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ALERT | CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

March 16, 2020 2:00pm CST

A MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT WALTER BUTLER

On Thursday, March 12, 2020, on behalf of Bethel University, I issued a statement about the Coronavirus or COVID-19 and the steps we would be taking, in the short term, for the safety of our students, faculty and staff. I also stated that by Tuesday, March 17, 2020, we would finalize decisions for the rest of our Spring semester. That is the purpose of this email.

Here are some facts relative to Bethel University’s situation and our upcoming response to the COVID-19 virus.

1. We are continuing to monitor the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) recommendations for higher education. They are updated daily and changes are sent directly to us. We are also receiving updates from the United States Department of Education and the State of Tennessee.

2. As of this communication, we do not know of any confirmed cases of COVID-19 with our students, faculty or staff across our University.

3. We have also been in direct communication with the medical community for their advice and prevention methods available to us.

4. Since our communication of March 12, 2020, this virus has been declared a national emergency. I know that we all agree that the health and well-being of our Bethel University family, and our communities, must be our priority. We must take precautions to halt the spread of this virus.

As stated in the March 12, 2020, email our Bethel University is made up of three colleges. Although we are one University, each college is unique in the students they serve and how they serve. Our three colleges are the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), the College of Health Sciences (CHS) and the College of Professional Studies (CPS). Our plans for communicating our responses, therefore, will vary some depending on the particular college.

The College of Arts and Sciences

CAS (our traditional campus) will continue its Spring Break through, Friday, March 20, 2020. On Monday, March 23, 2020, classes will resume with an online format for the remainder of the Spring semester. As this week evolves, students will receive instructions from the faculty of their respective classes. If by chance you do not receive any communication by Monday, March 23, 2020, please contact your faculty member by email.

All dormitories will be closed immediately. I realize there may be some exceptions, and I encourage you to be in contact with our Director of Residence Life, Peggy Carter. Her contact information is listed below. Personal items including books and laptops need to be picked up no later than Friday, March 20, 2020. Those items are currently locked in your dormitory room. You may contact Ms. Carter or Chief Daniel Thomas, Chief of Security, to schedule a time to pick up your items.

All campus dining is closed, except for Chick-fil-A, which is take-out only. For those approved to remain in the dorm temporarily, arrangements are being made for meals. As of now, the NAIA has canceled all Spring athletic events. Renaissance and on campus activities are canceled unless you receive notification from your director. The Bethel swimming pool and fitness center are closed to the public.

College of Health Science (CHS)

CHS students will proceed with their normal schedule of classes. Physician Assistants classes will go with a blended format of some online and some face to face classes. Nursing students admitted to the Nursing program will have online classes beginning today. Clinical work for both Physician Assistant and Nursing will continue as scheduled. CHS program directors will contact students directly should any of this change.

College of Professional Studies

CPS classes will all move to online classes beginning March 23, 2020, for the period ending April 10, 2020. For students in face to face classes, your faculty member should contact you by Friday, March 20, 2020. If, by chance, they have not, please email your faculty member on Monday, March 23, 2020, for instructions.

Graduation

A decision on the May graduation has not been made. We want to do everything in our power to have our May graduation ceremony if conditions are such for a safe gathering. We will keep you updated.

Thank you for your consideration and help during this time. It is a rapidly changing environment and each of us must do our part to slow down this world-wide problem.

As I finish, I want to leave you with a Scripture and contacts for questions that might arise. If the situation changes, we will communicate that to you.

Scripture: II Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

For further questions, you may contact the following:

Ms. Cindy Mallard, Vice President College of Arts and Sciences
731.352.6702
mallardc@bethelu.edu
Dr. Kimberly Martin, Vice President College of Professional Studies
731.407.7612
martink@bethelu.edu
Dr. Joe Hames, Vice President College of Health Sciences
731.352.6381
hamesj@bethelu.edu
Ms. Peggy Carter, Director of Residence Life
731.352.4096
carterp@bethelu.edu
Mr. Brad Chappell, Senior Associate Director of Athletics
731.352.6432
chappellb@bethelu.edu
Mr. Matthew Holt, Executive Director of Renaissance
731.352.6980
holtm@bethelu.edu

March 12, 2020 4:30pm CST

A MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT WALTER BUTLER

Bethel University has received some questions on what our plans are in regard to “the Coronavirus” or COVID-19. We are monitoring the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) recommendations for higher education and the National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics’ (NAIA) recommendations. Both are changing rapidly.

Our University covers three areas with our students: The College of Arts and Sciences (the traditional campus), The College of Health Sciences, and The College of Professional Studies (our adult learner program). This week has been Spring Break for our College of Arts and Science students so many have traveled home.

For the safety of our student body, Bethel University has decided to extend Spring Break for another week for our College of Arts and Sciences and an update will be issued March 17, 2020. All campus activities in McKenzie will also be suspended. These include, but are not limited to, music events, McGuire Lecture Series, SGA Open Forum and SGA Elections. As of this time, classes will resume on March 23, 2020. Students are asked to stay home for the week of March 16-20, 2020. 

Any student who has had contact with a person who is infected is urged to self-quarantine at home. Arrangements are being made for quarantine quarters on campus should that be necessary. If you believe you may have been exposed and are following the CDC’s self-quarantine procedures and therefore will not be able to return to campus on the 23rd, please contact the Office of the Vice President for the College of Arts and Sciences to arrange accommodation and remote work.

The NAIA has cancelled all winter championships including the national basketball tournaments, so the Lady Wildcats will not be traveling to Billings, MT for play. We ask that those student athletes who are on campus for practice return home if their events have been cancelled. If returning home is not feasible, please contact Peggy Carter, Director of Residence Life. Please contact your coach to check the status of your event as many conference sporting events are being cancelled. We will continue to monitor other athletic events and address them individually. 

Our College of Professional Studies and our College of Health Sciences will proceed with their classes as normal. Nursing students admitted to the program will have courses online beginning on Monday, March 16 and continuing through Friday, March 20. Nursing students who are not in nursing classes should remain at home. Nursing students will continue to do clinical work. Physician Assistant students will do some online and some face to face classes. Clinicals for Physician Assistant students will continue as scheduled.
As we continue to monitor this situation closely, we will send more updates. 

Again, decisions that could impact the remainder of this semester will be posted by Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

For further questions, you may contact the following:
Ms. Cindy Mallard, Vice President College of Arts and Sciences
731.352.6702
mallardc@bethelu.edu

Dr. Kimberly Martin, Vice President College of Professional Studies
731.407.7612
martink@bethelu.edu

Dr. Joe Hames, Vice President College of Health Sciences
731.352.6381
hamesj@bethelu.edu

Ms. Peggy Carter, Director of Residence Life
731.352.4096
carterp@bethelu.edu

Mr. Brad Chappell, Senior Associate Director of Athletics
731.352.6432
chappellb@bethelu.edu

Mr. Matthew Holt, Executive Director of Renaissance
731.352.6980
holtm@bethelu.edu