SUU Moves Online With Other Utah Public Universities

Published: March 12, 2020 | Author: Southern Utah University | Read Time: 4 minutes

SUU Shifting to Online Instruction

At the direction of Governor Gary Herbert, Southern Utah University will join the seven other institutions of the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) and temporarily move from face-to-face courses to online instruction starting March 23, following SUU’s spring break, which begins Monday. All USHE institutions are moving to online learning in response to the worldwide impact of COVID-19. 

As local, national and global public health recommendations shift to include mitigation of transmission, SUU is proactively taking steps to protect campus and the community. The shift to online learning will extend until April 23, but will be re-examined as the situation warrants. 

“This extraordinary move is being made to try and prevent the spread of the coronavirus throughout SUU, Cedar City, and Utah,” said SUU President Scott L Wyatt. “At the Governor’s direction, we are taking these steps for three reasons: to protect the health of our students, faculty, staff and Cedar City neighbors, to slow the potential spread of the virus, and to ensure the continuity of our core mission - educating our students.” 

The University’s goal is to provide as little disruption as possible. All academic programs will transition to classes taught online, with the exception of essential small group labs, including aviation flight labs. SUU’s campus will remain open including student housing, dining, the library, tutoring center, testing center and student center. 

“We have confidence in our technical and personnel capabilities to provide for continuity of our mission,” said President Wyatt. “We will not cancel classes this semester or summer semester. The coronavirus may force us to change our method of instruction, but not our commitment to our students’ education and planned graduation date.”

The University will restrict all on-campus events and large gatherings will be postponed, canceled, or offered virtually. SUU’s 2020 University Commencement ceremony is currently scheduled for April 24 and is expected to take place. 

Due to the developing nature of COVID-19, students should consider staying in Cedar City during spring break and enjoying the beautiful outdoors of southern Utah. Cedar City’s rural location and smaller population may reduce the risk of coming into contact with the coronavirus. For those that travel, SUU students are encouraged to return to campus following spring break. 

Based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and in an abundance of caution, we have suspended all university-affiliated travel in international locations until further notice. All University-sponsored or endorsed domestic travel is strongly discouraged and will now only be approved in unique, essential situations.

While the University cannot restrict personal, non-university related travel, either internationally or domestically, SUU strongly recommends that all faculty, staff, and students reconsider any travel plans for the immediate future. SUU strongly recommends not traveling to any country with a travel advisory or restriction from the U.S. Department of State. There are no restrictions on traveling within the United States, but everyone is urged to be careful and refer to the CDC for the latest information. 

If employees and students choose to travel, all need to understand that SUU is considering following the lead of other institutions and imposing a requirement for any faculty, staff, and students who travel abroad or to high outbreak areas within the United States, and then return to SUU, to practice social isolation and distancing for a minimum of 14 calendar days.

SUU is aware of Governor Herbert’s recommendation regarding work-from-home opportunities. The administration is currently developing a plan for remote work, however, we recognize that not every employee can or will be able to work from home. SUU Administration is working through work-from-home options now. 

“These are obviously significant steps that will cause disruption and disappointment, which we all regret,” said President Wyatt. “We nonetheless, at the Governor’s direction, are compelled to take these steps in light of the most recent evidence. The virus continues to spread nationally. We still do not yet have a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Iron County, so our risk remains relatively low. Experts have also told us that the best time to take steps to prevent that spread is now, before the first case arrives. With the rapidly evolving nature of the disease, the landscape is continually shifting, and we will do our best to communicate with you as decisions are being made.” 

For the latest information about COVID-19 visit If you have specific questions that are not answered by the information on the website, call SUU’s COVID-19 telephone hotline at 435-865-8488 or email the SUU Emergency Response Team at

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