Cumberland University's Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Cumberland University continues to closely monitor the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Continue to closely monitor your Cumberland email for the latest information and updates.
- As announced Thursday, October 1, Cumberland has altered the academic calendar for the Spring 2021 semester. Classes will now begin Monday, January 25. Classes for the spring semester will be on the A/B schedule. You can view the full academic calendar here: cumberland.edu/calendar/academic-calendar/
- Students who require all their coursework to be held virtually, in lieu of the A/B schedule for the Spring 2021 semester must complete the Spring 21 Alternative Learning Request Form. All requests will be carefully and confidentially considered and a response will be sent via student email.
- Students, faculty and staff will be required to complete training and sign social contracts to abide by policies and behaviors to limit the spread of the virus. The social contract can be found below and is available for students to accept in their CAMS portal.
- All in-conference athletic competitions will be moved to Spring 2021. CU will continue to work closely and follow guidelines and recommendations from the NAIA and Mid-South Conference.
- To limit the total volume of students on campus, students will be divided into an A group and a B group
- A group: Students with last names A-K will be on campus Mondays and Tuesdays and online Wednesdays and Thursdays
- B group: Students with last names L-Z will be online Mondays and Tuesdays and on campus Wednesdays and Thursdays
- On campus health services are available in Labry 206. Contact health services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Face coverings will be expected to be worn in all public spaces across campus. Masks will be available on campus for all students, faculty and staff.
- CU will increase cleaning and sanitation frequencies across campus and have hand sanitizing stations and PPE available
- Facility capacities will be limited to encourage social distancing, including limiting the dining hall capacity to 100
- Everyone will be required to monitor and track symptoms using the Cumberland App before coming to campus
- Students, faculty and staff will be required to complete training and sign social contracts to abide by policies and behaviors to limit the spread of the virus
- Visitors will be required to have temperatures checked before entering campus
- Students living on campus will have limited visitation
- Large events will not be held if social distancing is not possible - events can take place in small groups, virtual events or a hybrid option
- CU will provide updates to the campus community via a variety of media, including university email, the university's website, campus messages, the CU app and social media.
- CU has modified the academic calendar for the fall semester. Classes will begin August 17 and end on November 25.
- To limit the total volume of students on campus, students will be divided into an A group and a B group
- Students with last names A-K will be on campus Mondays and Tuesdays and online Wednesdays and Thursday
- Students with last names L-Z will be online Mondays and Tuesdays and on campus Wednesdays and Thursdays.
- Campus resources will be open and available, but students are encouraged to use these during their on campus days - or virtually or after 3pm on their online days
- Professors can elect if their online portion of classes will be synchronous or asynchronous
- There are some exceptions to this A/B plan, and those can be found in the attached campus reopening plan
- All in-conference competitions will be moved to Spring 2021
- CU athletics will continue to follow all policies and procedures set forth by the NAIA and Mid-South Conference
- Temperature checks are required for all athletes prior to competition and those with a temperature above 100.4F degrees or who are experiencing symptoms will not be eligible for competition
- Travel roster sizes will be reduced to the traditional postseason travel roster
- Shared items, such as water bottles and unnecessary equipment will be prohibited
- Fan attendance at competitions will be limited
Students, faculty and staff will be required to complete training and sign social contracts to abide by policies and behaviors to limit the spread of the virus. Students will virtually sign the social contract when logging into their online account. View the social contract here.
Updates (By Date):
The university will alter the academic calendar for the Spring 2021 semester.
The Spring 2021 semester will start on Monday, Jan. 25, and will end as originally scheduled on Friday, May 7. This schedule does not include a spring break to prevent the risk of campus contamination due to travel during the break.
With the extension of winter break, Cumberland will be offering classes during the winter term. The full Winter Term will begin on Monday, Nov. 30 and end on Friday, Jan. 22. Winter Term 1 will begin on Monday, Nov. 30 and end on Wednesday, Dec. 23 and Term 2 will begin Monday, Dec. 28 and end on Friday, Jan. 22. All winter session classes will be delivered via Zoom online.
As of now the university plans to continue its safety precautions throughout the Spring 2021 semester, including face coverings across campus, increased cleaning and sanitation, limited capacity in all campus facilities and requiring faculty, staff and students to monitor and track symptoms daily prior to coming to campus. The university is also planning contingencies to return to campus full time if conditions permit.
