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Return To Campus Plan

Lipscomb University's comprehensive plan to return to campus.

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COVID-19 Update

Lipscomb University Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 update and response.

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Updates - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Over the last few months an interdisciplinary team of professionals from across campus has been hard at work managing Lipscomb's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the information and resourced shared on this COVID-19 information site, below are general news and update information. For more employee update information click here. For more detailed student information click here. As Lipscomb has transitioned to our Return to Campus Plan, this page will not be updated as frequently. Please visit the Lipscomb Return to Campus Plan page for the latest news and updates.  (This page last updated on Nov. 17, 2020).

 

Important Upcoming Dates

We are excited to welcome students back in the fall! The fall calendar is the same as originally published with fall classes beginning August 24 and the last day of finals on December 16. We anticipate and are committed to providing a full semester of academic coursework so you can continue your academic career path. Here are some specific dates and other information about the fall semester that may be helpful.

  • Thanksgiving Break Closure Dates. The residence halls will be closed for the Thanksgiving break from Saturday, November 21 - Saturday, November 28. All residential students must vacate the dorms for these dates. Any exceptions must be approved in advance by the dean of housing and residence life. 
  • Remote After Thanksgiving. For undergraduate courses, the fall semester will continue with on-campus classes until Thanksgiving break and the last week of classes and finals will be delivered in a remote format. In an effort to be mindful of both additional travel expenses and individual student health concerns, residential students will have the option of staying home after Thanksgiving break and completing their coursework and finals remotely or returning to campus to complete the semester remotely. Room and board fees will not be adjusted if students choose to remain home following the Thanksgiving break. The delivery format for graduate courses following Thanksgiving will be determined on a course-by-course basis by the department and following local guidelines in place at the time. 
  • Fall Graduation. We will monitor the regional guidelines to determine the format of the December graduation. At this time, we are planning for an in-person graduation program on December 19. 

Fall Classes began Aug. 24

Fall semester classes began on campus on Aug. 24. 

April 22, 2020

In accordance with state and federal guidelines, we are continuing a remote work schedule for non-essential employees until further notice. We are in the process of developing a multi-phase plan for returning to campus and we will notify you of this plan in the near future. Although many employees will be working from home, these are “regular” workdays and employees working remotely are expected to be “on call and available” to complete assigned work during normal business hours. Please see more specific guidelines from human resources here for additional details on working remotely. Essential employees who need to work on campus during this week will be notified by their supervisors.

Spring and summer classes will be delivered in an online/remote format.

April 3, 2020

The Business Office announced room and board refund information. Read full announcement that was sent to students and parents here. Learn more in this Frequently Asked Questions resource.

April 1, 2020

Spring 2020 Commencement: The Office of the Provost announced plans to celebrate the May and August graduates the includes virtual celebrations in May and the opportunity to participate in commencement on December 19, 2020. Read full announcement to students here

Continuation of Remote Work: In accordance with new state and federal guidelines, we are continuing a remote work schedule for non-essential employees through April 24. We will continually monitor and assess the situation and will notify you of any changes to this schedule. Although many employees will be working from home, these are “regular” workdays and employees working remotely are expected to be “on call and available” to complete assigned work during normal business hours. Please see more specific guidelines from human resources here for additional details on working remotely. Essential employees who need to work on campus during this time will be notified by their supervisors.

March 30-April 3, 2020

Remote work schedule for non-essential employees . Although many employees will be working from home, these are “regular” workdays and employees working remotely are expected to be “on call and available” to complete assigned work during normal business hours. (Employees find more information here.) Essential employees who need to work on campus during this week will be notified by their supervisors.

Undergraduate classes will resume online and will remain in that format through the end of the spring semester.

March 23-27, 2020

Remote workweek for non-essential employees. Although many employees will be working from home, these are “regular” workdays and employees working remotely are expected to be “on call and available” to complete assigned work during normal business hours. (Employees find more information here.) Essential employees who need to work on campus during this week will be notified by their supervisors. We will be issuing communication for all employees regarding work schedules for the week of March 30-April 3 at a later date. 

The university is open for business during this remote workweek to serve the needs of our students. Find employee directory here, admissions information here or explore the website for additional university information.

Employee Email Updates: Message from President  Employee Update  CTL Resources Reminder

March 19-20, 2020

University offices are closed for the spring break holiday. Offices will reopen Monday, March 23, according to regular operating hours. 

