Classes plan to resume on campus August 17

By Colton Williams, Max Saltman, Mary Katherine Saye
Executive Staff

In a recent email to faculty and staff, Provost Nancy Berner announced that classes for the College will likely begin on August 17 and run through November 24. According to the email, final exams will be held remotely “after Thanksgiving.” These dates concur with the calendar on the University website, with remote final exams listed for December 2 to December 8. There will be no fall break weekend. It is unknown when this calendar was uploaded publicly. 

Berner also wrote that “these calendar determinations make room for other decisions to follow in the next couple of weeks.”

“Assuming that we are able to have students on campus,” Berner wrote, FYP will commence on August 3. Planning is still ongoing for PRE, as well as orientation. 

Instead of a normal fall break, classes will be suspended for small three-day “respites” during the week, starting on Wednesdays. Currently, “respites” are scheduled on the school calendar for September 23 and October 28. 

Under a heading titled “Budget Considerations,” Berner noted that the University is “pausing its contributions to the 403(b) plan for employees.” The 403(b) plan is the employee retirement fund. While Berner wrote that there are no current plans for layoffs, furloughs, and wage-reductions, the University cannot “provide any guarantees.” 

In addition to outlining the rough calendar for the school year, Berner reported that the Southern Athletic Association have “indicated their intention” to have fall sports, though details are still being ironed out. 

Berner’s email did not detail any specific information as to what social distancing and public health measures would be in effect once classes resume for both the College and School of Theology. Nonetheless, Berner stressed that managing health and safety protocols, along with having “the vast majority of students on campus in the fall,” will leave the University in a “much better financial position.”