Coronavirus Updates & Resources

Goverment Health Resources
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Boulder County Public Health

Naropa University is monitoring information from the State Department, CDC, WHO, the state of Colorado and the Boulder County Public Health Department as it relates to decisions on campus. The Boulder County Public Health Department has also scheduled weekly meetings with school administrators to discuss COVID-19 response and Naropa is participating in those conversations.

 Though the campus is open, Naropa business and academic operations are functioning remotely with the exception of some on campus services like the library and housing. Both with limited hours. For specific questions about each area, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions Page or visit our Contact Page for phone numbers and email addresses to connect with campus operations.

 Naropa University will be hosting all curriculum online after Spring Break, effective March 30th, 2020.

 While we are operating on a normal schedule via remote capabilities, we recognize that there may have questions and concerns. We hope to answer some of these questions via the email address below if the FAQ page or specific department Contact has not addressed your question. 

 Please send any inquiries to:

Latest Updates

Online Learning & Spring Commencement

Dear Naropa Community,

As the coronavirus situation continues to develop quickly, both locally and nationally, as well as internationally, I hope you are all doing well and staying healthy.  This is a time of unprecedented change, and it can feel very unsettling. I am grateful for our foundations in contemplative practices, which can help carry us through the turbulence with some sense of grounding.

As the situations and measures develop rapidly, the COVID-19 Task Force and I are meeting regularly to constantly assess the situation and make decisions to keep our community as safe as possible. As of late yesterday, we have decided, in collaboration, that it is in the best interest of the university to continue remote learning through the end of the semester.  At this point the situation is so uncertain nationally that we do not even know if resuming in person classes will become possible, and that uncertainty is creating added stress for many of you.  We realize that this will be good news to some, and disappointing to others. We want to assure you we don’t make these decisions lightly. When we decided to leave open the possibility of returning to the classroom, a clear majority of schools across the country were making the same decision. With the passage of two weeks, virtually all schools in Colorado, and most of the schools across the US that we have been tracking through many sources, have chosen to remain online through the end of the semester,

In addition, due to the cancellation of events at the CU Boulder Campus, we will not be holding Commencement on May 9, 2020.  Our Commencement Planning Committee, along with additional student and faculty representatives, will be working on alternative ceremony options, either in the Spring or Fall of 2020.  We want to be sure to honor those of you who have worked so hard to complete your degrees, and we will be sure to do that when we are able, and in a way that feels celebratory. I especially encourage any interested students to please join the discussion and help us figure out a creative and impactful way to celebrate, even if in a most unusual way. An invitation to participate will be coming soon.

As always, you can stay up to date with developments on our website You may also email any specific questions to either the appropriate staff or faculty member, or .

I want to acknowledge all of the hard work by staff and faculty that is being put into making these transitions, and also the difficulty that such drastic transitions can create. I hope we can continue to support each other through these challenging times.

With appreciation,

Chuck Lief

Boulder Declaration of Local Disaster Emergency

Many of you know that the Boulder City Manager issued an emergency order effective at 5 pm today, March 23, 2020,  that unless covered by one of the exceptions, all residents of Boulder stay at their place of residence. This order is in effect until 5 pm on April 10.

The text can be found here.

This includes travel by private or public means, again unless covered by one of the exceptions.

Naropa fits within several of the exception categories. We remain committed to doing as much as we can to facilitate remote work from home, and, despite the ability to ask staff and faculty to come to our campuses, we will do so as judiciously as possible.

The broad exception is found in Section 6(f)(11) of the order. Educational institutions, public and private, may work on site, if the work is to “facilitate distance learning or performing essential functions”.

Those categories include pretty much all the work we are asking anyone who is working on our campuses to do, including Academic Affairs, HR, maintaining our physical assets, keeping the counseling centers functioning especially as they move to tele-counseling, IT functions, and basic student services.

We will comply with the City’s order and carefully follow any limitations on our on-campus activities that are not subject to an exception. If you have any questions, please speak to your supervisor, or send an inquiry to for response.

I continue to be so grateful for the care and concern shown by all of you during this turbulent time, and hope for your good health.

Warm Wishes,

Chuck Lief

Safer At Home Guidelines

Dear Naropa Community,

I hope that you continue to be well during these times of uncertainty.

As you may already know, Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced this week that the public health order requiring us to stay at home will expire on April 26, 2020 and will be replace with guidelines called “Safer at Home”.  The Governor has confirmed that any more restrictive County or City orders will take precedent over the state’s Safer at Home orders. Today Boulder County announced that it will extend the current Colorado Stay-at-Home Order through May 8, 2020.

For now here is an update specific to Naropa.

