RWU COVID-19 Information

Reminder: In keeping with social distancing practices, RWU's Bristol campus is closed to pedestrian and recreational use.


Dear Students, 

As we begin the final days of an unprecedented spring semester, I wish you luck as you refine term papers, prepare capstone course presentations, and get ready for final examinations. I could not be prouder of your collective perseverance, patience, and dedication to your learning. Yet while spring semester is nearing its conclusion, COVID-19 is not. With the public health crisis still underway, we are preparing for a safe fall semester opening in alignment with state guidelines and protocols. 

Fall Semester Planning    
The most frequent and urgent question before us is whether RWU will reopen in the fall and what that will look like. I want to convey that all of our energy right now is focused on “how” we will reopen rather than “if.” We are fully committed to reopening Roger Williams for the Fall 2020 semester.   

Many working groups have started meeting to research and consider fall semester scenarios that will give you strong learning options while assuring your safety, well-being and peace of mind. We need to think about all aspects of the Roger Williams experience with the pandemic and contingencies in mind. Everything from the classroom experience, dining services, residence halls, events and activities are being reviewed along with the necessary quarantine and isolation protocols. We are coordinating with the Rhode Island Department of Health and with other Rhode Island colleges and universities to ensure a safe, collaborative approach to our public health practices to reopen this fall. 

It is our intent to finalize our academic and campus plans for the fall semester in June and communicate to students by early July, giving you ample time to prepare for the return to campus. 

 Healthy and Safe Reopening  
Governor Raimondo this past week called for us to imagine Reopening RI, which is focused on the phased reopening of the state and its economy. Similarly, RWU must be focused on a phased reopening. In the spirit of coordinating our efforts with the state, we have launched our efforts under the name of Reopening Roger. Led by Vice President John King, this working group, with faculty, staff and student participation will consider policies that will prepare us for how we live, learn, work, and engage with each other as a community. Our plans must address our residential halls, the dining experience, classroom delivery with social distancing, new protocols for health, wellness, group events, and many other details of our campus operations. The Rhode Island Department of Health has convened regular meetings with all institutions of higher education in the state and they have asked to receive our preliminary draft plans by June 15 to offer guidance to us.   

Testing and Containment Measures  
Roger Williams is fortunate to be in a geographic region where the number of COVID-19 cases have been fairly contained. Additionally, testing has been more available with CVS national headquarters providing leadership to our community, medical facilities and testing availability. A safe campus opening feels hopeful for RWU. However, RWU is also actively exploring its own options for testing and containment measures. We must explore all options possible so that we can isolate any positive cases that arise early, ensuring we will not need to close the entire campus. We are convening groups, led by our faculty and staff expertise, on how we can leverage our facilities, our people, and technology to provide necessary COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and containment measures. 

Remote Instruction 
You and your professors did an incredible job making an emergency shift to online learning this spring. With the entire summer ahead of us, we will be improving these delivery methods. Many faculty are already planning to use the next few months to strengthen online instruction and participate in various faculty development sessions. The university will also look for areas of investment in our technology infrastructure to ensure a better experience for the fall semester when remote learning options will need to be available. 

New Academic Models  
While much energy is focused on the reopening of campus and the residential, academic experience, we are also using this planning time to imagine new academic pathways and opportunities that meet your learning needs and preferences. We recognize that, for a variety of reasons, you or other students may not be able to return to campuses in the fall. We are exploring ways to provide you with options, beyond online learning, that can allow you to stay remote and continue your RWU studies in new and different ways. We hope to share these options with you in early June. 

This time of year, a common sentiment on college campuses across the country is “See you next fall!” This year more than ever, it is not just a passing remark. Rather it is our collective intent and hope for a return to campus and being together again. 

See you next fall!  

View Previous Updates

Information on Returning Rental Textbooks from the Bookstore

By the end of the semester, courtesy emails will be sent to all students who rented textbooks from the RWU Bookstore. FREE UPS shipping labels will be attached to these emails.  Please use these FREE UPS shipping labels to send your rental textbook(s) back to the Bookstore.  Your rental textbook(s) must be in good, saleable condition. We cannot accept damaged rental textbooks. You do not need a receipt to return rentals back to the Bookstore

Rental textbooks are due back to the Bookstore by May 13, 2020.  Upon receipt of your rental textbook shipment, the Bookstore will be able to check them back into our system.

Keep in mind that our system will automatically bill customers who have not returned their rentals AFTER approximately one (1) week from our due date of May 13, 2020.

Due to the present situation, the RWU Bookstore will accept all rental textbooks [in saleable condition] until Tuesday, June 30, 2020. Please keep in mind that the credit card that was used at the time of your sale will be billed for any late rentals.  Any rental textbooks received at the Bookstore before Tuesday, June 30, 2020 will have all fees refunded back to the credit card.

We recognize that some students may have left textbooks in their residence hall rooms or off campus homes, or have another hardship with returning their rental textbooks during this timeframe. Should you find yourself in this situation, please email me at by June 30 so we can go over an alternative plan for you.

You should try to send your rental textbooks back with the FREE shipping labels in May in order to avoid any replacement and late fees that may be billed.

