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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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Return To Campus Plan

Protecting the health and wellbeing of our community while providing a great on-campus experience.

After weeks of quarantine, we are now beginning our return to campus plans and we are excited to look ahead to the fall semester! We are making deliberate plans to open safely this fall. It will take all of us working together to take precautions to protect our health as well as the health of others in our community. This fall will not be a “normal” semester, but it will be a wonderful experience! We are confident that each of us is willing to do whatever we need to do to bring our community back to campus this fall. 

Updated: July 8, 2020 - Lipscomb University will update the information on this page if aspects of the return to campus plan change.


Current stage is 2: Critical Administrative and Business Operations

Guidelines

We are following local, state and federal guidelines to create a safe campus environment for students and employees. Guidelines we are following include:

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.

 

Academic Calendar

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.

  • On-Campus Classes. Undergraduate programs and most graduate programs will begin on-campus classes for the fall semester on August 24. A few graduate programs, such as pharmacy, will begin on campus fall classes on August 17, with new student orientations on August 12 and 14. 

  • New Student Move-in Dates. To allow for proper physical distancing, move-in for new students is scheduled over three days this year—August 14-16. Stay tuned for more details from Housing and Residence Life about other information regarding dorm move in.

  • New Student Orientation. New undergraduate students will have New Student Orientation and Quest Week August 17-23.

  • Remote Option After Thanksgiving. The fall semester will continue with on-campus classes until Thanksgiving break. In an effort to be both mindful of additional travel expenses and individual student health concerns, students will have the option of staying home after Thanksgiving break and completing the last week of classes and finals remotely. 

  • Fall Graduation. Fall graduation is still currently planned for an on-campus event on December 19. We will monitor the regional guidelines to determine if this date and in-person event can be held in the best interest of our community. 

  • Global Learning. Global learning is a vibrant and important part of our community. As we often say “Some of your best days at Lipscomb will be spent miles away.” Our global studies program has active semester-long programs in Costa Rica, England, Austria and Italy. Unfortunately, given the continuing health concerns and travel restrictions surrounding international travel, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the fall global learning programs. Even with that sad news, we are moving ahead with investment in our global learning program and on-campus activities for students interested in future international travel opportunities. In the next few weeks, we will finalize the purchase of the Florence villa that has served our global students so well for the last few years. This is a significant investment in our global learning program and is made possible by a generous donation from a donor committed to the exceptional learning experience that a study abroad opportunity provides. In addition, our global learning team will plan and offer chapels and other gathering opportunities during the semester for students who plan to go on future global learning experiences.

    For students who were planning to participate in a fall global learning experience, we have a dedicated team working with these students to register them for fall classes and reserve appropriate dorm space, if needed. Also, these students will have priority reservation status on future global learning experiences once we can resume international travel.  

Classroom and Teaching Plans

Faculty are excited to welcome students back to class on campus! We have been working this summer to create classes with a remote option to continue learning for students who have health concerns that limit their in-person class time and in the event of a second COVID wave. Our students’ academic progress and learning are important and we are committed to helping them achieve their academic goals this semester! 

  • Classroom Reviews. Our commitment is to provide an outstanding learning environment with the flexibility needed to serve remote students. So, a team has been hard at work reviewing over 100 classroom spaces and creating a plan for adding the appropriate enhanced technology to enable remote learning. This technology alone is just over $300,000 to equip the classroom spaces with remote teaching and learning capabilities. This team has also prepared an appropriate physically distanced plan for each classroom which reduces the number of students in the physical space as well as reviewed with our service operations team the daily enhanced cleaning protocols. All of these efforts are investments we are making now to ensure not only that we are ready for students to return in the fall but also that they have an exceptional learning experience.  
  • LipscombFlex.  During the summer months campus personnel are working to create a unique course delivery model we are calling LipscombFlex. LipscombFlex will offer faculty and students a flexible means to adjust the mode of teaching classes that includes both in-person and remote/online learning opportunities. How each class incorporates LipscombFlex will be dependent on the class content, room design, student and faculty safety needs, and learning modality best suited for the topic. 

 

General Health Protocols

These protocols are in place for the health, safety and wellbeing of our community. Following health protocols is everyone’s responsibility and creates a caring environment where we are all doing our part to help keep our community healthy.  Upon return to campus, you will notice these changes to create a healthy and safe environment for everyone:

  • Enhanced Sanitization. Through our excellent Service Operations team, we will have more frequent and enhanced sanitization of public spaces and frequently touched surfaces including both an increase in cleaning frequency and use of enriched cleaning products and enhanced cleaning procedures.