With the diligent work of faculty and staff, Naropa moved to remote operations as of March 16, 2020.  As previously announced, classes will be offered by remote delivery through summer 2020.  (This includes the Summer Writing Program which the faculty are diligently working to convert to the online format for enrolled students.)

Naropa will continue to operate in this remote delivery/work from home format for the foreseeable future and asks that only those staff designated as essential come to campus. As stated before, who is essential and other details regarding your individual circumstances should first be taken up with your supervisor. 

Campus buildings will remain closed or with limited remote access,, with the exception of computer labs through the end of the semester.  The COVID19 Taskforce will continue to monitor changes to public health guidance and will revisit this issue in late May to determine whether to increase in-person staffing levels in June. 

Essential staff may continue to access their offices as needed.  All essential staff accessing campus must practice social distancing by remaining 6 feet away from others at all times, wear a face covering, not come to campus if sick (dry cough, fever, aches, shortness of breath, sore throat, or if experiencing any other symptom commonly associated with COVID19) and not gather in groups of more than ten. 

Staff with offices at Nalanda have been asked to prepare their offices for the move out of Nalanda due to summertime construction work in that building.  Please continue to work with the Safety and Facilities Office regarding access to Nalanda for this purpose and plan to adhere to the safety requirements stated above.  Since we need to carefully monitor the number of people engaged in the moving process at any one time, it is very important not to wait to the last minute to work out the logistics with facilities.

The COVID19 Task Force, along with both faculty and administrative leadership, is actively working on plans for the fall and preparing for multiple scenarios related to the delivery of curriculum and access to student services.  Additionally, the team is working to deliver emergency funding from the CARES Act to eligible Naropa students as quickly as possible.  Students will be notified of the eligibility criteria for receiving funding and the details on how to apply on Tuesday, April 28.

We expect that the County will take steps either to extend or modify the order before it expires on May 8, and we will monitor that closely. More information will be forthcoming as soon as we receive and analyze it.

Be well and thanks very much for your cooperation and continued work for our students.

Warm Wishes,


Chuck Lief



Naropa Preparedness

Care Team Support for Students of Concern (SOC)

Naropa University is committed to the health, safety, and success of each of our students. We prioritize this commitment through our Care team, which supports Students of Concern (SOC). The Care Team serves as a dispatch and case management team for students who are going through a difficult time due to various life circumstances including but not limited to, their academic progress and behavior, overall wellbeing, basic needs, and conflict resolution. If you know of a student who falls into this criteria please complete a Care team referral for the Student of Concern through (instructions below). 

The Care team is not a first responder team. Please call 911 in the case of an emergency,  then campus Security & Safety 720-309-8211, then put in a Student of Concern alert.

Please note, the Care team follow-up strategies, outreaches, and outcomes are confidential and generally will not be shared, except on a need-to-known-basis. Student information and their educational records are protected under the FERPA. Thank you for understanding, and supporting our students.

How to Submit an alert:

  • Go to and log-in with your employee credentials.
  • Scroll to the "Quick Links" section. This is on the left-hand side of the page if you are viewing from a web browser.
  • If you are on a mobile device, continue to scroll down until you see "Quick Link. 
  • "Click "Report a Student Concern," which has a yellow triangle with an exclamation point in it near these words. 
  • Follow the prompts to fill out the form and then "Submit." 
  • Note: Submissions are limited to 400 words

If you have questions about the Care team, please direct them to Sarah Silvas-Bernstein,


*The Naropa Student Counseling Center is providing sessions via Tele Mental Health to continue to provide therapy throughout the pandemic. At this time, Tele Mental Health can only be offered to folks who are located in Colorado. If you are outside of Colorado, email to receive support on connecting with affordable care in your area. We have temporarily suspended walk-in and crisis support on campus for public health reasons. Any student who needs crisis support during this time can access it by calling MHP at 303.447.1665 or walking into 3180 Airport Rd Boulder, CO.

Student Resources SilverCloud (self-guided online behavioral health module for all students TAO is offering some of their online resources for free during the pandemic:

Title IX and Anti-Discrimination Commitment

Naropa University’s mission embraces inclusivity, personal integrity, civility and mutual respect as we aim to foster a more just and equitable society and an expanded awareness. Our mission thus commits us to provide an educational and professional setting that promotes and delivers an environment free of sexual discrimination, including sexual misconduct and relationship violence. Such acts violate an individual’s fundamental rights and personal dignity and have a damaging, long-term effect on victims. Naropa University considers discrimination, sexual misconduct and relationship violence to be serious offenses, and such behavior will not be tolerated in our community.

In accordance with this commitment, the University does not tolerate discrimination on the basis of sex, gender or gender identity/expression in its educational programs and activities; and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or University activities, regardless of whom is the perpetrator.  Sexual harassment, sexual assault and sexual exploitation are forms of gender discrimination prohibited by Title IX.

