leave may be eligible for unemployment benefits depending upon the the reason for the inability to report work in accordance with guidance issued by the NJ Department of Labor.

Does FMLA/NJFLA Apply to an Employee or Their Family Member that Contracts COVID-19?   

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and New Jersey Family Act (NJFLA) entitle eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. For further details, please visit our HR Leave of Absence website.

What If an Employee’s Child’s School or Daycare Is Closed due to Illness, and the Employee’s Child Is not Sick. If the Employee Has no Other Child Care Arrangements and Must Stay Home, How Will They Be Paid?

The employee should notify their supervisor of the reason for the absence and the employee’s anticipated return to work date.

An employee who is not a Civil Service employee may request a remote work arrangement, or to use sick leave, other accrued leave, or take a leave without pay.

Civil Service employees will be governed by Guidelines regarding Leave Time and Staffing – COVID-19 issued by the Civil Service Commission on Wednesday, March 11, 2020. State of New Jersey, CSC, COVID-19, Guidelines. Civil Service employees must provide documentation of the school closing and request a work from home arrangement. If a work from home arrangement cannot be accommodated, the Civil Service employee will not be required to use accumulated leave time during the period of closure.

What Assistance Is Available to Employees to Help them Cope with the Emotional Impact of a COVID-19 Outbreak?

Employees have free access to confidential counseling and coaching from CONCERN Behavioral and Management Solutions.

Can I Take Vacation during the Public Health Emergency?

Employees may request vacation leave. Supervisors will make the determination based on the needs of the unit and the University. During the public health emergency, for certain employees or units that perform critically important functions, some requests may not be granted, and in addition some existing vacation requests may be rescheduled

President Cole has informed senior leaders (deans and vice presidents, vice provosts and associate and assistant deans, and associate and assistant vice presidents) that she does not want them taking vacations from now through May 31.

The University is grateful for the dedication of its employees and appreciates their understanding during this challenging time.

[Last Updated: Friday, March 20]

Coronavirus Information for Travelers


What Is Montclair State University’s Policy for People who Have Recently Returned from Areas with COVID-19 Outbreaks?

The University is prohibiting persons who have returned from high-risk regions or have been exposed to COVID-19 from entering the campus until they have completed a 14-day quarantine in order to monitor their health and verify they are free from symptoms for 24 hours. Here are the details:

On March 9, Governor Phil Murphy declared a public health emergency in the State of New Jersey related to the coronavirus or COVID-19. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, President Trump issued an Executive Order affecting travel to and from Europe, and the U.S. State Department issued a Global Level 3 Health Advisory to Reconsider Travel.

In response, the University has adopted a temporary measure which applies to:

  1. Any person who has traveled outside of the United States
  2. Any person who has been diagnosed with, or been in close contact with, someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19
  3. Any person who has been a passenger on a cruise ship

Such persons are prohibited from coming to Montclair State’s campus until after they quarantine at home for a minimum period of 14 consecutive days beginning immediately after entry into the United States, or the most recent exposure to a person with COVID-19, or departure from a cruise. Such persons must stay away from campus if they are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.

Students who live on campus and are unable to stay off-campus for 14 days should contact Patricia Ruiz at ruizp@montclair.edu or coronavirus@montclair.edu. They will be placed in our quarantined housing designated by the University for this purpose.

In addition, any person living in a region in the United States where a mandatory quarantine or period of self-isolation has been imposed by a governmental authority are prohibited from campus until after the self-isolation period has expired.

All faculty, staff and students who are required to self-isolate for 14 days under the terms of this policy must inform the university by sending an email to coronavirus@montclair.edu. Employees must also notify their supervisor.

Individuals who exhibit symptoms of or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 must remain off-campus until their health is restored and exhibit a fever below 100 degrees for at least 24 hours.

This temporary measure takes effect immediately and will continue until government authorities have determined that a public health emergency no longer exists with respect to COVID-19.

Is the University Restricting Travel?

Yes. Employees and students are not allowed to go on University-related travel outside of New Jersey unless deemed essential by the President.

In addition, the University has suspended all University international academic programs involving travel by students for the rest of the spring semester and through the summer session. This includes both individual and University-sponsored study abroad programs and trips.

Beginning Monday, March 23, the University will also not permit employees to travel on University business outside the state of New Jersey unless such travel is deemed essential by the President.

What about Travel Funded by a Grant?

The travel restrictions apply to all University-sponsored travel, including grant-funded travel. Any grant-funded travel that is considered essential to the sponsored research will require prior approval. Requests should be made to the Dean of the School or College, and will then be considered by the Provost and President. For questions about grant-funded travel, check with the Office of Research.

I had a University-sponsored Trip Planned, Which I Now Must Cancel. What about the Costs?

For trips that must be cancelled, if travel has already been authorized and paid for, the employee must seek refunds or credit vouchers. Refunds are preferred, but if credit vouchers are the only option, they are acceptable.

Employees must retain the credit vouchers and forward written documentation to their cost center manager or the Principal Investigator (if it’s grant funded), for possible future use.

The University will reimburse previously approved expenses not covered by refunds or credit vouchers. Reimbursement requests should include copies of (i) original reservation and payment information; (ii) travel authorization; (iii) communication indicating that refunds/credit vouchers were sought and were provided or denied.

I Am Planning Some Personal Travel in the Next Few Months. Will the University Permit Me to Go?

The University cannot restrict personal travel, but it strongly encourages all members of the Montclair State community to follow the recommendations of the U.S. State Department and CDC and reconsider travel to areas with outbreaks of COVID-19. Upon return, students, faculty and staff must follow the guidance established by all applicable governmental authorities which may subject them to a mandatory quarantine or self-isolation period before they can return to campus (see above).

[Last Updated: Friday, March 20]

Coronavirus Information from Information Technology


Please see our Technology Information FAQ page.


Last Modified: Friday, March 27, 2020 3:33 pm