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William Woods COVID-19 Updates

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Returning to the Woods

Guidelines for Students  Returning Student Drop Off and Move In  New Student Drop-Off and Orientation New Commuter Student Check-In
Learn more about how we are preparing for your Return to the Woods!

Fall 2020 Orientation begins August 11.

Latest Announcements and Status Updates

August, 2020

Thu 8/6/2020 8:59 AM - Message from the President, Access to University Offices

WWU Students,

As we anticipate your return to William Woods next week, please be advised of revised policies for in-person visiting of offices on campus that will be in place. In the interest of ongoing physical distancing practices to best assure the health and safety of every member of the WWU community, it is important that all members of the campus community do everything possible to lessen the chance of the spread of the virus on campus when it involves visiting campus offices.

At this point, we will begin the semester with all campus offices open and accessible to all. However, we strongly recommend that anyone desiring an office visit make an appointment before doing so, to make it easier to physically distance in each individual office. Drop ins are welcome with face coverings worn at all times, but without an appointment it is possible that you might have to wait in the hall due to limited occupancy. Some other specialized areas, such as workouts at the Athletic Training facility/Weider Fitness Center, or visits to UIT, will have access via sign-up on Owlnet.  

As we all know, our approaching fall semester will be unlike any we have ever experienced here at William Woods. It is possible that some of these policies may change based on circumstances, so I encourage you to check our Returning to The Woods/COVID-19 webpage frequently, at https://www.williamwoods.edu/emergency-info/index.html. Remember to also review the complete safety guidelines listed on the website, if you haven’t already, which can be found here:   https://www.williamwoods.edu/emergency-info/docs/student-guidelines/returning-to-campus-guidelines-for-fall-2020.pdf.

I appreciate your patience and flexibility as we move forward, and look forward to welcoming you back to campus for another year at The Woods!

Sincerely,

Jahnae H. Barnett

President

Wed 8/5/2020 8:16 PM - Woods Alert, Positive Case on Campus

A WWU instructor has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The work location on campus is in Aldridge.

For all future updates on COVID-19-related matters on campus throughout the year, it is important that you visit the University’s COVID-19 page at https://www.williamwoods.edu/emergency-info/index.html.

To maintain everyone's health and safety, the university policy requires that we all wear face coverings, practice physical distancing, and wash our hands frequently.

July, 2020

Tue 7/28/2020 1:30 PM - Message from Student Life, Guidelines for Returning to Campus

End of July Greetings

We are looking forward to the start of classes and students returning to campus. Our summer focus has been on the safety of our entire community with the goal of remaining on campus for learning through November 24. This will require a commitment from all of us. As we move toward residential move-in days and the start of classes, I want to highlight key parts of our plan:

  • Residential Students: Within 3 days (no earlier) of your move-in date, you must complete the “COVID Residential Pre-Screening Form”, a short screening questionnaire regarding any recent potential exposure you may have had which may impact the health and safety of other WWU community members. The pre-screening form can be found on Owlnet:
    1. Go the Students Tab
    2. Click on Forms on the right sidebar
    3. Scroll down to Student Life Forms and it is listed near the top of that section

    The form can also be accessed through the link below:
    COVID Residential Pre-Screening Form
    If you completed the form for drop off this week you still need to complete the form again before your August move-in date!
  • Two weeks prior to your August move-in, and for commuters the start of classes on August 17 th, we suggest you begin to quarantine and closely monitor any changes to your health. We encourage you to monitor your health using a daily symptom checklist like you will do when you arrive (outlined below). Make sure your temperature does not exceed 100.4 F (38 C) and that you have not experienced any cold or flu-like symptoms in the last 14 days (to include fever, cough, sore throat, respiratory illness, difficulty breathing).  If you experience any of the symptoms of COVID Symptoms of Coronavirus, to protect both you and the WWU community, you should reach out to your health care provider before you arrive on campus and/or our Health Services at healthservices@williamwoods.edu, 573-592-4222.
  • Once here, all individuals must conduct symptom monitoring by taking a body temperature reading every day.  You must be free of symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 to attend class and participate in campus activities. For the most up-to-date symptoms, consult the CDC website:  Symptoms of Coronavirus   Students exhibiting symptoms should contact Health Services or their health career provider for further screening and advice.  Students should not attend classes until they have followed up with a health care provider and/or are fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication.  
  • All individuals will be required to practice physical distancing while on campus. This means that all individuals should strive to remain at least six feet apart, both inside and outside of buildings. This practice will both limit the spread of COVID and help limit the number of students required to quarantine from exposure if we have positive cases.
  • All individuals are required to wear face coverings, defined as material that keeps the nose and mouth covered, while on campus in all situations where physical distancing is not possible, including when entering a classroom until seated, in hallways, in common areas of residence halls, Tucker Dining Hall (when not eating), and all other campus buildings. (Some faculty may require face coverings in class.)
  • Residential students are encouraged to bring multiple face coverings, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, soap, thermometer and fever reducing medications for their personal care.  With the anticipated increase in outdoor events, students are also encouraged to bring an outdoor folding chair or outdoor blanket.  In addition, please bring all resources needed to complete classwork remotely. 

Full guidelines will continue to be updated on our COVID website https://www.williamwoods.edu/emergency-info/index.html. Students are expected to comply with the guidelines in this document as they would the Community Code, the Student Handbook, and other WWU policies. Following these guidelines will help limit the spread of COVID-19 and ensure we are able to remain on campus through November 24, 2020.

Again, we look forward to seeing you in just a few short weeks!

Venita M Mitchell, PhD

Vice President and Dean of Student Life

Fri 7/24/2020 1:54 PM - Mail Center Hours & Delivery

Good afternoon,

The Mail Center will resume normal hours of 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily beginning Monday, July 27.

In addition, mail deliveries will resume next week. Mail Center staff will make deliveries once a day starting Monday, July 27. Deliveries for the inner route (Academic Bldg., Library, and Cox) are scheduled around 11:00 and the outer route (all other buildings) are scheduled around 1:00. If mail delivery instructions have changed for your office, such as drop-off or pickup locations, please notify Mona Steffens as soon as possible.

We anticipate that once the Mail Center is fully staffed later in August, we can resume making deliveries twice a day. Future changes in delivery schedules will be communicated accordingly.

Thank you!

Mona Steffens

Mail Center Manager

Tue 7/21/2020 12:49 PM - Message from the President, Virtual Town Hall for Faculty and Staff

WWU Faculty and Staff,

The full-time return to campus for all employees is just about upon us, with the start of the fall semester and the arrival of students not far behind. We all know that the environment on campus will be unlike anything we have experienced before, and it will certainly be an adjustment for all of us.

The Restart of School Committee has been working diligently for weeks to ensure to the greatest extent possible that all members of the WWU Community can return to campus safely while we navigate the fall semester in the midst of the pandemic. Members of this committee have included Scott Gallagher, Venita Mitchell, Aimee Sapp, Julie Houseworth, Kathy Groves, John Fougere, Travis Bond, Scott Zimmerman, Kristen Oesch, Mike Dillon, Mike Wills, Jennie Petterson and Peggy McGrew.

With all the details and planning that pulling off a safe and successful new academic year entails, we know that many of you have a variety of questions about what campus operations will be like beginning July 27. In order to assist, we are extending an invitation to all William Woods employees to a virtual town hall meeting on Zoom where our members will answer questions you might have. The Zoom will be held on Wednesday, July 29, at 4 p.m.

To expedite the meeting, please send an email to express your interest in attending, and we will send you a link to the meeting. We are also requesting that you submit your questions for us in advance as much as possible. Please send emails about attendance, and submit questions, to Vicepresidentsoffice@williamwoods.edu, under the subject line “Town Hall Question.”

Thank you, and we will see you (virtually) on the 29 th of July at 4 p.m.

Jahnae H. Barnett

President

Thu 7/16/2020 1:04 PM - Message from the President, Safety Policy

WWU Community,

For the past few months now, our leadership team has been completely engrossed in the awesome responsibility of preparing for the resumption of classes next month in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our efforts have already ensured ambitious measures that include new and increased cleaning and disinfecting practices, rearranging classrooms for maximum physical distancing, revised policies for living and dining environments, and increased access to personal protective equipment for those on campus, among others.

Throughout this process, we have strived to strictly follow the best practices as cited by the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) and other health care experts. These sources have established that, in addition to physical distancing, the best method to combat the spread of the virus is to wear a face covering when you are unable to maintain the required separation of six feet from another person. 

So today, I am announcing a new policy that will go into effect on Monday, July 27, that requires all individuals on campus to wear face coverings during all instances when physical distancing is not possible. This new policy is not absolute; for example, face coverings need not be worn when outdoors on campus and physically distant from anyone, or during classes with desks properly physically distant, or when alone in one’s office or residential room. But it will provide us with one more very effective means of helping to diminish the spread of the virus on campus, keeping everyone healthy, and increasing the chances of completing the entire academic year with in-person instruction.

The entire policy can be found here: https://www.williamwoods.edu/emergency-info/safety-policy.html

As with all of our other efforts to maintain our campus operations in the coming year while minimizing the threat posed by the virus, we will need everyone’s cooperation to ensure this policy is successful. Stay tuned for news of a virtual townhall meeting involving all WWU employees in the near future, where you will able to ask any and all questions about this policy and other particulars about campus operations when we all return.  

