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Classes canceled and normal operations suspended 6/4 and 6/5 to honor George Floyd Learn more ›

Advisory: Augsburg University Cancels Classes, Suspends Operations Thursday and Friday to Honor George Floyd

Augsburg will cancel classes and suspend operations Thursday and Friday, June 4 and 5, to mourn and reflect on the murder of George Floyd.

Thursday is an important day for our community, as a memorial service for George Floyd will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. at North Central University. The service will be live streamed via media outlets. Many will want to pause to mourn, reflect, and commit to the important social justice work ahead. 

Some may wish to use this time away from work in community or as a quiet time to reflect and begin healing. We must create the space to mourn, to express our pain and anger, and to come together as a community to build resolve for our future work.

Augsburg University President Paul Pribbenow shared this message: 

We face the daunting challenges that 400 years of racism and oppression have laid before us. Augsburg will not step back from the responsibility we have to advance the cause of justice and inclusion in our society.

We know systemic racism is deeply entrenched in the fabric of our society—and that racial disparities are more pronounced in Minnesota than elsewhere. To achieve tangible and lasting change, our work together must be courageous, constant, and persistent. This work is Augsburg’s calling in the world, led by members of our community who live up to our mission.

There is much more we need to do—and will. Thanks to our students, staff, and faculty leaders, we are having frank conversations and making plans for how we will better pursue the work of addressing systemic racism at Augsburg and in the wider community, form partnerships to work to reform law enforcement in our city, and set a future path with room for all of our beloved community.

Augsburg stands in solidarity with the Black community and affirms that Black Lives Matter.

About Augsburg
Augsburg University, celebrating its 150th anniversary, offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and 11 graduate degrees to 3,400 students of diverse backgrounds at its campus in the vibrant center of the Twin Cities and nearby Rochester, Minnesota, location. Augsburg educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings. Learn more at Augsburg.edu.

Augsburg issues student emergency aid from federal coronavirus relief legislation

Under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Augsburg is issuing $700 of relief funding to day undergraduate students and $275 of relief funding to graduate and adult undergraduate students enrolled in the spring semester 2020. The U.S. Department of Education has directed that these funds be paid directly to students and did not allow the funds to be distributed using the university’s student accounts system, so the payments will be delivered to students via emailed digital checks, using their Augsburg.edu email address. 

The funding for the relief payments comes from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund provision of the federal CARES Act. Under this provision, Augsburg was allocated approximately $1.62 million of emergency stimulus funds by the U.S. Department of Education to distribute directly to students for expenses (including technology, course materials, food, housing, health care, or child care) specifically related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. 

Universities were encouraged to prioritize students with the greatest need as well as ensure that the funds are distributed as widely as possible across the student body. In order for Augsburg to ensure the funds were distributed to students with demonstrated need, Augsburg designated the funds to students who completed a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) as of May 1. Augsburg established the two payment levels of $700 and $275 based on the higher average need profile among students in the day undergraduate program as compared with that of students in the graduate and adult undergraduate programs.

Augsburg University announces Augsburg Bold, including an undergraduate tuition freeze and unique new programming for incoming students

Today, more than ever, the world needs people who are equipped to navigate the complex issues of our time. Augsburg is committed to educating students for that very purpose (it’s in our vision statement), so we are launching Augsburg Bold, a set of unique programming and responses to the current environment that demonstrate our commitment to students. Below are just some of the plans we have in place—or in the works—for fall 2020.

Fall semester. What’s most important for us this fall is providing a high-quality learning environment and a safe on-campus experience. Because of uncertainty right now about what the public health requirements for our campus will be in the fall, we are developing a flexible learning model that blends on-campus and online classes. Our goal is to maximize the opportunity for students to engage directly with faculty while also ensuring the health and safety of our campus community. Our faculty will be working over the next month to design our approach to the fall semester, and we expect to provide more detail in June. 

On-campus housing. Augsburg also is preparing to welcome students to our residential community this fall. In fact, we have kept our residence halls open for students who meet certain criteria this spring, and will continue to do so through the summer. As a result, we have experience with the public health policies and practices required by the Minnesota Department of Health to help keep our community safe and healthy. This fall, we expect that all returning students will be able to live in the residential units they selected in mid-February.  And, because Augsburg has a broad variety of campus living arrangements—from apartments to traditional college residential hall units—we also are able to offer a number of campus housing options for new students. Next week, our Residence Life team will send a communication to incoming Auggies to provide more detail about the residential options available to them. 

