March 20, 2020
Despite our deepest hopes, recent developments in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have made returning to normal operations impossible this semester.
Today, on advice of the Anderson University COVID-19 task force, guidance from federal and state public health authorities and by virtue of South Carolina Governor Henry McMasters’ request, President Evans Whitaker announced that all courses in all programs will be delivered online for the remainder of the spring semester.
Earlier estimates of an expectation that 3-4% of the population will be infected are no longer valid. We do not have an accurate estimate at this time, but we have just learned that the infection rate is expected to be higher than previously thought. It will greatly depend on how well we as a nation follow instructions from health officials on preventing the spread by social distancing and other prudent measures like washing hands thoroughly, etc.
- Spring Commencement ceremonies, scheduled for May 8-9, will be postponed. Options for these delayed ceremonies are being developed, and will be communicated as soon as possible. Regardless of our Commencement date, those of you who will have earned your degree on time will have timely access to any transcripts you may need for employment, graduate school or similar purposes.
- Residential students with unique housing needs, as identified by the Office of Student Life, will be allowed to remain on campus. Those who need to remain in campus housing should work directly with Student Life to coordinate these limited arrangements. (Visit this link to request permission to remain on campus.) To be clear: only those with clearly defined extenuating circumstances will be allowed to remain on campus.
- CEP and Journey (Campus Worship) credits are waived for May 2020 graduates, who will graduate in good standing provided all other degree requirements are completed successfully.
- All other students will be given a credit of three (3) CEP credits. All students regardless of grade classification will receive the required eight (8) Journey (Campus Worship) credits for the spring 2020 semester.
As you know and have experienced firsthand, the COVID-19 pandemic is causing daily disruptions to everyday life, and circumstances are changing rapidly. We ask that you continue extending your grace, patience and understanding as the Anderson University Senior Leadership team and the COVID-19 task force develops plans to address our students’ needs.
These include, but are not necessarily limited to:
- The manner in which residential students can retrieve their belongings from campus. We are actively preparing move-out procedures, and ask that residential students await these details before returning to campus for their belongings. These details will come directly from Student Life and contain detailed instructions on the proper procedure.
- Housing and meal plan credits. Anderson University is among hundreds of colleges and universities around the country navigating a number of issues related to this unprecedented public health crisis. This is a question and concern of many. We are in touch with our federal and state legislators for ways all of us can navigate this difficult issue. For now, our primary focus at this time is the health of our community, delivering online education and helping students complete their academic requirements. We will have more clarity on this important issue once immediate concerns are addressed.
This is a difficult moment not only for Anderson University, but also for our state and our country. But challenges are never permanent. Better days lie ahead. As Dr. Whitaker wrote in his open letter to our campus community, “Our educational mission and our character as a Christ-centered university will absolutely not change. We have work to do. We have goals to accomplish. We move forward.”
Thank you for always being #TrueToAU. We can’t wait to host the greatest celebration Anderson University has witnessed once we’re all back on campus together.
Until then, stay safe, be healthy and continue in your prayers for our country, our state, our community and the University we all love and cherish.