  • Physical Distancing. You will see some new signage around campus reminding us all of the physical distancing protocol and other best practices. Physical distancing may be the hardest change we all have to make. It is so natural for us in this community to reach out for a welcoming hug, hearty handshake, pat on the arm or back or some other greeting that requires close proximity. That’s just who we are! Well, in the post-COVID-19 world, those welcome greetings and other close proximity activities are discouraged. The CDC encourages keeping at least 6 feet of space between yourself and other people as well as not gathering in groups, crowds, or mass gatherings. Physical distancing is especially important with individuals who are at high risk for the COVID-19 illness. 

  • Hand Washing. We are encouraging all members of the Lipscomb community to frequently wash their hands with soap and water. We have also installed numerous hand sanitizer stations at the entrance to most buildings. Please feel free to use these stations frequently. 

  • Mask/Face Covering. This may be the most controversial and disliked change. Masks can be difficult to wear, uncomfortable, hot and conceal facial expressions. And, in some cases, are seen as a political statement. However, the CDC and medical experts advise that wearing face coverings is a primary safety measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This is because many individuals who are infected with COVID-19 are asymptomatic but are still highly contagious. And, they unknowingly infect those around them. When a face covering is worn properly, it limits the exposure of others to a possibly infected individual.

    The CDC recommends the wearing of cloth face coverings among students, faculty, and staff as feasible and notes that they are most essential in times when physical distancing is difficult. So, yes, at times, masks or face coverings will be required when wearing one is in the best health interest of our entire community such as any situation where physical distancing is not possible or where a known health risk to an individual exists, such as in a meeting or in a classroom where a student and/or employee is in a high risk category. If we approach this from the Golden Rule perspective knowing that the wearing of a mask is to protect others -- not just the mask wearer -- then we believe our community members will wear one at appropriate times to protect others and help us avoid campus closure. 

  • Daily Screening. One of the most important factors in limiting a COVID outbreak is early detection of the virus in the community. Daily temperature checks may not be a favorite thing to do, but this activity alone has proven to identify the early existence of the virus. And, daily monitoring of all COVID symptoms is a “best practice” from both the CDC and the state of Tennessee’s Higher Education guidelines.

    So we are asking that all members of our community do their part to be an “early detector” by checking their temperature before coming to campus or leaving their dorm room and report any temperature above 100.4. Also, check for any COVID-19 symptoms (cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever over 100.4, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, sore throat, new GI symptoms and new loss of taste or smell). Anyone experiencing COVID symptoms should report their illness to the medical clinic. Students should also report their situation to their RA/HRA and employees should inform their supervisor. It is your responsibility to comply with daily screening before coming to campus or leaving your dorm room. It is our shared duty as a community to act responsibly. You must be free of ANY symptoms related to COVID-19 to be on campus.

 

Employees

We are excited to return to a safe campus environment. To that end, we have put in place a staged approach to gradually increase the number of faculty and staff on campus as business operations increase and we move toward the opening of the fall semester. 

  • Staged Plan of Return. The goal of the staged plan to return to campus is for our community to return to a safe work environment. The stages will be implemented as our regional guidelines allow that are consistent with the guidelines in the Mayor’s phased plan. At this time, we anticipate that by the end of July all employees will be back on campus for some portion, if not all, of their work duties. The stages are:
    1. Stage 1 (pre-June 15): Only essential employees allowed on campus.

    2. Stage 2 (begins week of June 15): Limited staff within critical administrative and business operations return to campus for the purpose of assessing offices, classrooms, residence halls and other key areas for the purpose of developing strategies in those areas for physical distancing and other safety measures to be prepared for the return of employees and students in subsequent stages. 
    3. Stage 3 (anticipated to begin the week of July 13): Staff in other administrative, business, academic and student support operations return to campus. In this stage, we are carefully bringing back additional personnel to increase unit capacity and functionality as needed to prepare for the start of fall semester. 

