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Coronavirus: Frequently Asked Questions

Page updated on April 3 at 8:25 p.m.
To suggest changes to this page, email communications@chapman.edu

Frequently Asked Questions

The FAQs below cover a variety of topics concerning Chapman’s response to the coronavirus, our move to remote working, teaching and learning, essential services being provided on campus, and remote operation of non-essential services. If you do not see the answer to your question below, or on one of the pages listed at the right, submit it here:

University Operations

Will campus operations continue despite the order to stay at home?

In accordance with Governor Gavin Newsom’s statewide, stay-at-home order and with the assurance that higher education serves an essential service, Chapman University will limit all on-campus operations to only those deemed “essential” services. These include:

  • Custodial Services
  • Financial Services
  • Food Services (limited to students in residential halls)
  • Groundskeeping Services
  • Human Resources
  • Information Services & Technology
  • Mail Services
  • Payroll Services
  • Physical Plant Operations
  • President’s Office
  • Provost Office
  • Public Safety
  • Research activities that cannot go unattended or neglected as this would lead to an unrecoverable loss of data
  • Residence Life and First Year Experience (while dorms remain occupied)
  • Senior Staff
  • Student Affairs
  • Student Disability Services
  • Student Health Services
  • Vivarium and Aviary Operations

As the situation changes, the Chapman community will be advised and this site will be updated.


How can I deter Zoom Bombing?

While zoom-bombings can happen to anyone, the good news is that you can minimize the risk with the right precautions and by enforcing stricter settings on meetings. Faculty who are teaching in Zoom can take a few simple steps to prevent this type of occurrence from disrupting their course meetings. Learn how at Chapman’s Higher Ed and Technology blog.  

How long will remote learning last?

All instruction will continue to be delivered remotely for the remainder of the semester, including final exams. For classes on the Rinker campus, remote instruction will likely continue until the next trimester. This could change if the national situation improves or worsens. We will communicate as we learn more.

Will research be affected?

We understand research needs to continue, and it would be a devastating loss for many students and faculty/GTAs to walk away from their efforts and result in unrecoverable data and insight. We continue taking steps to ensure research can continue without disruption.

For more information, please visit this Office of Research website.

What if I can’t get into my building? 

For those who need to access buildings that are secured, your card should grant you access. If for any reason you cannot access a building, please call Public Safety for assistance at (714) 997-6763. A Public Safety officer will come to your location and provide you access.

Health & Prevention

What will Chapman University do if a student, faculty, GTAs or staff member tests positive for COVID-19?

We will work closely with Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA), which will place the patient under isolation and monitor them for the duration of their isolation period. OCHCA conducts robust contact investigations – if there is a chance that someone was exposed to a case while infectious and they are at risk for contracting illness as a result, they will hear from health officials. We will provide the public as much information as possible.

Also, if you are a member of the Chapman community and have received a confirmed diagnosis, please contact Jacqueline Deats, Director, Student Health Center, (714) 997-6851, deats@chapman.edu.


Events & Facilities

Are events being canceled?

Yes, at this time all in-person athletic events and campus events have been canceled.

Any decision on Commencement? 

After consulting our deans, faculty, administration, and more importantly, our graduating seniors and families, Chapman senior leadership has decided to postpone the 2020 Commencement. We are targeting a date in late summer but will have to monitor the progress of coronavirus before a final decision is made. We believe Commencement is more important than ever and are committed to providing this milestone event for our graduating students and their families.

Our goal is to provide the full Commencement experience our graduates have earned. We will continue to update the Commencement website as we finalize details.

Since all athletic events have been canceled, what does this mean for Chapman’s sports teams? 

The Athletics Department is currently working through the impact this will have on the season.

Are the Leatherby Libraries open?

The Leatherby Libraries are physically closed. However, online learning and resources options remain available.

Is the Hilbert Museum of California Art at Chapman University open?

The Hilbert Museum is closed until further notice. Please check the official museum website for information.

Students & Parents

How long will remote learning be in place for students?

