Updated: May 22, 2020 | 11:36 a.m.

This guide provides information primarily to University students, faculty and staff and to other members of the ONU family as well. It is intended to assist them in accessing resources and information related to the impact of the coronavirus on how we learn, work and live at ONU at this difficult time for our nation and our campus. If you would like to download this information, a pdf is available here.

Information for current students and parents | Information for prospective students and parents | Information for faculty | Information for staff

General Information and Resources

ONU resuming in the fall

ONU will resume in-person, residential education this fall in alignment with state government required safety measures and consistent with CDC guidelines. The health and safety of students, faculty and staff are paramount as Ohio Northern engages several work groups to develop a comprehensive safety program with policies and practices to benefit all who live, work and learn on campus.

“We are committed to providing our students an on-campus educational experience this fall, one that will look different in some ways, yet familiar with our tradition of delivering quality academic programs in a safe, rural environment,” ONU President Dan DiBiasio said.

A significant number of Ohio Northern’s faculty members hold advanced degrees in medical and allied health fields, and they are providing their expertise to ONU’s efforts to prepare the campus to safely resume in-person education for fall semester. Read the full article here: onu.edu/news/onu-resume-person-education-fall


ONU is postponing spring commencements scheduled in May for all undergraduate, graduate and law graduates. Because commencement is one of our most important and cherished activities, the University is fully committed to celebrating with our graduates and their families in person on the ONU campus at the appropriate time. We will provide as much notice as possible when we have rescheduled commencement.  At this time, the possibility for commencement to be safely held per the existing Ohio public health standards wouldn't occur until at least late summer. A Virtual Degree Conferral Ceremony video was created and is available on ONU's YouTube channel. For the latest updates, check the ONU commencement website.
  Website: onu.edu/commencement
  Email: commencement@onu.edu
  Phone: 419-772-2033

Classroom Instruction

Effective March 16, 2020, ONU suspended all traditional classroom instruction and transitioned to alternative and remote instructional delivery for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester.

Travel Guidelines

  • International Travel: All University-sponsored international travel is suspended. All travel that has been scheduled through June 30 must be canceled, and no new travel may be booked until further notice.
  • Domestic Travel: Until further notice, no new University-related domestic travel by air, train or bus may be booked without prior approval of the president or provost. Those seeking to book future domestic travel must complete the applicable approval form: Travel Including Students or Faculty/Staff Travel at least 60 days in advance.

Large Gatherings and Public Events
ONU has canceled all large gatherings and public events until further notice. In-person attendance to all faculty, staff and student organization meetings is limited to 10 or fewer. It is preferred that meetings take place by phone or virtually.

Campus Buildings
Academic buildings, the University libraries (Heterick and Taggart), ONU Sports Center, the Child Development Center and all other campus buildings are closed to the general public until further notice. In order to maximize the health and safety of ONU’s workforce, as well as continue to operate the University on a daily basis, ONU limited the number of people present on campus until further notice.

  • ONU faculty and staff may use campus buildings for essential work.
  • ONU students desiring to use campus technology learning resources should request access to the electronic card system in the James Lehr Kennedy Engineering Building. Students should practice social distancing.
  • Information Technology is open to support essential personnel working on campus.
  • McIntosh Center Dining Hall is closed.
  • Stadium View Apartments will provide housing to students who have been approved to remain on campus this summer.
  • The ONU HealthWise Pharmacy is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. The pharmacy has extended its home prescription delivery service to anyone living within 40 miles of the pharmacy, including in Lima and Findlay. Curbside pick-up is also available.
  • The Inn at Ohio Northern is open, including dining in, outdoor patio and take-out restaurant options.

Spring Athletic Seasons
The spring 2020 varsity sports season has been canceled in conjunction with the other nine members of the Ohio Athletic Conference.