As I have stated numerous times during this ongoing process, I deeply appreciate the work and dedication of every member of our William Woods community who has adapted to our highly unusual circumstances to ensure our University can move forward in these uncertain times. It is your commitment and “can-do” attitude that will ultimately result in  The Woods coming out of this trying era as an even stronger institution. 

Sincerely, 

Jahnae H. Barnett

President

Thu 7/2/2020 1:32 PM - Message from the President, Update Regarding Student Housing

WWU Community,

As you are all well aware, the challenges in this year of the pandemic have been like nothing we have seen before here at William Woods. About every detail related to campus operations in the coming year, whether it is housing, dining, attending class, academic schedules, LEAD events and more, has been and continues to be planned along with the necessity of doing everything possible to keep our students, faculty and staff healthy—our #One Goal. 

Our current realities are making it necessary for us to reevaluate student housing to align with the current safety and housing guidelines. This requires reviewing current buildings on campus and considering strategies that reduce the density of residents in each building. In the past, for example, our process was to house all first-year students in our Smith, Allen, Swearingen Complex. However, the number of rooms required to keep the overall population in these halls low, and to physically distance residents appropriately, exceeded the number of rooms available in these buildings.  

It was determined that  Serena Hall was needed for incoming student housing to reduce density in traditional halls and create room for quarantine/isolation within buildings (if needed). In order to accommodate, the members of Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity, who currently reside in Serena, will be temporarily moving to Virginia Cutlip. 

We have listened closely to your concerns about the housing situation for the coming year. Both our Office of Student Life and  University leadership team have met frequently to consider this particular issue, with a goal of both addressing your concerns to the greatest extent possible while also maintaining policies that keep the entire campus community safe.  As such, we determined that this course of action best satisfies both priorities. 

This solution reflects the rapidly changing environment we continue to deal with as we prepare for the fall semester in the midst of COVID-19. We are faced with a difficult balance and appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate our way forward.  

Our new entering class is strong, and our returning students will be needed to welcome them. I look forward to seeing you all soon, in August.

Dr. Barnett

June, 2020

Wed 6/24/2020 6:42 AM - Update from Student Life, Returning to Campus Guidelines

Attachments: Returning to Campus Guidelines for Fall 2020 (PDF), Residential Student July Drop Off and August Move In Plans (PDF)

June Greetings,

Attached you will find our policies and protocols which are designed to protect the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and the public with whom we interact.  As our knowledge and understanding of the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve, our policies and plans may be updated as appropriate. Following these guidelines will help limit the spread of COVID-19 and help ensure we are able to remain on campus through November 24, 2020. Returning residential students you will find more detailed information regarding returning to our residence halls in the second attachment.

We know this is a lot to process. If you have questions about reopening this fall and changes due to Covid-19 we are hosting two Virtual Town Halls on Thursday, June 25th- 3:00pm or Tuesday, June 30th- 10:00am. University staff will be answering questions related to the information included in this email.  Please click the link below if you are interested in participating. If you have trouble accessing the form please contact UIT at 573-592-4224. 

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=eo9u09Tou0iPHg_-LGVgXSQ-ikxYVi9LjM4zNLvuu6FUOEFVWEhLSDQzTUwwUk5WVFM1RUpHMjFCRy4u

As we move into fall, we would like to keep your families/guardians up to date on COVID-19 plans. We now have a Parent Information form that will enable your family to receive WWU communications sent directly to them. To access, please log into your Quicklaunch account ( https://quicklaunch.williamwoods.edu), and click on the Student Forms icon. Under General Forms, click on the Parent Contact Information Form and please share their email here.

Stay well and remember if you have questions join us for the Virtual Town Halls above or email studentlife@williamwoods.edu

Venita M Mitchell, PhD

Vice President and Dean of Student Life

Office of Student Life

Tue 6/16/2020 8:14 AM - Message from the President, Returning to the Workplace Policy

Attachment: Returning to the Workplace Policy (PDF)

WWU Faculty and Staff,

As you would expect, the preparation for the return to more “normal” operations on campus, and the start of fall semester classes in August, has and will continue to be at an unheard-of level. To ensure to the greatest extent possible that our entire campus community remains healthy while we progress toward our re-opening is requiring significant attention to detail, meticulous planning and flexibility, and I am thankful to our dedicated staff who are leading these critical discussions.

Today, I am contacting you with important information about the attached schedule for the rest of summer break and health guidelines for all employees working on campus-beginning immediately. Please review these documents very carefully – our capacity to hold an entire school year on campus with in-person instruction in the midst of the pandemic is dependent on following the best practices outlined by healthcare experts. This is an extremely important point, because everyone should accept the reality that we will almost certainly have positive COVID-19 cases at some point on campus in the next year. Our priority is to remain open and continue to serve our students if/when that happens, and to do so, we will all need to continue to pull in the same direction.

Phased return

  • June 15 through July 2 – Access opened to all buildings on campus to William Woods employees only-
  • Cabinet level supervisors must notify maintenance of buildings to be occupied with dates/times-
  • Although offices are not required to be open, phones and other incoming messages should be adequately covered with prompt responses during this time-
  • Employees are responsible for cleaning, disinfecting, and removing garbage in any office areas occupied-
  • Maintenance will clean and disinfect common areas and restrooms daily in any buildings occupied-
  • Telework (working remotely) is still encouraged during this time-
  • Evaluation of office space should begin for modifications needed to welcome students back to campus safely and communicated to Maintenance as soon as possible if assistance is needed-
  • The Mail Center will continue with self-service with each area picking up mail and delivering outgoing mail-
  • The Logo Store will remain closed-

July 6 through July 24

  • Some employees will be required to return to work in anticipation of students returning to campus in early August-
  • Supervisors will communicate with employees needed to return to campus to provide on-campus
  • Supervisors may approve remote work for employees who are successfully completing the duties and responsibilities listed on their job description-
  • The Mail Center will continue with self-service with each area picking up mail and delivering outgoing mail-
  • The Logo Store will remain closed-

July 27 – Campus fully staffed with offices open from 8-4:30

  • Employees maintain physical distancing within offices if possible – spread out or modify work spaces as necessary. Consider staggering shifts where physical distancing cannot be maintained, but all offices must be covered during normal working hours-
  • Supervisors should be planning for business continuity in their areas in the case of a positive test among a member of their faculty/staff. Cross-training of job duties and a plan for coverage of those duties should be firmly in place. Supervisors may want to consider staggered shifts or 50% in-office capacity to ensure continuity of business-
  • Employees will continue to clean and disinfect their own offices including trash removal during this time-
  • Maintenance or janitorial subcontractor will clean and disinfect common areas and restrooms daily-
  • Maintenance will clean high touch surfaces such as exterior door handles several times each day-
  • This time in the office should be used to finalize plans to welcome students back to campus safely in all office areas. Ensure proper signage-
  • The Mail Center begins to deliver and pick up mail from offices-
  • The Logo Store will open as students return to campus under current retail guidelines-

We understand that our current circumstances have been characterized by uncertainty, and it is possible that some of these details might need to be revised at some point. We will continue to keep you informed with frequent updates, and I invite you to visit with your supervisor if you have any questions.

To your Health and Safety!

Jahnae H. Barnett

President

Tue 6/9/2020 7:54 AM - Reminders and Updates for Fall 2020 Residential Students

WWU Students,

As we continue to prepare for fall, we will be getting plans out as quickly as possible.

As you know, Dr. Barnett announced last week that the Fall 2020 semester will begin on August 17. Therefore, orientation for new students will begin on August 13 with many adjustments from previous years. More information on move-in dates for new students, returning students, student leaders, athletes, etc. will be coming out this month. Additionally, we will soon be providing information on the COVID-19 website on a regular basis: https://www.williamwoods.edu/emergency-info/index.html

A few updates and reminders regarding residential living are listed below:

  • We are preparing for the fall semester with the understanding that there will likely be positive COVID-19 cases among our community and we will remain open. Thus, please be sure that you are considering your own health and level of comfort with your fall housing assignment under these conditions as the health, safety and well-being of every member of the William Woods community has been and will continue to be our priority.
  • If you are a student at higher risk for COVID-19 illness and complications due to certain medical conditions (asthma, diabetes, immunosuppressive drug therapy including chronic systemic corticosteroid treatment, heart disease, HIV, morbid obesity), you are strongly encouraged to talk to your health care provider about your level of risk in a campus residential environment and to contact reslife@williamwoods.edu to discuss concerns and living options.
  • Current guidelines from our local health department advise that students testing positive for and/or exposed to COVID-19 isolate/quarantine in their assigned rooms so as not to create new “hot spots” around campus. Therefore, please consider your own level of comfort with your housing assignments and the density of the population in your residential building. For example, Randall B. Cutlip and Sorority Circle both have high occupancy rates. If you have chosen and are assigned to space in these (or other) buildings but would be more comfortable with a single room in a different building, please complete the single room request form found here: https://www.williamwoods.edu/eforms/student_life/Single_Room_Request_Form.aspx. There is no deadline for completing the form; however, available rooms will be assigned on a first come first served basis. If you have already completed the single room request form, there is no need to resubmit your request.
  • We continue to work on policies and procedures for adapting our spaces, activities and living communities for safe living and learning with an emphasis on physical distancing and other recommendations in mind. This may result in times of limited access to various buildings. For example, should we begin to experience active COVID-19 cases, there may be times when we will limit access to various residential buildings to assigned residents only.

