As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, Maryville College closed its campus to the public during the 2020 Spring Break and moved to a distance learning format on March 30. Spring sports seasons and other student activities were cancelled, and events scheduled at the Clayton Center were cancelled or postponed until after May 31. Remote instruction continued throughout the Spring Semester and May Term. Summer Term courses, which began June 1, also are being offered remotely.
Following conclusion of work conducted by the College’s Contingency Planning Task Force in May, Maryville College President Dr. Tom Bogart announced, on June 5, that the College would resume in-person classroom instruction and residential living for the fall 2020 semester but with modifications to behaviors and campus operations.
This page has been created to keep all of our constituents informed about new decisions made with regard to the MC community, precautions taken on campus against the introduction and spread of the disease, and links to resources for students, faculty and staff.
Phased reopening of campus
Maryville College will begin a phased return to campus on Monday, June 15.
In Phase 1, the goal is to first bring those people who cannot work from home back to campus. Because the on-campus staff will remain small for those two or more weeks, offices are not expected to be “open” for the regular 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. workday but should strive for consistent hours of availability in offices and then communicate that availability.
Employees who can continue to work remotely are encouraged to do so.
Phases 2 and 3 and their respective operational pieces each will be announced days prior to their effective date. It’s expected that each phase will last at least two weeks, but determinations will be based on several factors. Due to the varying nature of work necessary to support the Mission of the College, each Cabinet member will identify employees to return in each phase. Employees will be notified prior to each phase, which phase they are likely to return in.
Specific guidelines for working on campus will be distributed to employees soon. Unfortunately, the foreseeable future does not seem to offer a return to “business as usual.” Among new requirements for employees are a COVID-19 awareness training, mask-wearing in public spaces, social distancing and daily symptom monitoring.
Plan for Fall 2020: Standards for behavior
Updated: June 5, 2020
Reopening the College and operating safely and responsibly will require modifications to behaviors and campus operations. Among the expectations of students, faculty and staff are: Daily self-temperature checks and health monitoring; maintaining physical distancing of at least six feet; and wearing face masks or coverings when in public places, spaces used by multiple people, and when physical distancing is not feasible. All members of the campus community are expected to take personal steps to prevent virus spread, such as increased hand washing with soap and water and using hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available.
Additional COVID-19-related guidance for students will be made available on the College’s website and in separate email communications.
Plan for Fall 2020 Semester: Academics
In-person classroom instruction will resume for the Fall 2020 semester.
The Labor Day holiday and Fall Break has been removed from the academic calendar, and in-person instruction will end at Thanksgiving, sending students home to take their final exams remotely the following week. To accommodate this schedule, the start date of classes has been moved up to Wed., Aug. 19.
We will follow physical distancing guidelines in classrooms and labs, which means larger classes will be relocated, broken up into smaller sections, and/or offered in online components.
The College will continue to assist students and faculty members with the technology and pedagogy required for quality online learning experiences.
Support services will be provided in person and online.
Plan for Fall 2020 Semester: Residential living
Updated: June 5, 2020
Residence halls will open for students in August; dates for move-in are being finalized. Much like the move-out experience in March, we plan to move students in over several days and in shifts with limited people to allow for physical distancing and appropriate cleaning.
The College will move to single-occupancy rooms in halls where residents use a community bathroom. This decision supports an effort to reduce the population in halls, thereby reducing the chances of person-to-person transmission and contamination on hard surfaces like faucets, doorknobs and stairwell railings. Single-occupancy living also allows students to quarantine in their own rooms, should the situation warrant it. These residents will not be charged a single-occupancy rate.
Residents who previously signed up to live with roommates in suites with self-contained kitchens and bathrooms will be permitted to live in those rooms but will need to sign a liability waiver before July 1 to do so. Students not signing the waiver and/or not wishing to live in a suite will be housed in a single room.
Rooms also are being reserved on campus in the event that students who live with suitemates become sick and require isolation.
Plan for Fall 2020: Cleaning and safeguarding measures
Updated: June 5, 2020
Cleaning and disinfecting campus spaces have always been priorities at the College, but with COVID-19, efforts are being increased to comply with contemporary CDC Guidance for Shared and Congregate Housing and the Tennessee Pledge’s Higher Education Guidelines. The College is adjusting housekeeping staffing levels and schedules to ensure compliance. It is also purchasing more sanitizing equipment, hand sanitizing stations and sanitizing wipe dispensers.
Plexiglass and other physical barriers are being installed in areas where face-to-face transactions are necessary. Other safeguards will include: Signage directing traffic flow in, out and through some buildings; visual cues on floors in spaces where lines typically form; and reconfigured workspaces to meet physical distancing guidelines.
Plan for Fall 2020: Health monitoring
A Maryville College COVID-19 Workgroup is meeting twice weekly to monitor developments related to the virus, address associated issues, and make recommendations for operations this summer and fall. Keni Lanagan, the College’s human resources director, is serving as a COVID-19 coordinator for employees; Dr. Melanie Tucker, vice president and dean of students, is serving as a COVID-19 coordinator for students.
The College is partnering with the Blount County Health Department to assist with guidance, planning and monitoring. The health department is able to offer free COVID-19 testing to all members of our campus community.