This commitment is unwavering, even in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. We will proceed with prompt and equitable sexual misconduct intakes, informal resolutions, investigations (all as applicable to the policy) during this period of remote learning. We live this commitment through:

  • Virtual and phone intakes, reports, and consultation regarding Title IX concerns.
  • Virtual and phone intervention practices including conflict resolution, no-contact directives, academic accommodations related to Title IX incidents, and other interim measures as appropriate.
  • Virtual and phone case management and case resolution including restorative practices and formal administrative adjudication applied as applicable. In any situation where a timeline change to case resolution is necessary, we commit to prompt and clear communication of those delays and an explanation of their necessity.
  • Limited counseling sessions for those involved in a Title IX case, followed by referrals to external providers for on-going care.

For more information on Naropa’s policy, definitions, confidential resources, examples of prohibited conduct and reporting, please visit

Any questions that you may have related to your rights under Title IX may be directed to Sarah Silvas-Bernstein, Naropa’s Title IX Coordinator, at

Thank you for your support and understanding as we continue to make Naropa University a safe and welcoming place for our community to learn, live and work.

Mental Health and Coping During Covid-19

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations.  The emotional impact of an emergency on a person can depend on the person’s characteristics and experiences, the social and economic circumstances of the person and their community, and the availability of local resources. People can become more distressed if they see repeated images or hear repeated reports about the outbreak in the media.

People who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis include:

  • People who have preexisting mental health conditions including problems with substance use
  • Children
  • People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, like doctors and other health care providers, or first responders

Reactions during an infectious disease outbreak can include:

  • Fear and worry about your own health status and that of your loved ones who may have been exposed to COVID-19
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

Coping with these feelings and getting help when you need it will help you, your family, and your community recover from a disaster. Connect with family, friends, and others in your community. Take care of yourself and each other, and know when and how to seek help.

Call your healthcare provider if stress reactions interfere with your daily activities for several days in a row.  People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment plans during an emergency and monitor for any new symptoms.

Things you can do to support yourself:

  • Avoid excessive exposure to media coverage of COVID-19.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly. Try to do some other activities you enjoy to return to your normal life.
  • Connect with others. Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships.
  • Maintain a sense of hope and positive thinking.

Share the facts about COVID-19 and the actual risk to others. People who have returned from areas of ongoing spread more than 14 days ago and do not have symptoms of COVID-19 do not put others at risk.

What are quarantine and social distancing?

  • Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.
  • Social distancing means remaining out of places where people meet or gather, avoiding local public transportation (e.g., bus, subway, taxi, rideshare), and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others.

Sharing accurate information can help calm fears in others and allow you to connect with them.

Learn more about taking care of your emotional health or other related topics at the CDC page:

Cleaning and Disinfecting

Naropa is committed to doing what we can to mitigate the risk of transmission of this virus.  While all of our buildings are routinely cleaned, we have instituted additional cleaning protocols per CDC guidelines to wipe down surfaces with disinfectant cleaners on a daily basis.  Additionally, cleaning supplies will be placed in classrooms, meeting rooms, common areas and the libraries for use by everyone throughout the day.  Faculty and staff are asked to help by transferring their individual waste basket trash to the common area trash collection areas and to utilize the cleaning supplies to wipe down their individual desks and equipment.

Students living in the residence halls should take necessary steps to clean and disinfect their living spaces.

effective remote teaching

We will move all classes to an online format beginning March 30, 2020, the first teaching day following spring break. There is remote delivery functionality in our eLearning platform. All faculty, both core and adjunct have been asked to participate in one of the 20 or so training hours currently being offered by Academic Affairs, under the direction of Jirka Hladis the Director of Online Curriculum Development.

In addition to the technical training in moving to online teaching any faculty member who would like some more specific consultation around particular curricular issues arising in this shift, may contact Jason Davis in Academic Affairs and you will be connected to a faculty peer or other knowledgeable person.

While classes are moving to this online format as our campuses remain open (subject to spring break hours for the next two weeks). That means that students who need access to art studios, practice spaces etc. may still access those spaces using the key fobs or id cards which are currently used.

Faculty may consider other steps including moving office hours online.

At this time, some retreats and other experiential activities have been cancelled or postponed. Some, generally those scheduled for after April 1 are under discussion. Decisions will be made closer to the planned start time and based upon the most current information and best practices. Students in internship should work with their internship sites directly to understand safety protocols of each site. The task force is in communication with retreat sites which are actively working to minimize the risk of exposure on their properties. We are also in very frequent contact with all the study abroad students, staff and faculty.

If anyone is unclear about a specific planned event please check with your department chair or Jason Davis in Academic Affairs.