    4. Stage 4 (anticipated to begin the week of July 27): In this stage, all faculty and staff return to campus under the post-COVID-19 protocols. Even in this stage with full faculty and staff on campus, we will continue to make use of remote work, staggered scheduling, and other measures to maintain physical distancing and flexibility. 
    5. Stage 5 (begins August 14): Students return while implementing new guidelines and measures to maintain physical distancing and flexibility that are congruent with a successful learning and living environment. 
    6. Stage 6: Continuous evaluation. Our staged return depends on the current conditions in our community. Employees will be informed at least one week in advance of expected return dates to campus. 
  • Changes to the Work Environment. Following best practices, each work environment will be evaluated for appropriate changes needed for the health and safety of our community members. These changes may include:
    • Physical distancing 
    • Disinfecting work spaces 
    • Staggering employee work times or days 
    • Changing in office layout of furniture and flow of traffic 
    • Continuing to use remote meeting options when possible. 
    • Wearing face coverings when meeting in person and when physical distancing is not possible
    • Adding other protective measures, such as plexiglass dividers
    • Adding signage as reminders
  • Request Accommodations. Employees in a high risk category should contact the Office of Human Resources to request an accommodation. You can email hr@lipscomb.edu or contact Lynn Chappin at 615-966-7015. Once your accommodation is approved by human resources, a human resources staff member will notify your supervisor of the approved accommodation and you and your supervisor will create a viable work plan for you. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Guidelines

What guidance are we using to guide decisions for the Lipscomb community?

We are following local, state and federal guidelines including:

 
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. Dr. Eidson is very familiar with Lipscomb and has been on faculty in the College of Pharmacy since 2010, and has already been instrumental in leading  the institution’s planning and preparedness efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to coming to Lipscomb, Dr. Eidson worked eight years with the State of Tennessee Department of Health, serving as the State Strategic National Stockpile Director and the Director of Pharmacy for the Department of Health as well as serving as the executive director of the Tennessee Board of Pharmacy. Governor Bill Haslam appointed Dr. Eidson as a member of the Tennessee Board of Pharmacy where he served as President of the Board.  Prior to his leadership in state government, Dr. Eidson was a pharmacist and pharmacy owner in community practice. In this new role, Dr. Eidson will work with the administration and Lipscomb University Health Services to fulfill the goals of this position and to manage the institution’s response to this pandemic. 

General Health Protocols

These protocols are in place for the health, safety and wellbeing of our community. Following health protocols is everyone’s responsibility and creates a caring environment where we are all doing our part to help keep our community healthy. We will provide more details on the application of these protocols in the near future. 

What cleaning protocols will be in place?

Cleaning and disinfecting protocols are key elements of our safe workplace initiative. 
Employees are responsible for the daily cleanliness of their office space, work areas and the equipment in their work environment. To support these efforts, the university has made a significant investment in purchasing specific disinfecting products which are EPA approved and CDC recommended in killing the virus and reducing the overall spread of COVID-19. 
 
Service Operations personnel have been trained on the appropriate use of cleaning and disinfection chemicals and will be wearing masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) while disinfecting high touch surfaces in offices, classrooms and all public spaces on a daily basis. Additionally, an innovative electrostatic spray technology, Clorox 360 System, will be used daily in high traffic areas and public spaces for those surfaces that may be hard to reach through normal cleaning protocols. 
 
To further reduce the risks, each department will be provided with disinfecting solutions and wipes. Each employee is encouraged to wipe down their personal equipment including keyboards, phones and individual office surfaces such as door handles, countertops and other high touch surfaces.  
 
You will notice sanitizing stations have been installed at key entrances and exits to buildings of campus. These include both hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes. Free- standing sanitizing kits have also been strategically placed on campus for the continued safety of our overall community. 

We ask that everyone do their part in helping keep our overall environment clean and sanitized. 

Will I have to wear a mask or face covering? 

This may be the most controversial and disliked protocol of all of them. Masks can be difficult to wear, uncomfortable, hot and conceal facial expressions. And, in some cases, are seen as a political statement. However, the CDC and medical experts advise that wearing face coverings is a primary safety measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This is because many individuals who are infected with COVID-19 are asymptomatic but are still highly contagious. And, they unknowingly infect those around them. When a face covering is worn properly, it limits the exposure of others to a possibly infected individual. 

The CDC recommends the wearing of cloth face coverings among students, faculty, and staff as feasible and notes that they are most essential in times when physical distancing is difficult. So, yes, at times, masks or face coverings will be required when wearing one is in the best health interest of our entire community such as any situation where physical distancing is not possible or where a known health risk to an individual exists, such as in a meeting or in a classroom where a student and/or employee is in a high risk category. 