Tuition freeze. To assist all full-time undergraduate students, a tuition freeze has been approved for the 2020-2021 academic year. The full-time tuition rate for 2020-2021 will be reset to the 2019-2020 rate. This means that returning students will not see their tuition increase for the coming year. New incoming first-year and transfer students will receive a mailing that documents the revised tuition, the lower cost of attendance, and the resulting savings for the 2020-21 academic year. The amount of financial aid that students receive from Augsburg will not be reduced.

A new summer learning opportunity. This summer, Augsburg is offering—for free—a selection of our most popular courses online to our incoming undergraduate students. Designed to give students the chance to meet Augsburg’s amazing faculty, this option allows students to get a head start on earning college credits in a relaxed environment, while learning more about what to expect at Augsburg when all classes resume in the fall. Details about these special courses and instructors will be provided during Student Orientation and Registration (SOAR) in June.

Technology access. No one should have to complete a research paper on a smartphone. To ensure that every Auggie has the tools needed to be successful in college, Augsburg launched a program earlier this year to support students who need laptops or internet access. More information about technology resources is posted on the Resources for Students page of Augsburg’s Outbreak Planning website.

Study abroad from home. We are excited to announce the Augsburg Experiential Semester, a new program that offers incoming students a unique opportunity to engage with Augsburg’s international sites, even while international travel is restricted. The semester courses are taught by Augsburg’s Cuernavaca, Mexico-based faculty and include engagement with culturally-diverse residents and businesses in nearby Midtown Minneapolis. Once it is again safe to travel, Augsburg will cover airfare, lodging, and meal expenses for the students in the program to travel to Augsburg’s Cuernavaca location to meet and engage in person with the faculty who taught their courses. Information about this program will be provided during Student Orientation and Registration (SOAR) in June.

A distinctive experience in a committed community. The Augsburg Bold framework—including the initiatives outlined above, and potentially more to come this summer and fall—is a reflection of the distinctive experience offered at Augsburg. We understand that making friends, bonding with faculty, and discovering your gifts and callings are all part of the college experience. Augsburg University is called to help students strive toward this sense of community and discovery no matter what mode of instruction and public health practices we will need to implement to keep our community safe. 

About Augsburg
Augsburg University, celebrating its 150th anniversary, offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and 11 graduate degrees to 3,400 students of diverse backgrounds at its campus in the vibrant center of the Twin Cities and nearby Rochester, Minnesota, location. Augsburg educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings. 

How we keep our campus safe during the COVID-19 pandemic:
The Augsburg coronavirus task force includes an epidemiologist, nursing faculty, academic deans, global education leadership, staff from across campus, and dedicated student representatives.The task force monitors new directives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Minnesota Department of Health and works to implement public health guidelines across our programs. Find more details about Augsburg’s response to the pandemic and resources for students at the Outbreak Planning website.

Advisory: Augsburg celebrates Class of 2020 with virtual commencement

Augsburg University will host a virtual commencement ceremony to celebrate the Class of 2020.

The virtual commencement ceremony consists of a prerecorded ceremony that will be streamed online. There are two viewing times when graduates, families, and friends can watch and chat together in real time.

  • Friday, May 29, 2020, 7 p.m. Central.
  • Sunday, May 31, 2020, 2 p.m. Central.

You can follow the celebration through the hashtag #AuggieGrad on all social media platforms, where students will be sharing images of their virtual celebration.

As soon as it’s safe to have large gatherings, an in-person commencement ceremony will be planned for the Class of 2020 with the more familiar traditions of commencement.

The in-person commencement ceremony, previously scheduled for May 4 at U.S. Bank Stadium, was canceled given the COVID-19 pandemic.

Visit Augsburg’s commencement site for more details.

Only Critical Employees and Some Resident Students Permitted Inside Campus Buildings

Augsburg University is complying with Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s Stay at Home Order, and other executive orders, by permitting only critical employees and certain resident students who fall within four categories inside campus buildings.

Augsburg’s residence halls remain open for only those students who do not have alternative living arrangements, including international students; students who have insecure housing; students whose home is not safe; and students who need to stay on campus for health reasons. All other students have been asked to move off campus. Augsburg will provide a prorated housing credit for certain students who have moved off campus and remains flexible in scheduling time, if needed, for students to return to campus to collect their belongings. 