ONU Mail Center
With campus buildings closed, the ONU Mail Center has discontinued delivering mail and packages to departments until further notice. Departments can pick up and drop off their mail and packages in McIntosh Center Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If a department has a large package or several packages, please email purchasing@onu.edu for assistance. Deliveries will be made within one business day.
  Email: mailroom@onu.edu
  Phone: 419-772-2062

Information on the ONU Employee Assistance Program can be found on the HR website. For help managing anxiety and stress during the COVID-19 Outbreak, please see the CDC Website. Faculty and staff electing ONU’s health plan have access to Teladoc.
UMR: The Optum Emotional Support Help Line is available 24/7 to anyone in need, even if they are not enrolled in the benefits plan. The helpline 866-342-6892 is staffed by professionally trained mental health experts and free of charge. More information is available at UMR.com.

Outdoor Recreation Facilities

The Green Monster, Kerscher Stadium outdoor track (for walking or running; no rollerblades, bikes, scooters, skateboards, etc.), campus sidewalks, tennis courts and the disc golf course are open for public use. No activities should occur in Dial-Roberson Stadium, on the Kerscher Stadium soccer field or on other athletic fields at this time. Please observe the CDC’s guidelines on social distancing and personal hygiene.
ONU Response to COVID-19 Community Needs
Lima Memorial Hospital Foundation is collecting fabric face masks and has placed a mask collection/drop-off location outside of the Freed Center for the Performing Arts.

COVID-19 Cases/Testing Updates
If there is a confirmed case on campus, the University will notify the community, but will not release the name or any specific identifying information about the person.

HealthWise Pharmacy
The ONU HealthWise Pharmacy will remain open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. The pharmacy has extended its home prescription delivery service to anyone living within 40 miles of the pharmacy, including in Lima and Findlay. Curbside pick-up at also is available. The pharmacy can transfer prescriptions from other pharmacies to allow anyone to take advantage of this service. The pharmacy can mail prescriptions to students through the summer.
  Website: www.onuhealthwisepharmacy.com
  Email: hwpharmacy@onu.edu
  Phone: 419-772-DRUG


Information and Resources Especially for Students and Parents

Tutoring/Online Learning Resources
Arts & Sciences provides a
tutoring support page for many subjects which includes online tutoring schedules and phone and email contacts.

Alternative/Remote Instruction
If students are unsure of how to engage fully in coursework in the alternative and remote delivery formats, they should contact the faculty member instructing their class, their faculty advisor or their dean’s office: a-and-s@onu.edu, engineering@onu.edu, pharmacy@onu.edu, business@onu.edu or lawdean@onu.edu
Optional Grading Policy
To provide more flexibility to ONU students and to reduce stress during these challenging times, the University will provide all students the option of a Pass/Low Pass/Not Passed (P/LP/NP) grading option for any class for the spring 2020 semester after the term has ended and grades are recorded. Students are strongly urged to talk with a faculty advisor, dean's office staff and/or financial aid counselor before choosing to invoke this grading policy on a particular course. For a more detailed explanation of the optional grading policy, watch this video. GPA calculators are available as well: UG/Pharm/MSA GPA calculator and Law GPA calculator.

On-Campus Technology Resources
The academic buildings, with the exception of the engineering building, will be closed until further notice. If you desire to use campus technology learning resources, you should request access to the electronic card system in the James Lehr Kennedy Engineering Building.

Electronic Submission of Handwritten Homework/Assignments
To scan handwritten work (math, engineering, etc.), students were sent instructions for AdobeScan, an app for cell phones. The Student IT Help Tips is on the IT webpage.
  Website: onu.edu/information-technology
  Email: help-desk@onu.edu
  Phone: 419-772-1111

Klondike Chatbot
Students are receiving texts in the form of Klondike to keep them informed and updated. Opt in to help ONU better support and help students navigate this challenging time. If a student did not receive the text, please add or change the cell number listed in Self-Service Banner under the Personal Information tab.