If we approach this from the Golden Rule perspective knowing that the wearing of a mask is to protect others -- not just the mask wearer -- then we believe our community members will wear one at appropriate times to protect others and help us avoid campus closure. 

What other health protocols are expected?

  • Physical Distancing. You will see some new signage around campus reminding us all of the physical distancing protocol and other best practices. Physical distancing may be the hardest change we all have to make. It is so natural for us in this community to reach out for a welcoming hug, hearty handshake, pat on the arm or back or some other greeting that requires close proximity. That’s just who we are! Well, in the post-COVID-19 world, those welcome greetings and other close proximity activities are discouraged. The CDC encourages keeping at least 6 feet of space between yourself and other people as well as not gathering in groups, crowds, or mass gatherings. Physical distancing is especially important with individuals who are at high risk for the COVID-19 illness.

    We know that at some level this is a personal decision and as we are all adults in the Lipscomb University community, we will each have to make our own decisions when we are in our “own spaces.” However, to protect others, we will ask everyone to follow the proper physical distancing guidelines in public spaces where they are posted and when it is possible. 
  • Hand Washing. We are encouraging all members of the Lipscomb community to frequently wash their hands with soap and water. We have also installed numerous hand sanitizer stations at the entrance to most buildings. Please feel free to use these stations frequently. 
  • Mask/Face Covering. Wear a mask or face covering when physical distancing is not possible and when in public areas. This helps to protect others from individuals who may be unaware of their own infection with the virus. 
  • Daily Screening. One of the most important factors in limiting a COVID outbreak is early detection of the virus in the community. Daily temperature checks may not be a favorite thing to do, but this activity alone has proven to identify the early existence of the virus. And, daily monitoring of all COVID symptoms is a “best practice” from both the CDC and the state of Tennessee’s Higher Education guidelines.

    So we are asking that all members of our community do their part to be an “early detector” by checking their temperature before coming to campus or leaving their dorm room and report any temperature above 100.4. Also, check for any COVID-19 symptoms (cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever over 100.4, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, sore throat, new GI symptoms and new loss of taste or smell). Anyone experiencing COVID symptoms should report their illness to the medical clinic. Students should also report their situation to their RA/HRA and employees should inform their supervisor. It is your responsibility to comply with daily screening before coming to campus or leaving your dorm room. It is our shared duty as a community to act responsibly. You must be free of ANY symptoms related to COVID-19 to be on campus.
  • LipscombReady App. You will be receiving information soon regarding a new app entitled LipscombReady that is already available for download through the App Store. The LipscombReady app will be a vital part of our community’s risk management and support resources. It will replace the current Bison Alert texting system for emergency notifications and will be means to quickly access many resources including emergency contacts, requesting assistance, reporting an incident and accessing information such as student support services and campus maps. In addition, we will be adding information regarding overall health and safety resources pertaining specifically to COVID-19 as well as Lipscomb’s guidelines and protocols. The app will also have the ability to  assist employees with a daily self-assessment using a screening tool to report daily temperature readings and symptoms to the Office of Health and Wellness.

What do I do if I have a fever or show other COVID-19 illness symptoms?

Stay home or in your dorm room if you are sick or have any COVID-19 symptoms (cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever over 100.4, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, sore throat, new GI symptoms and new loss of taste or smell). Report your illness to the medical clinic. Students report their illness to their RA/HRA and employees report to their supervisor. The Office of Health and Wellness is in the process of creating an App that will be used to report any illness symptoms so they can monitor the health and well-being of our campus community.

What do I do if I come in contact with a person who is later diagnosed with COVID-19?

If you have come into direct contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19, you must self-isolate off campus for 14 days after your last exposure or a valid negative COVID-19 test. Notify your supervisor or RA/HRA for students and report to the medical clinic that you are self-isolating because you have had direct contact with a person who has a confirmed COVID-19 case. Employees should contact their primary health care provider for advice. Students should call the medical clinic immediately and not report back to their dorm or attend classes. The medical clinic will work with the students to help them self-isolate until the student can make arrangements to leave campus and return home. 

Employees

If you have an employment question, please contact the Office of Human Resources at hr@lipscomb.edu or call Lynn Chappin at 615-966-7015.

