COVID-19 Update: Significant Changes
March 16, 2020
Dear Campus Community:
Both state and federal responses to COVID-19 are rapidly changing. As a result, we as a University community also need to make adjustments in our response to the threats of this disease.
Thank you for offering me this opportunity to update you on some significant changes for our Andrews University community:
James White Library & Andreasen Center for Wellness Closure
In response to Executive Order 2020-9 released by Michigan Governor Whitmer earlier today, the Andreasen Center for Wellness and James White Library closed their operations today, March 16, at 3 p.m. The library will continue to offer its online services. Currently, the plan is to reopen these buildings in April, but Andrews University will continue to follow guidelines from the state of Michigan, the federal government, the CDC and WHO and will adjust our campus plans accordingly.
Spring Break Extended by One Week
As Andrews University continues to work through and respond to the significant and rapid changes connected with the spread of COVID-19 in the United States, the University has extended its spring break by one week, to now conclude on March 29, 2020.
Therefore, our current face-to-face classes will make their conversion to remote learning beginning on Monday, March 30. As we move forward, Andrews will continue to follow guidelines from the state of Michigan, the federal government, the CDC and WHO and will adjust our campus plans accordingly.
May Graduation Postponed
Further, as Andrews University continues to respond to COVID-19 related restrictions on large group gatherings, and with ongoing complications with travel in Michigan, the U.S. and globally, the University will postpone its spring graduation programs, originally scheduled for May 1–3.
When it’s available, we will widely announce that new date and work to assure the right amount of lead time for individual plans and arrangements by our graduates and their families to join us here on campus as we celebrate the Andrews University Class of 2020. We want to affirm that Andrews University’s goal and commitment is to ensure that the graduation services and ceremonies fully reflect the pride we have in our graduates and, at the right time, properly recognize and celebrate the high level of our students’ achievements.
Support Services to Enhance Remote Learning for our Students
As a University, we are committed to the spiritual, academic, intellectual, social and emotional wellbeing of each one of our students, even as we move into this new way of teaching and learning together.
I want you to know that we pledge to provide appropriate support to each one of our students as they resume their learning remotely. I met earlier today with our offices of Academic Records, Campus Ministries, Campus & Student Life, Counseling & Testing, Student Success and more, and each one shares in that commitment to find meaningful and engaging ways to keep all of us connected as a community. We want you to continue experiencing the spirit of Andrews University.
I personally want to share my belief that even, and especially, as we all grapple with this difficult and disruptive experience, God is with us. Our God is Emmanuel! We will, and God will, continue to support you. Let us continue to find ways to support each other.
Andrews University continues to suspend all University-sponsored international travel. Additionally, we are now also suspending University-sponsored domestic travel until further notice.
We also strongly discourage international and domestic personal travel. If you personally choose significant domestic or international travel, the University reserves the right to restrict your access to the campus upon your return. Such restrictions may also have implications for your employment and/or learning.
The health experts, both locally and nationally, have advised our entire country that we need to change our behaviors, as a means to both delay the peaking of COVID-19 and help flatten the curve.
In some of our previous communication with you, we have shared personal hygiene practices and ways to boost our immune system. Additionally, there is an increasing need to practice appropriate social distancing in all aspects of our lives. Please adhere to the guidelines for social distancing and avoid group gatherings, as mandated by your state and the federal government. By taking personal responsibility and action we may delay the peak and flatten the curve of COVID-19 as it spreads through the U.S. at this time.
As I’ve shared throughout this letter, we will continue to share ongoing updates on Andrews University’s response on our COVID-19 website. Please use that site to keep up-to-date on Andrews University’s response to this new and threatening disease.
Finally, as we continue to grapple with the implications of COVID-19, I want to again and personally encourage you to keep looking up, to the place from where our help comes. That help comes from the Lord! I remain convinced that He is keeping us and He does not slumber or sleep—especially now.
I offer my sincere gratitude, in advance, for your ongoing efforts to help assure that our students are provided with the best possible educational experience at Andrews University, even and especially under these extraordinary circumstances.
This time of challenge is proving to be a test for all of us. With God, we will rise to the occasion.