Cedarville University is preparing to welcome residential graduate and undergraduate students back to campus as scheduled August 14-16, 2020. With broad engagement across the institution, the President’s Cabinet (made up of the division vice presidents and the athletic director) is carefully reviewing every area of the University’s operations to ensure protocols are in place to protect the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff when we return, Lord willing, in just three short months.
Using Philippians 2:4 as a guide, the Cabinet is implementing a comprehensive plan that encourages the campus community to consider others as well as themselves and empowers them to take responsibility for their own health and safety amid the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. This is an unprecedented opportunity to live out Cedarville’s core value of “Love for Others” as we take the precautions necessary to protect ourselves and those most vulnerable.
To assist with the overall planning for our return to campus, the Cabinet has convened a team of experts to advise on health- and safety-related issues. Team members include:
- John Davis (Chair), Associate Vice President of Human Resources
- Misti Grimson, M.D., Medical Director – Physician Assistant Program
- Debra McDonald, B.S.N., RN, Director of University Medical Services
- Zach Jenkins, R.Ph., Pharm.D., Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice and infectious disease expert
- Scott Long, M.S., RN, AGACNP-BC, CCRN, Assistant Professor of Nursing
- Douglas Chisholm, Director of Campus Security
One significant change we are considering is adjusting the academic calendar to end fall semester at Thanksgiving. This change would allow students to be away from campus from late November to mid-January and provide flexibility in our calendar, should it be needed. To assist families with planning, we hope to confirm the academic calendar by the end of May.
The Cabinet is also considering a variety of options for chapel, the heartbeat of Cedarville’s campus, so that worship and teaching continue along with the vibrant campus community that chapel fosters. Be assured: Cedarville will still hold chapel, although it may look different for a time.
While we do not know what may change between now and August, we are proactively addressing the unique challenges of classes and labs, athletics, special events, residence life, dining, and employee work spaces. From enhanced, deep-cleaning regimens to physical distancing protocols, from changes in dining areas and room configurations to getting comfortable wearing Yellow Jacket-branded masks, the Cabinet, advised by our team of experts, is already putting into place best practices and protocols for the fall.
And, it all gets underway with a re-imagined Getting Started Weekend when more than 1,000 new students are planning to join us!
We are excited to welcome all of our students home to Cedarville! Our rural location is a blessing, as we enjoy low coronavirus incident rates in the village and in our county. We can’t wait to have students move in to the new residence hall and enjoy dining at the beautiful Chick-fil-A facility. We are ready to do life and community together again, and we will keep you informed throughout the summer as decisions are made.
Cedarville’s mission — to transform lives through excellent education and intentional discipleship in submission to biblical authority — happens best within the context of genuine Christian community, whether it is the engagement of faculty and students in a classroom or the informal conversations that take place in the residence halls. Now more than ever, our nation and world need Cedarville graduates — highly skilled professionals who care deeply, serve passionately, and live out their Gospel calling clearly.
Lord willing, we will see you on campus in August, Cedarville family!