We continue to prepare for your return using guidance issued by the American College Health Association (ACHA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and local/state health departments. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at this email or using the studentlife@williamwoods.edu address. Also, continue to check your email and watch the WWU COVID-19 website for updates coming by mid-June.

Stay well,

Venita M. Mitchell, PhD

Vice President & Dean of Student Life

Wed 6/3/2020 9:37 AM - Message from Dr. Barnett, Fall Start Date

WWU Community,

One of the most prevalent characteristics of our ongoing health crisis is uncertainty, prompting our need as a University to be especially flexible and adapt to whatever challenges the pandemic throws our way. Today I am contacting you with another example of that necessity.

Approximately one month ago, we announced our intention to begin fall semester classes on time this August, with in-person instruction. Since that time, we have been working diligently to plan for the safe return of employees and students to campus, while also poring over local, state and federal public health guidelines and information to prepare, to the best of our ability, for factors that remain unknown. Your continued patience and support are greatly appreciated.

After extensive consultation with the William Woods Re-opening and Fall Preparedness Committee and University leadership, we have decided to move the start of undergraduate classes up by one week to begin on Monday, August 17, rather than our currently scheduled start of Monday, August 24. In-person classes will run until Thanksgiving break, and final exams will be held in an online format during the week after Thanksgiving (November 30-December 4). To accommodate the required number of class days and further emphasize health and safety, we will also hold classes on Labor Day and dispense with fall break in October.

These revisions have two important goals. First, starting one week earlier in August and finishing the semester earlier in November allows for more in-person instruction before any potential resurgence in the number of COVID-19 cases. And additionally, we will be able to avoid sending students home to cities across the state and nation at the fall and Thanksgiving breaks and then having them return to campus, a potential hazard for spreading the virus according to health experts.

We understand a new start date may present logistical challenges for members of our community, including altering plans for jobs and internships, faculty course planning, and juggling family responsibilities. We also know that discussions will be ongoing regarding questions pertaining to residence hall and dining needs, and many other topics. With that in mind, we believe it is imperative to communicate these decisions to you as soon as they are finalized, even if there are still some details to be worked out. We are working to address those details and plan to communicate more about them soon.

Your resilience and commitment to William Woods during this entire experience has been extraordinary, which makes me proud every day to be your President! Together, we will keep ensuring that our University continues to thrive during these unsettled times.

Stay Safe and Healthy!

Jahnae H. Barnett

President

May, 2020

Fri 5/29/2020 8:54 AM - Message from the President for Employees, Cost-Saving Measures

WWU Faculty and Staff,

It has been evident from the very beginning of the COVID-19 crisis that the unheard of disruption of our operations would have an unavoidable impact on our University’s budget. Like all colleges and universities across the nation, not to mention countless businesses, government agencies, and other organizations, we have been forced to make very difficult decisions to ensure the financial health of William Woods.

Today I am announcing a number of decisions our budget committee has recommended to date, including both expense reductions and revenue generating measures, to help the University withstand the all too real financial challenges that have been thrust upon us due to the pandemic.

First, the University’s Executive Cabinet members have agreed to voluntary salary reductions between 7-10 percent, effective July 1, 2020, in an effort to help minimize the impact of our current situation on all faculty and staff.

Second, also effective July 1, employees may continue to contribute to their retirement fund, but we will be suspending the employee retirement match for a period of six months, after which the suspension will be re-evaluated with consideration of the University’s financial standing at that time.

In addition, we are eliminating the extra pay related to faculty course overloads and adjuncts for traditional classes, including tutorials, internships, and independent studies. Online and graduate courses will continue as usual and will pay at the standard rate. Currently, the only plan for online and graduate changes is to cancel classes more aggressively if they have low enrollment or are not essential.

And in order to ensure the safety of our work spaces throughout the entire campus community, we are asking employees to diligently clean and disinfect their own workspaces, which includes daily trash removal. Our janitorial subcontractor will not be entering individual offices to perform these tasks and will focus on keeping campus common areas, such as hallways and restrooms, clean and disinfected.

Other reductions we are implementing effective July 1 include the following:

  • Reduction of the Professional Development Budget by 50% for 2020-21
  • Transition of the University alumni magazine from the paper version to a digital-only version
  • Reduction of the number of subscriptions at the library based on usage and reducing the hours the library is open to cut back on staffing expenses.
  • Elimination of Culligan water coolers on campus, for both cost savings and for sanitary purposes
  • Elimination of in-person and phone tuition payments by credit card – credit card payments must be made online with a convenience fee. We will continue to offer an alternative method of payment with no fee.

Please understand that these decisions – as painful as they already are – may not be the last measures we need to undertake in response to the ongoing crisis. Our leadership team continues to work through scenarios for fall semester and beyond, and the William Woods community will be apprised as our plans evolve.

We are also pursuing a number of initiatives to help the University attain new revenue sources, including an iStudy agreement for an MBA program in Asia, a GED Completion program in prisons, certificates of coursework completion for corporate and organization employees, and electronic payments for vendors through Central Bank that will provide the University a rebate. There are also a number of additional revenue initiatives in progress at the present time which potentially will impact future years beyond 20-21.

I commend all of you who have made very creative suggestions over the past few weeks for reducing expenses or increasing revenue streams. We have reviewed every idea submitted and are implementing several of them. Your participation has been impressive, but not surprising to me, as I have come to expect such incredible dedication and commitment to The Woods on the part of our faculty and staff throughout my tenure as President. I am proud to work alongside you, and will continue to update you frequently as we go forward during this unprecedented time.

To Your Health and Safety,

Jahnae H. Barnett

President


Thu 5/28/2020 11:19 AM - Message from Student Life, Important Updates for Fall 2020

WWU Students,

Summer break is officially here, a time when students are traditionally re-charging their batteries in advance of returning to campus in August. I hope all of you are doing just that, but most importantly, I hope this message finds you safe and healthy.

The health, safety and well-being of every member of the William Woods community has been and will continue to be our priority. As we continue to prepare for your return, we will make all decisions to protect our community members using guidance issued by the American College Health Association (ACHA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and local/state health departments. As such, we are developing detailed plans that ensure a safe learning experience for you come August, including:

  • Encouraging students at higher risk for COVID-19 illness and complications due to certain medical conditions (asthma, diabetes, immunosuppressive drug therapy including chronic systemic corticosteroid treatment, heart disease, HIV, morbid obesity) to talk to their health care providers about their level of risk. Residential students with these or other medical conditions or concerns should contact reslife@williamwoods.edu to discuss concerns and living options.
  • Revising guidelines for safe residential living, including cleaning policies, managing physical distancing and access to living areas. Consideration is also being given to quarantine/isolation spaces and population density in residential buildings.
    • If you find yourself concerned about your current housing assignment based on COVID worries, please contact reslife@williamwoods.edu. We are happy to discuss options and answer questions. For example, regardless of where you are living, if you are currently planning to live with a roommate in the fall and would feel more comfortable with a single room, please complete the single room request form found here: https://www.williamwoods.edu/eforms/student_life/Single_Room_Request_Form.aspx. There is no deadline for completing the form; however, available rooms will be assigned on a first come first served basis. If you have already completed the single room request form, there is no need to resubmit your request.
  • Adopting increased campus cleaning protocols of all public spaces on campus using products designed to safely eliminate the COVID-19 virus. Particular attention is being paid to door knobs, railings, touch points, restrooms and corridors in buildings, and the cleaning and replacement of all filters for campus HVAC systems.
  • Scheduling classes in rooms that allow students to sit 6-8 feet apart, with an ongoing emphasis on physical distancing protocols in place across campus.
  • Evaluating our food service operations to ensure the best health practices.
  • Ensuring student access to the campus Health Center, staffed by an experienced nurse practitioner.
  • Increasing public messaging and common spaces signage around campus about sound hygiene practices, such as physical distancing, washing hands, and wearing face coverings where appropriate and recommended.
  • Finally, in addition to regular in-person classes, to maximize flexibility of delivery for each course and provide convenience for students who may be temporarily unable to attend class in person, online adjustments will be available.

We know that the 2020-2021 academic year figures to be one that requires significant adjustment for all of us, but we will experience it together. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at this email or using the studentlife@williamwoods.edu address. Also, continue to check your email and watch the WWU COVID website for updates coming by mid-June.

I look forward to your return this fall,

Venita M. Mitchell, PhD

Vice President & Dean of Student Life


Tue 5/26/2020 8:59 AM - Update from the President for Employees

WWU Faculty and Staff,

Memorial Day weekend is, of course, the official beginning of summer, which traditionally has been a time of reflection, recharging and resumption for our William Woods faculty and staff--Reflection on the past academic year--Recharging of the batteries in anticipation of the next one--and then Resumption of classes and the new academic year in August. All of these familiar rituals provide us with sources of comfort in uncertain times, which all of us certainly can use during this watershed year of 2020.