When will we return to campus to work? 

We are excited to return to a safe campus environment. To that end, we have put in place a staged approach to gradually increase the number of faculty and staff on campus as business operations increase and we move toward the opening of the fall semester. 

Our staged return depends on the current conditions in our community. Employees will be informed at least one week in advance of expected return dates to campus. At this time, we anticipate that by the end of July all employees will be back on campus for some portion, if not all, of their work duties

What does the plan of return to campus look like?

The goal of the staged plan to return to campus is for our community to return to a safe work environment. The stages will be implemented as our regional guidelines allow that are consistent with the guidelines in the Mayor’s phased plan. The stages are:

  1. Stage 1 (pre-June 15): Only essential employees allowed on campus.
  2. Stage 2 (begins week of June 15): Limited staff within critical administrative and business operations return to campus for the purpose of assessing offices, classrooms, residence halls and other key areas for the purpose of developing strategies in those areas for physical distancing and other safety measures to be prepared for the return of employees and students in subsequent stages. Approval for limited staff to return to campus in this stage may include staff critical to important business processes, positions that are needed for reopening or positions that cannot be effectively completed remotely and are critical to ongoing operations. Also included in this stage will be very limited approvals for academic programs that require face-to-face interactions. Critical business operations in this stage of reopening may include:
    • Executive Leadership
    • Admissions
    • Registrar
    • Business Office
    • Financial Aid
    • Development
    • Marketing
    • Public Relations
    • Student Life
    • Provost’s Office
    • Academic Administration
    • Limited Academic Programs  
  3. Stage 3 (anticipated to begin July 1): Staff in other administrative, business, academic and student support operations return to campus. In this stage, we are carefully bringing back additional personnel to increase unit capacity and functionality as needed to prepare for the start of fall semester. 
  4. Stage 4 (anticipated to begin July 15): In this stage, all faculty and staff return to campus under the post-COVID-19 protocols. Even in this stage with full faculty and staff on campus, we will continue to make use of remote work, staggered scheduling, and other measures to maintain physical distancing and flexibility. 
  5. Stage 5 (begins August 14): Students return while implementing new guidelines and measures to maintain physical distancing and flexibility that are congruent with a successful learning and living environment. 
  6. Stage 6: Continuous evaluation. Throughout the summer months and once the fall semester is underway with a return to on-campus instruction and work, a task force will continuously update this plan for the newest federal, state and local guidelines. In the fall, we will evaluate the success and impact of the measures in place and consider local, state and federal guidelines at the time.

If I need to come to access my office or department space before I’m scheduled to return, do I need to obtain “special” permission?

For the safety of our community and to have the ability for contact tracing, if you need to access your office or department space prior to your approved returning under the staged plan, you need to contact Kathy Hargis

Employees designated to collect mail are welcome to come to campus for that purpose at any time. Also, employees can reserve time in the temporary workroom if that is helpful for your work needs. You can access the Temporary Workroom calendar to view available time slots and make your own reservations. Once you access the Temporary Workroom calendar, select the day and time you want to reserve, add a description of what work you will be completing, and click Save. 

Will there be any changes to our work environment?

Yes. Following best practices, each work environment will be evaluated for appropriate changes needed for the health and safety of our community members. These changes may include:

  • Using physical distancing strategies with others to stay at least 6 feet apart and be mindful of enclosed spaces.
  • Disinfecting work spaces thoroughly and regularly (Service Operations and employees have shared responsibility for cleanliness of individual work areas and departmental work spaces).
  • Staggering employee work times or days in shared office spaces or spaces where congestion can be limited.
  • Changing in office layout of furniture and flow of traffic to create natural separation of a minimum of six feet. 
  • Continuing to use remote meeting options when possible. 
  • Wearing face coverings when meeting in person and when physical distancing is not possible.
  • Adding other protective measures, such as plexiglass dividers, where frequent meetings take place.
  • Adding signage to help with physical distancing and good health practice reminders.

What do I do if I am in a high risk category and need an accommodation?

Employees in a high risk category should contact the Office of Human Resources to request an accommodation. You can email Human Resources or contact Lynn Chappin at 615-966-7015. Once your accommodation is approved by human resources, a human resources staff member will notify your supervisor of the approved accommodation and you and your supervisor will create a viable work plan for you. 

