Statement from Davis & Elkins College Regarding COVID-19

Dear Davis & Elkins College Students, Faculty, Staff, and Community:

In our capacity as an educational institution, we have always operated on the premise of two distinct priorities: to provide top educational opportunities and to provide a safe and healthy environment. The circumstances of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have evolved quickly across the United States and around the world, and now require us to make changes to the operation of Davis & Elkins College. We make these changes wholeheartedly with those two priorities in mind.

The mindful watch of COVID-19 by D&E’s Emergency Response Team has been non-stop, and we have followed protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, and the Randolph County Health Department. As a result of the rapid evolution of this virus, we are announcing the following functional changes at D&E:

  • All extra-curricular and co-curricular events (including but not limited to athletics, concerts, presentations, and social events) will be suspended immediately.  

  • All classes will be held on Monday, March 16.

  • Registration & Assessment Day on Tuesday, March 17, will proceed as scheduled.

  • All classes will be canceled Wednesday through Friday, March 18-20, as the transition to online education will take place.

  • As of Monday, March 23, D&E will begin online delivery of all course content until further notice.

  • The College will remain operational, and all faculty and staff are expected to report as usual.

 

Currently there are no known COVID-19 cases in West Virginia, but the rapid spread of the virus and its potential implications on the D&E Community are undeniable. The Davis & Elkins College Board of Trustees and College leadership believe this series of decisions is in the best interests of our students, faculty, staff, and community. We have not arrived at these decisions lightly or without much deliberation and thought. Our goal is to deliver on our educational mission while doing everything we can to keep our community safe. 

Public health authorities have stated that we should assume the virus will eventually reach our community, so our decisions are designed to minimize the impact of this illness. In an effort to discourage the challenges of many people being affected by the virus at once, public health authorities are also advising the practice of “social distancing.” It then became incumbent upon us to look for ways to eliminate the need for students, faculty, staff, and community to congregate, thus, decreasing the opportunities for the virus to be introduced on the D&E Campus.

 

Students Living on Campus and Dining Services

  • As we learn more about COVID-19, it is becoming clearer that the virus is acquired through close contact with others. Our goal in moving to online learning, and encouraging students to return to their permanent addresses, is to limit the number of in-person interactions within our community and, ultimately, to do our part in protecting your health.

  • Residential students are now required to leave the residence halls to return to their permanent addresses by Sunday, March 22, 2020, at 12:00 noon.

  • For students who are unable to move out, continuing accommodations on campus will be provided upon application to the Office of Student Life. Any student who is unable to move out of their campus residence MUST contact Scott Goddard, Vice President for Student Affairs, at 304.637.1352 (office); 304.642.1352 (mobile); or by e-mail at goddards@dewv.edu.

  • For students remaining on campus, housing will be consolidated, allowing for closure of residence halls. Food service will continue to be provided and hours will be announced when available. Students should be prepared for the eventuality that we may need to implement reduced or alternate dining service as we move forward.

 

Online Instruction

  • Students will receive information and instructions from faculty members regarding individual courses. Please regularly check your e-mail and Sakai for additional updates. Students are also strongly encouraged to connect with their instructors and faculty advisor before leaving campus.

  • Students enrolled in lab, clinical, student teaching or internship courses will receive additional information from the appropriate faculty member and department.

  • Educational technology and academic resources, including tutoring, will remain available for students.

  • Selected on-campus academic facilities will be open during the suspension of in-person classes. Hours of operation will be regularly conveyed to the campus community.

  • Regular, online-only classes will be unaffected and will continue as scheduled.

We understand these changes are a lot to handle but are necessary for the health and welfare of our college community. Such changes are not convenient, but represent a chance for us to reduce potential risks now and in the future.

As more logistical information becomes available, we will immediately pass it along to you. Again, for further information, please visit the websites provided above. If you have questions or concerns, contact any of these leadership team members:

  • Michael Curtis, Director of Public Safety, 304.637.1610, 412.721.4638 (mobile); curtism@dewv.edu

  • ​Lowe Dell Aviles, Director of International Student Services, 304.637.1311; avilesl@dewv.edu

  • Scott Goddard, Vice President for Student Affairs, 304.637.1352, 304.642.1352 (mobile); goddards@dewv.edu

  • Jane Corey, Director, Human Resources, 304.637.1344, 304.940.3575 (mobile); coreym@dewv.edu

We acknowledge and thank the D&E Emergency Response Team, Board of Trustees, and all those who have tirelessly worked to ensure the best possible scenario for the D&E Community.

Again, our top priority is the health and welfare of the D&E Community, and our institution has arrived at these decisions with that top priority in mind. We appreciate the patience, flexibility, and partnership of the D&E Community during this challenging time.

 

Sincerely,