As we have stated unequivocally, we are committed to beginning the fall semester on time in August, with in-person instruction and the very best practices for community health and safety. But, we also know that to meet that commitment, the level of planning and preparation by all departments at the University for this particular fall semester has been and will continue to be quite simply, unparalleled. I am taking this opportunity to inform you that a re-opening committee, comprised of representatives of every facet of the William Woods community, has already been hard at work preparing for the seemingly endless challenges and details of resuming on-campus classes during the pandemic. This committee reports directly to me and is instrumental in informing me of the various needs and concerns each department holds.

The re-opening committee has been meeting consistently, reviewing and analyzing a variety of potential scenarios as we move toward an opening like no other in the history of The Woods. Some of the myriad of topics the committee is addressing include the following:

  • creating a timeline of benchmarks that must be met over the next three months before classes resume;
  • determining when the gradual, continued return to campus for employees will resume and what form that will take;
  • evaluating what the recommendations will be for the wearing of face coverings, physical distancing, and cleaning of personal spaces on campus for employees;
  • analyzing what routines like eating at Tucker Dining Hall, visiting the Owls Nest or Logo Store, or LEAD events on campus will look like;
  • explaining any obligation employees might have in event of sickness or travel to a so-called “hot zone” of COVID-19 infection;
  • employing what best practices will be for preventing another shut-down of campus.

This is just a partial list, and there undoubtedly will be other unanticipated issues we will need to address as we begin fall classes under our current circumstances. But what should fill us all with confidence and pride for the future of our University is the outstanding, committed team of faculty and staff here at The Woods. I know we will be able to adapt, improvise and overcome any obstacles we face, because for the last 150 years that has been the William Woods way. I am honored to serve this institution with every one of you!

Over the next few weeks, you can expect a series of regular messages and plans coming your way from my office and our leadership team that will address the next step in the process as the University advances toward the resumption of classes in August. When that time comes, whether it is an adjustment, a “new normal” or any other of the familiar clichés we have all heard, I have no doubt that we will continue to thrive as an institution. The best days for William Woods University remain ahead of us!

Jahnae H. Barnett

President


Wed 5/20/2020 7:52 AM - CARES Act

WWU Students,

As we close the book on the historic spring semester of 2020, the University continues to provide all possible support to our students during this time of unchartered territory across higher education. Today I am reaching out to you with important information about the CARES Act funding.

CARES Act Student Emergency Grant funds are designed to assist currently enrolled students with expenses incurred from the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant was awarded to William Woods through limited stimulus funds provided in the CARES Act, and eligibility is restricted by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE).

Our goal is to disburse the funds as quickly as possible to those students who are most in need while adhering to the eligibility requirements set forth by the DOE. Grant funds should be used as reimbursement of expenses related to the disruption of campus operations such as the following: food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care. These are grant funds and do not have to be repaid. It does not replace, change or negate financial aid. The grants will be disbursed directly to the student and will not be held to pay any outstanding balance owed to WWU.

Eligibility requirements for students are as follows:

  • Must have been enrolled in in-person classes at WWU as of March 13, 2020
  • Must be in good academic standing, as determined by the University
  • Must be eligible to participate in federal aid programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 as demonstrated with a current Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file with the university

International students and students who were enrolled exclusively in online courses as of March 13, 2020, are not eligible for the emergency grant funds.

WWU has identified undergraduate on-campus students as having incurred expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19 and as such, no application is required for this population of students to receive the grant. Grant funds will be automatically allocated and disbursed to those students who meet the eligibility requirements as outlined above beginning the week of May 26. The amount of the grant is based on the student’s financial need and the student classification as residential, commuter, full-time, or part-time. The maximum grant amount for a full-time residential student is $1,200. The maximum grant amount for a full-time commuter student is $500. The maximum grant amount is tiered based on the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on the FAFSA as shown below.

EFC Percentage of Grant
$0 100
$1-$5,502 90
$5,502-$10,000 80
$10,001-$25,000 70
$25,001-$50,000 60
>$50,000 50

Part-time students who meet the eligibility requirements will receive a pro-rated amount of the grant based on the number of hours enrolled as of March 13, 2020, as compared to the minimum number of hours for full-time status at WWU.

While WWU immediately identified on-campus undergraduate students as being eligible for these funds, our graduate students who were taking in-person courses as of March 13, 2020, may have also experienced expenses related to the disruption of WWU campus operations due to COVID-19. As such, we are implementing an application process available to these students. Please monitor your WWU email and our website for further information regarding the application process which is expected to be made available by June 15. The number of students who will receive the grants in the application process is on a first-come first-serve basis until the grant funds are fully distributed to eligible students. Questions can be directed to CARESgrant@williamwoods.edu<mailto:CARESgrant@williamwoods.edu>

I hope all of you are enjoying your summer break and most importantly, staying healthy!

Jahnae H. Barnett

President


Wed 5/6/2020 10:00 AM - Message from the President, Limited Re-Opening of Campus and Continued Planning for Return

WWU Students and Families,

This week, we officially re-opened the William Woods University campus, allowing our faculty and staff to return to work in a limited capacity. The move was consistent with the order by Missouri Governor Mike Parson issued last week to re-open the state of Missouri, and is the next in a series of progressive steps we are taking toward ensuring the University is operating at full capacity for the fall semester.

Our priority and commitment are to provide all of our students with a safe living and learning experience on campus for the fall semester. As such, we have every expectation that William Woods will be open for in-person classes and co-curricular activities on schedule, in August. I want to assure you that we are already deep in preparation for your return, and have developed a comprehensive health and safety plan to ensure the well-being of everyone on campus – students, faculty, staff and visitors – including the following:

  • Adopting increased campus cleaning protocols of all public spaces, using products approved by the Centers for Disease Control designed to safely eliminate the COVID-19 virus within 10 seconds. Particular attention is being paid to door knobs, railings, touch points, restrooms and corridors in buildings that have been reopened.
  • Providing all employees with cleaning products to disinfect and sanitize their own personal workplaces, and the cleaning and replacement of all filters for campus HVAC systems.
  • Scheduling classes in rooms that allow students to sit 6-8 feet apart, with an ongoing emphasis on social distancing protocols in place across campus.
  • Evaluating residential living environments for best practice with physical distancing requirements.
  • Making all coursework available online, in addition to in-person classes, to maximize flexibility of delivery for each course and provide convenience for students who are temporarily unable to attend class in person for a period of time.
  • Ensuring student access to the campus Health Center, staffed by an experienced nurse practitioner.
  • Continuing reliance on the University’s strong partnerships with the Callaway County Department of Health and State of Missouri Department of Health, consulting with both agencies to review and strengthen health and safety policies on a constant basis.

Extensive planning will continue throughout the summer months, but just know that we are already counting down the days until your return. And while we understand that our “new normal” on campus might be something of an adjustment for all of us, at William Woods we are uniquely positioned to adapt to changing circumstances. After all, we have thrived at The Woods for 150 years for that very reason – our capacity to adapt, improvise and innovate – and I am convinced that our best days remain in our future.

Stay safe and healthy, and we will welcome you in August!

Jahnae H. Barnett

President


April, 2020

Thu 4/23/2020 2:00 PM - Room and Board Refunds

On Friday, April 24, one of the most challenging and unusual semesters in the history of our University will come to an end. The COVID-19 pandemic has provided unheard-of disruption to our way of life, with our fellow citizens losing loved ones to this insidious illness or suffering overwhelming stress about their health. Families have been devastated by financial hardship, including job losses, strained budgets, and soaring healthcare costs.

At William Woods, the well-being of our students and their families is paramount. We recognize the incredible adversity many of you are facing concerning the current situation, and continue to pursue measures that will at least partially ease your financial anxiety. So today I am informing you of our latest initiative that we hope will help lessen your burden.

We will be providing pro-rated adjustments to those students who were living in a residence hall and/or enrolled in the campus meal plan for the Spring semester. We officially closed campus on Friday, March 20 while transitioning to an online-only instruction format, allowing students several days to make arrangements to leave campus. Adjustments will be pro-rated based on the departure date of each individual student, including graduating seniors, underclassmen returning in the fall and those students that may not be returning to WWU.

Students should allow university staff several weeks to process the adjustments, which will be applied to student accounts to cover current balances or future charges for the upcoming summer or fall semesters. For more details on these room and board adjustments, students are encouraged to monitor their William Woods email account and our website.

This announcement comes after previous measures we have taken to help ease the financial burden on our WWU families. These include the waiving of all late fees incurred by students for the months of April and May 2020, and the removing of all holds on student accounts, including for balances of up to $3,000 for traditional students and up to $1,000 for graduate or online students, paving the way for immediate registration for fall classes. Please contact the Student Financial Services office at WWU at Financialaid@williamwoods.edu, to set up payment arrangements.

At William Woods, our first priority in this crisis was to ensure the health and well-being of our students. With the semester officially closing and students having departed, we now want to continue to do everything we can to help ensure the financial health of their families and parents.

To Your Health and Safety!