Will food services be open in the summer months?

Starbucks and Creekstone will be open with limited hours for food services. Chick-fil-A plans to reopen on August 1 with a full service menu. Additional information about on campus food service options after August 1 will be announced later. 
 

Student Life

We are planning for an exceptional on-campus experience this fall! Will things be a bit different? Yes. But, the student life team as well as several students have been hard at work to create new and different events, programs and opportunities for our community that are tailored to our new expectations. And, faculty are creating classroom teaching experiences to meet the needs of a flexible learning environment. We will share more about all of these new experiences as we near the beginning of school. If you have any questions about Student Life, please reach out to the student life team at studentlife@lipscomb.edu.

What will the fall semester be like for students?

We are planning for an exceptional on-campus student experience this fall. Will things be a bit different? Yes. But, the student life team and many of your student peers are hard at work to create new and different events, programs and opportunities for you that are tailored to our new expectations! You will learn more about these new experiences as we near the beginning of school.

When can we move into residence halls?

To allow for proper physical distancing, move-in for new students is scheduled over three days this year—August 14-16. Stay tuned for more details from Housing and Residence Life.

When is new student orientation and QuestWeek?

For undergraduate students, New Student Orientation is scheduled for Monday, August 17, and QuestWeek is scheduled for August 18-23. If you are an incoming freshman, it is important for you to make arrangements and plans to be on campus for all these days. You should already be in steady communication with your Quest Team small group where you will receive more information and start building new friendships with your peers. If you are not already engaged with a Quest Team, please reach out to the Office of Student Life.

Will Chapel still happen with COVID-19?

Yes! Chapel is a vibrant part of our community and we believe that chapel contributes to the positive spiritual formation of Lipscomb students. With the reality of COVID-19, we anticipate the majority of chapel opportunities will be provided through both virtual and small group options. However, we also understand the desire to provide large-group chapel opportunities when possible and will do so when health and safety guidelines allow. 

What will on-campus housing be like with COVID-19?

Our on-campus housing communities will be operated in a manner consistent with the health, safety, and distancing recommendations of both Lipscomb and governmental experts. Students will continue to share rooms, but special attention will be paid to room arrangement and cleaning schedules. Unfortunately, no outside guests will be permitted for resident health and safety purposes, and schedules will be developed for use of laundry rooms, kitchens, and study spaces.

What about immunizations?

Like every year, there are required immunizations for the health and wellbeing of you and our community. Documentation of required immunizations is mandatory PRIOR to your arrival to campus. You can review the required immunizations for the general Lipscomb student population on the Health Center web page. Please note that some programs may have additional requirements, especially within the health sciences programs.

Locations where you can generally receive the required immunizations include your personal physician’s office or a local health department (generally for a reduced fee or even free in some locations). If you have not provided immunization documentation, once you arrive on campus you will be required to go to Lipscomb University Health Services where you may receive the required vaccinations for a fee. Students who do not submit evidence of the required immunizations will receive a medical hold on their student account that may limit their ability to register for or attend classes and delay approval for moving into campus housing. The medical hold will be removed once evidence of the required vaccinations has been submitted to Health Services.
 

Academic Life

Your faculty are excited to welcome you back to class on campus. They have been working this summer to create classes with a remote option to continue learning for students who have health concerns that limit their in-person class time and in the event of a second COVID wave. Your academic progress and learning are important and we are committed to help you achieve your academic goals this semester.

What will the class schedule for the fall semester look like?

The fall calendar is the same as originally published with fall classes beginning August 24 and the last day of finals on December 16. A few graduate programs, such as pharmacy, will begin classes on August 17 as planned. We anticipate and are committed to providing a full semester of academic coursework so you can continue your academic career path. 

That being said, there are a few schedule changes you will notice in the fall semester. 

