Transylvania to return to in-person classes and residential housing this fall (June 12, 2020)

Throughout Transylvania’s long history, our institution has been required to be resilient and even reinvent itself to meet the challenges of changing times. As we approach the 2020 fall term, we are once again called upon to embrace our Pioneer spirit to nimbly adapt to a global pandemic. 

After several months of in‑depth review and discussion, our university’s Reopening Steering Committee has endorsed a plan we call Healthy at Transy, a flexible framework that will allow us to return to in‑person instruction and on-campus housing along with full academic support services this August. 

The Reopening Steering Committee discussed multiple scenarios and endorsed the model of in‑person fall instruction with accommodations to be implemented as needed to ensure health and safety. The committee — composed of student, faculty and staff representatives, along with members of the president’s cabinet — reviewed reports from numerous reopening working teams which addressed a range of issues including academics, athletics, facilities, human resources, student life and health and safety. Our primary goal was to determine how we can resume operations in a safe and healthy way for the best interests of the entire Transylvania community.  

With the health and welfare of our students, faculty, staff and wider communities central to our planning, we consulted many resources for guidance on how to proceed with appropriate caution. Among these resources are the CDC Considerations for Institutions of Higher Education, the American College Health Association’s Considerations for Reopening Institutions of Higher Education in the COVID-19 Era and Kentucky’s Healthy at Work Executive Order.

It will require all of our community — faculty, students and staff along with alumni and visitors — working together to make the fall in‑person instruction happen, and we will all have to be prepared to accept some inconveniences for the protection of our fellow community members. It is our shared responsibility to keep our classrooms, residences and facilities safe for our entire community. That will mean regular health and temperature checks, enhanced cleaning protocols, wearing masks, sanitizing work and living spaces and, in some cases, accommodating distance learning when needed.

Our Healthy at Transy plan is available on our website. It will be regularly updated as new information becomes available for students, faculty, staff and visitors. Please use this website as your source for the latest updates from Transylvania, and know that we look forward to this new school year and to bringing our campus community back together again.

Our campus experience this fall will undoubtedly be different than in years past. However, together we will continue to focus on our core value of engaging with the liberal arts to prepare our students for their futures. What better way to truly embody our university’s mission than by living out the values of independent thinking, open‑mindedness and creative expression during these uncertain times.

John N. Williams ’74
President
Brien Lewis
President-Designate