COVID-19 Update: Cedarville’s Plan to Implement Ohio Governor’s Recommendations

March 11, 2020 |

Dear Cedarville University Community,

Yesterday, I communicated in chapel that the University would remain open and continue to hold classes. Later in the day, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine held a conference call with presidents of independent colleges and universities and requested that we all move to online delivery of education for a period of time. The Bible clearly communicates that we should obey those whom God has placed in authority over us whenever possible. As a result, we are providing you with updated guidance concerning Cedarville University’s response to the COVID-19 situation.

The new advisories and actions outlined in this communication come at the direct request of the Ohio Governor’s office, and with a great amount of discussion by Cedarville’s Cabinet. These actions reflect our state’s proactive efforts to minimize the spread and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in Ohio and in our nation. At this time, there are no known cases of COVID-19 on our campus or in our area, but we do not know what we do not know.

Please review this information carefully, as normal operations will be significantly disrupted. We understand at least some of the difficult implications of these decisions. Please know that we have complied with the Governor’s request from a desire to demonstrate caution and to protect our students, faculty, staff, and guests.

Guidance for Faculty and Students Regarding Classroom Teaching

  • Classes will be canceled Thursday and Friday, March 12-13, to allow faculty to prepare to transition to online instruction.
  • Effective Monday, March 16, through Friday, March 27, the University will transition to remote (online) delivery of all undergraduate and graduate education. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide additional guidance about classes by March 25.
  • Professors will be providing additional instruction to their students on how their class content will be delivered.
  • The exceptions to this mandate may include those students participating in clinical activities or student teaching as part of their academic preparation; in those instances, the deans and chairs of the respective schools and departments will provide direct guidance regarding which experiences will continue.

Residential Living

  • All residential students should plan to be out of their residence hall by Friday, March 13, at 5 p.m.
  • We anticipate that residence halls will reopen Sunday, March 29, but we will provide you with additional guidance via email by March 25.
  • We understand that for a limited number of students, getting to or staying at a location away from campus is not possible. For that reason, the Residence Life office has created a petition process for students who believe they must remain on campus. The deadline for submitting a petition is 12 p.m. on Thursday, March 12. Students who are approved to remain on campus must prepare for significantly limited on-campus activities and interactions.

Faculty and Staff Work Arrangements

  • Throughout this time, the University is remaining open and will be delivering educational content online.
  • All employees are expected to work and should coordinate with their supervisors to determine work expectations during this time.

Campus Events

  • All non-athletic events planned on campus through Sunday, March 29, are canceled. Event coordinators will contact guests with additional information.
  • Some schools have already canceled Commencement services. We will be reviewing this in the coming weeks and provide further guidance as we have more data to make an informed decision.

Athletics

  • Outdoor in-season sports will continue.
  • Indoor in-season sports will continue with spectators limited.

Travel

  • Nonessential business travel will cease effective immediately. The respective Vice President or Athletic Director will provide further guidance concerning University business.
  • We are reviewing summer Global Outreach and Study Abroad travel to ensure we make wise choices and will provide further information in the coming weeks.

I apologize that you have returned from traveling over spring break only to be sent back home a few days later. As you know from my comments in Tuesday’s chapel, this was not my intention. Yet, we must trust the doctors whom the Governor has assembled to advise him. I believe he is acting in what he thinks is the best interest of the citizens of Ohio, and I anticipate other states may soon follow.

Thank you for your understanding with us as we seek wisdom from the Lord to lead wisely in unique times. Thank you for taking this matter seriously and for adhering to the best practices of proper health protection outlined by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). We prepare as well as we can, and we trust the Lord because we know He is faithful. I will pray that God grants you all good health and safety as well as many eternally significant ministry opportunities as we seek to love God and others well. I consider it an honor to serve King Jesus at Cedarville.

In Christ,

Thomas White signature

Thomas White
President

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