June 26, 2020
We are working hard to prepare for your arrival in August. We are putting several strategies in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 coming to campus. Thus far, Grayson has not experienced a significant amount of cases as compared with other areas of the country.
I’m grateful to Calvin Lindell, Interim VP of Academic Affairs, and all of the faculty who contributed to this reworking of the academic calendar. I’m also grateful to Corey Fipps, Athletic Director, and the coaches for working to create a meaningful fall athletic schedule while trying to do everything possible to keep everyone safe.
As we prepare to welcome you back on campus, we will ask you to self-monitor prior to arriving on campus. Specific instructions will be sent as the time to return approaches. We will also be checking temperatures and monitoring for symptoms as you return to campus. We will, in short, make every attempt to reduce the risk of the virus making its way to campus. Each of us, students, faculty, and staff, will play a role in limiting our contacts with others and self-monitoring for symptoms as we regather.
Once we have regathered, we will need to make every attempt to follow distancing guidelines and follow safe at school practices. More information concerning how we will interact will be coming out as your return approaches.
Part of the risk reduction protocol that we are putting in place called for a change to the fall academic calendar with as little disruption to student learning as possible. The primary changes to the fall schedule are the elimination of fall break and the completion of the term the week of Thanksgiving. While it seems like we are shortening the term, it is actually only a few class days shorter and it still falls within established guidelines for a full term. Health experts have told us that there are traditionally spikes in influenza on university campuses immediately following extended breaks. We are eliminating the two major breaks for the fall term for that reason.
The revised fall calendar for on-campus classes is as detailed below:
New Student check-in – August 14
Returning Student move-in – beginning Sunday, August 16 at 2:00pm
Classes Start – August 17
Classes End – November 24
Note that this revised fall schedule has no fall break and that there are classes on the Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving week. Also, you may be asked to return to campus earlier in August if you are involved in an intercollegiate sport in the fall. Watch for reporting dates from your coaches.
The completion of the term prior to Thanksgiving will also reduce travel expenses for some of you since you will not need to return to campus until the start of the spring term once you leave for Thanksgiving.
We have missed you. Faculty and staff cannot wait until you are back. Even members of the community that enjoy walking on our campus are asking about you. We are looking forward to having you back on campus.
See you soon!
May 19, 2020
Dear Current and Future Knights,
We are looking forward to having you back on campus for the fall term! Everyone here is working hard to get ready for your return. We are currently planning to open with the regularly published fall schedule with students living and learning on campus.
Many of us have spent a lot of time working with local and state agencies to discuss the best practices. And, each area is working to think through how to provide as much social distancing as reasonably possible. We are considering several scenarios for large group events like chapel and meals. We are creating a detailed plan with coaches, sports medicine staff and the NAIA national office to resume a safe and competitive athletic experience.
The community of Grayson is also looking forward to having you back. Ms. Michelle Wilhoit, the president of the Chamber of Commerce, wanted to let you know how excited they are for KCU students to return to campus this fall. She said, “Grayson has a wide variety of retail and service businesses open and ready to serve you. … We hope that you enjoy your summer, and I look forward to hopefully meeting you this coming semester.”
It is not the same without you here and we are looking forward to having you back!
And Go Knights!
May 15, 2020
Let me start by congratulating the graduates on their significant accomplishment of completing their bachelor and master degrees. We are very proud of all of you.
I also want to recognize the immense amount of work the many individuals have invested in completing applications, determining exactly how we could distribute the funds to the students, which students qualified under the state and federal guidelines, and many other details. I know that they did it because they wanted to help as many students as possible during this time. Honestly, KCU is blessed to have such individuals and while each of us wants to give the honor to God for providing as generously as He has, I want you to know that the funds that many students will receive are a direct result of their tenacious efforts. I will also add that the trustees spent significant time deliberating how to best get help to students at their meeting at the end of last week.
While there are details below about the timing of the distribution of the funds, let me offer a brief explanation of the thought behind how they are being distributed. The first priority is to get as much help to as many students as possible. You will see that some funds are being distributed in the very near future. The second priority was to distribute the funds being sent to students in a cascading fashion that would also allow KCU to also take care of the needs of those who serve here. Even with the students being off-campus, there are expenses that we will continue to incur. We believe that the plan below accomplished both priorities.
