June 15 Update: In-Person Fall Classes, International Travel, and Caring Well for Others

June 15, 2020 |

Caring Well. Staying Well.

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. (1 John 3:1)

This week’s updates include more information about fall classes, getting campus ready for students’ arrival, international travel guidelines, practical tips for caring well from Dr. Misti Grimson, and the Labor Day holiday for staff.

Fall 2020 Academic Calendar – As announced in our June 9 update, we have revised our 2020 fall semester calendar so that classes begin on Monday, August 17, and conclude on Tuesday, November 24, for most courses and programs. Please review the original announcement for some of the exceptions to this plan.

We believe our mission is best accomplished through personal engagement between students and professors and students with their peers. This week, Dr. Tom Mach, Vice President for Academics, offers additional information about our plans for returning to face-to-face instruction in ways that instill confidence for both our students and our faculty:

  • Changes to the schedule do not reduce total class time in most cases. If there are instances of reduced class time, faculty will take supplemental actions to make up the time so there will be no loss in educational quality, rigor, or engagement.
  • Our faculty prefer to teach face to face. We will limit the number of online courses as much as possible while still protecting those who are at greatest risk from COVID-19.
  • For those faculty members who need to teach online in the fall due to underlying health concerns or age, we will follow CDC recommendations in these cases and make every effort to protect our faculty.
  • We are working to determine appropriate protocol for classrooms in order to keep students and faculty healthy, including sanitation, physical distancing, and masks.
  • For classrooms where appropriate physical distancing is not possible, we may utilize a hybrid teaching model to protect students.
  • We will continue to assess state guidelines between now and the start of the academic year to determine the appropriate plan for each course.

We will provide more detailed updates through the summer as plans continue to be finalized. Please visit the Student Information page on our Caring Well. Staying Well. website for the latest information.

Getting Ready for Fall – The new buildings on campus are continuing to make great progress. You can almost see students filing into Chick-fil-A for lunch, studying in the Civil Engineering Center, and hanging out in vibrant community in the new residence hall. We can’t wait to welcome them back to campus in August!

International Travel – Following the current guidance of the U.S. State Department, we are requiring that any faculty, staff, or student who has traveled abroad or will be coming to campus from another country must quarantine for 14 days after returning to the U.S. and before coming to Cedarville. A very limited number of rooms are available for quarantine on campus for these early arrivals. Priority will be given to our international students who do not have other accommodations within the U.S. If this applies to you, please contact one of the following offices to confirm your travel and quarantine plan:

  • Faculty and Staff: Contact Human Resources at 937-766-7885 or hr@cedarville.edu
  • International and MK Students: Contact Brenda Reid, Coordinator of International Student Services, at 937-766-7982 or breid189@cedarville.edu.
  • Other Students: Contact Nancy Ranger, Administrative Assistant to the Vice President for Student Life and Christian Ministries, at 937-766-7871 or rangern@cedarville.edu.

If State Department guidelines change, Cedarville will adjust this requirement accordingly.

Caring for Others – Continuing our “Caring Well. Staying Well.” video series, Dr. Misti Grimson, Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies, shares practical ways the Cedarville community can care for others as we coexist on campus.

Labor Day Staff Holiday – Staff members should confer with their supervisor to determine needed coverage for Labor Day since classes are in session this year. Staff will have Labor Day or another day during the same week as a paid holiday.

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  • Julie Blubaum says:

    Will the Industrial Design students’ schedule at the ICC in Columbus be the same as the on campus schedule at Cedarville? Thank you.

  • Jonathan Fitzpatrick says:

    I hope CU uses reasonable judgment, as many return and some come for the first time in the fall. It has been mentioned in one update I saw that CU is following state guidelines. Does the state always have it right? Well, would CU consider abortion clinics an essential business or even a good thing? I don’t think so. I do not feel that Cedarville University’s mask, social distancing, and other policies can be implemented for students who are paying thousands of dollars to attend. I know skateboards are a big culture to CU, but they are probably more dangerous than walking. Does that mean that CU should ban skateboards? Well, they should if they want to be consistent with their logic. If a students wants to wear a mask, let them! If they do not, do not make them! If a students wants a more dangerous mode of transportation(skateboard), let them ride it! If a students wants to walk, let them! I do not want anything I am saying to come across as rude, but I strongly feel that CU needs to let students make theses decisions for themselves. I know I am speaking for a very large portion of the student body.

