Dear Fellow Knights,
I’m announcing the all onsite KCU classes will be converted to online courses for the rest of the spring 2020 term beginning on March 30. I am confident about the quality of instruction. The faculty have been working hard to launch their courses via remote instruction. I'm disappointed for the same reason that students expressed to me when they asked us to do everything possible to bring everyone back on campus…it is difficult, but not impossible, to replicate the level of mentoring and discipleship that occurs on this campus in a dispersed setting. To that end, I have asked all faculty and staff to make every effort to reach out to students throughout this time to maintain those important relationships. Let me continue by sharing why I have made this decision.
The well-being of the students, faculty, and staff is our highest priority. In addition to that, the town of Grayson is not ready for students to be back on campus. Every imaginable service and product that people need is or may be in short supply. This includes access to health care should a student become ill. We are, in several very real senses, being good neighbors by not having students return to campus in addition to attempting to protect the well-being of each student.
I'm also observing the transportation industry struggling to continue to offer reliable services. Many flights are canceled and services stopped. This reality would make it difficult for some students to return to the campus in a timely manner. Further, it is often via travel that the virus is spread to new areas. We are, again, being good neighbors to the area surrounding the University in addition to attempting to protect the well-being of each student.
Based on those factors, the counsel of other college and university leaders around the state, the counsel of the trustees and leadership at KCU, and the restrictions on group gatherings coming from both state and national authorities, the choice above was the only possible choice and we had delayed that choice as long as reasonably possible in the hope that conditions would improve.
While all the details are still being worked out, let me give you some specific information.
1. The need to do our part to promote social distancing has forced me to make the decision to postpone both Baccalaureate and Graduation activities. Due to the fluid nature of the situation, I'll not speculate when these events will be rescheduled or exactly how we will celebrate them. This, however, does not mean that students who complete the requirements to graduate by the end of this term will not graduate. KCU will issue diplomas and those who complete the requirements will be Kentucky Christian University graduates! 2. For students who were residing in the dorms, we intend to provide some type of prorated credit. Details are still being worked out and will not be finalized until sometime in early May pending Board of Trustees approval.
3. Students who have personal items in the dorms are asked to have their items removed prior to March 31 at noon. This may cause a hardship for some. In particular, I’m concerned about the students who live outside the area. We are working on several options to help students who are not able to return to the campus prior to that date. Please work through Student Services to have any specific needs addressed. Students must check in with Student Services between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. prior to entering the dorms to remove their personal items. Dorms are scheduled to reopen to students with the start of the fall term move in dates. Just to reemphasize, we know this will be difficult for some students. Contact us and we will do everything we can do to help you through this process. I have asked all university personnel be as flexible and accommodating as possible.
4. In addition to the work of the faculty, many areas of the University are mobilizing to serve students at a distance. Watch for communications from those areas that are of interest to you. There is a prayer team ramping up to pray for each student. If you are interested in joining this movement of prayer, please reach out to either Donnette Bondurant at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jacob Shockey at email@example.com.
5. Summer activities, including SITS, Camp Teams, and so forth, are under review at this time.
6. As previously announced, the schedule for courses that were initially launched as online courses at the start of the term has not changed.
And, let me offer one final comment on the situation. When I interviewed for this role with the trustees, I spoke of the God-given tenacity of KCU over its 100 years of existence. It is one of the reasons Jacqui and I felt comfortable accepting the role here. Whether this current challenge is as bad as some countries have experienced, not as crippling as predicted because of the preventative actions that are being taken, or somewhere in between, we will continually seek God's guidance and wisdom to get through this challenge and we will give Him all the glory when we do. It's what Knights do.
For the Good of the Cause, Terry