COVID-19 Update, March 20, 2020

Dear Davis & Elkins College community,

Many thanks to D&E students for their effective and efficient response in moving off campus by the close of the day Tuesday, March 17. This accelerated plan was put into place after COVID-19 intensified last weekend, and students were remarkable in following that plan. D&E’s administration, faculty and staff are very grateful for that student response.

Pandemic Protocol

Our college will continue to adhere to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, with a strict emphasis on social distancing. With input and in consultation with health agencies, peer institutions, and leaders across campus, the following Pandemic Protocol has been developed and implemented:

Level I – Those employees who know they have compromised immune systems, health concerns that place them at risk of contagions, and/or anyone over the age of 65 will be strongly encouraged to work from home/self-quarantined location. If jobs do not allow for said working conditions, other arrangements may be explored through the Office of Human Resources. Course content delivery will take place using online methods.

Level II – All non-essential employees will be directed to work from home/self-quarantined location except for those determined (by the executive leadership) to be “essential personnel” to sustain the ongoing operations of the physical campus. Course content delivery will continue through online methods.

Level III – A catastrophic health threat is present on or near the campus which necessitates the closure of the physical campus and all non-essential operations. The only employees allowed to report to work or have a presence on campus will be those necessary (as determined by executive leadership) to ensure the safety and well-being of individuals forced to shelter in place. Course content delivery should continue through online methods; reasonable accommodations will be made for those who do not have Internet access.

We are currently operating at Level I and are prepared to move to Level II if and when necessary.

Academic content delivery and plan

As previously shared, courses will resume Monday, March 23.  Infrastructure has been developed so content can be electronically delivered to students by our faculty. We should all remember that our most important task in the upcoming weeks is the successful completion of the spring semester. Any questions regarding content or its delivery should be directed to the appropriate faculty member.

Refunds

No determination has been made at this time regarding refunds, as D&E is uncertain as to the duration of these special operational and functional procedures. The COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly changing and has a great deal of uncertainty. Rest assured this topic remains the focal point of extensive discussion and austere spending guidelines have been imposed across the campus.

Booth Library update

Beginning March 23, Booth Library will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, for members of the D&E campus community only. The building may be accessed through the Computer Lab using your College ID. For 24/7 access to research databases, visit http://library.dewv.edu/WelcomeToBooth. Library personnel will be available by phone at 304-637-1200 or by email at library@dewv.edu.

Bookstore update

The D&E Bookstore (retail space) will remain closed until at least April 17. Manager Christy Schumacher will remain on site for a limited number of hours and may be reached by email at schumacherc@dewv.edu should anyone have questions. Online orders may still be made at www.bkstr.com/decstore/home.

Follett, Lumen and RedShelf have provided D&E with information for students related to eBooks and courseware:

  • through RedShelf, students will have access to eBooks from a variety of publishers at no additional cost

  • Lumen Learning is offering Waymakers and OHM free of charge for courses already in session

  • Follett is offering free shipping with no minimum purchase for additional non-digital materials and other items to all D&E students

  • Follett is offering free shipping return labels and extending the non-return period without penalty to assist with increased returns by mail

Campus population

As a result of incredible teamwork by all, only 15 students will remain on the D&E campus after this weekend, all of whom have been provided accommodations and food service. By asking those who had no way to move off campus by the March 17 deadline to contact the Office of Student Life, the college quickly assessed the needs of these students. Again, we are grateful for the overwhelming cooperation, collaboration and understanding of the D&E Community.

The current campus population consists of this small group of students, administration, faculty who choose to work from their offices in preparation for online content delivery, and staff, as it relates to Pandemic Protocol Level I (see above).

Commencement

D&E has not made any decision on any change in plans for commencement. We will provide regular updates throughout this process and will keep you apprised of details on this and all other pertinent information.

Open lines of communication

One of our most valuable tools during the COVID-19 crisis is open and active lines of communication. Student updates will continue throughout this crisis, and D&E remains available to answer any questions you may have. In the meantime, we emphasize social distancing and hope you stay well.

 

Dr. Rosemary Thomas

Vice President for Enrollment Management
Institutional Advancement