CARES Act Funds for Students
The University qualified for and completed the necessary steps to receive funds from the federal government as a result of the CARES Act. The University then created a formula to distribute the funds based on the guidelines provided to institutions accepting the funding. The bulk of that funding, up to $900 per student, will go to Pell Grant eligible, full-time students. These funds will be distributed in the form of checks sent directly to the eligible students. We are distributing these checks to eligible students even if the student has a balance on his or her account. This funding is intended as emergency funding to help cover expenses that have impacted students because of the COVID-19 pandemic such as food, housing, technology needs, medical expenses, and other costs associated with the pandemic. While KCU will not ask individual students to document how the funds are spent, we will view the cashing of the check as an acknowledgment that the student is aware of the purpose of the funds and that the funds will be utilized appropriately.
These funds were mailed to students on May 15, 2020.
Credit for Savings on Room and Board Expenses
Once we realized that we were not going to be able to have students return to the campus for the remainder of the spring term, we began working with our vendors and cutting expenses to allow us to pass a credit on to students who lived in student housing and ate in the cafeteria.
There are two categories of students in this setting, spring 2020 students who are graduating this term and spring 2020 students who are not graduating this term.
For those who are graduating:
A credit was applied to the accounts of graduating students on May 13th. If the credit amount was greater than any balance owed to the University, a refund check was mailed to those students on May 15, 2020. KCU is indebted to those individuals and churches who helped us to be able to immediately send these refunds.
For those who are not graduating:
Room and Board students with an unpaid balance had a credit posted to their account on May 13th to cover the unpaid balance due up to $1,250. If the unpaid balance was less than $1,250, the remaining credit will be applied to the fall 2020 term. Room and Board students who do not currently owe a balance will see the full credit of $1,250 applied to the fall 2020 term.
While we are looking forward to having each of you back on campus in the fall, we understand that plans may have changed for a few of you. Once the drop/add period is complete on August 25, 2020, non-graduating students who were living in the dorm and eating in the cafeteria during the spring 2020 term but who are not enrolled at KCU during the fall 2020 term will have any balance created by the credit issued on August 5, 2020, refunded to them in the form of a check mailed to the address we have on file. Please make sure that we have your correct address on file.
Finally, it has been very encouraging to me as the President to see how everyone involved in the process, including the trustees, the administration, the business office, the financial aid office, and many others, was focused on doing everything possible as soon as possible to help the students through this time. We are hopeful that these funds will help defray any hardship costs and pave the way to get everyone back in the fall to continue to train to be influencers for Christ in whatever area of service they are called.
March 20, 2020
Dear Fellow Knights
I’m announcing the all onsite KCU classes will be converted to online courses for the rest of the spring 2020 term beginning on March 30th. I am confident about the quality of instruction. The faculty have been working hard to launch their courses via remote instruction. I’m disappointed for the same reason that students expressed to me when they asked us to do everything possible to bring everyone back on campus…it is difficult, but not impossible, to replicate the level of mentoring and discipleship that occurs on this campus in a dispersed setting. To that end, I have asked all faculty and staff to make every effort to reach out to students throughout this time to maintain those important relationships.
Let me continue by sharing why I have made this decision.
The wellbeing of the students, faculty, and staff is our highest priority. In addition to that, the town of Grayson is not ready for students to be back on campus. Every imaginable service and product that people need is or may be in short supply. This includes access to health care should a student become ill. We are, in several very real senses, being good neighbors by not having students return to campus in addition to attempting to protect the wellbeing of each student.
I’m also observing the transportation industry struggling to continue to offer reliable services. Many flights are canceled and services stopped. This reality would make it difficult for some students to return to the campus in a timely manner. Further, it is often via travel that the virus is spread to new areas. We are, again, being good neighbors to the area surrounding the University in addition to attempting to protect the wellbeing of each student.
Based on those factors, the counsel of other college and university leaders around the state, the counsel of the trustees and leadership at KCU, and the restrictions on group gatherings coming from both state and national authorities, the choice above was the only possible choice and we had delayed that choice as long as reasonably possible in the hope that conditions would improve.
While all the details are still being worked out, let me give you some specific information.
- The need to do our part to promote social distancing has forced me to make the decision to postpone both Baccalaureate and Graduation activities. Due to the fluid nature of the situation, I’ll not speculate when these events will be rescheduled or exactly how we will celebrate them. This, however, does not mean that students who complete the requirements to graduate by the end of this term will not graduate. KCU will issue diplomas and those who complete the requirements will be Kentucky Christian University graduates!
- For students who were residing in the dorms, we intend to provide some type of prorated credit. Details are still being worked out and will not be finalized until sometime in early May pending Board of Trustees approval.