Special Accommodations
Students who need special accommodations should contact Disability Services.
  Website: onu.edu/disability-services
  Email: t-harris.6@onu.edu
  Phone: 419-772-1055

Polar Careers

Polar Careers staff are available to assist students by reviewing resumes, providing tips and strategies for job and graduate school searches, and discussing career interests. Resources for job search strategies in a time of remote work and other tips can be accessed here.
  Website: onu.edu/student-life/polar-careers
  Email: career@onu.edu
  Phone: 419-772-2145
Students should contact the faculty instructor of the clinical or rotation, or the college clinical coordinator for guidance, and work with the off-site preceptor regarding work assignments.
Internships must be completed in their entirety to earn academic credit. If the pandemic has interrupted an internship, the faculty instructor supervising the internship will work with students to assign an incomplete grade. The faculty member will work with students to identify additional internship opportunities after the pandemic crisis. Contact the student’s academic advisor or internship director to discuss the impact on the academic plan. Consult with Polar Careers to explore another internship possibility.

Student Employment
ONU will continue to pay student employees based on the average hours worked per week for spring semester. For student employees who are actively working and logging time on an electronic timesheet, ONU will pay wages based on the greater amount of the submitted timesheet or the average hours. Please continue to log accurate hours based on current payroll deadlines.

Economic Hardship

If you are an ONU student who has experienced unexpected financial hardship as a result of our campus closure and move to online classes, you are eligible to submit an application for emergency grant funding. Application consideration will begin on April 29 and will continue until funding has been exhausted. Grants will be distributed based on the specific needs presented in the application and availability of funding.

These funds are from Ohio Northern University’s distribution of the U.S. Dept. of Education CARES Act funding. These funds are intended to help students who have experienced unforeseen expenses due to the disruption of campus operations including food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, transportation and other related expenses. Contact: Melanie Weaver, director of financial aid | m-weaver.2@onu.edu | 419-772-2271

Room and Board Credit or Refund
Students with a room and board contract who did not remain on campus received a 40 percent credit of room and meal plan charges. This percent is consistent with the schedule published in the 2019-20 Student Handbook. Depending on individual billing circumstances, some or all of the credit may be refunded. Unlike student room and meal plan contracts, student fees are not prorated, and therefore, those fees have been spent.
  Website: onu.edu/about/controller-and-bursar-office
  Email: controller@onu.edu
  Phone: 419-772-2010

Financial Payments and Student Bills
All financial payment questions about student bills should be directed to the bursar.
  Website: onu.edu/about/controller-and-bursar-office
  Email: bursar@onu.edu
  Phone: 419-772-2010

Loans, Scholarships, FAFSA and Family Employment Changes
Students who have financial aid questions about loans, scholarship, FAFSA or changes in family employment, please contact financial aid.
  Website: onu.edu/financial-aid
  Email: financial-aid@onu.edu
  Phone: 419-772-2272

State of Ohio Resources
The state of Ohio has put together a list of resources for individuals experiencing economic difficulties due to COVID-19. The list can be found at:  https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/employers-and-employees/Resources-for-Individuals-and-Families/resources-for-Individuals-Families

ONU Mail Center

For students not living on campus, packages should be addressed to the student’s off-campus and current residence. Verify the delivery address when placing online orders. Students living on campus are able to continue picking up mail and packages from the ONU Mail Center as usual. On-campus students should continue to use the campus unit box address for mail and packages being sent to you.
  Email: mailroom@onu.edu
  Phone: 419-772-2062

Parking and Campus Security
For questions on parking and campus security, contact public safety.
  Email: publicsafety@onu.edu
  Phone: 419-772-2222

Residence Halls
Residence halls, with the exceptions made for students whose personal circumstances made it necessary for them to stay on campus, closed on March 22. Questions about housing, housing lottery, personal belongings remaining on campus, move in process, etc., should be directed to student affairs. Students who have already left campus and have not removed all belongings are encouraged to make arrangements at their earliest convenience. ONU will hold belongings in the student’s room, as it was left until the student is able to return. Residence life staff members on campus can assist with checkout and arranging a convenient time.
For students who have already left campus and have removed all of their belongings, but did not complete the checkout process or turn in their key, we are offering the option to check out via email. Res Life staff will complete the physical inspection of the room and sign off on the checkout process. We would like to have room keys mailed back to us as soon as possible to avoid any improper checkout fees. Keys may be mailed to Ohio Northern University, Attn: Res Life Anissa Jenkins, 525 South Main Street, Ada, Ohio 45810
The housing policy as stated in the ONU student handbook will still be in effect for those remaining in campus housing. All students currently on campus are living in an apartment and are permitted to have guests; however, we urge everyone to practice social distancing. The campus remains open for members of the campus community, but is closed to the public, so you are encouraged not to invite guests to campus who are not part of the ONU community.
  Email: reslife@onu.edu
  Phone: 419-772-2430
  RD-On-Call at 419-302-0106