  • Fall Holidays and Breaks. Holidays and breaks within the fall semester such as Labor Day and Fall Break have been removed from the academic schedule. This allows us to create a class schedule that has more flexibility should that be needed in the event of a second COVID-19 wave in our region.
  • Remote Option After Thanksgiving. In an effort to be both mindful of additional travel expenses and individual student health concerns, students will have the option of staying home after Thanksgiving break and completing the last week of classes and finals remotely. We realize that for some students returning to campus after Thanksgiving for a few classes and finals is a costly endeavor. Thus, the faculty will create remote options for all classes after Thanksgiving. Students will need to let their professor know that they will not be returning to campus after Thanksgiving break to take advantage of this opportunity. More information regarding the notification timeline and process will be communicated at the beginning of fall semester.
  • Fall Graduation. Fall graduation is still currently planned for an on-campus event on December 19. We will monitor the regional guidelines to determine if this date and in-person event can be held in the best interest of our community. Any changes in the date or delivery method (i.e., in-person vs. virtual) of the fall graduation will be communicated by September 15 or as soon as we receive information that is pertinent to the changes needed. Degrees will still be conferred on the December 19 conferral date for students completing their degree requirements during fall semester even if an on-ground ceremony is not held.
  • Global Learning. Global learning is a vibrant and important part of our community. As we often say “Some of your best days at Lipscomb will be spent miles away.” Our global studies program has active semester-long programs in Costa Rica, England, Austria and Italy. Unfortunately, given the continuing health concerns and travel restrictions surrounding international travel, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the fall global learning programs. Even with that sad news, we are moving ahead with investment in our global learning program and on-campus activities for students interested in future international travel opportunities. In the next few weeks, we will finalize the purchase of the Florence villa that has served our global students so well for the last few years. This is a significant investment in our global learning program and is made possible by a generous donation from a donor committed to the exceptional learning experience that a study abroad opportunity provides. In addition, our global learning team will plan and offer chapels and other gathering opportunities during the semester for students who plan to go on future global learning experiences.

    For students who were planning to participate in a fall global learning experience, we have a dedicated team working with these students to register them for fall classes and reserve appropriate dorm space, if needed. Also, these students will have priority reservation status on future global learning experiences once we can resume international travel.

Will my fall classroom experience be different?

  • Classroom Reviews. Our commitment is to provide an outstanding learning environment with the flexibility needed to serve remote students. So, a team has been hard at work reviewing over 100 classroom spaces and creating a plan for adding the appropriate enhanced technology to enable remote learning. This technology alone is just over $300,000 to equip the classroom spaces with remote teaching and learning capabilities. This team has also prepared an appropriate physically distanced plan for each classroom which reduces the number of students in the physical space as well as reviewed with our service operations team the daily enhanced cleaning protocols. All of these efforts are investments we are making now to ensure not only that we are ready for students to return in the fall but also that they have an exceptional learning experience
  • LipscombFlex. During the summer months campus personnel are working to create a unique course delivery model we are calling LipscombFlex. LipscombFlex will offer faculty and students a flexible means to adjust the mode of teaching classes that includes both in-person and remote/online learning opportunities. How each class incorporates LipscombFlex will be dependent on the class content, room design, student and faculty safety needs, and learning modality best suited for the topic.

What will the class schedule for the spring semester look like?

We anticipate and are committed to following the same spring class schedule as originally published with spring term classes beginning January 11 and finals ending on May 5. Many of the details for the spring semester are still under consideration and will be determined later this summer or in the early fall semester. Stay tuned for more information as we see how the pandemic situation evolves over the summer and into the early fall semester. 

Will anything be different in my classes and labs?

Yes. For the health and wellbeing of students and faculty, here are some things we are working on related to classroom and lab learning environments:

  • LipscombFlex. All classes will be designed using the LipscombFlex model. LipscombFlex will offer faculty and students a flexible means to adjust the mode of teaching classes that includes both in-person and remote/online learning opportunities. How each class incorporates LipscombFlex will be dependent on the class content, room design, student and faculty safety needs, and learning modality best suited for the topic. For example, in some classes, this may involve students rotating attending class in-person while others join in remotely. 
  • Physical Distancing. Where possible, the physical configuration of classrooms and lab spaces will be arranged to provide students and faculty with appropriate physical distancing requirements. 
  • Masks/Face Coverings. When physical distancing is not possible, students and faculty must wear appropriate masks or face coverings. While wearing a face covering may not be a favorite accessory, the CDC and medical experts advise that wearing one is a primary safety measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This is because many individuals who are infected with COVID-19 are asymptomatic but are still highly contagious. And, they unknowingly infect those around them. When a face covering is worn properly, it limits the exposure of others to a possibly infected individual. This is a time to put others first, especially those in our community who may be more susceptible to the virus given age and/or high risk health factors. We are confident that our community members will respect others and wear a face covering when it is in the best health interest of our community.