Jahnae H. Barnett

President


Tue 4/21/2020 8:16 AM - Update from the President for Employees

WWU Staff,

This past Friday marked the fourth full week of having William Woods employees work from home. I know this has been an adjustment for all of you, and I continue to be impressed with your hard work and commitment to our University given our current circumstances. It is only natural that many of you are wondering when it might be possible for our campus to re-open to our employees, and return to some degree of normal operations regarding our workplace arrangements.

On Thursday of last week, Governor Mike Parson announced that the statewide stay-at-home order, originally scheduled to expire on April 24, was extended through Sunday, May 3. The Governor’s order means that we will not be re-opening campus for our staff to return to work until Monday, May 4 at the earliest. However, all employees should understand that, even if the statewide order is lifted on May 3, it is not a guarantee that we will be able to allow staff to return to on-campus work at that time.

Our leadership staff continues to work through scenarios for employees returning, which could occur slightly after the statewide order is lifted. When we do re-open campus, it could potentially involve a staggered schedule, with half of our staff working three days a week on campus and the rest two days during our first week back, for example. We also know there are other factors to consider, including child care responsibilities and other commitments, and we will be sensitive to those concerns as we determine our next course of action. I would be remiss if I did not mention our great maintenance staff here, who have remained working on campus doing this crisis, cleaning and disinfecting all campus buildings to ensure the environment we will return to is as safe and healthy as possible. We should all be eternally grateful for their dedication.

We continue to closely monitor the guidelines of our state officials, as well as those of the Centers for Disease Control and Callaway County Department of Health. As we have from the outset of our current situation, we will make all decisions concerning your return to on-campus work consistent with the best health and safety practices. We hope to have updated information about this process in the next two weeks as state officials continue to assess the environment across Missouri. It is my hope that we will have more information to share after our next scheduled Cabinet meeting on Monday, April 27.

Till then--Stay Healthy!

Jahnae H. Barnett

President


Thu 4/9/2020 3:26 PM - Message from the President, Scheduling Move-Out Times

WWU Community,

Normally, the month of April on our beautiful campus is a time of non-stop activity and excitement, with Alumni Weekend, Board of Trustees Weekend, and Commencement. It is the arrival of Spring and a splendid William Woods-hued green sprouting across the landscape. It is the celebration of another year of academic, artistic and social achievement by our students, our faculty, and our staff.

April 2020, however, has given us a new definition of the term “Silent Spring” on campus. But while the COVID-19 virus has caused disruption that would have been inconceivable just a few short months ago, these now-quiet April days also provide us with glimmers of hope of better days ahead. As of today, we have but one student who tested positive for the virus still in isolation on campus. We have also been blessed with having no William Woods employee test positive for the virus as of this writing.

We now have only 15 undergraduate and 14 graduate students continuing to reside on campus, while nearly 500 have returned home. Our faculty, residential life staff, maintenance and food service teams continue to perform admirably in addressing the myriad of challenges the times require, including conducting online instruction, cleaning and disinfecting campus, and feeding the students who remain. We are all forever indebted to our faculty and staff for their response to this extraordinary crisis, for their response has been extraordinary as well!

One of the many logistical issues we have addressed is how students who were asked to leave so abruptly last month can return to campus and retrieve any personal belongings. We have set aside the period of Saturday, April 25, through Sunday, May 3, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, as times when students and their families can return to collect any personal items. We will be scheduling these visits in two-hours blocks to help ensure that only 1-2 families are in any one residential hall at a time to abide by social distancing guidelines. Our maintenance staff will ensure that door handles and other surfaces are adequately treated. To schedule your move-out time to retrieve your items, please contact the Office of Residential Life via email at reslife@williamwoods.edu.

Martin Luther King once said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.” How everyone at William Woods – students, faculty and staff – have responded during this incredibly challenging Spring of 2020 fills me with pride and confidence for the future of our University. We know that eventually, all things must pass, and so too, will our current set of circumstances. When it does, I have no doubt that William Woods will emerge stronger than ever, and poised for future generations of growth and vitality.

Stay Healthy and Safe!

Jahnae H.Barnett

President


Thu 4/2/2020 12:54 PM - Message from the President, Revision to University Grading Policy, Test-Optional Admissions, Info Regarding Late Fees and Registration Holds

WWU Community,

A new month has graced us, and we are excited to be moving forward at William Woods University! It has been a week of announcing some important new initiatives designed to ease the burden on our students in what has been a semester of significant disruption, simplify the admissions process, make a degree from William Woods more affordable, and provide a financial stimulus to our students’ families.

First, we all know that moving our entire academic course load to an online format on March 16 was an adjustment for everyone, one that we, as a campus, have handled with remarkable patience and flexibility! Now, as an acknowledgment of our unique circumstances this spring, we are adopting a temporary revision to the University grading policy for undergraduate and graduate students. This new policy includes the option for students to withdraw from classes through April 24, at no cost; students who earn an A, B, or C in any class (undergraduate, graduate, online, traditional, cohort) will be assigned the grade earned at the end of the semester, as normal; undergraduate students who continue their coursework and receive a D or D+ will have the grade converted to a “P,” for Pass, indicating credit received for competing the course but with no impact on their GPA; a grade of F will be converted to a “W” at the end of the semester in undergraduate and graduate courses, requiring a repeat of the course but not impacting a student’s GPA.

Next, with most standardized college testing cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we announced earlier this week a test-optional pathway as part of our criteria for future admission. At the same time, our new financial platform provides prospective students and their families with financial information as soon as their application is submitted--a process that reassures students about the affordability of attending WWU. Finally, we announced yesterday that the University is waiving all late fees incurred by students for the months of April and May 2020, and that we are also removing registration holds on the accounts of traditional students owing up to $3,000 and for graduate and online students owing up to $1,000.

These are just the first in what will be a series of measures in the future weeks and months to ensure the viability and health of our institution. They represent how everyone connected to William Woods is continuing to pull in the same direction as we move into the challenging days to come. But knowing the quality of the students, faculty and staff in our WWU community, I have no doubt but that we will come out of this stronger than before!

Before this year began, we all anticipated that we would be deep into celebrating the 150th anniversary year of our University at this point. With the recent turn of events, our 150th year as a university might not be about remembering history, but making history, with how we responded to the extraordinary events of 2020.

Stay Healthy!

Jahnae H. Barnett

President


March, 2020

Tue 3/31/2020 12:52 PM - A Letter from President Barnett to the Families of WWU Students

WWU Families,

The COVID-19 pandemic has provided nearly every segment of society with unprecedented challenges. Across the country, we have seen our fellow citizens lose loved ones to this insidious illness, or suffer overwhelming stress about their health. Families have been devastated by financial hardship, including job losses, strained budgets, and soaring healthcare costs.

At William Woods, we understand the trials you are facing concerning the current situation, and we want to at least partially ease your financial anxiety. Today I am informing you of three initiatives we hope will help lessen your burden.

First, we are waiving all late fees incurred by students for the months of April and May 2020. Second, we are removing all financial holds on student accounts, with balances up to $3,000 for traditional students and up to $1,000 for graduate or online students.

All students in these categories will also be permitted to register for fall classes immediately. If your balance exceeds the limits specified please contact the Student Financial Services office at WWU at Financialaid@williamwoods.edu, to set up a payment plan.

Finally, information will be provided soon about partial refunds for room and board fees. We continue to review how these refunds will be distributed, but to ensure we do so in a fiscally responsible manner, we are awaiting additional information about the federal stimulus legislation that recently passed in Washington, D.C. At this point, the effect the stimulus bill will have on the University’s finances is unclear, and we want to make all decisions with as much information at our disposal as possible. Look for more detail on room and board fee refunds in the near future.

At William Woods, our first priority in this crisis was to ensure the health and well-being of our students. Now, we want to do everything we can to help ensure the financial health of their families. As overwhelming as this has seemed for all of us, if we continue to work together as a community, perhaps one day we will look back upon March 2020 not as a time of trepidation for our University, but as its finest hour.

Sincerely,

Jahnae H. Barnett

President


Fri 3/27/2020 2:06 PM - Update from the President, Commitment to Employee Safety

WWU faculty and staff,

We are coming to the end of one of the more demanding weeks in the history of William Woods University, and I want to commend all of our employees for their hard work, resilience and flexibility in the face of the extraordinary challenges we continue to face. Your commitment to William Woods, our students and each other is inspiring!

The additional positive cases of COVID-19 that were confirmed this week among our students has reinforced the importance of our close relationship with the Callaway County Department of Health as we continue to work with them to determine individuals who may have come in close contact with those students. We still have 45 students residing on campus, including some who are in self-isolation as we determine if they are symptomatic so they do not go home sick. In just the past week, we have reduced the number of students still on campus from 500 to 45. We have also reduced the number of horses in the barns to a much-more manageable 70, down from 138, which will greatly help our Equestrian staff.

What I want to re-emphasize today is our absolute commitment to keeping all our employees who are still on campus safe and healthy. As such, we are no longer having staff clean any spaces in which students are still residing to lessen the chance of our staff being exposed. WWU Nurse Practitioner Kristen Oesch is available in a virtual format to further protect our employees. Additionally, counseling support is available to those who are interested; please see the instructions on accessing services at the bottom of this message. In situations of intense stress like the one we are in, mental health becomes as important as physical health, and we do not want anyone neglecting that critical part of their overall well-being.

