University announces further changes for spring semester March 19, 2020 In response to the escalating COVID-19 pandemic, Marshall University President Jerome A. Gilbert today announced that the university will continue to deliver instruction exclusively online or through other alternative learning formats for the remainder of the spring semester. The university had previously announced distance instruction through at least April 13. Additionally, the university’s May 2, 2020, commencement exercises have been postponed until conditions permit. The decision relates only to the postponement of the graduation ceremony and public celebration; it does not change the semester completion date for students, nor does it affect the timeline for students earning their degrees. In an e-mail to students, faculty and staff, Gilbert reiterated the university’s commitment to the health and safety of the Marshall family. “The safety and security of our university family and our communities continues to be our highest priority. The decisions being made are highly complex and we ask for your continued patience and understanding as we navigate these difficult times,” Gilbert said. The university noted the following additional important points for students and employees: Residence hall students who can return to their permanent residences or make alternative housing arrangements to continue their studies remotely should make plans to do so as soon as possible. Exceptions can be made for students who cannot return home (i.e., international students, those who do not have anywhere else to go, those who have elderly relatives at home, etc.). Students who need to stay on campus should complete the online Housing Extended Stay Request Form. Students who have left campus will not be permitted to return to retrieve their belongings until they receive instructions from the university, which are forthcoming. Students who live in residence halls will receive specific instructions regarding when they will be allowed to return to campus to retrieve their belongings. Students must follow those instructions carefully to allow the university to manage the number of people in the halls and to promote appropriate social distancing. For students in university residence halls, and for those with meal plans, the university intends to provide some type of prorated credit, pending approval by the Board of Governors. Details are still being worked out and eligible students will be contacted by the end of April. Tuition refunds will not be offered. While the modes of delivery have changed, instruction is still being delivered and semester hours are still being earned and awarded. Marshall University will remain open, with minimal staff on site to ensure safety and continuity of essential services. Marshall’s leadership team wants to make certain faculty, staff and students are safe, that the institution does its part to help stem the spread of the virus, and that Marshall fulfills its mission to graduate students, even in the face of these challenging times Additional information about COVID-19 and the university’s response is available at www.marshall.edu/coronavirus.