Augsburg has taken other steps in an effort to limit exposure to and potential spread of COVID-19. Students who remain on campus retain fob access only to their residence hall and the Christensen Center for dining purposes. Otherwise, students’ general fob access to other campus buildings has been turned off. Students remaining on campus have been informed that they are not allowed to bring any guests—including those currently living in other Augsburg buildings—into their residence halls. The only exception to the no guest policy is for individuals assisting with a pre-arranged move out.

Students remaining on campus who violate university policies, including those regarding social distancing and no guests, may be subject to discipline, including being asked to leave campus to protect Augsburg from community spread. 

Augsburg has operated under a modified operations plan since March 18, which was the start of the university’s spring break week. Classes remain online for the remainder of the spring semester, ending Friday, May 1.

During modified operations, employees (including faculty, staff, and student workers) whose roles are deemed critical to university operations retain access to campus buildings for work purposes only. All staff, faculty and students must wear cloth face masks in any common areas while on Augsburg property, based on Minnesota Department of Health guidelines updated in April.

Visit the Outbreak Planning website for more information regarding Augsburg’s operations during the pandemic.

Task Force Monitoring Minnesota Department of Health Guidelines

An Augsburg University task force is tracking the COVID-19 outbreak and following the advice of the Minnesota Department of Health. See the Updates page for the most recent posts. 

The university is checking the Minnesota Department of Health for updates. An Augsburg task force is monitoring recommendations from the MDH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The MDH isn’t yet recommending that events or extracurricular activities be canceled. The CDC offers detailed information for travelers.

Meanwhile, Augsburg encourages students, staff, and faculty to follow the MDH recommendations to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, stay home when you have a fever, and cover your cough. If you are sick with fever and cough, call your health care provider first and follow recommendations from the MDH.

Visit Augsburg’s Outbreak Planning website for more details.

See Augsburg’s most recent statement about classes and operations as of April 9.

Media Advisory: Augsburg’s President Speaks March 11 at The Forum on Workplace Inclusion® in Minneapolis

Augsburg University, the new home of The Forum on Workplace Inclusion, has been on a journey during the past Paul Pribbenowdecade to become an institution that embraces diversity, works at inclusion, and seeks equity. It is a journey with lessons for other higher education institutions, as well as other organizations.

On March 11, Augsburg’s President Paul Pribbenow will share the story of Augsburg’s journey with its many concrete implications for policy and practice, including efforts to make higher education more accessible to diverse students, internal work to build intercultural competencies, and governance strategies that position Augsburg as a thought and practice leader in the DEI space.

The session from 9:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., March 11 is called Hospitality is Not Enough: An Institutional Journey From Diversity to Inclusion to Equity.

Media are invited to attend.
To RSVP, contact: Gita Sitaramiah, Director of PR and Internal Communications, 612-330-1476.

About Augsburg
Augsburg University, celebrating its 150th anniversary, offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and 11 graduate degrees to 3,400 students of diverse backgrounds at its campus in the vibrant center of the Twin Cities and nearby Rochester, Minnesota, location. Augsburg educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings. Learn more at Augsburg.edu.

About The Forum
For 32 years, The Forum has served as a convening hub for those seeking to grow professional leadership and effectiveness skills in the field of diversity, equity, and inclusion by engaging people, advancing ideas, and igniting change. The annual conference is HRCI and SHRM Continuing Education Credit (CEU) eligible. For rates, registration, or more information, visit ForumWorkplaceInclusion.org

Forum on Workplace Inclusion® Conference “Facing Forward” Registration Now Open

The Forum on Workplace Inclusion® (The Forum) at Augsburg University has opened registration for its 32nd annual conference “Facing Forward.” The Forum’s annual conference will take place on March 10, 11, and 12 at the Minneapolis Convention Center in downtown Minneapolis, MN. Discounted “early bird” rates, group rates, and team meeting packages are now available.

The 32nd annual conference focuses on equipping the workforce and workplaces with the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) skills needed to sustain businesses into a forward-facing future that is innovative on both local and global levels.

“The Forum provides learning and development opportunities from nuts and bolts tactics to straight from the headlines hot button issues,” said Steve Humerickhouse, The Forum’s executive director.

“The Forum audience is broad macrocosm of people interested in diversity, equity, and inclusion; it is equally valuable for HR and diversity practitioners as well as any professional in the workplace,” he said.

The Forum on Workplace Inclusion annual conference is the nation’s largest – and one of the world’s largest – workplace DEI conferences designed for national and global audiences.

“Augsburg University is one of the most diverse private colleges in the Midwest and proud to partner with The Forum to help expand diversity, equity, and inclusion skills, so our students can fully participate and succeed in the workforce,” said Paul Pribbenow, Augsburg’s president.

The annual conference features more than 96 sessions, three featured general sessions, more than 180 presenters and speakers from around the world, and our innovative 40,000 sq. ft. Marketplace of Ideas exhibitor space.

Also returning is the popular DEI Coaching Center where leading DEI professionals provide outcome-focused coaching attendees can apply when returning to the workplace. Space is limited. Early registration is encouraged.

Media contact: Gita Sitaramiah
Director of PR and Internal Communications
Augsburg University
612-330-1476

About The Forum
For 32 years, The Forum has served as a convening hub for those seeking to grow professional leadership and effectiveness skills in the field of diversity, equity, and inclusion by engaging people, advancing ideas, and igniting change.

The annual conference is HRCI and SHRM Continuing Education Credit (CEU) eligible.

For rates, registration, or more information, visit ForumWorkplaceInclusion.org

About Augsburg
Augsburg University, celebrating its 150th anniversary, offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and 11 graduate degrees to 3,400 students of diverse backgrounds at its campus in the vibrant center of the Twin Cities and nearby Rochester, Minnesota, location. Augsburg educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings. Learn more at Augsburg.edu

Media Advisory: New Augsburg University StepUP Program Director an Expert on Collegiate Recovery

Renee Most joined Augsburg University’s StepUP® Program for students in recovery from substance abuse as its new director in fall 2019, bringing her own experience as an alumna of StepUP and her 15 plus years of clinical work in the field of addiction related issues. 

I am honored to bring my previous experience in the field of recovery to the StepUP community and to continue to strengthen this program,” she said. “My personal experience as a student in the StepUP program made clear to me the power of collegiate recovery programs.”

Renee, who attended Augsburg in 2001-2002, is available for media interviews and has expertise in collegiate recovery and many related subjects, including the opioid crisis, youth binge drinking, and eating disorders. To arrange an interview,  contact: Gita Sitaramiah, director of public relations and internal communications, 612-330-1476. 

Renee has dedicated her career to the field of recovery, serving individuals at:

  • Kodiak Recovery, where she served as Executive Director
  • The Emily Program, as a Clinical Relations Specialist
  • Assistance in Recovery, as an Interventionist and Clinical Case Manager
  • South Washington County Schools, as a Chemical Health Prevention Specialist
  • Hazelden Betty Ford, as a Chemical Dependency Counselor

Renee holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Catherine’s University, is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) and earned a master’s degree in addiction studies from Hazelden Graduate School. 

The Augsburg University StepUP Program is one of the oldest and largest residential collegiate recovery programs in the United States. The program, unique in addressing both mental health and addiction recovery, strives to help students achieve academic success, and thrive in a community of accountability and support. StepUP students fully engage in the Augsburg experience, including study abroad, varsity athletics, student government, and research, while living on campus.

About Augsburg. Augsburg University, celebrating its 150th anniversary, offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and 11 graduate degrees to 3,400 students of diverse backgrounds at its campus in the vibrant center of the Twin Cities and nearby Rochester, Minnesota, location. Augsburg educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings. Learn more at Augsburg.edu.

Media Advisory: Human Rights Forum Features Global Change Makers and Social Justice Activists October 28-29

Augsburg University’s Human Rights Forum will bring students, thought leaders, global change makers, and local activists together to explore innovative ways to take action in our ongoing pursuit of human rights issues both globally and domestically.

On Monday, the focus will be on global issues and is developed in partnership with the Human Rights Foundation. The nonprofit sponsors the Oslo Freedom Forum each year. Both are founded by Thor Halvorssen, a Venezuelan human rights activist. The Human Rights Foundation has an impressive roster of young and diverse human rights activists, and promotes and protects human rights globally within authoritarian regimes.

Tuesday’s speakers and sessions will explore domestic and national issues on racial justice, indigenous rights and environmental sustainability. Tickets are still available.

List of Speakers

Media are invited to attend.
Please contact: Gita Sitaramiah
Director of PR and Internal Communications
612-330-1476