Sometimes, withstanding a catastrophic event can transform an organization into something stronger when it is over. I believe deeply that is what we will see when normalcy returns. Witnessing how our campus community has come together – from employees working literally around the clock in our Emergency Operations Center, to our faculty seamlessly transitioning their instruction to online delivery, to the hard work of our essential employees ensuring meals continue to be delivered and cleaning and disinfecting campus, and our staff who continue to work hard from home – we have worked as one team to help mitigate this unheard-of disaster. As we slowly return to whatever our new normal will look like in the coming weeks, we will always look back on the creativity and energy that everybody on this campus displayed in supporting the mission of the University during these trying times.

Perhaps one day we will look back upon March 2020 not as a tragedy for our University, but as its finest hour.

Jahnae H. Barnett

President


Wed 3/25/2020 10:14 AM - Update from the President

WWU Community,

As we have seen in both Missouri and across the nation, adjusting our lives due to COVID-19 has required all of us to make significant sacrifices. The latest example of this new reality came yesterday, when Callaway County officially announced a stay-at-home order for its citizens, consistent with what hundreds of other cities and counties have already instituted around the country. The order from our University’s home county has a lot of important information for everyone connected with William Woods University, and I urge you to read the following summary of the order from the Callaway County Department of Health: https://callawayhealthdepartment411.wordpress.com.

We have always been proud to call Fulton and Callaway County the home of William Woods, and have worked hard to be the best possible neighbor to the citizens of our home city and county as long as the University has been here. I want to reiterate that William Woods has been extremely vigilant in addressing this unprecedented crisis from well before it affected our area, not only out of concern for our students, faculty and staff, but for our Fulton and Callaway County neighbors.

For example, WWU convened a COVID-19 Preparedness Team in February, long before it became a crisis in mid-Missouri, so we could begin to proactively ready our University operations for any potential disruptions. We transitioned all University classes to online delivery on March 13, consistent with other universities and colleges in mid-Missouri. We immediately closed campus, facilitated the departure of our students and moved all our employees to work-at-home status as soon as we had the first positive case of coronavirus, on March 20. We held health screenings for our students before they left campus to ensure they were healthy before they left and not potentially spreading the virus to their home communities and families. We have worked tirelessly with the Callaway County Department of Health to investigate those who had close contact with anyone who tested positive, and facilitated a policy of self-isolation for them to help further curtail spread of the virus. Due to the comprehensive set of proactive, precautionary measures we have undertaken, not a single case of coronavirus has showed up outside our campus in Fulton or Callaway County.

In summary, we have rigidly followed all Centers For Disease Control, Missouri Department of Health and Callaway County Department of Health guidelines and regulations throughout this entire process. At the same time, it is important to note that we had a much earlier Spring Break than other colleges and universities in mid-Missouri (March 2-5), which has had an unmistakable impact on the number of positive coronavirus cases at William Woods compared to other area schools. Remember that on the last day before our Spring Break (Friday, February 28), there were no domestic travel restrictions in place and no Spring Break destinations shutting down. Due to this rapidly-changing virus, it was a different world as recently as February 28, and even then, we were following all federal, state and local health guidelines.

We have acted in a spirit of proactivity, caution and concern for our community and its citizens throughout this ordeal. We will always be committed to the health and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and neighbors here at William Woods.

Jahnae H. Barnett

President


Tue 3/24/2020 3:05 PM - Message from the President, Update on Positive Cases, Columbia/Boone County Stay-at-Home Order

WWU Community,

As of today, we now have had 10 of our students test positive for COVID-19. While such information is sobering, we were not surprised in seeing at least a modest increase in the number of positive cases due to increased testing and screening, mirroring what is happening across the nation. We continue to execute our proactive response plan that assures the best care for our University Community and for those affected by COVID-19, and I could not be prouder of our dedicated staff who continue to work around the clock in some cases to address this extraordinary situation.

Considering this latest information, we are reminding the community that if you have not been contacted by a health department official regarding direct contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19, you should still act with caution. Remember to keep practicing social distancing, wash your hands frequently, and follow all orders issued by your local municipalities. Additionally, practice good self-awareness. If you begin to feel sick, call your provider with concerns. Being nonchalant with regard to the coronavirus will only hasten its spread. We value every member of the William Woods Community, desperately want all of you to be healthy and safe, and will do whatever we can to ensure your well-being.

Today, the City of Columbia and nearby Boone County issued a stay-at-home order beginning tomorrow and extending to the 24th of April ( https://www.columbiamissourian.com/news/covid19/columbia-boone-county-issue-stay-at-home-order/article_a13705da-6dd4-11ea-89d2-2bd6859c3738.html). Likely other municipalities will consider community guidelines as well. I know how inconvenient this can be for all of us, but it is critical that we all abide by these community guidelines. They are only being issued for our well-being, and the capacity to which we abide by them has a direct effect on how many more of our fellow citizens become ill and frankly, how long it will take before we can return to some semblance of “normal.”

Please continue to monitor our special COVID-19 page for regular updates ( https://www.williamwoods.edu/emergency-info/index.html).

We will emerge from this crisis, and be stronger for it!

Jahnae H. Barnett

President


Mon 3/23/2020 11:19 AM - Message from the President, Additional Positive Cases

WWU Community,

Over the weekend we received confirmation that additional students from William Woods have tested positive for COVID-19. As of this morning, we have a total of nine students who have tested positive for the coronavirus that includes two who tested positive in their home communities after having left campus.

We continue to work in close partnership with the Callaway County Department of Health to conduct an investigation into who else might have been in direct contact with these additional students. Those who might have been directly exposed to these students will be notified and given further instructions. Additionally, we are also working to support these students who have tested positive and they are currently in self-isolation according to the guidelines established by the Centers For Disease Control (CDC).

As we see across the world, these numbers are expected to rise with more extensive testing of an increasing number of individuals. Though we are not surprised at these results, we continue to execute our proactive response plan that assures the best care for our University community and for those affected by COVID-19.

Following Callaway County Department of Health guidelines, if you believe that you have had direct contact with a student or any other individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, we advise that you consult a local health care professional about further testing. We also want to reiterate how critically important it is for you to continue practicing social distancing whenever you encounter other persons, and to wash your hands frequently. Circumstances in this situation continue to change rapidly, and as always I encourage you to stay updated on our COVID-19 web page which can be found at https://www.williamwoods.edu/emergency-info/index.html

Jahnae H. Barnett

President


Sat 3/21/2020 2:43 PM - Update from Student Life Regarding Extended Stay on Campus

WWU community,

Recent Callaway County Department of Health guidelines state the following: if you believe you have had extended contact with a student who has tested positive for COVID-19, we advise that you stay on campus for the time being. Please remain sheltered in place in your room, practice social distancing whenever encountering other people, and wash your hands frequently. If you become symptomatic (573) 642-6881 ext 0. If you are staying and have not yet filled out the extended stay form on Owlnet please do so now. If you have questions you can also email reslife@williamwoods.edu

If you are a student outside of the above population and do not feel safe going home out of concern for family members and prefer to stay on campus please fill out the extended stay form on Owlnet.

Circumstances in this situation continue to change rapidly, and as always, I encourage you to stay updated on our COVID-19 web page which can be found at https://www.williamwoods.edu/emergency-info/index.html

Working with the Department, we continue to work diligently to determine which other students, faculty or staff these five presumptively infected students have come in contact with over the past few weeks.

Venita M. Mitchell, PhD

Vice President & Dean of Student Life


Sat 3/21/2020 1:36 PM - Update from Student Life, Additional Presumptive Positive Cases

WWU community,

As expected, we have received confirmation of additional students that have received presumptive positive test for COVID-19. Three of our students, who had been in quarantine after close contact with our original presumptive positive COVID-19 case, have all tested positive for the virus. At the same time, we also received confirmation that a fifth William Woods student has also tested presumptive positive for the virus. These results bring to five the total number of our students that have tested positive for the coronavirus.

While unfortunate, please be assured that additional positive results were expected and our leadership team is executing our plan to address this outcome. Following Callaway County Department of Health guidelines, we strongly urge all of our remaining students to shelter in place and refrain from departing for the time being. Working with the Department, we continue to work diligently to determine which other students, faculty or staff these five presumptively infected students have come in contact with over the past few weeks.

Please remain sheltered in place in your room, practice social distancing whenever encountering other people, and wash your hands frequently. Circumstances in this situation continue to change rapidly, and as always, I encourage you to stay updated on our COVID-19 web page which can be found at https://www.williamwoods.edu/emergency-info/index.html

Venita M. Mitchell, PhD

Vice President & Dean of Student Life


Sat 3/21/2020 10:59 AM - Message from the President

WWU Community,

This Saturday morning our campus was bathed in a brilliant sunrise for perhaps the first time in more than a week. The stunning visual reminded me that, even in the midst of unparalleled upheaval, there is still beauty and goodness in this world.

So this morning I want to take a moment to focus on what has been unmistakably good in this current crisis we now face. I want to commend and thank our wonderful students. Your cooperation and patience with this extraordinary situation, including transitioning to online instruction, sheltering in place when urged to do so, moving your belongings out of your rooms in an orderly fashion, and calmly working with our staff to address the myriad of challenges you face, has been inspiring. We prize our students, who quite frankly give us great hope for our nation’s (and world’s) future.