March 18, 2020

University offices are open and operating in a regular schedule.

3:30 p.m.

University officials have made the decision to extend online instruction at Lipscomb University for the remainder of the spring semester. Read full message to students and parents. Read full message to employees.

March 17, 2020

University offices are open and operating on regular schedule.

Costa Rica Students Return

Monday evening global learning students who have been studying in Lipscomb's program in Costa Rica returned safely to the United States.

March 16, 2020

Employee Update

NEW - March 23-27: Remote workweek for non-essential employees. The institution has designated this week as a remote workweek for non-essential employees. Although many employees will be working from home, these are “regular” workdays and employees working remotely are expected to be “on call and available” to complete assigned work during normal business hours. Employees who are not available for work during this week should take vacation or sick days, as applicable. Please see more specific guidelines from human resources here for additional details on working remotely. If employees need to come to campus to gather items from their office to be able to work from home, they may do so at their discretion. Please contact campus safety at 615-966-7600 if you need assistance accessing a specific building or office. Essential employees who need to work on campus during this week will be notified by their supervisors. Read full message to employees.

University-Related Domestic Travel Restrictions
In addition to the policies in place regarding university-sponsored international travel, we are now restricting university-related domestic air travel and travel by any public transportation means (such as buses, metro, trains) that meets CDC travel guidelines until notified otherwise. (This DOES NOT include using public transportation for personal use or to get to and from work.) Employees should cancel any university-related domestic travel through May 9 that meets these criteria or guidelines and may not schedule university-related travel of any kind past May 9 without permission from Lipscomb’s Office of Risk Management.This is in keeping with travel policies that a number of other organizations have recently implemented and is in keeping with best practices issued by the CDC. For personal domestic travel, you are encouraged to continue to follow CDC U.S. travel guidelines and are encouraged to use caution when traveling to minimize risk to others and to follow CDC guidelines for personal preventive measures. 

Employee Remote Work Information

Remote work guidelines HR   Tools for working remotely (IT)

March 15, 2020

Update for Lipscomb Academy employees

March 14, 2020

European Students Return
We are happy that our global learning students and faculty who had been studying in Vienna (this includes the relocated students from Florence, Italy) have returned safely to the U.S.  Our global learning students in Costa Rica are scheduled to return to the U.S. on Monday.

Updated Travel Policy
As we have seen in the last several days, this is a very fluid and quickly changing situation. As such, we are constantly reviewing our policies and procedures to ensure we have the best policies in place as the circumstances change. You can find the most current travel policy on the COVID-19 website here. We want to share with you the University’s slightly revised travel policy which is summarized below.

Until further notice, all school-sponsored international travel is fully restricted to any country or area that meets any of the following criteria:

  • Has a rating by the CDC at a Level 3 or higher, or
  • Is referenced in applicable CDC guidelines, or
  • Is restricting or banning travel.

Any member of the Lipscomb community who travels to a location that meets any of these criteria or travels via a cruise to any location is restricted from campus for a 14-day period from the date the trip ends. 

If this situation applies to you, employees should inform your supervisor and human resources. Additionally, any employee or student who will be traveling outside of the United States during Spring Break is required to notify University officials of your plans using this form.  The list of affected countries and the warning level is dynamic. We encourage you to monitor developments, including the list of countries that are at a Level 3 or higher, through the CDC website.

Email Update

Student/Parent Message   Employee Message
 

March 13, 2020

7:45 a.m.

Classes are suspended for today, but the university is open and operating on its normal schedule. Faculty and some staff will participate in professional development training today. Spring break begins next week. Staff resource remote work document.

11:15 a.m.

UPDATE: Please note the revised international travel guidelines.

All school-sponsored international travel is fully restricted until further notice to any country or area that meets any of the following criteria:

  • Has a rating by the CDC at a Level 3 or higher, or
  • Is referenced in applicable CDC guidelines, or
  • Is restricting or banning travel.

Any member of the Lipscomb community who independently visits a location that meets any of these criteria areas or travels via a cruise to any location is restricted from campus for a 14-day period. The list of affected countries and the warning level is dynamic. We encourage you to monitor developments through the CDC  and State Department.

12:30 p.m.

Global learning students studying abroad in Vienna (which includes the students who relocated there from the Florence site in February), will return to the United States this evening. The decision was also made to end the global learning program in Costa Rica for the semester. Those students will return over the weekend. Read full message to parents of Costa Rica students.