Connecting with the RWU library remotely
RWU librarians and staff are available to assist you during this challenging time. Learn about library resources you can access remotely. 

The library will be renewing all  books currently checked out to be due June 30, 2020.  This does not apply to Interlibrary Loan books where the due date is established by the lending library. They have, however, been reaching out to these libraries and asking for renewals. The library will continue to renew books, as necessary, until we have a return date to campus.

Student Guide: Spring 2020 Pass/No Pass Policy
To mitigate the impact of the crisis on students’ academic records, keep the focus on learning, and maintain the strength of our community, RWU has adopted a policy allowing all RWU students to convert Spring 2020 courses to Pass/No Pass by June 1, 2020. (for students of RWU Law, please see separate policy). 

For University College Students

University College is reviewing implications to any changes to semester dates that effect third party billing such as Tuition Assistance, Legalman’s Paralegal Education Program, and Department of Defense. 

For Law Students

FAQ - Covid 19 and RWU Law: In what seems like the blink of an eye, we have gone from enjoying Spring Break to being in the middle of a worldwide public health crisis. Here's what you need to know now.

For Bristol-based Students

Update on Commencement 

Residence Hall Final Move-Out Days Announcement

For any residential students who have not been able to fully move out of their rooms: As Rhode Island approaches the peak of COVID-19 case activity in the coming weeks, we have found it necessary to delay final move-out opportunities until the end of May and the beginning of June.

For additional questions please contact

Support at Center for Student Academic Success
Support - Spring 2020: We all are working collectively to ensure the successful completion of the semester. Learn more about Advising  & Peer Mentorship, Student Accessibility Services, the Tutoring Center and tips for succeeding in online courses.

  • Fall 2020 Advising: Advising for Fall 2020 registration began March 16, but all advising will be conducted remotely.  
  • Fall 2020 Registration date changes: In light of the University’s decision to extend Spring Break by one week, the registration period has been pushed back one week. Registration will now begin on Monday, March 30. Students were sent a new, more detailed email from the Office of the Registrar and also can find their new registration day and time in RogerCentral (visit Student Planning on the Schedule tab for Fall 2020). Faculty advisors will be in contact for advisement prior to the start of the registration period. 
  • Athletics: With the health and safety of student-athletes in mind, the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) has canceled all athletic competitions for the remainder of the Spring Season.  
  • Student Employment: Any student with spring semester student employment will receive guidance on the possibility of remote work by early next week in a communication from the university. We hope to maintain as many positions as we realistically can, but it may not be practical in some cases.  
  • Students Involved in Community Engagement (Work Study, Fellowships, Volunteer Service): Effective March 11, RWU students are not to attend off-campus, direct service sites in person. This includes students involved in courses involving community partners and off-campus sites, off-campus work study, student fellowships involving community-based research, projects, or service (e.g., Hassenfeld Fellows), or students engaged in volunteer work in communities through student service organizations. 
If You Become Unwell

If you require health care for any reason, you should call your home healthcare provider or RWU Health Services for guidance on how to access care.

You are advised to:
•    Stay home!
•    Health Services staff are available Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 5 pm at (401) 254-3156.
•    Starting Monday, March 16, there will be a nurse triage telephone line available for calls related to COVID-19. Call (401) 254-3757.
•    If it is after hours, call a local emergency room or urgent care for assistance.
•    Cover your cough and sneeze to protect others from getting sick.
•    Wash your hands frequently.

Accommodations Questions

•    Questions regarding refunds or credits related to room and board fees are currently the most common questions we are receiving from students and parents. We expect to have more information by the end of next week on this question of reimbursement or future semester credits. Once we have made a determination, we will communicate the information to students and parents.
•    Any student who has registered accommodations with Student Accessibility Services (SAS) will be contacted by SAS staff to review their accommodations during this transition. Students in this situation can contact Laura Choiniere, Director of Student Accessibility Services at  
•    Any student with extenuating circumstances requesting exceptions to stay on campus during extended spring break must complete an Extended Spring Break Housing Exception Request form via Hawk Link. This form will be reviewed by Student Life and decisions will be communicated via the student’s RWU email account. Access will not be granted until formally approved.   
•    All international students who are not currently on campus should be in contact with Cassidy Hammond, Assistant Director of International Student and Scholar Initiatives, at (401) 254-3400 or for any questions related to housing and their visa status. If they are requesting an exception to remain on campus they must fill out the Extended Spring Break Housing Exception Request form via Hawk Link.

RWU Coronavirus Emergency Sick Leave Policy

RWU’s priority in setting these revised workplace policies is to maintain a safe and healthy workplace, including minimizing the transmission of contagious disease.

Alternate Work Arrangements Policy

To the extent practicable, employees should be given flexibility in either being granted approved leaves from work or working remotely for legitimate reasons (for example, self-isolation due to travel, caring for children during school closures, elderly family members, and those at risk with weakened immune systems, among others).

Please call Human Resources at (401) 254-3797 if you have any questions.