I thank and commend the parents of our students for raising such quality young people, and for your patience and understanding as we navigate the extraordinary challenges associated with this disruption to our University operations and the college education of your sons and daughters.

I thank and commend our excellent William Woods staff. Beginning with the proactive approach we took when our staff convened the COVID-19 Preparedness Team about a month ago, to the literal around-the-clock management of this crisis over the past two days including members of all campus departments working through the night, our staff has been a model of dedication and commitment to The Woods. I value our amazing staff members – we simply would not be the same University without you.

I thank and commend our talented William Woods faculty. Your flexibility and positive attitude in moving seamlessly to online instruction has been impressive. Your reassuring presence with our students has played a major role in our University’s capacity to address this situation. Your credibility with our students has never been higher, and I could not be more proud to have a faculty representing William Woods than I am of you.

I thank and commend our community partners, especially the Callaway County Department of Health. The team at the county health department has been extremely helpful, working closely with our staff to address the unheard-of challenges this situation has placed before us. We are grateful for their expertise and compassion as we alter campus operations in light of the crisis. I also thank and commend our food service partners Fresh Ideas, for their admirable ability to adapt to the situation, including first altering how they serve meals in our dining hall, to transitioning to serving meals to students at their rooms. We are fortunate to have a partner like Fresh Ideas as part of our team.

Today we continue to work through assisting our remaining students with the task of leaving campus for home. Our employees continue to make the necessary preparations to work from home for the time being. All of this transition will continue to be difficult for all of us.

But today I am encouraged because of the students, faculty, staff and University partners we have. Having you all on our team is like having that beautiful sun shining every day of the year.

Jahnae H. Barnett

President


Fri 3/20/2020 9:12 PM - Update from Student Life for Students Remaining on Campus

Good evening,

We know this has been a trying day for everyone. Thank you for your cooperation with this challenging and disruptive situation. By now you know that last night we received our first presumptive positive diagnosis for COVID-19. Students are still able to stay until Wednesday, March 25 th if needed but are encouraged to leave campus as soon as possible. While on campus all students are required to self-quarantine in their room. The Callaway County Health Department communicated with our exposed student, and others who had close contact with this individual, as required by the Missouri Department of Health. This was to determine where any exposed students have traveled both in the community and out of it over the past two weeks. If you have reason to believe that you may have had direct contact with a student known to be infected, please contact the Callaway County Health Department at 642-6881.

A few updates/reminders for those staying on campus:

  • Campus Safety is available if needed. They can be reached at 573-592-4357.
  • University staff will be on campus 24/7 for the next few days closely monitoring this evolving situation. They can be reached through the Student Life email at studentlife@williamwoods.edu.
  • The mailroom will be open from 9:00-11:00 am tomorrow for students that need to pick up packages.
  • Food will be delivered to halls at approximately 9:00 am, 12:00 pm and 5:00 pm tomorrow (Saturday, March 21 st).
  • If you are leaving, be sure to notify us at reslife@williamwoods.edu. Also use this to communicate if you need to leave some things in your room.
  • Please see updated information on FAQ page https://www.williamwoods.edu/emergency-info/faqs.html and continue to check your email.

Fri 3/20/2020 2:58 PM - Update from Student Involvement Regarding Screening and Departure from Campus

The State Health Department has now determined that on-campus screenings are not necessary for all William Woods University students. The following message is from the Callaway County Health Department. They can be reached at 573-642-6881 (press 0 to speak with the operator) with any questions.

“The William Woods University currently has a positive COVID19 case on campus. If you have not been in direct contact with anyone testing positive for COVID19, are not symptomatic with fever, cough, or upper respiratory issues, you may leave the campus. If you begin to experience these symptoms when you arrive home, contact your primary care physician and follow any health instructions given. Please self-shelter for 14 days. Be safe in your travels and contact us if you need any assistance.”

Students departing campus need to notify Residential Life at reslife@williamwoods.edu. If you have communicated to Residential Life that you are leaving items in your room to pick up at a later time you will receive further information regarding pick-up.

Any students not planning to leave campus by March 25 th need to be sure they have completed the late stay form (accessed by logging into QuickLaunch and selecting “Student Forms”) and received approval. These students need to continue to self-quarantine.

Lacey Sweeten Randall

Director of Student Involvement


Fri 3/20/2020 1:56 PM - Update from Student Involvement

More information regarding screening will be made available soon. We are working with the Health Department and will provide more information when we have it. Please continue to monitor the website and your email.

Lacey Sweeten Randall

Director of Student Involvement


Fri 3/20/2020 1:10 PM - Information For Parents, Pick-Up Location

Parents wanting to come to campus may wait for their students in the Thurmond Chapel. A University representative will be there to assist them. They may park in the white campus parking adjacent to Bartley Hall.


Fri 3/20/2020 12:43 PM - Message from Student Life, Pre-Departure Screening Update

WWU Students,

We will update you on a screening time shortly. The Health Department anticipates screening locations around 2:00 PM

We will have two screening locations. One is the UPHA Arena. Students need to enter through the glass door on the south side. That entrance is located near the Ra-Ra area and is handicap accessible. Someone will be stationed at the entrance to assist you.

The second location is Anderson Arena in the Helen Stephens Sports Complex. Students need to enter through the Center for Human Performance entrance. Someone will be stationed at the entrance to assist you.

Melissa Byers

Area Coordinator-Graduate Assistant


Fri 3/20/2020 12:02 PM - Message from Student Life, Pre-Departure Screening

WWU students,

As you prepare to depart campus, please note the following important information. It is critical that we take all necessary precautionary measures to ensure that any contact with our student who has received a presumptive positive COVID-19 test are as limited as possible. We want to make sure that before you leave, you are in good health and will not go home and expose your family or friends.

Therefore, under the guidelines of the Callaway County Health Department, we are strongly encouraging every one of our students to get screened on campus before going home. We are in the process of setting up two screening stations on campus, and will begin offering screening services as soon as possible. We will let you know soon where and when the stations will be open. Until that time we are still asking you to self-quarantine. Self-quarantine means staying in place until you receive further guidance.

The Callaway County Department of Health is currently in discussions with our infected student and others who had close contact with this individual, as required by the Missouri Department of Health, to determine where they have traveled both in the community and out of it in over the past two weeks. If you have reason to believe that you may have had direct contact with a student known to be infected, please contact the Callaway County Health Department at 642-6881.

We know this is a very trying and disruptive situation for everyone. We are committed to doing everything possible to keep you and your family and acquaintances healthy and safe.

Venita M Mitchell, PhD

Vice President and Dean of Student Life


Fri 3/20/2020 5:12 AM - Message from the President, Campus Closure

WWU Community,

In light of one of our current students receiving a presumptive positive test for COVID-19 last night, and based on guidance from the Callaway County Health Department, the William Woods University campus will officially close today, Friday March 20. This decision was made with our top priority in mind, which has always been the health, safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff.

For students, we know this directive changes the timeline that was previously communicated yesterday, but the discovery of the first presumptive positive test on campus makes it imperative that this is carried out as quickly as possible. For now, we are asking all residents to stay in place. Our staff is committed to working with you in any capacity to ensure that your prompt departure from campus is achieved as smoothly as possible. Specific student guidance from Student Life is being prepared.

For William Woods employees, you will not report to work on Friday, March 20 th unless specifically notified by your immediate supervisor. Specific employee guidance is being prepared.

Through this action, we are following Centers For Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and best practices for addressing a positive coronavirus case on college campuses. Please refer to CDC guidelines found at the following link: ( https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-ihe-response.html#confirmed-case).

Jahnae H. Barnett

President


Thu 3/19/2020 11:18 PM - Message from the President, Presumptive Positive Case, More Information to Follow

WWU Community,

This evening, we became aware of a current William Woods student who received a presumptive positive test result for the COVID-19 virus. The individual, an undergraduate commuter student at WWU, received the result after undergoing drive-through testing at the University of Missouri Health Center in Columbia. The University is working with the Callaway County Health Department on campus at this time.

The health and well-being of the entire William Woods campus community is our top priority. All students, faculty and staff should take time to familiarize themselves with Centers For Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for those who may have come in close contact with an infected person, which can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html

We will be providing more information about this situation as it becomes available.

Sincerely,

Jahnae H. Barnett

President


Thu 3/19/2020 3:14 PM - Message from the President, Request for Students to Prepare for Departure, Information Regarding Facility Closures

WWU Community,

The situation regarding the COVID-19 virus continues to be extremely fluid, and most likely will remain so for some time. Following are some very important points of information:

Given the overnight increase in positive tests in Mid-Missouri, guidance we continue to receive from the federal government and Missouri Governor Mike Parson’s office, and our conversations with local and state health officials, we are requesting that students currently on campus begin making arrangements to depart from campus housing. We are also beginning the transition to an essential/non-essential work environment for our employees.

We prize our students and are committed to helping them through these difficult circumstances. We have developed a policy for those that are requesting or needing to stay on campus, while also providing ample time and any needed resources for students who are leaving. Look for more specific procedures in a message coming shortly from Venita Mitchell, Vice President and Dean of Student Life.