All instruction will continue to be delivered remotely for the remainder of the semester, including final exams. For classes on the Rinker campus, remote instruction will likely continue until the next trimester.

How will students complete courses that have a lab or other in-person requirement?

Specialized courses that require in-person meetings are being evaluated and further information will be shared as decisions are made. Students who participate in events as a part of coursework must work closely with faculty/GTAs to understand the impact. Faculty/GTAs have been given the flexibility to manage this action in a way that is optimal for their class.  Short-term cancellations will be permitted for courses not readily able to alter course delivery, not to extend past March 30, 2020.

Will students get a refund on tuition?

Chapman will still be holding classes through online instruction for the remainder of the semester; therefore, tuition reimbursement will not be provided.

Should students move home right away?

Yes, we recommend all students immediately return home, if that is possible.

Should students bring everything home in case they can’t come back before the end of the semester?

Due to the prolonged time period we are planning for, students can remove all personal belongings and move home, if that is preferred. The ability to stay on campus may change suddenly based on direction from health agencies and the State of California.

Will students be refunded for campus housing and dining costs during the time they are away from campus?

If students pack up their room and check out, they will be refunded prorated room and board charges. If students leave their belongings and plan to return, they will be refunded prorated board charges but not room. Residential students who are leaving Chapman housing and not utilizing meal plans will be reimbursed for the time period you are away from campus.

Can students stay in their on-campus housing?

Students who  have the ability to return home should do so. Only students with extenuating circumstances will be permitted to stay.

All dining services and restaurants on campus are closed. Students using dining services will receive a pre-packaged breakfast, lunch and dinner. Please see the Residence Life site for the meal pick-up schedule.

Housing staff are working directly with residential students. Those who remain will likely require relocation to better manage the necessary social distancing needed to contain the spread of the virus. Please continue to check the Residence Life and First Experience website for updates.

Are students supposed to maintain their on-campus jobs?

No, students should not report to on-campus employment. No other onsite/on-campus student employment is allowed at this time.

Also, Human Resources has created an FAQ for student employees:

Can student workers continue to work remotely? 

Graduate and undergraduate students can work remotely if all three of the following conditions are met:

  • Both the student and the supervisor agree that the student can work remotely;
  • AND the student can easily perform all work from a remote location and has the equipment to do so;
  • AND the remote location is offsite/off-campus (e.g., truly remote; not performed on Chapman University property)

Will student workers continue to receive payment?

Student workers (both undergraduate and graduate) will continue receiving biweekly pay for their regularly scheduled hours, whether or not they are working remotely.

To continue getting paid, all student workers must continue to enter their hours each payroll cycle. Students can find instructions here:  Reporting Student Time.

Staff and Administration

Who qualify as essential staff during the stay-at-home order?

Below is Chapman’s list of essential functions.

  • Custodial Services
  • Financial Services (reduced personnel as identified by the Vice President and Controller)
  • Food Services (limited to students in residential halls)
  • Groundskeeping Services
  • Human Resources (reduced personnel including the VP|CHRO)
  • IS&T Help Desk (reduced personnel as identified by the Vice President and CIO)
  • IS&T Tech Infrastructure (reduced personnel or dispatched as needed)
  • Mail Services
  • Payroll Services
  • Physical Plant Operations
  • President’s Office
  • Provost Office (reduced personnel as identified by the Provost)
  • Public Safety
  • Research, Office of (reduced personnel as identified by the Vice President of Research)
  • Research Activities (limited to research that cannot go unattended or neglected as this would lead to an unrecoverable loss of data)
  • Residence Life and First-Year Experience (while dorms remain occupied)
  • Senior Staff (all)
  • Student Affairs, Office of (Dean, Senior Associate Dean, and as needed)
  • Student Disability Services
  • Student Health Services (Counseling Center and Health Center services)
  • Vivarium and Aviary Operations

Additionally, Human Resources has prepared extensive FAQs for supervisors, essential employees, students employees and all staff and administrators:

What if I need access and can’t get into my building? 

