I am pleased to officially announce that Lincoln Christian University plans to bring our students physically back to campus for the Fall 2020 semester.
We spent much of March and April responding to this pandemic’s impact on our spring activities. That included sending our campus-based students home at spring break, refunding the prorated portion of their room and board, going fully online through the spring and summer terms, and postponing Commencement. Those were difficult decisions. Faculty and students were given a short runway to adapt. Finances were negatively impacted. And most painfully, graduating students were left without meaningful closure. That said, our community was gracious, resilient, and united, and we are grateful.
In May we turned our efforts toward fall. We’ve been working to identify appropriate measures to take in light of recommendations from the Center for Disease Control as well as the Illinois Department of Public Health. We have also been tracking daily updates from our local public health officials, as well as following the guidelines set forth in Governor Pritzker’s Executive Orders and his Restore Illinois plan. There still remains uncertainty: circumstances could change. We’re not going to do anything—even if we are legally permitted to—unless and until we are convinced it is safe for our community. But at this time, this is what we expect and are planning for.
Fall will not look as it has in the past. Though we are waiting to make some decisions until we have more information, we have made one decision that cannot be delayed. We have decided to reorder the fall semester calendar. For face-to-face students, we will begin at the normal time, but we will go straight through, without breaks, until the week of Thanksgiving. At that time, face-to-face students will return home to complete the final weeks of the semester at a distance. This will in effect move all of the breaks in the semester to the end, allowing us to conclude our semester with Thanksgiving break, one week of online instruction, finals, week, and then fall break. Online students, intensive students, block class students will continue as previously scheduled except that any portion of their semester that would have been face-to-face beginning at Thanksgiving break will now be online.
More details on this calendar change will come later. Students should be looking out for future communication from the Student Development office. Faculty should anticipate looking for future communication from the Vice President of Academics. To address one detail we are sure you will want to know, we will again be pro-rating room and board to reflect the slightly shorter time you will be on campus, though again, those details will come later.
At a time of extraordinary societal pain, disappointment, division, and injustice, I am profoundly grateful to serve a community that is united in Christ’s admonitions to love God with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. All of us here at LCU are acutely aware of–and called to respond to–the need for that unity to spread far beyond our residential campus. We love you, we miss you, and we anxiously are looking forward to seeing you again. We have much to talk about!
Silas L. McCormick