Important Announcement to Oglethorpe Community: COVID-19, 3/12/20

From President Schall:

Dear Oglethorpe Community,

I write today to share important information for the Oglethorpe community regarding the fluid and rapidly changing COVID-19 situation. Let me begin by saying how appreciative I am for all the dedicated faculty and staff in our community who have tirelessly researched best practices for responding to the situation that has unfolded. In these efforts, our first priority, as always, has been to safeguard the health of the Oglethorpe community and our neighbors, even as we sustain our vital educational mission when we are midway through the semester. During this time, we ask that folks be patient with one another as we acclimate to change.

Our senior team has been meeting regularly on the potential impact of the COVID-19 virus for the past two months and over the last week, those discussions have intensified. We have been in regular contact with peer institutions to share plans and best practices. After extensive consultation, we have come to the conclusion that it is in the best interest for our campus and local communities that we take the following measures to help contain and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

We have decided to suspend all in-person classes. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide regular updates.

  1. Classes are cancelled from Monday, March 16, through Sunday, March 22, so that faculty and staff can plan for academic continuity and prepare for remote delivery of course instruction.
  2. Classes will resume remotely on Monday, March 23 and continue in that format for the remainder of the semester.  Students should expect to hear directly from their professors soon about how to prepare for class.
  3. At this time, students are free to go home or to remain on campus. A decision about whether to close our residence halls to all students except those who cannot return home has not yet been made.
  4. All extracurricular activities are suspended until further notice, including inter-collegiate athletic practices and games.
  5. Campus will remain open.  Staff should consult with their supervisors about specific expectations and resources to complete job assignments if remote work is needed due to health concerns.

With such a significant disruption, we know there are many questions and concerns. This situation is changing rapidly, and we will continue to communicate as the situation changes and decisions are made.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the continued support of Oglethorpe faculty and staff, including those employees of our contract partners, who are working to sustain our community.

The safety and wellbeing of our community remains our first priority. I am grateful for your patience, cooperation and flexibility.

-President Schall