- Students who have personal items in the dorms are asked to have their items removed prior to March 31st at noon. This may cause a hardship for some. In particular, I’m concerned about the students who live outside the area. We are working on several options to help students who are not able to return to the campus prior to that date. Please work through Student Services to have any specific needs addressed. Students must check-in with Student Services between 9:00 and 4:00 prior to entering the dorms to remove their personal items. Dorms are scheduled to reopen to students with the start of the fall term move-in dates. Just to reemphasize, we know this will be difficult for some students. Contact us and we will do everything we can do to help you through this process. I have asked all university personnel to be as flexible and accommodating as possible. Additional information regarding check-out can be found here.
- In addition to the work of the faculty, many areas of the University are mobilizing to serve students at a distance. Watch for communications from those areas that are of interest to you. There is a prayer team ramping up to pray for each student. If you are interested in joining this movement of prayer, please reach out to either Donnette Bondurant at email@example.com Jacob Shockey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Summer activities, including SITS, Camp Teams, and so forth, are under review at this time.
- As previously announced, the schedule for courses that were initially launched as online courses at the start of the term has not changed.
And, let me offer one final comment on the situation. When I interviewed for this role with the trustees, I spoke of the God-given tenacity of KCU over its 100 years of existence. It is one of the reasons Jacqui and I felt comfortable accepting the role here. Whether this current challenge is as bad as some countries have experienced, not as crippling as predicted because of the preventative actions that are being taken, or somewhere in between, we will continually seek God’s guidance and wisdom to get through this challenge and we will give Him all the glory when we do. It’s what Knights do.
For the Good of the Cause,
March 16, 2020
In addition to extending our Spring Break through March 29th, KCU is announcing that all classes will be offered remotely from March 30 through at least April 12th with onsite classes scheduled to begin on April 13th. Students are not to return to the dorms or the campus while instruction is being offered remotely. We will announce whether or not we will extend the period of remote instruction on April 6th based on the conditions as we know them at that time. Continue to monitor KCU communications for any new details.
Please continue to pray for our national, state, and local leaders as they work through this crisis. Please pray for the leadership of the local churches as they work to ensure the safety of those who worship with them. And, pray for the KCU faculty, staff, and students as we navigate these uncharted waters together with God’s help.
March 12, 2020
Kentucky Christian University continues to monitor developments related to the COVID-19. We have been in regular contact with local health officials and each of us have been cooperating with our counterparts at other institutions. At this time, there have been no known or suspected cases of the illness in the county, the City of Grayson, or on campus. Please continue to follow widely published information concerning strategies to avoid being exposed to the virus.
Here are some steps that KCU has already taken or that we will be taking shortly:
- We have extended Spring Break through March 30th, with dorm move-in on March 29th.
- Faculty are preparing to move to online instruction, if conditions prohibit students returning to campus on March 29th.
- Courses that started the term as online will continue at their regular schedule.
- Additional cleaning is being performed on frequently touched hard surfaces using cleaning products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19.
- We have posted information around campus and placed disinfectant wipes and sanitizing gel in classrooms and public areas.
The following comes from the Centers for Disease Control website (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html)
For confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases, reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. Symptoms can include:
- Shortness of breath
CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses.
Spring break travel
KCU recognizes and adheres to the travel advisories enacted by the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control. For the most up-to-date travel restrictions and guidelines, please visit the CDC Information for Travel page at wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel. Students, faculty, and staff who are planning to travel during the upcoming Spring break and return from a country that is classified as Level 3 or higher by the CDC for COVID-19 at wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/ are required to self-quarantine for 14 days and not return to campus unless they are asymptomatic for that period. Those returning from countries classified by the CDC as Levels 1 and 2 are required to monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days and take their temperature twice a day. If they develop even a mild cough or low-grade fever (i.e. a temperature of 100⁰ F or more) they should stay at home and self-quarantine. This means avoiding close contact (6 feet or nearer) with other people, including family members. They should also telephone their healthcare provider or the local public health department, giving them details of their recent travel and symptoms.
If you are experiencing symptoms, seek medical help immediately either from your private physician or the nearest medical center. If you are experiencing symptoms, do NOT return to campus, attend classes or other events and do NOT come into work. Please err on the side of staying in or staying home. Students or employees should not return to classes or work until they have been free of fever and other symptoms, without the use of fever- or symptom-reducing medicines, for at least 24 hours.
Please monitor text alerts, social media, the website, and emails for updates and changes.
If you have a work-study role, you will still be paid based on the average number of hours worked per week this semester to date for the second week, but not for the original spring break period.
And finally, individuals cannot ‘drop-in” to see the nurse on campus but need to call ahead for phone screening at the clinic. This is an important change to the operation of the clinic.
More updates and information will follow.
Please stay safe.