For our faculty and staff, we have established policies for remote work and borrowed leave. All of these procedures have been created with our community’s health and safety in mind, and we will do everything in our power to make these transitions work as smoothly as possible. Look for a more detailed communication on these policies coming shortly from Julie Houseworth, Chief Financial Officer.

In preparation for this transition, there are a number of other operational announcements including the following:

  • Weider Fitness Center will close today at 4:30 until further notice.
  • Dulany Library will close today at 4:30 p.m. until further notice.
  • Counseling and Health Services staff remain available.
  • Meals will still be available for pick up in Tucker Dining Hall.
  • The Owl’s Nest will close on Friday, March 20, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. until further notice.

We know questions continue during this trying time, so I am encouraging everyone to review our Frequently Asked Questions page, which is updated daily and can be found here: https://www.williamwoods.edu/covid19

As a reminder, it remains critically important for students to contact campus health services at 592-4222 if you feel ill. We have no known cases of the virus on campus. Please remain vigilant about constant handwashing and practicing social distancing at all times.

Be sure to look for frequent, updated information on campus operations as we continue to go forward. I thank everyone in our campus community – students, faculty and staff – for your hard work, flexibility and commitment to William Woods University during this unprecedented time.

Sincerely,

Jahnae H. Barnett

President


Mon 3/16/2020 5:00 PM - Changes to Alumni Weekend, Board of Trustees Meeting, and Commencement Ceremony

WWU Community,

The ongoing, unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 virus continue to prompt a number of difficult, though completely necessary, decisions about our future operations. In the interest of following all Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and with our commitment to the health and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and visitors, today I am announcing the following measures regarding on-campus events scheduled for next month:

  • Alumni Weekend (April 17-18), and all associated activities, have been canceled. It will not be rescheduled this year, but will be held in spring 2021.
  • The spring meeting of the William Woods University Board of Trustees will go on as scheduled on Friday, April 24, in a virtual format.
  • And finally, 2020 commencement as originally scheduled for Saturday April 25, has been canceled. In order to mark the achievements of our 2020 senior graduates, we will be holding a series of closed, small recognition ceremonies for senior students currently on campus on Thursday, March 19 beginning at 4 p.m. in Dulany Auditorium.

We understand that these are difficult decisions, but we will always follow the guidelines set by our state and federal government, and always act in the best interest of the health and safety of the entire William Woods community.

Sincerely,

Jahnae H. Barnett

President


Fri 3/13/2020 2:55 PM - AMC Statement

St. Louis, Mo. - The American Midwest Conference Council of Presidents voted unanimously Friday morning to cancel all remaining intercollegiate activities including Conference championships for the 2020 spring season.

"This was a tough decision by our Council of Presidents knowing the impact it would have on so many young women and men that compete for our institutions and the Conference," said AMC Commissioner, Will Wolper. "On the other hand our number one priority is the health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators and community; with that in mind, this is the right decision."

Thu 3/12/2020 4:45 PM - Message from the President, Transition to Online Delivery

WWU Community,

As the potential threat and unknown impact of the coronavirus continues, we have decided to move all classes at William Woods University for the remainder of the spring semester to online delivery, effective Monday, March 16. Tomorrow, Friday March 13, will be the final day of in-person classes on campus. Campus will remain open, as will residence halls and dining hall services, and students will have the option of 1.) staying on campus until the end of the semester, or 2.) going home and remaining there, all while continuing their studies. Student life will be reaching out to you with additional information.

Faculty and staff will continue to report to work and observe normal operating hours. The LEAD program is being suspended for the semester. Students that are currently participating in LEAD will retain their awards. We are also in the process of evaluating the status of our athletic programs.

Although we currently have no reason at this time to send any of our students to be tested for the coronavirus, we believe this is the responsible and prudent decision for our campus community. We will continue to advocate for sound hygiene and social distancing practices to keep everyone healthy. As always, we want to reiterate that anyone remaining on campus who feels ill or shows symptoms of the coronavirus should immediately contact campus health services at 592-4222.

Going forward, the University continues to evaluate our contingency plans for on-campus events for the remainder of the semester. Be sure to look for frequent, updated information on campus operations.

Our top priority and commitment will always be to the safety and health of our entire campus community – students, faculty and staff – and we will always make all decisions with your well-being in mind.

Sincerely,

Jahnae H. Barnett

President


Thu 3/12/2020 1:55 PM - Message from the President, Fulton Public Schools

WWU Community,

Fulton Public Schools made the decision this morning to return all student teachers to their home campuses for the foreseeable future, as part of a precautionary health policy that also includes all tutors, practicum students, coaches and work study students. Our School of Education will be working closely with the impacted students from this course of action to ensure that they remain on track to graduate.

Times like these tend to produce a variety of rumors and untruths, so we want to be perfectly clear in stating that, after communication with the State Department of Health, we have no reason at this time to send any members of the William Woods Community to be tested for the coronavirus. However, we want to reiterate that if at any time you do feel ill, or have traveled in the past two weeks to any of the Centers For Disease Control areas of concern (China, Italy, Iran, Japan, South Korea, King County/Seattle, Washington) AND have symptoms, to immediately check in with student health services, who can be reached at 592-4222.

Our University leadership continues to monitor the situation closely by reviewing the latest CDC information, consulting with state and local health officials, and our peers at other colleges and universities. We have instructed our faculty to be ready to convert all classes to 100% online if events warrant, and we continue to discuss contingency plans for our high-profile campus events in April. While we continue to evaluate our options in these areas, please know that our top priority and commitment is to the safety and health of our entire campus community – students, faculty and staff – and we will make all decisions with your well-being in mind.

Sincerely,

Jahnae H. Barnett

President


Mon 3/9/2020 1:24 PM - Message from the President, COVID-19 Campus Preparedness Team, What To Do If You Feel Ill

William Woods Community,

With classes resuming on campus, William Woods continues to closely monitor the public health situation related to the novel strain of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, and any potential impact it could have on our students, faculty and staff.

As you are aware, coronavirus is a highly contagious respiratory illness that originated in China but has since spread to a number of nations around the world, including the United States. It is important to update you on the University’s preparation and response to the situation, and reiterate what steps you should take to prevent exposure, and where you should go if you feel ill.

We have convened a COVID-19 Campus Preparedness Team which is actively monitoring communications from the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) and reviewing response protocols. Our team has been monitoring and connecting with local and state public health agencies to make informed decisions and receive guidance on critical matters. We are redoubling efforts to ensure the common areas of campus – classrooms, residence halls, restrooms, tabletops and doorknobs – are cleaned and disinfected multiple times daily to prevent the spread of any contagions.

It is critically important for you to practice sound hygiene practices at all times as the best means of prevention, which includes the following:

  • Washing your hands frequently, for a minimum of 20 seconds each time, using soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water are not available;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • Stay home, or in your residence hall room, when you are sick;
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then discard the tissue in the trash;
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces.

If you feel ill or suspect you may have been exposed, including having been around someone who is sick or someone who traveled to one of the nations impacted by coronavirus ( https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/locations-confirmed-cases.html), do not hesitate to contact WWU Student Health Services at 573-592-4222. I also encourage members of our community to access other valuable resources to remain informed about the virus, including the main CDC website ( https://www.cdc.gov) and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services ( https://health.mo.gov).

We will continue to closely monitor the coronavirus situation, which remains fluid, and will continue to provide updates to the William Woods community as events warrant.

Jahnae H. Barnett

President


Thu 3/5/2020 2:34 PM - Message from the President, Returning from Spring Break

To the WWU community,

As Spring Break comes to a close and with classes poised to resume on campus, William Woods continues to closely monitor the public health situation related to the novel strain of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, and any potential impact it could have on our campus.

As you are aware, coronavirus is a highly contagious respiratory illness that originated in China but has since spread to a number of nations around the world, including the United States. No one in the state of Missouri has been diagnosed with coronavirus to date, but I wanted to update you on the University’s preparation and response to the situation, and reiterate what steps you should take to prevent exposure, and where you should go if you feel ill.

We have convened a COVID-19 Campus Preparedness Team, which is actively monitoring communications from the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) and reviewing response protocols. Our team has been monitoring and connecting with local and state public health agencies to make informed decisions and receive guidance on critical matters. We are redoubling efforts to ensure the common areas of campus – classrooms, residence halls, restrooms, tabletops and doorknobs – are cleaned and disinfected multiple times daily to prevent the spread of any contagions.

It is critically important for you to practice sound hygiene practices at all times as the best means of prevention, which included:

  • Washing your hands frequently, for a minimum of 20 seconds each time, using soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water are not available;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • Stay home when you are sick;
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then discard the tissue in the trash;
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces

If you feel ill or suspect you may have been exposed, including having been around someone who is sick or someone who traveled to one of the nations impacted by coronavirus ( https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/locations-confirmed-cases.html), do not hesitate to contact WWU Student Health Services at 592-4222. I also encourage members of our community to access other valuable resources to remain informed about the virus, including the main websites of the CDC ( https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html) and Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services ( https://health.mo.gov).

We will continue to closely monitor the coronavirus situation, which remains fluid, and will continue to provide updates to the William Woods community as events warrant.

Sincerely,

Jahnae H. Barnett

President