    • Sarah Gump says:

      Hello Jonathan! Thank you for your comment. The updates for the Caring Well. Staying Well. Blog are sent to multiple audiences – faculty & staff, students, parents. As we are planning to return to campus, we are sharing broad guidelines. As we get closer to the return date, we will clarify expectations. A university presents a unique challenge because it is a place of work for faculty/staff and it is a home for students. Students will not be required to wear a mask all of the time, since this is considered their home. As a suggestion, we are encouraging everyone who cannot maintain social distancing to wear a mask out of concern and care for others. I hope this is helpful.

  • Tara Yoder says:

    could you share with us more detail of when to wear a mask? Are students expected to wear one while walking from building to building, in class, chapel? Is it mandatory or up to the student?

    • Sarah Gump says:

      Hello, Tara! As a suggestion, we are encouraging everyone who cannot maintain social distancing to wear a mask out of concern and care for others. We understand a student treats the University like their home, therefore they will not be required to wear a mask all of the time. There will be more updates in future blogs which offer specific guidelines. I hope this is helpful!

  • CU Student says:

    So I did some quick math… There were 14 weeks of class or so before the calendar modification. There will now be 12, plus 3 extra days. Assuming that, “Changes to the schedule do not reduce total class time in most cases.” (see above) You would have to add one extra half day of classes per week. Is this your intent? (To demonstrate my math, 14 weeks – 12 weeks and 3 days is 1 week and 2 days, or 7 class days, distributed over 12 weeks. That amounts to a half day of classes every week)

    • Sarah Gump says:

      Hello, there. Thank you for your comment! Although the schedule change is not exactly equal, our goal is the safety of the students, faculty, and staff. We thought it would be wise for students to not return to campus after traveling home for the Thanksgiving holiday. This schedule modification is only for the fall semester. It is not our desire for this to be a long term change.

      • CU Student says:

        If you make this change, you recognize that you will be increasing student workloads by about 20%. That’s the equivalent of taking my semester from 16 to 19.2 credits. That’s not a feasible credit load for my major. Let’s do some more math: each credit hour of class at Cedarville is supposed to equal 3 hours of out of class work. Assuming professors keep to this idea, which they often don’t (They often require more out of class work, this is a minimum), this would take my semester from about 64 hours of work per week (16 credit hours * (3 hours out of class + 1 hour in class)) to about 77 (19.2 * (3 + 1)) For some of my friends, who are overcredit next semester at 18 credits, they would be working 87 hours a week. How have you planned to account for such individuals? Or do you simply plan to let them sink or swim? 64 hours a week is manageable but tough. 77 is the equivalent of working two full time jobs, and 87 leaves a student sleeping 7 hours a night with 4 hours a week to quit studying and go to church. Do you want 50% of the freshman class to wash out? And why hasn’t this aspect been more widely discussed? You need to either cut content and time or cut neither. To make what I feel is an apt reference, “Go and get your own straw wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reduced at all” (Exodus 5:11) (math on the above: 168 hours per week – sleep @ 7 hours *7 days (49 hours) – meals @ (3 hours * 7 days) (21 hours) – (showers, laundry, etc.) (1 hour * 7 days) (7 hours) = 91 hours per week not spent on sleep / food / necessities. 91 hours – 87 hours of schoolwork = 4 hours of free time per week, or about 30 minutes per day, which could probably be eaten up walking across campus) (Also, nice obfuscational non-answer to my first question above) I would rather finish online, IF it comes to that, like we did this spring.

        • Sarah Gump says:

          Thank you for the dialogue on the schedule change. We agree – this situation is not ideal, and we made the decision reluctantly but with good advice as it relates to dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. I do promise to share your carefully considered feedback with our academic leaders. Syllabus and class schedules are still being finalized, but I’m confident our faculty will stand ready to serve and support you and other students as we navigate this unprecedented situation together.

  • Cheryl VanDemark says:

    I just want to make sure I am reading this correct. about Staff and Labor Day. Is it a paid holiday and the staff may or may not be teaching that day?

    • Sarah Gump says:

      Hello Cheryl! Faculty will be teaching their classes on Labor day. Labor Day is a paid holiday for staff members. Staff members can choose a day during the week of Labor Day as a paid holiday. For more questions, please contact hr@cedarville.edu.

