Message from President Gilbert

Dear Marshall University students, faculty and staff,

Thank you all for your cooperation and patience as we have dealt with the rapidly changing COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges it has created. The safety and security of our university family and our communities continues to be our highest priority.

With that in mind, we are making some additional changes to university operations, as follows:

  • Instruction will be held exclusively online or through other alternative learning formats through the end of the spring 2020 semester (we previously had announced using such formats through at least April 13). We will be communicating with faculty, students and their families about how we can support them as we transition to online instruction for the remainder of this semester.
  • Because we will not be resuming in-person instruction this semester, 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 will be forthcoming soon. 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 us to manage the number of people in the halls and to practice appropriate social distancing.
  • In keeping with the Centers for Disease Control recommendation not to hold large gatherings for the next eight weeks, we are postponing the May 2, 2020, commencement exercises. This decision was made out of concern for the health and safety of our students and their families; as well as that of our staff and faculty who participate. There will be a commencement to celebrate our spring 2020 graduating class; and we will schedule it for a time when we are able to do so in a healthy and safe environment. We will communicate as soon as details are worked out to ensure everyone involved can make travel plans. This decision does not change the semester completion date for our students, nor does it affect the timeline for students earning their degrees. We are only postponing the graduation ceremony and public celebration.
  • 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. For students in university residence halls, and for those with meal plans, we intend to provide some type of prorated credit, pending approval by the university’s Board of Governors. Details are still being worked out and eligible students will be contacted by the end of April.
  • Marshall University will remain open, with minimal staff on site to ensure safety and continuity of essential services. We want to make certain our faculty, staff and students are safe, that we do our part to help stem the spread of the virus, and that we fulfill our mission to graduate our students, even in the face of these challenging times.

Additional information about COVID-19 and the university’s response is available at Students and employees can e-mail with questions about general university procedures related to the virus or these changes to university operations.

For health-related concerns, students should contact Student Health Services at 304-691-1100. Faculty and staff should call their primary care provider.

Marshall Health has set up a dedicated phone line at 304-696-2900 for the general public, particularly for patients who think they may have been exposed to the virus. The line is staffed by healthcare professionals from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Please continue to monitor your e-mail and the website for updates and, if you haven’t already done so, enroll in the university’s MU Alert System.

Thank you again for your patience and understanding as we navigate these difficult times.

Jerome A. Gilbert, Ph.D.

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