Latest Event Updates
As Pepperdine navigates and responds to the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation and the directives being issued by local and governmental agencies on a daily basis, the University remains committed to sharing updated actions regularly with faculty, staff, and students. Please see below for the most recent updates:
International Programs COVID-19 Case
Today, the University learned of a report of a confirmed positive COVID-19 test result of a London program participant who recently returned home. The University does not have independent verification of these results but is proceeding with its protocols as if the test result is verified. The individual flew home from their international program location and did not visit any of the University’s domestic campuses. Out of an abundance of caution, Pepperdine notified everyone in that program of the potential exposure and asked them to quarantine themselves for 14 days and monitor their symptoms. If you have not been notified, you have not been identified to be at risk of developing symptoms.
Online Classes Commence at Pepperdine
This week, students from all five of Pepperdine’s schools will transition to remote instruction for the remainder of the semester. Pepperdine students and faculty are encouraged to review the FAQs on the University’s COVID-19 website.
Commencements and Events
In line with recommendations from multiple governmental and health agencies, limiting the number of people at gatherings, the University is postponing all commencement ceremonies scheduled for the spring. Nonetheless, graduating students who complete their coursework will receive their degrees as scheduled and should be assured that commencement ceremonies will take place on the Malibu campus at a future date.
Critical Support Personnel Staffing
Effective immediately and through March 31, Pepperdine will transition to a critical support personnel staffing model where departments will work remotely except for essential tasks that must be handled on-site. All employees who can perform their work from home should work remotely, beginning tomorrow, March 17. All designated critical support personnel should contact department supervisors directly for instructions. All employees are reminded to coordinate work schedules and logistics with their supervisors moving forward.
Operational Changes Through March 31
- All fitness centers are closed.
- Fitness classes are canceled.
- The Malibu campus swimming pool and hot tub are closed.
- The only Malibu campus dining locations open are the Waves Cafe and the Drescher Cafe, serving in a grab-and-go fashion only, with no seating open.
- It is reasonable to anticipate that, as the on-campus population decreases, the Drescher Cafe will close.
- Campus bookstores currently remain open with normal hours, but hours may become limited in the near future.
As always, you are encouraged to stay informed with the latest information on the outbreak and to continue to practice healthy habits to prevent the spread of illness. The latest information can be found on the University’s COVID-19 website and Emergency Information Page. Additional information and regular updates about the coronavirus can be found on the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health websites.
As Pepperdine continues to monitor the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation and consider the recommendations set forth by state and local officials, the intention of the Emergency Operations Committee is to make decisions that will protect the health of the University community and their families. Today, California governor Gavin Newsom issued guidance calling for the home isolation of all individuals 65 years or older and those with chronic conditions. Additionally, many school districts surrounding our community have canceled classes, creating urgent childcare needs for some employees.
This guidance is in line with the University’s previous recommendations, including telecommuting for those older than 60, pregnant, autoimmune compromised, or those living with someone who is vulnerable. The University continues to strongly encourage these recommendations.
For all other employees, the University urges supervisors to be as flexible as possible with those expressing an interest to telecommute and those whose work can be effectively done remotely. This evaluation must be done while acknowledging the balance of serving our students and accomplishing necessary work. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring their departments remain functional while we continue to have a large but diminishing number of students on our campuses. Utilizing critical support personnel to handle essential on-campus responsibilities will be important in these times.
Recognizing this is a dynamic public health emergency, additional adjustments to this plan will occur, and employees can expect further communications as we continue to implement plans with your well-being in mind. Human Resources is available to assist in this period of transition.
University officials continue to monitor the situation around the COVID-19 outbreak in Los Angeles and across the globe. This afternoon the president of the United States declared a national state of emergency in an effort to provide new resources to assist in the fight against COVID-19 at the local, state, and national level. In challenging times of great uncertainty, Pepperdine remains committed to assisting our students, faculty, and staff.
