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Updates from the Dean

UPDATED: 21 March 2020, 12:40pm

To the Arts and Architecture Community

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has altered our daily routines, our expectations, and our sense of what is normal. This new reality in turn brings on ever-changing conditions that require new measures and actions to be put into place, sometimes within a few hours. These decisions are made in the interest of the safety and wellbeing of everyone.

As you might now be aware, last night (3.20.20) the University published two directives that can be found in today’s (3.21.20) issue of Penn State Today, regarding research activity and delaying students’ return to campus to retrieve belongings. These directives are a result of Governor Wolf’s mandate to end physical operations at many businesses statewide (see guidance from Provost). This message is to help clarify what these directives mean for the College of Arts and Architecture.

Governor's order delays move out for on-campus students

Penn State research labs asked to reduce activity by March 24

The situation is more critical than it was just 24 hours ago. Centre County now reports three confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19). We will likely see this number increase exponentially over the next several weeks with tens and perhaps hundreds of people becoming infected with the virus locally. For the latest information about the presence of coronavirus in Pennsylvania, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Health.


As a result of the recent statewide mandate and University directives, student access to residence halls and campus buildings is now closed until at least May. In the College of Arts and Architecture, students are not allowed to enter any studios, classrooms, or offices until further notice. In the residence halls, exceptions may be granted in extraordinary circumstances.

Contact Curt Marshall ( if you are feeling financial anxiety related to your Penn State studies, or have questions related to student aid, Federal Work Study, computer support, or room and board reimbursements.

Contact Kendall Mainzer ( for advice about summer internships or career advising in general.

Contact Kyrie Harding ( with any advising and grading option questions.

Contact Linda Wheeland ( with any graduation requirement or ceremony-specific questions.


Graduate students must work from their home/residence until further notice. If you absolutely need to retrieve materials from campus buildings in order to remotely continue your teaching/research/creative activity, contact your supervisor/advisor to discuss this need ASAP and prior to visiting campus. Exceptions for extreme cases may only be granted by the school director/department head and the dean. No access will be permitted or granted after 5 p.m. on March 24.


Staff members who have been dividing their time between telecommuting and working on campus must now work remotely full-time. Exceptions must be approved by the supervisor/school director/department head and the dean.

Faculty must continue to teach remotely unless they have otherwise made arrangements approved by the school director/department head and the dean.

Any access granted must follow proper cleansing protocols as directed by Environmental Health and Safety.

These measures are in effect to enable all of us to practice appropriate safety and health protocols, including social distancing. The safest approach is to stay home and minimize possible close contact with other people. Remember, these measures are temporary. We will get through this moment, together.

The college is doing all we can to help the students, staff, and faculty manage this unfortunate and constantly evolving situation. Thanks so much for your quick work, patience, and understanding in response to COVID-19. Our collective work reflects the spirit of #MovingForwardTogether.

Stay home. Stay healthy.

B. Stephen Carpenter II
Dean | College of Arts and Architecture | The Pennsylvania State University | #MovingForwardTogether