Courses for the Spring 2021 semester will continue to be offered on the A/B schedule for undergraduate students. Students with last names A-K will be on campus Mondays and Tuesdays and online Wednesdays and Thursdays and students with last names L-Z will be online Mondays and Tuesdays and on campus Wednesdays and Thursdays. Limited exceptions to this rule apply.
Mid-South Conference Commissioner Eric Ward announced today the postponement of fall sports to spring 2021. The decision gives each institution autonomy to play non-conference games this fall.
The decision from the Mid-South stems from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics' (NAIA) announcement to move fall championships to the spring on July 31. The Mid-South Conference administrative council came to the conclusion with the approval from the MSC Council of Presidents.
"Our main objective is to keep our student-athletes safe and healthy,” said Ron Pavan, Vice President for Enrollment Services and Director of Athletics. “Their well-being is the key to our success in athletics. Our theme this year is agility as we continue to make changes and pivot in the non-conference competition this fall based upon state, local, and regional guidelines."
Men's and women's soccer, women's volleyball, men's and women's cross country, and football will play their regular-season conference games in the spring with championships to follow.
Conference regular season and tournament dates will be decided when the NAIA releases national championship dates.
The entire Cumberland community has worked tirelessly to respond to the COVID pandemic and plan for the short and long-term impacts that will be left in its wake.
This plan outlines efforts by the university community, led by the Campus Reopening Planning (CROP) Team to manage a safe return to campus in August. Our number one goal is keeping our campus community safe, while simultaneously providing you the on-ground college experience that is so important to your success.
The safety of our campus community is the responsibility of all of us. All students, faculty and staff will be required to monitor symptoms daily and sign a social contract agreeing to abide by policies and behaviors put in place to limit the spread of the virus.
As previously announced, we have modified the academic calendar for the fall semester. Classes will start Monday, August 17 and end Wednesday, November 25. In addition to this, CU has decided to implement an A/B schedule for all undergraduate students to limit the total volume of students on campus.
- A-Schedule: Students with last names beginning with A-K will be on campus for classes Mondays and Tuesdays and online Wednesdays and Thursdays.
- B-Schedule: Students with last names beginning with L-Z will be online for classes Mondays and Tuesdays and on campus Wednesdays and Thursdays
- Professors are able to decide if their classes will meet synchronously or asynchronously
- All exceptions to this A/B schedule are listed in the attached plan
You should note that virus response recommendations are changing regularly and these guidelines are also subject to change. Please continue to check your CU email and the coronavirus webpage on the CU website to stay up to date on the most recent guidelines.
You can view the Campus Reopening Plan on the Cumberland website here: XXX. If you have any questions regarding the plan, please email email@example.com.
I look forward to seeing you all on campus, safely soon.
President Paul Stumb
Cumberland has altered the Fall 2020 academic calendar. The semester will now begin Monday, August 17 and end Wednesday, November 25. With this change, the Labor Day holiday and fall break will be cancelled and classes will meet on those days.
To view the updated academic calendar, visit https://www.cumberland.edu/calendar/academic-calendar/.
We will be holding our Commencement ceremony on Saturday, June 20 for all graduates.
Our primary objectives are to deliver a safe, valuable and memorable experience for our honored graduates. However, due to COVID-19 precautions, the ceremony will look very different this year than in years prior. We are limiting the ceremony to graduates only, no guests will be allowed to attend.
CU will reopen campus to all students, faculty and staff for the Fall 2020 semester.
In addition, CU will compete in all sporting events for the 2020-2021 season.
CU has received $960,321 in Federal grant funds for Cumberland to distribute directly to undergraduate students facing significant financial challenges due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
For more information on eligibility, visit cumberland.edu/caresact/
CU was approved for a Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Grant. This grant, from the U.S. Dept. of Education as part of the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, will be used to directly support students who have demonstrated need and are facing significant financial challenges due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
All summer classes will be taught in an online format. This includes May term, Summer 1, Summer 2 and Full Summer terms.
Based on Executive Orders from Governor Lee, beginning Monday, April 6, 2020 the library facility will be closed until April 14. Resources and librarians will be available to help students and faculty remotely.
Additionally, all classes beginning in May will be in an online learning format.
