COVID-19 updates for building access, commencement and housing/dining refunds


March 20, 2020

On behalf of UW-River Falls, I am writing again with more important campus updates. 

  • You should be aware that, to ensure the safety of all, campus building doors are locked as of March 19 with the exception of North Hall, David Rodli Hall and the University Center (the latter two with limited hours). Starting Monday, March 23, only authorized employees are being allowed to access any campus buildings. 
  • I know that commencement is a special day for our graduates and their family and friends. So, it is with great sadness that I share that we are among the many universities across the country that will not hold a spring commencement ceremony on the date scheduled (in our case, May 9). However, it is very important that we identify a meaningful opportunity for graduates to have a well-deserved celebration of this milestone, and we will review various options in consultation with the Student Government Association. We will inform all graduating seniors as soon as possible.
  • For those students living in the residence halls and/or who had dining plans this semester, I am very pleased to share that UW-River Falls has been authorized by UW System to reimburse the prorated charges for housing and dining for the remainder of the spring semester for students who have left the university prior to the end of their contract. Impacted students will be contacted soon via email by Residence Life and Dining. If you have questions after reviewing this communication, please email or

I know that your Spring Break next week will not be at all what you anticipated just a few weeks ago. Above all, as cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin, Minnesota and beyond continue to sharply increase, I want you to be safe. I encourage you to follow the guidance of public health experts at the federal and state level. Do not travel, limit gatherings to under 10 people, maintain safe distances of six feet apart, wash your hands frequently, disinfect high touch areas, etc. If you do visit or actually now live in an area that has been determined to have widespread community transmission of COVID-19, please follow the 14-day recommended self-quarantine and self-monitoring guidance.

Challenging times can bring out the best in good people, and I know that our campus community – now physically separated over many miles – will be at its best in the days ahead. 

Stay safe and stay healthy, Falcons.  


Dean Van Galen, Ph.D.

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