U.S. Census
ONU students (international and domestic) finishing the semester remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic should report their address in the census using their ONU local address. Even if you were home with your parents on Census Day, April 1, you should be counted where you lived and slept most of the time for the 2019-20 academic year.

  • For students who lived on campus, ONU will submit student information to the Census Bureau in place of the Individual Census Questionnaires we had originally planned to distribute in April. To remain compliant with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, Ohio Northern will submit an electronic spreadsheet with your directory information.
  • Students who lived off campus in Ada or surrounding areas so they could attend Ohio Northern University should complete the census either online or by paper form using your Ada or surrounding area address. Students who live with others in off-campus residences should coordinate with their roommates to ensure that only one questionnaire is completed for their household. Whoever completes the census questionnaire for the household should list all roommates, including non-students, who live and sleep at that address most of the time.
  • Parents should complete the census for their household, but not include their University student if the student lives on campus in University residence halls, or if the student lives in off-campus housing near the campus. Parents should only report their University student if the student lives full-time at their residence while attending classes and does not live in University residence halls.

Dining Services
McIntosh Center Dining Hall is closed.

Campus Facilities Access
Students remaining on campus after March 22 can access the McIntosh Student Center from 7 a.m. through 7 p.m. daily. Students who need technology resources for classroom work and studying can request access to the James Lehr Kennedy Engineering building. The Health Center and Counseling Center remain open to service you at this time.

ONU Health Center

Students are required to call ahead or from outside the locked door to the center when arriving. Staff will speak with the students to determine the optimal next health and safety steps that should be taken. This procedure has become a new protocol in many medical offices and facilities and is being adopted in an effort to keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible. The Health Center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  Website: onu.edu/health-center
  Email: k-schroeder.5@onu.edu
  Phone: 419-772-2086

Counseling Center and Emotional Distress
The Counseling Center transitioned to teletherapy for all appointments. Students interested in teletherapy must first schedule a phone consultation with one of the counselors. The Counseling Center will remain open for crisis or emergency situations, but not for traditional face-to-face therapy. If you are experiencing emotional distress related to recent changes and events, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting 4HOPE to 741 741. You also will find additional helpful information at the Suicide Prevention Lifeline website.
  Website: onu.edu/counseling-center
  Email: c-cherry@onu.edu
  Phone: 419-772-2190

Fall 2020-21 Semester

Registration for summer and fall opened on March 23. Students should contact their advisor for an alt-pin. Email the advisor, dean’s office or registrar@onu.edu with questions. Refer to the additional tips the registrar emailed students on March 19.
  Website: onu.edu/academics/registrars-office
  Email: registrar@onu.edu
  Phone: 419-772-2024

Summer School, Camps and Conferences
The University will move to alternative and remote instruction for the 2020 summer session for all full semester courses and first and second session courses.

Transcript/Course Registration/AP Courses
For questions about all transcripts, course registration and AP courses, refer to onu.edu/academics/registrars-office.


Information and Resources Especially for Prospective Students and Parents

New Student, AP and High School Transcripts
For questions about becoming a Polar Bear, AP questions, high school transcripts, applications and financial aid, contact Admissions and Financial Aid.
  Email: admissions-ug@onu.edu
  Phone: 419-772-2260, 888-408-4668

Enrollment Deposit
ONU has extended the enrollment deposit date to June 1. The earlier the deposit, the earlier new students will be able to complete the following important next steps: register for summer orientation, set up an ONU network account and email, submit the on-campus housing forms and join the New Polar Bears 2020 Facebook Group.

