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Important Message about COVID-19 from President Chillo (3.19.2020)

Dear Members of the University community,

I understand how stressful and concerning the past couple weeks have been for everyone.  As COVID-19 continues to evolve, many recommendations have been made that we are implementing at the University to ensure the continuity of the academic experience for students and the well-being of our community.  As I mentioned last week, it was our hope to return to some normality within the next month.  Based on the recommendations of the CDC and local officials, we know now that returning to this normality by early April is no longer realistic.  The University will or has taken the following actions:

 

  • For the remainder of the spring semester, all courses will continue through remote learning using Canvas.  Faculty will work to ensure that all learning objectives are met by the end of the spring semester and that instructional meeting requirements, as defined by SACSCOC, have also been fulfilled.  Currently, we do not anticipate any changes to the spring calendar.  The University is working closely with SACSCOC and the U.S. Department of Education.
  • For students receiving federal work-study funds, they will continue to be paid through the end of the spring semester.
  • The University will close all residence halls as of Monday, March 30.  Any student requesting the option to remain on campus until April 30 may request an exception by contacting the Dean of Students.  The Dean of Students will send all resident students an email with further instructions.  The University is reviewing several options regarding the unused portion of room and board for the spring semester.  Additional details will be available by April 17.
  • The University will remain open and students may access computer labs for their studies.  Please note that the Library will be closed but can be accessed virtually.
  • In accordance with the Mid-South Athletic Conference, all spring sports have been canceled.
  • All University events have been canceled through Sunday, May 10.  A decision regarding Commencement will be announced by April 10.
  • Bishop Foys issued a letter this week directing the suspension of all public celebrations of the Mass and other Sacraments until further notice.  Persons who wish to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation privately are welcome to request it.
  • For faculty and staff, the University will adhere to the recommendations of the CDC as it pertains to potential illness for the individual and/or family member.  The University will continue to allow employees to complete their work remotely during this period of time.  Supervisors have informed certain members of their teams if they are essential to ensure the continuity of the business enterprise.
  • All University communications will be sent to your Thomas More University email account.  We encourage you to check your email daily and to visit thomasmore.edu/covid-19 for updates.

I ask that you continue to keep yourself and your family safe.  The University will continue to keep you informed of any changes that could impact you here at Thomas More.

 

Sincerely,

Joseph L. Chillo, LP.D.

President