  • StaceyS says:

    Will there be a fall Bible conference or will everyone dive right into classes? We are truly hoping that the conference won’t be a casualty of the virus! Thank you!

    • Sarah Gump says:

      Hello Stacey! Thank you for your question. We love Fall Bible Conference! Our goal is to have it. Stay tuned for updates. Information will be shared in the blog. 🙂

  • Bonny Thiesen says:

    We also are eagerly awaiting news of Dr. Whites return. It will be greatly disappointing and unsettling if he is not there for the start of the academic school year.

    • Sarah Gump says:

      Hello, Bonny. Thank you for your interest and care. We will share an update with our Cedarville family as soon as we have additional information.

  • John Hoyman says:

    This parent encouraged my son to attend CU because of Dr White. Of course, we want the truth, but I hope the college has courage to stand up to a vocal minority if Dr. White’s culpability cannot be firmly established.
    In Christ,

  • Sam M. says:

    “….including sanitation, physical distancing, and MASKS.”

    Please, please let COMMON SENSE prevail and DON’T require masks. If a faculty member or student wishes to use a mask by all means let them, but PLEASE let everyone use their God given brains to decide for THEMSELVES.

    The whole “mask thing” is an effort to perpetuate “Covid Mania” and has been proven to be mostly, if not fully ineffective.

    PLEASE don’t just “fall in line” and let the students themselves decide….

    • Sarah Gump says:

      Thank you for taking the time to share with us! We appreciate your feedback and understand your concerns. Our goal is to navigate these issues carefully, wisely, and sensibly. Yes, we are following the guidance of state and local health officials, while also appreciating that a residential campus community has unique challenges and opportunities.

  • Rick Smith says:

    …and still no update on Dr White’s status ?

    • Mark Weinstein says:


      Thank you for taking the time to write and ask about Dr White. As you may know, our Board has commissioned two investigations and will consider those reports. That is still in process. We will share an update with our Cedarville family as soon as we have additional information. Thank you for caring and praying.


      • Stevie Powers says:

        Yes, our family has been eagerly awaiting good news about Dr. White staying on as C.U. President. We want to rest assured that he will be there in the fall welcoming and nurturing our students. We consider him a main reason that our current student attends and a main reason for our son, a future student, to enter C.U. in fall of 2022. Still praying…

        • Mark Weinstein says:

          Thanks for your continued prayers. Very much appreciated!

        • Lisa Johnson says:

          Our family feels the same way. We have a student returning as a junior and are sending a new freshman this fall greatly influenced by the incredible leadership of Dr. White. We have been nothing but blessed and impressed by him and the way he allows God to use him to make such a powerful difference at the University and beyond. We are praying and greatly look forward to his return.

          • Sarah Gump says:

            Thank you for the comment, Lisa! We look forward to having your family back on campus in the fall. Thank you for caring and praying.

        • Kelly Peterson says:

          Our family feels exactly the same. Dr. White is a big factor in our Cedarville decision. My husband has done his research and knows that Dr. White has made some amazing impact on the University. We are praying for wise decisions as we to have a second child planning on attending in the Fall of 2021.

          • Sarah Gump says:

            Hello Kelly. Thank you for your feedback. Thank you for taking the time to write and ask about Dr White. As you may know, our Board has commissioned two investigations and will consider those reports. That is still in process. We will share an update with our Cedarville family as soon as we have additional information. Thank you for caring and praying.

    • LMaxwell says:

      When can we expect information? During this incredibly challenging and unique times the students NEED his voice and his leadership.

      • Mark Weinstein says:

        Thank you for taking the time to write and ask about Dr White, and for your continued prayers. The two board-commissioned investigations are still in process. We will share an update with our Cedarville family as soon as we have additional information. Have a blessed day.

    • Judith Lancie says:

      I understand and respect that a investigation takes some amount of time, however it’s been months and I feel that a decision should be coming soon regarding Dr. White. I am getting concerned that the outcome may not be good and that is why there is a delay. Dr. Whites leadership is one of the primary reasons we chose Cedarville and I this needs to be resolved very soon.

      • Sarah Gump says:

        Hello Judith. We appreciate your feedback. We will share an update with the Cedarville family as soon as we have additional information. Thank you for caring. Please continue to pray.