At this moment, Cumberland is fortunate not to have any confirmed cases on our campus. Several members of the CU family have, however, lost loved ones or been otherwise disaffected by this aggressive disease. Our hearts go out to those of you who have suffered these losses. If there is anything that CU can do to assist you or your loved ones, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly.
In response to the CDC guidelines and Governor Lee’s Executive Orders, CU has made the following decisions, with the well-being of our CU family in mind:
- In accordance with Gov. Lee’s most recent Executive Order, the Phillip’s Dining Hall and the LCC Kiosk will now be open for takeout only. Students, faculty and staff are welcome to continue to use these facilities, but are encouraged to be mindful in regard to social distancing and to only eat (or gather for any other reason) in groups of 10 or less.
- The Commencement ceremony originally scheduled for May 2, 2020 will be postponed to June 20, 2020. Due to the constantly changing situation, this date is also subject to change, based on government orders and recommendations from the CDC, but an official confirmation of this date will be made in May.
- The Nursing Pinning Ceremony will take place on the evening of Friday, June 19. Details on time and location will be announced soon.
- The Commencement ceremony on Saturday, June 20 will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Memorial Hall Lawn (weather permitting) for all degrees - associate, bachelors and masters.
- The Phoenix Ball, originally scheduled for June 6, 2020 will be postponed to August 1, 2020. This date is also subject to change, based on government orders and recommendations from the CDC. More information on the Phoenix Ball can be found at phoenixball.com.
This is a difficult time, and I want to encourage all of you to look for opportunities to help those around you. I’m constantly inspired by the many ways our CU family is assisting our community. Faculty and students alike are helping each other every day with the transition to online courses; our Rudy School of Nursing and Health Professions donated a stockpile of personal protective equipment (PPE) to the National Guard; and many of our nursing faculty and students have registered to assist at Vanderbilt Wilson County Hospital should that need arise.
We can all find ways to help. Call to check on a family member or friend, offer to help your neighbor with groceries, donate to a local food bank or support your local small businesses - the little things matter, especially now.
Please continue to check your CU email for updates. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this critical time.
As of Thursday, March 26 all campus events through April 30, 2020 have been postponed indefinitely.
As of Thursday, March 19 there are no confirmed cases within the Cumberland community.
A CU football player was tested, and the test came back negative.
Cumberland University athletics in conjunction with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced today that it is canceling the spring 2020 sports season, effective immediately.
“All possible scenarios that would have supported a spring sports season were seriously considered by multiple NAIA governance groups,” said NAIA President and CEO Jim Carr. “However, the growing state of emergency due to COVID-19, as well as the Center for Disease Control’s recommendation yesterday to limit gatherings to fewer than 50 people for eight weeks, meant we could not in good conscience move forward with the spring sports season and championships.”
"The announcement today of the NAIA canceling spring 2020 sports season has impacted our campus, but we agree with the NAIA and understand the Coronavirus (COVID-19) must be taken very seriously." Director of Athletics Ron Pavan said. "In athletics, we understand that we must overcome many obstacles to be successful on and off the fields and courts."
All spring sport student-athletes will not be charged with a season of competition. Any spring sport athlete that was enrolled full-time in 2020 will be given two additional semesters or the equivalent.
The safety of our student-athletes, coaches and spectators are of our utmost importance and we will comply with the CDC recommendation as the coronavirus sweeps across the United States.
Cumberland University is constantly reevaluating the situation and continue to provide the most up-to-date information.
In response to the rapidly evolving Coronavirus/COVID-19 situation, we want to keep you informed on Cumberland’s decisions to keep our campus community safe.
There are currently no confirmed cases of coronavirus within our campus community or in Wilson County. Given the decision by the World Health Organization to declare the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic, we are implementing several contingency options in an effort to coincide with the CDC’s recommendation of social distancing.
Beginning Monday, March 16, we are suspending in-person classes and will transition to remote course delivery through CANVAS, e-mail or other alternate methods through the end of the spring semester. All faculty have been provided training for this transition, but we appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to make this switch as seamless as possible for our students. It is imperative that students monitor their Cumberland e-mail accounts and communicate with professors through e-mail and CANVAS.
Since we realize that some on-campus students cannot easily travel home, our residence halls will remain open and dining facilities will operate on a modified schedule with limited services for increased safety. Our Office of Residence Life will reach out shortly to our residential students with more information on these services.
