The following memo was sent to Maryville College students, faculty and staff this afternoon.
Tom Bogart, President
TO: Maryville College Students, Faculty and Staff
FROM: Dr. Tom Bogart, President
RE: Campus responses to COVID-19
DATE: March 18, 2020
The College’s Crisis Management Team continues to meet regularly to assess the COVID-19 situation and to make decisions related to the Spring semester. The following paragraphs detail updates to the College’s response to the pandemic.
Following both President Trump’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control regarding community mitigation, we have decided to move all classroom instruction to distance-learning formats – in almost all cases, specifically through online instruction – through the end of the semester. Classes will begin March 30, and students should be regularly checking their Maryville College email accounts for further directions from the Academic Dean’s Office and their professors. Details surrounding the delivery of support services (academic, accessibility, counseling, library, etc.) will be announced as decisions are finalized – prior to the beginning of distance-learning coursework.
We are pushing the end date of classes to April 29. The Study Day is scheduled for April 30, with exams held May 1-6.
We also have made the decision to close campus facilities to the public and are encouraging the majority of faculty and staff to work from home until at least April 6. Staff members who perform essential duties such as safety and security, housekeeping, maintenance and food service will continue to report to campus for work as long as they are healthy and able to do so. As we receive guidance from government agencies, information about federal work-study jobs for students will follow. Students who need access to specific academic spaces for research or independent projects should coordinate with their academic advisor.
Residence halls will remain closed to students (with the exception of those who already have been given approval to stay) throughout the semester. This very difficult decision was made to ensure social distancing and prevent the introduction of COVID-19 disease on campus. We will announce dates, times and processes for students to collect their belongings when we believe doing so is safe for our community. A determination about refunds and processes also will be made and announced at a later date.
The post office will forward students’ mail and packages (those items that can be forwarded) to the address on file in the Registrar’s Office. To update forwarding addresses, students should email Vicki McNutt, Mail Services Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Related to the above actions is the decision to cancel all campus events through May 31 or until such time as it is recommended to continue with public gatherings.
As of today, Baccalaureate and Commencement, originally scheduled for May 2, are postponed to a later date. We know that for graduating seniors and their loved ones, Commencement is the culminating event that they have spent years working toward and planning. That desire to celebrate a huge achievement with family and friends is something we will keep in our minds and hearts as we make decisions about those ceremonies in the coming days. Please be patient as we consider various options.
Spring is usually a very busy and exciting time on the Maryville College campus, so the imminent stillness and quiet will not only be strange, it will be incredibly painful. Please know that I and others are heartbroken that students, especially graduating seniors, are experiencing such tremendous loss alongside much fear and uncertainty for the future. I believe that working together and supporting each other, we will emerge from this crisis a stronger community and an institution more mission-focused than ever before.