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Campus-wide emergency preparation set for Friday Mar. 13

This message was sent to all students, faculty and staff

Dear colleagues and students,

Boise State University is committed to doing everything we can to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. This Friday, we will engage in an exercise to help us prepare for any emergency, including natural disaster, extreme weather, and — on the advisement of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, the Central District Health Department, and the Centers for Disease Control — for the potential arrival of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

There are no confirmed cases of the virus in Idaho today, and state public health leaders say the individual risk remains low.

However, it is both prudent and vital for the university to prepare for this and other unexpected events that could force us to change our day to day operations for extended periods of time. In order to ensure that we have the best protocols in place to care for our community, we are asking you all to help us take a major campus-wide step in this preparation this week.

For one day, on Friday, March 13, all university courses will be delivered online. More than 40 universities in areas already affected by COVID-19 have moved courses online for an extended period of time to help prevent the spread of the virus. Our faculty have been working with technology and digital course delivery experts to prepare for this, and this day of practice will help identify any additional steps, training and preparation that needs to take place in the event that the university has to suspend in-person courses and public events.

In addition, all university divisions and departments are being asked to discuss the effective protocols and challenges of maintaining essential operations over an extended period of disruption. More than 3,000 students live on our campus, for example, and their health, safety and food delivery remain vital even on days when weather or another event keeps most employees and visitors from campus. Vital activity takes place throughout all divisions on campus, and it is essential that our “continuity of operations” plans are up-to-date and effective.

We will be working with our state government and other Idaho universities — representatives of which will come to Boise State University on Friday for this exercise — to develop stronger and more effective statewide preparation for large-scale emergencies.

We recognize that these efforts will be disruptive of normal operations — which, of course, would happen in any actual emergency. Your work and insights will be very important. We are providing the online form linked here in hopes you will help identify areas that require attention. We value your dedication to Boise State everyday; your work will be especially valuable in this exercise. Our goals in this effort are to care for our communities and to ensure that we all have the tools to successfully navigate any significant challenges we might face as a university.

Please watch for additional information on Friday’s exercise from your divisional leaders, faculty and the Office of the Dean of Students. You can see all up-to-date campus information on the coronavirus at

Again, thank you for the work you do every day to ensure the health and safety of all of our campus community.

Dr. Marlene Tromp