CARES/HEERF Funds for Students

As part of the CARES Act, Naropa University will receive federal funding to help provide Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Emergency Grants to eligible students. The emergency grants are intended to help offset expenses that students incurred directly related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (Housing, Technology/Course Materials, Transportation, Healthcare, Childcare).

Please review the below information to determine your eligibility and how to apply.

HEERF Emergency Grant Eligibility Criteria:

  • Only available for US citizens and eligible non-citizens, who are otherwise eligible to receive Federal Student Aid (Title IV).
  • To be considered, a student must be currently enrolled at least half time in a degree seeking program.
  • If a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has not been previously submitted, one will need to be completed prior to consideration.
  • Must have expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. If needed, the financial aid office will request documentation of these expenses. If documentation is requested and not provided promptly, the application will be disqualified from consideration. 

How to Apply:

  • Click here to access the HEERF Emergency Grant Request Application. The application can also be located on the “Financial Aid and Tuition” page of Classic MyNaropa.
  • Applications will be accepted electronically through Saturday 5/9/2020.
  • With the application, you will be asked to list a dollar amount of the expense(s) incurred and a brief explanation of how the expense is directly related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus, in the following categories:
    • Housing
    • Technology/Course Materials
    • Transportation
    • Healthcare
    • Childcare
    • Other
  • While we understand that lost wages for off-campus work have greatly impacted our student community, loss of employment cannot be considered as an expense. For assistance with lost wages, please file an unemployment claim in Colorado.

 Please understand that the funding is very limited and that not all applications will receive HEERF Emergency Grant Assistance. Priority will be given to applicants who:

  • Demonstrate the highest need according to the FAFSA
  • Are enrolled in a residential degree program (highest impact with the transition to remote delivery and temporary campus closure)
  • Do not have other forms of aid available up to the Cost of Attendance (including loans)


Applications will be reviewed by a committee beginning on Monday, May 11th, 2020. Students will notified as quickly as possible, but no later than May 22nd, 2020.


University Contemplative Messages

Community Message

Dear Naropa Community,

I am very aware that the speed we are facing moment by moment can be challenging and requires a measure of patience, compassion for ourselves and others around us, and a good dose of humor.  I appreciate all the efforts arising from our community, and thank you all for that.

Here are some wise words from Regina Smith, our Executive Director of Mission Integration and Student Services. 

As our community continues to be impacted by the fear and uncertainty of COVID-19, I am struck by the precious resource of our practice to support us.  As Zenju Earthlyn Manuel recently offered, COVID-19 can serve as a reminder that we are truly and deeply interconnected and inseparable. How can we take this moment to deepen our alignment with that truth?

This is an opportunity to remember there is so much more to life than our individual needs and wants, and we can practice compassion for self and others from a spacious sense of courage.

A first step in practicing is to first and continually acknowledge what we are feeling - fear, anxiety, panic, protectiveness - and to recognize emotion as energy that arises and falls.  Befriend your emotions, welcome them, and then let them go, moment by moment.

Go slow.  Be kind.  Go the extra mile to support the more vulnerable members of our community. Ask for the help you need.

We can be fearless - not in a way that overrides fear - but in a way that meets fear with a deep belief in the wisdom and resilience of this community.

Warm Wishes,

Chuck Lief


Morning Meditation Practice Recordings


Coronavirus Health Information

Symptoms: Fever, cough, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

For the majority of confirmed cases, symptoms have been mild and resolved after several days.

When to contact a health care professional:

  • If you have spent time in impacted areas during the past 14 days and have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing
  • If you have had recent contact with a coronavirus case and are experiencing a fever or lower respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, chest pain)
  • If seeking medical care and you suspect coronavirus, call ahead and let the medical office or emergency room know about your symptoms and any recent travel.
  • If you have traveled from China, the CDC now requires that you be monitored for up to 14 days. You should contact your health care provider for further guidance and recommendations. 

Recent travel with cold symptoms should not trigger significant concern. Symptoms that seem to be worse, including cough and fever, are more likely to represent flu than coronavirus at this time. 

Tips for Staying Healthy

  • The risk coronavirus poses to the general public in the United States is considered low as of Feb. 26, 2020. But this is a fast evolving situation so the risk assessment may change. The CDC identifies influenza (flu) as a far greater threat at this time, especially for college campuses. People can protect themselves and others from the spread of illness by practicing these healthy habits:
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick, especially if they are exhibiting cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • Stay home if you are sick. Avoid contact with others except when seeking medical care.
  • Contact your medical provider if you have any questions or health concerns.

Additional Information

There is information from the CDC posted around campus and in both Snow Lion and 2333. In addition, the following resources are also helpful: