February 16, 2017

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SIU Faculty and Staff,

As you know, a total solar eclipse will be taking place over our campus on Monday, August 21, the first full day of classes this fall. Because we are near the point of longest duration, we anticipate thousands of visitors to the campus and community that weekend and day. Visitor estimates vary, and the total number is impossible to predict, but we have seen numbers of 50,000 or even more.

This is a very exciting event for SIU, which will be the base of NASA’s live webcasting of the event. The Adler Planetarium and some of our own student groups will provide programming around the eclipse. You can learn more about the event at eclipse.siu.edu.

Below are some important notes about the eclipse that you should know now.

  • Classes that day will be canceled but the university will be open. All offices are expected to be open as usual. AP and civil service staff members who do not plan to be on campus that day must request leave. As always, supervisors will have the discretion to approve or deny leave based on office and campus needs.
  • Students with on-campus jobs are being advised to report to work as scheduled unless other arrangements have been made with supervisors.
  • Students are urged to move in early, whether they live on- or off-campus. University Housing will be encouraging students to be moved in by Thursday, August 17, to avoid traffic issues and potential challenges for families needing hotel rooms. The university will be providing programming for students before and during the eclipse.
  • Faculty members are welcome and encouraged to build eclipse materials into the curriculum that week as appropriate.

The eclipse will provide national and international visibility for the university and region, and it will be a memorable part of our students’ educational experience. We will provide additional information as the date gets closer. Meanwhile, you may visit the eclipse.siu.edu site regularly for updates.

Sincerely,

Brad Colwell
Interim Chancellor