It is becoming evident that the interruptions due to the COVID-19 crisis will continue beyond the end of the Spring 2020 semester. Therefore, as promised in my previous message, I would like to inform you about a number of important academic decisions that the Council of Deans took last Wednesday, March 25 with the approval of President Joseph Jabbra to offer you flexibility, alleviate your anxiety about exams and grades, and most importantly allow you to focus on your learning and well-being.
- Flexible Grading System for Undergraduate Courses: Undergraduate students will be able to choose the Pass/No Pass (P/NP) as a grading option, on a course-by-course basis, by the withdrawal date of April 30, 2020. Otherwise, the default letter grading system will be applied. As defined in the University’s undergraduate academic rules and procedures, an NP grade indicates a failing performance, i.e. equivalent to a grade of F, in courses taken on a P/NP basis. No credits will be added to the student’s record, nor will the average be affected. It has no quality points.
You will soon receive a form to select which course(s) you would like to be graded as P/NP.
Read on to see the rest of the nine new academic measures.
- Flexible Grading System for Graduate Courses: All students will be able to choose the P/NP grading option for any graduate course taken this semester as well, on a course-by-course basis, by the withdrawal date. Otherwise, the default letter grading system will be applied. The NP grade for graduate courses indicates a failing performance, i.e. equivalent to a grade of C- (C minus) or below.
- Scholastic Standing: The final grades of the Spring 2020 semester will not have any impact on students’ scholastic standing. This semester will be treated as a grace semester not impacting suspension, probation, or academic recognition.
- Repeating Courses: The course repeat rules defined in LAU’s undergraduate academic rules and procedures will be suspended for the Spring 2020 semester.
- Class Attendance: The student attendance regulations defined in the University’s undergraduate academic rules and procedures will be waived for the Spring 2020 semester.
- Lab, Clinical, and Studio Courses: Most of these courses could not be entirely delivered using online methods. Therefore, these courses will resume in an intensive manner once the campuses are accessible. If the semester ends before students are able to complete these courses, an incomplete grade will be given to all students registered in these courses.
- Thesis Defense: Graduate students will be allowed to defend their theses virtually, e.g. through WebEx, considering the current lockdown. In addition, the required two-week prior thesis defense announcement will be waived.
- Online learning survey: A survey was sent to assess the online learning experience in each of your courses. We appreciate your complete and objective responses to the surveys to help us improve your learning experience.
- Revised Spring 2020 Academic Calendar: The academic calendar for Spring 2020 has been modified as follows:
Thursday, April 16 Deadline for Incomplete grades (from fall 2019) Thursday, April 30 Last day for withdrawal from courses for spring 2020 (WP/WF)
Last day for selection of the P/ NP grading option on a course-by-course basis
Friday, May 15 Spring 2020 classes end Monday, May 18-Saturday, May 30 Spring 2020 final assessment period (Eid El Fitr expected to be May 25-26)
To allow for more flexibility, faculty instructors will consider using different modalities/tools for final course assessment other than the typical final examinations. If online final exams are to be given, they must be administered during the final assessment period set in the academic calendar.
Finally, a new webpage under the Provost’s Office website, Student Tips for Academic Success during the COVID-19 Crisis, has been put together to help you improve your online learning experience and guide you to available resources to learn while at home. Again, we sincerely understand how disruptive and frustrating all of this has been for you. We never expected that the academic year would have unfolded as such, and the transition to remote learning delivery has forced us all to adapt to a new challenging and unpredictable situation. Nevertheless, we are very proud of your efforts and determination. Together, with your patience and continuous cooperation, we will be able to navigate successfully through this crisis.
Stay healthy and stay strong! Your LAU community is here for you.
Message from President Jabbra re LAU Medical Center-Rizk Hospital Covid-19 Emergency Fund
No LAU asset is as important to us as the trust and support of Lebanese society. Over a century and a half we have been together working hand-in-hand for a better future.
The Covid-19 menace has placed the patient-care part of our mission under unprecedented stress as can be expected. With the engagement of the Gilbert and Rose-Marie Chagoury School of medicine, our LAUMC–RH, has been at the forefront of our collective societal response to the virus. Our effort includes readying new hospital floors, acquiring new equipment, stocking on PCR testing kits, and mobilization of specialized personnel. Funding all these pressing needs goes well beyond what our limited resources allow.
To that effect, we are launching a Covid-19 Emergency Fund to garner the resources needed in our challenging fight against the evil Coronavirus. Gifts in any currency will be gratefully accepted and acknowledged online.
We are grateful in advance for your generosity and honored to have you join us in defeating this evil pandemic and providing all Lebanese with a healthier and better tomorrow.
Further details on how you can help can be found on our web page.
For Lebanon you can contact Mr. Saad El Zein - Special Assistant to the President: firstname.lastname@example.org; mobile: +961 3 121613
For North America you can contact Mrs. Nadya Mikdashi - Assistant Vice President for Development: email@example.com; mobile: +1 646 420 0706
Joseph G. Jabbra, Ph.D.
LAU’s campuses are operating with essential personnel only, and core services — from classes to admissions — are being offered online. Please visit our COVID-19 website to find the latest measures taken by the university, as well as advice, resources, and contact information.
LAU switches into a strictly-essential-services-only mode
Dear members of our LAU family,
No priority for LAU matches our commitment to the safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff. You are the heart and mind of LAU and your welfare is of paramount importance before any other consideration.
As the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic continues to escalate in Lebanon, the university will move into the appropriate response stage by switching as of the morning of Saturday March 14 into a strictly essential services-only mode and implementing ‘social distancing’ to safeguard further the safety of our LAU family and community.
Essential Services Only
LAU will operate absolutely essential services only, ensuring the continuity of necessary and indispensable services. All divisions and departments will achieve operational continuity by maintaining a minimal number of staff on campus. The rest will be teleworking from home. All department heads and supervisors have been briefed and have been establishing these continuity arrangements. We expect the majority of our staff to work from home and be always reachable online and/or by phone.
It is critical that our community continues to maximize preventive measures during this phase. Please avoid social interactions so that we perform our part in slowing down the spread of the disease for the greater good of our country and the well-being of our loved ones.
Academic Update on Online Courses
On the academic side, LAU continues to prioritize the transition of academic programs to online platforms. Our academic division has already made considerable strides in moving courses online, and have finalized most, if not all, transitions of courses which can be delivered online. Additional messages from our Provost or our academic Deans will be forthcoming as needed.
Business Travel Update
All business travel has been discontinued until further notice. Personal travel requires pre-clearance and approval with the relevant Dean or VP.
Access to Campuses
During the strictly-essential-services-only operations period, and for its duration, the campuses will be accessible to faculty, post-docs, individual students for cause, and staff on duty.
LAU Medical Center–Rizk Hospital Update
Given the severity of the epidemic, LAU Medical Center – Rizk Hospital continues to be fully functional and mobilized. Its COVID-19 testing will begin imminently. A separate ward has been completely sealed off with negative pressure from the rest of the hospital for that purpose.
The strictly-essential-services-only operation will begin on Saturday, March 14, and will continue until further notice with updates as they become necessary through email and through the COVID-19 microsite.
Please do all you can to stay safe and ensure the safety of your loved ones. LAU is there for each and every one of you and so much looks forward to seeing its family united again on both campuses at the nearest possible date.
Joseph G. Jabbra
March 21 EEE postponed
As the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic continues to escalate in Lebanon and as the safety of our current and prospective students is of utmost importance to us, the English Entrance Exam scheduled for March 21, 2020 will be postponed. For updates on the revised schedule of EEE and SEE exams, kindly visit the university website on www.lau.edu.lb/apply.
A message to students and parents
Dear LAU students and parents:
Our top priority is your safety and well-being. While access to LAU is restricted due to the coronavirus outbreak, we will continue to support you remotely during weekdays (Monday to Friday). You can email us your questions on general info about LAU, majors/programs, or about your admission/acceptance file, or about financial aid and scholarships.
For information on:
- LAU in general, its majors, programs, deadlines and other:
- My admission application or acceptance:
Online chat is open here from Monday to Friday between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
- Financial aid and scholarships:
Currently enrolled students can communicate with the Registrar on:
Suspension of classes through March 15
LAU will continue to suspend classes and postpone formal in-class exams during the coming week ending March 15 in view of the mounting concern with the Coronavirus outbreak and the need to take all precautionary measures possible.
As such, LAU will be closed insofar as classroom teaching is concerned during said period with the Library and Gym continuing to be off limits to students as well. We will however do all we can to keep as many courses as possible active online and to provide access to course materials through our various online platforms. The office of the provost is the key point of contact in this regard together with school deans and deans of students, who will be communicating with students as needed.
The university will, of course, remain open to faculty, staff and individual students as was the case last week.
LAU is deeply committed to the safety of all members of its family and will always do its utmost to ensure this safety. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and get back to you again if and when needed. Please be safe and exercise extreme caution.
Suspension of classes
In accordance with the decision made by the Minister of Education and Higher Education announcing closure of all educational institutions including universities until March 8, LAU will suspend all classes, exams, student activities etc., during this week.
The university will remain open to faculty and staff pending further notice. Faculty and staff are kindly advised to exercise extreme caution and take every measure possible for their own safety and their colleagues.