For those employees conducting essential work on premises who need to access buildings that are secured, your card should grant you access. If for any reason you cannot access a building, please call Public Safety for assistance at (714) 997-6763. A Public Safety officer will come to your location and provide you access.

Will Chapman employees benefit from any legislation that is passed which grants paid sick leave or additional paid sick leave to employees? 

If there is legislation that is passed by Congress and signed by President Trump, we will comply. 

What about employees who can’t work remotely either because of equipment or function? 

If you are a non-essential employee who cannot work remotely because of equipment or function, compensation will be guaranteed through May 31, 2020. Human Resources will give you guidance on how you can be paid.

If an employee can work remotely, but less than 40 hrs a week, how should the supervisor handle this situation? 

If your normal schedule is 40 hours, but you can only work 20 hours remotely, then you would code 20 hours of working time, and HR will give you guidance on how to code the remaining 20 hours as a paid leave.

For individuals who want to stay home but can’t work remotely, would you advise them to use their sick pay?

Chapman is operating, so the same operating norms continue to apply. If you need to stay home, you would use your sick/vacation time. Once campus is fully remote, then we would code that time as ‘administrative leave.’ Additional guidance will soon be posted on the HR website

Should we continue to have in-person meetings on campus? Or are they required to be remote? 

Please do not schedule or attend in-person meetings. We have provided several options such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Big Blue Canvas. 

Will staff be given a Chapman computer/laptop if they’re required to work remotely?

While we have ordered additional laptops, not every employee will receive one. If required to work remotely, employees will be instructed on how to use their own devices to complete their work. We are developing a prioritization list to distribute Chapman devices.

Whom do I contact for any working remotely-related issues?

You can call the service desk or email: workingremotely@chapman.edu

What if I don’t have VPN access?

For those services that typically require a virtual private network (VPN), temporary non-VPN access will be granted during normal business hours ONLY. No further requests for VPN access will be granted at this time.

If I already have VPN access, may I continue using it remotely?

Yes, you may continue to use VPN.

How do I remotely access files saved on my office desktop/laptop?

We are recommending that all files saved in a network drive or on your office desktop hard drive be moved to our available cloud-based file storage solutions such as Dropbox or Microsoft Office 365. Please see the available file storage options list below. If you are unable to move files to a cloud storage solutions, you may also connect to your office computer remotely via Remote Desktop to access the file.

How do I get a soft phone installed on my laptop and desktop?

If you are interested in switching to a Soft Phone set up, please email your request to workingremotely@chapman.edu and be sure to provide the following information in your request:

  • Name (first, last)
  • Office number
  • Any other shared lines

Can I take my desktop computer home?

No. All office equipment and computer accessories such as: desk phones, USB mouse, keyboards, desktop computers, docking stations, monitors, etc. are to remain on Chapman University property at all times. Only university-owned laptops and tablets are permitted for remote use.

When we work from home using our personal computers, will IS&T be able to see or monitor activity on our personal computer?


What are some security measures that remote workers can take?

Information on protecting your home computer is on the working remotely website. We have linked to virus scanning software that you can use at home. Our information security team is also working on a monitoring tool that will check devices when they connect to the Chapman network.

What if one’s at-home environment is not conducive to remote work?

This is a very individualized situation, and you need to have this conversation immediately with your supervisor.

Is Chapman continuing to hire new employees?

Currently, we are not hiring new employees.

Are you recommending that sick workers whose duties keep them on campus to not come in?

Yes. If you are ill, please stay home.

Do staff have to self-isolate if they travel within the U.S.?

At this time, regardless of recent travel, all residents within California are ordered to stay at home, unless they perform essential services as part of their job. This is subject to change and we will update the information as necessary. We are depending on everyone to keep others safe. If you have been exposed to someone with a suspected or confirmed case, please self-isolate. If you are feeling ill, please stay home.

Can staff donate vacation and sick time to others?

That’s a great idea, and we’re looking into it. More details to come.