March 12, 2020

7:45 a.m.

Lipscomb classes and programming are proceeding as scheduled today.

10:30 p.m.

A NOTE OF CLARIFICATION: Several have asked already if they are required to return to on-campus housing on the weekend of March 28 since classes will begin online beginning March 30. The short answer is no, you won't be required, but a more complete answer is that the situation is fluid and we cannot fully anticipate just yet how the last several weeks of the semester will look. The core academic classes will be online starting March 30, but we aren't positive what might be possible yet in every program (e.g., labs, internships, etc.). So as of now, which is all we can say tonight, we are looking toward residence halls fully reopening on March 28 in hopes that we might have some remnants of community possible. As we get closer to March 28, we will poll students again on whether students plan to immediately return to campus at that time. We will provide further updates based on what develops in the coming days.
 

9 p.m.

Housing
Residence halls will reopen on Saturday, March 21, at 6 p.m., for students who have jobs, internships, or other needs to be on campus even though classes will not resume before March 30. They will have access to dining options. We anticipate everyone else returning to campus beginning Saturday, March 28, when dorms reopen for all students at 6 p.m.

Residential students, register here if you need to return to the dorm on March 21. (Students who have already been approved to stay in the dorm during spring break may continue to do so, but if you decide to leave please email laurie.sain@lipscomb.edu.)

Activities
Although spring semester is a busy time on campus, at this time we have decided to cancel all university and athletic events until April 30 unless notified otherwise. We understand that this is disappointing as many of you have devoted a number of hours preparing for several events on campus and athletic competitions. 

Read full message to: Students  Parents  Employees
 

3 p.m.

Spring Break will be extended for March 23-27 for undergraduate students. Faculty and staff will report to work the week of March 23-27 as usual. During this week, faculty and staff will use the time to transition all undergraduate classes to a remote teaching and learning environment. Undergraduate classes will resume in an online format on Monday, March 30.  

Graduate classes will resume on Monday, March 23. Programs will determine format. If there is any change in the delivery method of a graduate program, the graduate students in that program will be notified by the program administrators. 

We encourage you to take with you all academic materials and essential items so you are prepared in the event the situation changes over spring break. Please visit our web resource for the latest news and updates during the break.

We realize these decisions may raise other questions and we will provide additional information in the next few days. 

Thank you for your patience and your flexibility during this unique time in our community, nation and world as we work together to continue to provide a life-transforming educational experience for you, our students. 

Message to Students  Message to Parents  Message to Employees
 

March 11, 2020

Lipscomb classes and programming are proceeding as scheduled today.  

Spring break update: As we look toward spring break next week, we have decided to suspend classes for Friday, March 13, to give our community an opportunity to be better prepared for the possibility of operating in an online format should a circumstance arise where that is necessary. This also allows our students to start their spring break a day early THIS Friday, March 13. Dorms will close on Saturday morning as originally scheduled. It also gives faculty and staff a day for professional training and preparedness on the latest tools to work remotely should that be a future circumstance. Message to students. Message to parents. Message to Employees.

March 10, 2020

Lipscomb classes and programming are proceeding as scheduled today. 

Erin Keckley, director of Lipscomb University Health Services, spoke with students in The Gathering to share information about COVID-19. She followed up with an email to students and parents with additional information about the virus and services available on campus. Read full message.

Human Resources shares information about employee benefits coverage and options related to the virus. Read full message. 
 

March 6, 2020

President Lowry updates students about how the institution is preparing for and responding to COVID-19 Read the full message. President Lowry also updated parents. Read the full message.

March 5, 2020

President Lowry updates the Lipscomb community sharing information about how the institution is preparing for and responding to COVID-19 Read the full message.

February 26, 2020

Because of the increased level of concern and guidance from the resources we have available and the desire to be proactive for the health and well-being of our global learning students in Florence, Italy, the decision was made to relocate those students to Lipscomb’s program in Vienna. 

Given all our options and considerations for the health and well-being of our students, we have decided to temporarily relocate the Florence students to Vienna. This option is only possible because, fortunately, none of the Florence students have visited an area or region impacted by the Covid-19 virus. Because our students’ safety and well-being are of utmost importance, we would not make this decision if it put our Vienna students at risk by introducing another student population that could be impacted by the virus. Read the full message