Plan for Fall 2020: Food services
Updated: June 5, 2020
We plan to open the dining room in Pearsons Hall and Isaac’s Café, and campus food provider Metz Culinary will follow the Tennessee Pledge’s Restaurant Guidelines. Capacity will be reduced, and steps will be taken to facilitate physical distancing and prevent virus spread.
While diners will not be allowed to serve themselves, as was the previous practice, we do not anticipate a reduction in the menu or quantity of food available to meal plan purchasers.
Plan for Fall 2020: Athletics
Updated: June 5, 2020
We are monitoring guidance from the NCAA and USA South Athletic Conference on a continuous level. We anticipate all student-athletes having meaningful experiences on campus this year, including competition, but with modifications. We are awaiting final decisions anticipated at the conference and national level over the next few weeks to further inform our plans.
Fall student-athletes should plan on returning to campus by early August. The athletics staff and the College are committed to sharing additional details as soon as they are confirmed.
Plan for Fall 2020: Campus events
Updated: June 5, 2020
Following the guidance from national, state and local authorities, most of the College’s events previously scheduled through June have been cancelled, including some camps and conferences. For a complete list of what’s been postponed and what’s still on the books, visit the College’s website. For up-to-date information about events in the Clayton Center for the Arts, visit the CCA’s website.
As CDC and state and local guidelines continue to advise against large gatherings, much uncertainty remains for fall campus events, including College-sponsored fine arts events. We are hopeful that these aspects of the Maryville College experience can resume quickly.
Relief funding for students
Money received from the U.S. Department of Education’s CARES Act/Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund—combined with contributions from generous donors—have allowed Maryville College to create a COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund that will give assistance to hundreds of MC students who have been financially impacted by this pandemic, regardless of their federal financial aid status or citizenship.
Grants can be requested to cover expenses related to disruptions caused by COVID-19. To receive grant funding, a simple online application must be completed, indicating the amount of funding requested and the types of expenses incurred by the student.
All requests will be evaluated, and payment amounts will be determined based on available funding. Once a request is processed, funding is sent directly to the student by check. Students will need to confirm their mailing address in the application.
Questions regarding the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund are best answered by staff members in the College’s Financial Aid Office. Please contact them at email@example.com or 865-981-8100.
Refunds for Spring 2020
Update: March 31, 2020
For students who were required to move off campus, the Business Office has calculated prorated credits for Spring Semester room and board costs. Students will find the details of these credits by logging into their Self-Service accounts.
Prorated credits will automatically be applied to students’ Fall Semester 2020 statement balances. The advantage to leaving the credit on the student’s account is that it may reduce the amount of student loans for the Fall Semester.
Graduating seniors will need to request a refund check, and other students may opt to receive a refund check instead of keeping the credits. To request a refund check from the College, students should email the address where they want their check mailed to Kay Pritchett, student accounts manager in the Business Office, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students who still owe a balance on their accounts after these credits have been applied should continue to make their payment plan payments or send a check for the balance owed or pay online and cancel their payment plan contracts. Melissa Millsaps, student accounts liaison, can answer these questions at email@example.com.
Baccalaureate and Commencement for the Class of 2020
Because of the COVID-19 outbreak and restrictions on public gatherings, Commencement exercises for the Class of 2020 and the traditional Baccalaureate service have been rescheduled from May 2 to Sat., Dec. 19.
The new date falls on the Saturday following fall semester exams, which are now scheduled to end Dec. 16.
Details about the ceremonies will be shared at a later date.
A virtual Commencement ceremony was hosted on the Maryville College website on May 9.
Memos from Maryville College President
- MEMORANDUM to campus, March 3, 2020
- MEMORANDUM to campus, March 11, 2020
- MEMORANDUM to campus, March 13, 2020
- MEMORANDUM 2 to campus, March 13, 2020
- MEMORANDUM to campus, March 18, 2020
- MEMORANDUM to campus, March 24, 2020
- MEMORANDUM to campus, April 28, 2020
- MEMORANDUM to campus, May 4, 2020
- MEMORANDUM to campus, June 5, 2020
COVID-19 in Tennessee
The Tennessee Health Department website offers up-to-date statistics on new cases, recoveries, hospitalizations, testing and more. The presence of COVID-19 in Blount County (where Maryville College is located) can be accessed from the health department’s epidemiology and surveillance data reports.
Maryville College is following Governor Bill Lee’s Tennessee Pledge-Higher Education Guidelines.
Info from the CDC
The COVID-19 webpages on the CDC website share up-to-date information on symptoms, complications, transmission, prevention, treatment and summary updates of the outbreak.
Off-campus offers and resources
Beginning Monday, March 16, Charter Communications will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households. Charter also will open its Wi-Fi hotspots across its footprint for public use.
McKibbon Hospitality, which operates many Marriott and Hilton properties in the Knoxville area, is offering discounts for students, faculty and staff impacted by COVID-19. The $69/per night rate applies at all properties, which are Towneplace Suites, Hampton Inn and Suites Knoxville-Turkey Creek/Farragut, Homewood Suites by Hilton Knoxville West at Turkey Creek, SpringHill Suites by Marriott Knoxville at Turkey Creek, Courtyard by Marriott Knoxville Cedar Bluff and Residence Inn by Marriott Knoxville Cedar Bluff. For discount information or to make reservations, contact Logan Dockery at 865.218.5505 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
United Way of Blount County's Social Service Updates shares information about a variety of services, including food assistance and mental health counseling.