MONTGOMERY- Ala. – After careful prayer and reflection, the Administration of Faulkner University announces its plan to reopen the campus for on-ground instruction for the fall semester.
“Guided by our historic Christian mission, we value each member of our University community as an individual made in the image of God,” said Faulkner President Mike Williams. “Therefore, our chief aim is for students to flourish in every aspect of the collegiate experience. We put an absolute premium on their physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.”
“The success of our efforts is highly contingent on the individual commitment and effort of each person. Given the values of our student body, I feel confident that we are going to make every effort to be sensitive to the needs of others. This is a student body who is motivated by love, mercy, and justice. I am grateful to be a part of this family. To contribute to personal wellness and the health of my fellow Eagles, and until improved circumstances will allow for more normal patterns of life, we are committing to these personal disciplines,” Williams added.
In response to the pandemic, the University has formed a Health & Transition Task Force to create policy, protocols, and a culture to promote healthy lifestyles. The guiding force is a community covenant to be respectful of the health of friends and mentors. Ultimately, the University’s success is dependent on each individual’s taking personal responsibility for their choices.
The Task Force is following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH). The plan will utilize mitigation efforts such as physical distancing, enhanced sanitation of facilities, and face coverings when necessary. The University is developing a balanced approach in deploying best practices while allowing as much individual freedom as possible.
Full attention is being given to the major facets of university life.
To provide a safe learning environment, the academic leadership at Faulkner has made several modifications.
– The academic calendar for traditional classes only has been modified for the fall semester. Classes will begin on August 17, 2020 as previously announced. However, those classes and exams will conclude by November 24, 2020. (All other classes—Faulkner Online, Executive & Professional Programs, Jones School of Law, Extension Centers, EWP, etc.—will run as originally scheduled.) Spring semester will resume as planned on January 11, 2021.
– Careful attention is being made to class size and room capacity. Course sections have been scheduled in classrooms capable of handling the class size and practicable social distancing.
– Larger class sections, if necessary, will be offered in a hybrid-flex model where the class is a combination of on-ground instruction and virtual learning.
– Face coverings will be required in all academic buildings and administrative offices.
– The University has implemented a new software system to capture every classroom lecture. This new application will enhance the learning environment and provide significantly greater capacity for students learning remotely. This will also help students who are not able to attend various class meetings.
– The University has enhanced all sanitation protocols to provide a safe learning environment.
The University wants to provide students with a rich experience inside and outside the classroom. Certainly, the pandemic provides some unique challenges. However, Faulkner remains committed to offering a robust collegiate experience where the health and well-being of the University community is protected. To provide a safe and healthy collegiate experience, the Student Life leadership has made the following modifications:
– Students living in campus housing will be scheduled to arrive in staggered times to create ease for distancing.
– Student housing will have dedicated space for students who need to be quarantined for a specific period if needed.
– Campus dining will reduce capacity of the dining hall to provide appropriate distancing. Meal plans will continue to offer unlimited dining. To go options will be available at each meal.
– Larger campus events will have distinct measures to mitigate unsafe environments. These measures include face coverings and social distancing.
Testing & Wellness Checks
Given the contagious nature of COVID-19, Faulkner is taking steps to guard the well-being of every member of the community. Therefore, here are a number of disciplines to help create a healthy environment:
– The State of Alabama is providing free COVID-19 testing to all University students attending a public or private institution in the state. Faulkner will be getting guidance from the Alabama Department of Public Health and UAB concerning the process by which students can be tested prior to arrival on campus. (Note: All student athletes are required by the NAIA to be tested).
– Temperature checks will also be conducted at campus events and randomly in the residence halls.
– Self-monitoring of the potential symptoms of COVID-19 is strongly encouraged. Self-monitoring documentation may be needed for entrance to some campus events.
– Wear a face covering in all academic/administrative buildings and whenever 6 ft. social distancing cannot be accomplished.
– Wash your hands often daily.
– Practice social distancing.
– Assess yourself daily for COVID-19 related symptoms.