Anderson University COVID-19 Task Force Timeline
March 2, 2020
Amid concern about the global spread of a new strain of coronavirus formally named SARS-CoV-2, or more commonly called COVID-19, Anderson University President Evans Whitaker forms the Anderson University COVID-19 Task Force, comprised of University faculty and staff with experience in areas of public health, emergency management, communications, student affairs, human resources, and administration. The Task Force begins meeting daily and establishes a dedicated web page that provides resources to the campus community and a platform for future updates.
March 4, 2020
The COVID-19 Task Force establishes a voluntary system for monitoring faculty, staff, and student international travel ahead of spring break. It further asks members of the campus community to self-report symptoms of COVID-19 to better protect campus from exposure.
Anderson University Spring Break begins, scheduled to run until March 15. The COVID-19 Task Force continues its daily meetings, which often run for several hours each day as developments occur rapidly. The team directs several departments at the University to develop operational contingencies should they be necessary.
March 10, 2020
With most students off campus for spring break, the COVID-19 Task Force announces plans are being developed to modify University courses, including the possibility of converting most into online delivery if rates of infection continue rising.
The Journey Ahead represents the way we can love and care for ourselves and others by practicing personal responsibility and demonstrating servant leadership.
- Evans P. Whitaker, Ph.D.
President and Professor of Management
March 12, 2020
Recognizing some residential students with unique housing needs have no other option but to remain on campus or return as scheduled from spring break, the COVID-19 Task Force develops and distributes a survey to students. Data from the survey helps Residence Life maintain an accurate record of students on campus, ensure they are cared for, healthy and safe and provide meals and other services.
The South Atlantic Conference (SAC), of which Anderson University is a member institution, cancels all remaining spring athletic competitions and practice for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year. Any previously scheduled Trojan athletic competitions are therefore canceled.
March 15, 2020
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster announces the closure of public K-12 schools, community and technical colleges and public universities through at least March 31. The order does not directly impact Anderson as its suspension of operation and extension of spring break already served the state’s intended goal.
March 19, 2020
President Whitaker writes a personal essay to the campus community reflecting on the work of the Task Force and the state of University affairs while calling for unity and prayer in light of the ongoing pandemic.
March 23, 2020
Residence Life, in consultation with the COVID-19 Task Force, develops and distributes move-out procedures for residential students. It is designed to minimize personal contact, promote physical distancing and a quick transition. Within fewer than two weeks, most residential students have successfully completed the move-out procedure.
Each member of the COVID team brought key skill sets to the table and worked beautifully together.
- Dr. Don Peace
Dean of the College of Health Professions
April 3, 2020
While universities around the country prematurely announce refund commitments for residential students affected by COVID-19, Anderson takes a conservative and responsible approach and asks for patience before making decisions that could negatively impact its ability to educate future students.
April 20, 2020
Anderson University releases details of its plan to provide financial relief to students by providing credit adjustments for unused room and board and meal plan costs.
May 8, 2020
The Anderson Independent Mail and the Greenville News publish an op-ed from Dr. Whitaker, who makes the case for reopening campus for the fall 2020 semester. “For now, COVID-19 will likely challenge our state for months to come, but for almost four centuries American higher education has risen to challenges. We can and will do it again,” he writes.
May 18, 2020
Following weeks of discussions, the COVID-19 Task Force begins implementing the first phase of a return to campus for selected personnel.
The Office of the Provost finalizes an initial plan for a new Class of 2020 commencement ceremony to take place Oct. 2, 2020.
The Journey Ahead is just getting started.
The Journey Ahead, Anderson University’s “stronger together” approach to reopening campus, is being developed by the COVID-19 Task Force and its working groups. Its protocols are based on the recommendation of public health experts and rely heavily on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC).
Additional protocols are currently being developed, and this site is updated regularly. Please visit AU | Journey Ahead often for the latest information and guidelines, which are subject to change.