Community members are encouraged to take the following actions to stay informed and protect their health:
- Visit Pepperdine’s COVID-19 Planning and Preparedness website, which includes information about the University’s monitoring and response to COVID-19 as well as FAQs for community members and students at each school.
- Be aware of the University’s interim protocols, such as Interim Travel Restrictions for the Pepperdine community and Interim Restrictions for Campus Visitors, developed to protect the health and well-being of the campus community.
- Evaluate and discuss dependent care needs with supervisors according to the University’s Interim Telecommuting Exceptions protocol.
- Review the CDC’s recommendations for practicing healthy habits to prevent the spread of illness.
The latest information can be found on the University’s COVID-19 website and Emergency Information Page. Additional information and regular updates about COVID-19 can be found on the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health websites.
Pepperdine continues to gather new information about the impact of COVID-19 as the University community prepares for the operational adjustments announced by President Gash yesterday.
As the University and all five schools conduct town hall sessions to address questions from the community, Pepperdine’s COVID-19 website will continue to be updated to include information on the town hall sessions, policy updates, and frequently asked questions (FAQs) for each of Pepperdine’s five schools. The FAQs include information related to academic programming and operational adjustments. Future town hall sessions may be held for students, faculty, and staff as needed. Students who need additional support during this transition are encouraged to reach out to the Student Care Team.
Additionally, community members are advised of the following developments:
Reports of COVID-19: The Student Health Center (SHC) is working closely with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to monitor any community members with health concerns and to give the appropriate recommendations. Any person who is notified that they may have been exposed to an individual who may have or has COVID-19, or any person who is concerned that they are exhibiting symptoms, should notify the SHC at 310.506.4316, option 3. Those who believe that they might be exhibiting symptoms should call the SHC before visiting.
Dependent care: As local school districts adjust their policies and class schedules, employees with children may need to make accommodations to work remotely or arrange childcare. Employees in this situation should contact their supervisors to make arrangements for telecommuting under the University’s Interim Telecommuting Exceptions.
Guidelines for vulnerable populations: As per the CDC, individuals in our community who are older than 60, autoimmune compromised, or defined by the CDC to be vulnerable populations should avoid travel and large social gatherings, telecommute when possible, and avoid contact with any person who has or may have had contact with COVID-19. Out of an abundance of caution, the University is encouraging that all vulnerable individuals, or those with vulnerable family members, consider telecommuting, and temporarily obtain off-campus housing.
Visitors and campus guests: Effective immediately, Pepperdine is implementing Interim Restrictions for Campus Visitors for the University community through March 31due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
Access to all University campuses is restricted to invited guests only, and access to nonessential guests will be prohibited. If known in advance, requests for access for invited guests can be sent to the Department of Public Safety using the Pepperdine Guest Registration form. Guests can also identify their host at the gate or entrance. Faculty and staff who work and live on campus are encouraged to exercise good judgment, limit the number of visitors to campus, and conduct nonessential meetings via teleconference. Any student who is granted an exception to remain on campus should be aware the ability to have visitors on campus may be greatly restricted, and no overnight guests will be allowed. Additionally, all campus tours have been cancelled through March 31.
Campus events: All Pepperdine events with expected attendance of more than 100 people have been canceled or postponed through March 31. This includes Waves Athletics events and Center for the Arts programs. If you had purchased tickets to any Center for the Arts performances through March, a refund will be issued in your original payment method.
Travel restrictions and conference attendance: Pepperdine continues to restrict all nonessential international and domestic travel for employees through March 31. All travel for academic and business purposes must be approved by the provost, chief operating officer, and/or senior vice president for strategic initiatives. Effective immediately, Pepperdine students, faculty, and staff are prohibited from attending academic and professional conferences through March 31.
Staying informed: As always, you are encouraged to stay informed with the latest information on the outbreak and to continue to practice healthy habits to prevent the spread of illness. The latest information can be found on the University’s COVID-19 website and Emergency Information Page. Additional information and regular updates about the coronavirus can be found on the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health websites.