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IMPORTANT MESSAGE ABOUT COVID-19 FROM PRESIDENT CHILLO (7.16.20)

Dear Saints,

I hope this letter finds you and your family well. I know the past several months have not been easy as we all continue to deal with the effects of Covid-19. As we look ahead to the start of the fall semester, I’m confident that we will all agree that being here at Thomas More University will bring back much needed normality to our lives. I cannot stress enough that your education and the educational experience that you receive is a top priority and a major driver to how we plan to deliver the mission of this institution in a highly personalized manner this fall.

Being a member of the Thomas More community is something to be proud of and one that we all benefit from. As a member of this community, we will ask that you take every precaution to keep yourself safe and be mindful that your actions may have an impact upon others in our community. For that reason,

  • We will require masks on campus this fall. We will be providing one cloth mask for each student and disposable masks will be available when needed at Campus Safety. Additional cloth masks will be available for purchase at the More Store.
  • We have enhanced cleaning protocols, testing, and contact tracing. Our plans draw heavily from the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), state and local health officials, and the Governor of Kentucky.

We will also be implementing social distancing and density reductions for most activities. New protocols for the delivery of academic coursework, the playing of intercollegiate sports, participation in student events and activities, dining, and life in the residence halls have been adopted to ensure that your educational experience continues to be of the highest quality.

If you are planning to travel internationally and returning to campus as a resident student for the fall semester, you must self-quarantine for 14 days before the start of the semester. Students may wish to self-quarantine off campus, or if they plan to reside on campus for the fall semester, they may take occupancy of their room for the self-quarantine period. International students should report all travel to the dean of student affairs along with their anticipated arrival date for the fall semester. If you plan to commute to campus and travel internationally prior to the start of the fall semester, you must also self-quarantine for 14 days.

Students who have any symptoms of Covid-19 or are feeling sick should not report to campus. Students will not be allowed on campus if they exhibit symptoms of Covid-19. Residential students will have their temperature checked before taking occupancy of their room for the fall semester. A separate protocol for all student-athletes has been established in compliance with NAIA regulations. At any point during the fall semester should you become ill, please know that we will provide alternative learning arrangements to ensure that you have every opportunity to complete the semester.

The fall semester will begin on Monday, August 17. Most of your courses will involve an in-person academic experience. While we continue to focus on in-person academic instruction, we will be offering hybrid and online courses to ensure that the University complies with CDC advisory recommendations. I suggest that you review your course schedule as there may have been changes to it since registration. If you have any questions regarding your fall courses, please be in touch with your advisor (if you are unable to reach your advisor, please contact the Registrar’s office). Finals for the fall semester will take place the week of Thanksgiving or the following week – this will depend upon the decision of your faculty member for each course. The on-ground academic experience will end at the start of the Thanksgiving holiday break (Wednesday, November 25, after your last class of the day). Although residential students will go home for the break, they will not need to move their belongings. Please note that the October break has been canceled to ensure that we meet the federal requirements for credit hours.

To recap, here is the summary of the revised fall calendar, which can also be found online:

  • August 10 & 13: Fall sports begin on-campus
  • August 15 & 16: Opening weekend for new and residential students
  • August 17: Classes begin for the fall semester
  • September 7 (Labor Day): University closed, no classes
  • October 8-9: Mid-semester break cancelled (classes held)
  • November 25: On-campus classes end; students are expected to depart for home immediately following their last class
  • November 26-29: Thanksgiving break
  • November 30-December 3: Online exams
  • December 3: Fall semester ends

Over the next few weeks, you will receive additional details about what to expect for the fall semester.
I know many of you are excited to get back to campus, to continue your education, and to connect with friends. We are confident that our strategy for the fall semester will protect the health and safety of the entire Thomas More community. We will continue to keep you informed as our policies and procedures evolve to address the safety and health of our community in a Covid-19 environment. If you or your family have any questions, please do not hesitate to be in touch with the following individuals (including myself):

  • Academics: please be in touch with your advisor or contact the Registrar’s office if you do not know who your advisor is
  • Athletics: please be in touch with your coach or Director of Athletics Terry Connor
  • Student and Residential Life: Dean of Student Affairs Antwone Cameron
  • New students should be in touch with Vice President for Enrollment Management Dr. Chris Powers with any questions.

We look forward to welcoming the entering class of 2024 as our newest members of the Thomas More community and reconnecting with all our returning students. I am anxiously awaiting the start of the fall semester and seeing you on campus.

Sincerely,

Dr. Joseph L. Chillo President