Protecting the health and wellbeing of our community while providing a great on-campus experience.
As you review the Return to Campus information, be assured that tremendous efforts have been taken and made significant financial investments to put plans, policies and procedures in place as preventive measures to protect the Lipscomb community and to create appropriate responses for when a COVID case is present on our campus. Our plans are based on the following premises:
Prevention: We are doing everything we can to prevent the virus from affecting members of our community. But know that no community can guarantee a COVID-19 free environment.
Robust Response: We are prepared to respond quickly, effectively and medically in the event of a COVID case on our campus.
Investment: We have invested millions of dollars to enhance the resources, supplies, facilities, and equipment needed to respond to the COVID environment we currently find ourselves in.
Staffing: We have proactively increased both our medical staff and student support services staff to assist students during the semester as may be needed.
Guidelines: As a community that believes in the value of knowledge and expertise, we have sought the best guidance from federal, state and local entities as well as higher education organizations focused on creating a safe learning community.
Updated: March 2, 2021 - Lipscomb University will update the information on this page if aspects of the return to campus plan change.
Download the Lipscomb READY app
This is a comprehensive app that will replace the current BisonAlert texting system for emergency messages. In addition, the COVID-19 resources have been added to the app and you can use the app to check your COVID symptoms daily. You can download the Lipscomb READY app here and read more about it here.
We are following local, state and federal guidelines to create a safe campus environment for students and employees. Guidelines we are following include:
- Mayor John Cooper’s Roadmap to Reopening Nashville,
- Gov. Bill Lee’s Tennessee Pledge: Reopening Tennessee Responsibly plan,
- Tennessee’s Access Guidelines for Higher Education,
- American College Health Association Guidelines: Considerations for Reopening Institutions of Higher Education in the COVID-19 Era, and
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In addition, we are fortunate to have Dr. Kevin Eidson, director of health and wellness, advising on all community health protocols. Dr. Eidson has been instrumental in creating our plans for and operating in the safest way possible so that we can all enjoy being a part of a healthy campus.
Respect Leads Community Value. At Lipscomb University, we value and respect each person and take seriously our responsibility to do what is good for the general welfare of our community. And, if we all lead with respect for others, things will typically work out for the best. We all want to stay on campus for the full semester and, while some of that may be out of our control with this pandemic, much of it is within the control of our community and how well we follow the health and safety protocols in place. We commit to approach situations of noncompliance with empathy and understanding and with a focus on education. However, cases of significant or consistent policy violation will not be tolerated as it puts the whole community at risk of having to return to remote learning as well as risking the health of vulnerable individuals within our community. In those extreme cases where policies are significantly or consistently violated, there will be the possibility of disciplinary action. Failure to adhere to any requirement may result in disciplinary action, including up to expulsion or dismissal for students and termination of employment for employees, depending on the facts and circumstances. Student violations will be reported to Tasha Coleman, director of community standards, and will be processed in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct. Employee violations will be reported to their supervisor and will be processed in accordance with the Employee Handbook.
Important Dates and Information
Here are some highlights of specific upcoming dates and other information that may be helpful.
Spring Calendar Update
The beginning and ending dates for the spring calendar are the same as originally published with spring classes beginning January 11, 2021 and the last day of finals on May 5, 2021. A few graduate programs, such as pharmacy, will begin classes on January 4 as planned. We anticipate and are committed to providing a full semester of academic coursework so you can continue your academic career path. You can review the Spring 2021 schedule here.
Below is a high level summary of a few schedule changes you will notice in the spring semester.
- Spring Break and “Bison Break” days. Breaks within the spring semester have been changed on the academic schedule. The spring semester will mirror the fall semester with a later spring break the week of April 12-16. The addition of three “Bison Break” days will allow for rest during the semester to ease the physical and mental health toll on our undergraduate students and faculty. Offices will remain open but no undergraduate classes will meet. Students with lab classes or experiential classes, such as practicums, clinicals, and internships, that are scheduled on these days should consult with their faculty members regarding their class schedules for the Bison Break days. Bison Break days are February 10, March 2, and March 25.
Spring Break Closure Dates. The residence halls will be closed for spring break from Saturday, April 10 - Saturday, April 17. 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 Spring Break. For undergraduate courses, the spring semester will continue with on-campus classes until spring break with classes after spring break and finals delivered in a remote format. Residential students will be contacted by Student Life regarding restrictions for returning to campus following Spring Break. Room and board fees will not be adjusted for the remote period following the spring break.
Following Spring Break, graduate classes will meet in-person or virtually as determined by each course needs and following local guidelines in place at the time.
- May Graduation. We are pleased to announce our plans to offer a series of in-person ceremonies Friday, May 7, and Saturday, May 8. These celebrations will include May 2021 degree candidates as well as August 2021 candidates who have petitioned to walk early in this ceremony. We will hold four graduation ceremonies Friday, May 7, through Saturday, May 8, that will allow us the ability to safely distance participants in the program. Degree candidates will be expected to participate in the specific ceremony affiliated with their college. The ceremonies will take place in Allen Arena according to the following schedule:
- Friday, May 7
- 10 a.m.: George Shinn College of Entertainment & the Arts, College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
- 4 p.m.: College of Business, College of Computing & Technology, Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering
- Saturday, May 8
- 10 a.m.: College of Education, College of Leadership & Public Service, College of Professional Studies
- 4 p.m.: College of Bible & Ministry, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
- Friday, May 7
- Each graduate will be offered a maximum of four assigned seats for their guests, seated in a group for their college’s ceremony. Graduates will receive additional information regarding the ticketing process. The ceremonies will also be streamed live for family and friends who are not able to attend in person to view and celebrate your accomplishments. Our Class of 2021 graduates have been tenacious and have thrived in an historic time in higher education and have persevered to complete their degrees, and we hope you will take time to celebrate with those you have walked with you on this journey.
Spring 2021 Semester COVID-19 Testing Requirement
- Spring Semester Surveillance Testing. During the Spring 2021 semester, the Lipscomb University Health Center staff will conduct COVID-19 surveillance testing for residential students. Selected individuals will be notified via their Lipscomb email account and all tests will be conducted by the Lipscomb University Health Center at no cost to the patient. You can learn more here about the surveillance testing procedures and protocols.
Information and F&Q's
⚠️ COVID WARNING - Assumption of Risk
COVID-19 is a highly contagious and potentially life-threatening disease with no vaccine currently available. The highly contagious nature of COVID-19 means that being in close proximity with other individuals, or contact with surfaces that have been exposed to the coronavirus, can lead to infection. Additionally, many individuals who are infected with COVID-19 may be asymptomatic and unknowingly spread the virus to others. Because of its highly contagious and sometimes “hidden” nature, it is currently very difficult to control the spread of COVID-19 or to determine whether, where, or how a specific individual may have been exposed to the disease.
Lipscomb University holds as paramount the health, safety and welfare of every member of its community. The university is engaged in numerous efforts to prevent, mitigate, and respond to the spread of COVID-19 on campus, and has put in place certain safety rules and precautions, which may be updated from time to time. Minimizing the spread of COVID-19 is a shared responsibility, and the university expects and requires all members of the Lipscomb community to do their part by following proper protocol. Despite the university’s best efforts, however, it is impossible to eliminate the risk of positive cases or an outbreak of COVID-19 on campus. The university cannot guarantee a COVID-19-free environment. Students, employees and guests who are physically present on the university’s campus or interact with other members of the Lipscomb community may be exposed to and contract COVID-19, which could result in severe illness and death, and voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.