News & Resources

Home / Read / ASU COVID-19 Update: April 6, 2020

ASU COVID-19 Update: April 6, 2020

April 6, 2020
Steve Benson ASU "We're on it!"

I want to thank our extended university community for your understanding, ideas and feedback since we announced Arizona State University’s full transition to full-immersion, digitally-enhanced learning three weeks ago. This means we are now operating in two modes, fully interactive, digitally-enhanced learning and our established online learning. I know this and other changes have been rapid and challenging, and our intent in every case has been to provide the maximum continuity of service possible in the face of current circumstances. The spirit and adaptability of ASU’s students, faculty, staff, donors, partners and friends has been thoroughly remarkable and encouraging.

Since my last update, ASU teams have been busy evaluating issues and needs, developing courses of action, and designing, building and implementing new tools and processes to keep the university and those we serve moving forward. Here are some significant ASU highlights and related informational links: 

  • ASU has conducted more than 136,000 remote teaching sessions for full-immersion on-campus students (nearly 75,000 learners) via Zoom since March 16.
  • With the aid of $2 million in emergency grants from the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, the Biodesign Institute at ASU has built and deployed a high-speed robotic system capable of processing 1,000 COVID-19 test kits a day and now has the capacity to produce 2,000 tests a day to help diagnose local health care providers, first responders and essential workers.
  • ASU designed and demonstrated a flexible, high-speed, digital manufacturing system capable of producing personal protective equipment.
  • The Spring 2020 University Commencement will be held virtually on Monday, May 11. ASU graduates also have the option of walking in-person in December 2020 or May 2021.
  • ASU will apply a $1,500 credit by May 15 to the student accounts of all eligible students who have moved out of university housing and completed the checkout process by April 15. University housing will stay open for students who need it and all essential services will continue to be provided. 
  • ASU full-immersion summer sessions A and C begin on May 18 and will be offered through remote learning. ASU will continue to assess circumstances related to COVID-19 before finalizing plans regarding summer session B. Students are asked to complete their summer course registration to help ASU accommodate need.
  • ASU For You, a collection of educational resources designed for learners of all ages – including online courses, video lessons, virtual field trips, live tutoring and K-12 labs and simulations – launched on March 27.
  • ASU is also offering enhanced access to its academic content to students and teachers through Study Hall, a new partnership with the popular Crash Coursechannel on YouTube. Our playlist kicked off on March 31 with English composition and future offerings include college algebra, chemistry and data literacy.
  • The ASU Center for Mindfulness, Compassion and Resilience has launched daily mindfulness sessions on YouTube that average up to 800 views per session. Related public service announcements are being shared by the Arizona Department of Health Services and the City of Tempe, and continue to attract media attention from KJZZ, KTAR and others.
  • ASU has also organized more than 100 research groups who are working on COVID-19 solutions for both the near- and long-term. I’ll have more to share about this later.

These milestones and announcements represent a fraction of the overall work happening every day across the institution to address COVID-19 and to move ahead stronger and better, while still fulfilling our educational mission to our students and the communities we serve. None of this would be possible without the collective commitment and efforts of our Sun Devil family. As we look to the demanding weeks ahead, our university will continue concentrating on supporting one another, our state and our nation, and on working together to advance solutions to each new challenge. I will continue to share new information as it becomes available. 

Image credit: Steve Benson, Arizona Mirror