COVID-19, RWU Expectations for Vendors, Contractors and Suppliers 

Everyone who enters any RWU facility is responsible for helping to prevent and control the spread of the COVID-19 infection. Per executive order of Rhode Island, effective April 18th, vendors working on campus are to wear a mask that covers both nose and mouth.  In addition, all vendors, contractors, and suppliers are expected to comply with the guidelines established by OSHA and the Center for Disease Control (CDC), as updated, to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19, as well as all other federal, state, and municipal regulations and guidelines. 

  • Advising and Registration: In light of the University’s decision to extend Spring Break by one week, the registration period for Fall 2020 has been pushed back one week. Registration will now begin on Monday, March 30. Faculty advisors should begin contacting their advisees to schedule appointments. 
  • Faculty have received two separate emails  from the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs:  
    • One-on-one training logistics for the week of March 16th;  
    • And the other related to the Advising and Registration process for Fall 2020. 
  • Guidance for Faculty Teaching CPC/Community-Engaged Courses: RWU faculty teaching courses that involve direct work with community partners and community members should inform their students immediately that they should suspend all direct connection with community partners and community members. We also ask you to contact the community partners directly and inform them that the University is suspending RWU students’ direct involvement with community organizations and community members. For any questions, please contact Allen Hance (, Associate Provost for Community Engaged Learning. 
  • Returning to Work from Travel: If you have recently traveled, please contact your supervisor or Human Resources before returning to work. Faculty who have traveled will be asked to complete a questionnaire regarding travel destination and whether you have symptoms of illness before they are permitted to return to work. For guidance on University-related travel, see above advisories to entire RWU community.
  • Virtual and in-person training and support sessions are being scheduled currently to supplement existing video tutorials to convert your courses.
  • Reminder: the university is not closed. Faculty members are able to use their offices and their classrooms, at their regularly scheduled course times, to deliver their virtual courses.
  • Further updates for faculty will be forthcoming from the Office of Provost. Questions can be directed to Sue Bosco at (401) 254-3096 or
RWU Coronavirus Emergency Sick Leave Policy

RWU’s priority in setting these revised workplace policies is to maintain a safe and healthy workplace, including minimizing the transmission of contagious disease.

Alternate Work Arrangements Policy

To the extent practicable, employees should be given flexibility in either being granted approved leaves from work or working remotely for legitimate reasons (for example, self-isolation due to travel, caring for children during school closures, elderly family members, and those at risk with weakened immune systems, among others).

  • If you are presenting symptoms of illness, do not come to work. If you have received medical advice to be isolated (self-quarantined) for a specified period of time, you may explore options to work from home. Please contact your Dean to alert them of your needs as soon as possible.

Please call Human Resources at (401) 254-3797 if you have any questions.

About This Page

Roger Williams University leaders are meeting daily to monitor the developments of COVID-19 and preparing for various scenarios related to this coronavirus. Throughout this evolving situation, this page will be updated with the communications and resources for the university community.

The expanding news reports about COVID-19 can cause increased anxiety, concerns, and other personal reactions in an uncertain and changing environment. We call on our campus community to remain calm, be informed, and follow the advice of university officials and health care professionals. Most importantly, prioritize your health and the health of others in our community.

The University’s response to the pandemic has been led by:

Yannis Miaoulis, President 
Brian Williams, Interim Chief of Staff
Susan Bosco, Associate Provost
James Finn, Associate Director of Maintenance Services
Daryl Ford, Chief Information Officer
Jared Goldstein, RWU Law Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
Cassidy Hammond, Assistant Director, International Student & Scholar Initiatives
Kevin Hayden, Director of Study Abroad Programs 
Kathryn Kanterman, Director of Purchasing
John King, Vice President of Student Life
Lorraine Lalli, Assistant Dean of Students at RWU Law
Ame Lambert, Vice President for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer 
Lisa Landreman, Assistant Vice President and Dean for Student Life
Marybeth MacPhee, Interim Chair and Professor of Public Health, Department of Public Health
Thomas McDonough, Assistant Vice President of Human Resources
Steven Melaragno, Director, Department of Public Safety
Anne Mitchell, Director Of Health Services
David Moskowitz, Associate Professor of Political Science
Joseph Roberts, Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations
Jill Rodrigues, Director of Communications & Media Relations
Joseph Sassi, Co-General Counsel
Jamie Scurry, Vice President, University College
William Seymour, Director of Capital Projects and Planning
Kathleen Souza, Director of Environmental Health and Safety
Jerry Williams (chair), Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration

RWU Resources

Federal Resources & Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) 

R.I. Dept. of Health

RWU Campus Support

  • Center for Student Academic Success: Advising & Peer Mentorship, Student Accessibility Services, the Tutoring Center and tips for succeeding in online courses
  • Student Health Services
    March 9-13, to 4 pm: Reach Health Services at (401) 254-3156
    Sunday, March 15, 11am to 3pm: Nurse practitioners at Health Services at (401) 254-3156 will address questions and concerns from students and parents.
    March 16-30: Nurses via triage phone line at (401) 254-3757 will answer questions and provide guidance for students with concerns about possible exposure to Covid-19.
  • Up-to-date RWU Campus Health Advisories

RWU Contacts