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William Woods COVID-19 Updates

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4/2/2020 - 12:54 p.m.

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 


3/31/2020 - 12:52 p.m.

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


3/27/2020 - 2:05 p.m.

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


3/25/2020 - 10:14 a.m.

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


3/24/2020 - 3:05 p.m.

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


3/23/2020 - 11:19 a.m.

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


3/21/2020 - 2:43 p.m.

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


3/21/2020 - 1:36 p.m.

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


3/21/2020 - 11:00 a.m.

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


3/20/2020 - 9:12 p.m.

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 25th 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 21st).
  • 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. 

3/20/2020 - 2:54 p.m.

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 25th 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


3/20/2020 - 1:54 p.m.

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


3/20/2020 - 1:10 p.m.

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. 


3/20/2020 - 12:26 p.m.

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


 3/20/20 - 12:12 p.m.

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


3/20/2020 - 5:12 a.m.

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 20th 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


3/19/2020 - 11:18 p.m.

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


3/19/2020 - COVID19 Campus Update

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


3/16/2020 - Alumni Weekend and Commencement Notice

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


3/12/2020 - All Classes Moving to Online

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


3/12/2020 - Community Update K-12

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


3/9/2020 - Continued Awareness

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


3/5/2020 - Initial Communication

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