Admissions Visits
On-campus and virtual visits are now available. Please check the website for details on how to sign up. A virtual tour is available.
  Website: onu.edu/admissions-aid
  Email: admissions-ug@onu.edu
  Phone: 419-772-2260, 888-408-4668

New Student Summer Orientation
New Student Summer Orientation dates are scheduled for June.

Information and Resources Especially for Faculty

Communicating with Students
Faculty are required to communicate at least weekly with students outside of pre-recorded lectures. Email is one medium, but also consider posting a note in the Moodle room, hosting a Google Hangout Q&A session or offering to talk on the phone with students. Students are adjusting to this new learning paradigm and appreciate encouragement.

Electronic Collection of Homework and Assignments
To scan handwritten work (math, engineering, etc.), students were sent instructions for AdobeScan, an app for cell phones. The Student IT Help Tips is on the IT webpage and
can be accessed here.

Asynchronous and Synchronous Interaction
Please consider asynchronous meetings for instruction when feasible, as students (and sometimes faculty) are reporting issues with wi-fi access, internet speed issues and technical problems. If the course requires synchronous interaction where all students must engage online at a specific time, that time must be at the regularly scheduled class time.

Revised Staffing Plans

In order to maximize the health and safety of our employees, as well as continue to operate the University on a daily basis, ONU minimized the number of people present on campus. Human Resources distributed guidance on employee work schedules via the Staff-L and Faculty-L on March 17. Details of a revised staffing plan from April 1 until April 30 were distributed in an email sent to all faculty and staff on March 31. If employees are unable to maintain a full-time workload, they may continue to receive a full-time salary and benefits by electing to take their personal paid time off (vacation). Full- and part-time staff may request a voluntary furlough.
  Website: my.onu.edu/human_resources
  Email: hr@onu.edu
  Phone: 419-772-2013

Open Faculty Position Interviews
In-person job interviews for searches currently underway should use electronic apps (Skype, Zoom, Google Meet, etc.) as an interim solution.


Teaching Resources

CAFE has gathered resources to support faculty who are delivering classes alternatively.
Contact: my.onu.edu/teaching_resources

IT Resources
Information Technology will be open to support essential personnel working on campus. Faculty can request appointments to record lectures by contacting ed-tech@onu.edu.
  Website: my.onu.edu/information_technology/it_support_for_faculty_staff
  Phone: 419-772-1111

Information and Resources Especially for Staff

In order to maximize the health and safety of employees, as well as continue to operate the University on a daily basis, ONU minimized the number of people present on campus. Human resources distributed guidance on employee work schedules via the Staff-L and Faculty-L on March 17. Details of a revised staffing plan from April 1 until April 30 were distributed in an email sent to all faculty and staff on March 31. If employees are unable to maintain a full-time workload, they may continue to receive a full-time salary and benefits by electing to take their personal paid time off (vacation). Full- and part-time staff may request a voluntary furlough.
Everyone is asked to be creative at this time and determine the most critical work that needs to be done, while determining what other work can be performed in light of recent changes across campus. If there are typical projects or summer work that may begin now, please proceed with incorporating those efforts into a work plan.
  Website: my.onu.edu/human_resources
  Email: hr@onu.edu
  Phone: 419-772-2013

In-person job interviews for searches currently underway should use electronic apps (Skype, Zoom, Google Meet, etc.) as an interim solution.

Please stay abreast of this dynamic situation using these resources:
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) virus that currently has no vaccine. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath and may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. At this point, the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes it. Stopping transmission (spread) of the virus through everyday practices is the best way to keep people healthy. ONU, working together with local health departments, has an important role in slowing the spread of diseases to help ensure students have safe and healthy learning environments. Schools serve students, staff and visitors from throughout the community. All of these people may have close contact in the school setting, often sharing spaces, equipment and supplies.

CLICK HERE for the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on COVID-19.

CLICK HERE for the most up-to-date information from the Ohio Department of Health on COVID-19.

CLICK HERE for rolling updates from the World Health Organization on COVID-19.