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August 4, 2020 Update

Update from Dr. Fisher Addressing COVID-19 Concerns

 

Dear Students and Families,

I write to you today with the news that the status of the pandemic is leading us to modify our original Return to Campus plans.

Based on our ongoing review of local, state and national data and in response to conversations with top medical officials, we have decided these adjustments will create an environment leading to a safer and more successful return. Please make note of the following changes:

Undergraduate Students

  • Classes will begin as scheduled on August 19 but all will be conducted fully online through Friday, September 4, when we hope to begin returning to campus.
    • On-campus classes in the HyFlex model (mix of in class and virtual student participation) will resume on Monday, September 7. 
    • Residential students returning after September 7 (see below) will participate remotely in the HyFlex format until they move in.
  • Move-in for residential students will be postponed until September with the move-in process spread out over two move-in periods.
    • Group A will move in September 4 (evening), 5, 6 and 7.
    • Group B will move in September 11 (evening), 12, 13 and 14.
    • The Office of Residence Life will send information to all residential students no later than Monday, August 10, which will include your assigned move in group, date and time period.
    • Room and board charges will be adjusted based on individual move-in dates with the appropriate amount credited back to students’ accounts after move-in.
  • Welcome Week activities will take place as scheduled via virtual formats.  Freshmen, expect to hear from your Towering Tradition Leader about this soon.

Graduate/Doctoral Students

  • Classes will begin as scheduled on August 19.
  • Some programs will begin the semester virtually through Friday, September 4; others will begin on-campus in the HyFlex model (mix of in class and virtual student participation) on August 19.
  • Individual Deans or program chairs will be reaching out to Graduate and Doctoral students with program-specific details.

Why these changes, and why now? July was a very bad month for the COVID-19 outbreak both locally and nationally, which we did not anticipate when we began our planning for students to return to campus. And while some of Nashville’s COVID-19 metrics seem to be trending in the right direction, the raw numbers still classify our city in active outbreak statusThe changes outlined above give us an opportunity to be more confident that the downward trend continues.  The revised move-in process will allow a more gradual ramp-up of our on-campus population and lead to a safer path forward.

Belmont fully intends on a return to on-campus learning for our students and I am very eager to achieve that goal. However, as I have mentioned in every message to you, we will all need to remain flexible as we navigate times and circumstances that we cannot predict or control. If further changes to our plan become necessary we will announce those with at least 14 days’ notice. 

I know these changes create a whole series of complications in your plans.  I am sincerely sorry for that, but we believe that this shift will give us the best opportunity to create “the safest small town in America.”

Thank you for your continued patience.  Our Return to Campus page will be kept current with our updated plans.

 

Sincerely,

Bob Fisher