At this time all university offices will remain open as usual. We urge employees to take the appropriate prevention measures as described on our website, www.cumberland.edu/coronavirus/.
- Beginning Monday, March 16 all on-ground classes will transition to an online learning format for the rest of the spring semester
- Residence halls will remain open at this time and dining services will continue to operate on a modified schedule with limited services for increased safety
- All university staff and academic offices, including the library, will remain open at this time. Please contact professors or tutoring services directly with specific questions before coming to campus
- All campus events, including athletic practices and games, have been postponed through at least March 31, 2020
- All university sponsored travel has been discontinued through March 31, 2020
- Any student or employee who is ill or who believes they may have been exposed to the virus should self-quarantine and contact Joe Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-547-1255
- Continue to check your Cumberland email and www.cumberland.edu/coronavirus/ for updates
Our COVID-19 task force will continue to meet regularly and monitor the situation in an attempt to make decisions that keep our students, faculty and staff as safe as possible while continuing our commitment to higher education.
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this critical time.
From the NAIA Mid-South Conference:
"Mid-South Conference officials announced today the suspension of all athletic events through the end of March.
The decision comes based on the continuing developments across the landscape of athletics from the effects of COVID-19.
“In an effort to make the most well-informed decisions regarding the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff due to the developments surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mid-South Conference has decided to suspend all competition at least through the end of March,” MSC Commissioner Eric Ward said. “The situation is evolving at a dizzying pace and decisions are currently being made based on incomplete and/or rapidly changing information. Conference leadership will be convening by conference call twice each week during this time period to evaluate the most recently available information and developments within the sports industry, as well as up-to-the-minute information from the NAIA and our campuses to determine the best path forward for our conference.”
The Mid-South Conference recommends fans continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Visit https://www.cdc.gov/ for updates."
We want to keep you all informed on Cumberland’s response to the evolving Coronavirus/COVID-19 situation.
We currently have no confirmed cases of coronavirus within our campus community. Rumors to the contrary are simply untrue.
In addition to following the CDC guidelines for handwashing and surface cleaning, Cumberland has determined that implementing the following decisions will help limit the possibility for exposure and spread of the virus without compromising our commitment to teaching our students.
As of today, March 11, all classes will continue to meet as regularly scheduled and all offices will maintain normal operations.
- All non-athletic events scheduled through March 31 have been postponed indefinitely. We are reviewing the events list and will announce new dates or cancellations as decisions are made.
- All university-sponsored travel, with the exception of athletics, will be cancelled through March 31 and travel beyond that date will be re-evaluated in the coming weeks.
- All official university communications and updates will come to your Cumberland email address and will also be posted on the website at cumberland.edu/coronavirus
Any student or employee who is ill or who believes they may have been exposed to the virus should self-quarantine and contact Joe Gray at email@example.com or 615-547-1255. When seeking medical attention, please call your healthcare provider prior to going in to avoid contact with others.
Cumberland is aware that we must be prepared for the possibility of a localized outbreak. In such case, it may be necessary to suspend in-person meetings and instruction for a period of time. We are actively working with faculty and staff over the next few days to prepare for the possibility of implementing alternative teaching arrangements.
To help limit the spread of the virus, we are restricting access to the Phillip’s Dining Hall to only students, faculty and staff. We are also eliminating self-serve stations of the dining hall including the salad bar. The dessert station will contain only individually-wrapped items.
The university has put together a task force which is meeting regularly to monitor the situation, take precautionary measures and prepare plans in the event of a case being identified on campus.
Please continue to monitor your Cumberland email as well as our Cumberland Coronavirus webpage. This webpage also offers additional information on the virus and prevention that may be helpful.
Finally, we ask for your patience and understanding as we seek to make the best decisions possible to help keep everyone in our community healthy and safe, while also doing our part to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
If you have questions that are not urgent, we ask you to wait for further communication that may address your concerns. If you do have an urgent question, please contact Joe Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-547-1255.
Cumberland COVID-19/Coronavirus FAQs:
Cumberland is planning to open campus for the fall semester. Classes will be in a hybrid on ground/online format beginning Monday, August 17.
No, Cumberland will remain open and the business of the university will continue remotely. Please contact individuals directly with specific questions.
According to the CDC, if you are experiencing symptoms of the virus or believe you have been exposed, you should:
- Seek medical attention, but call first: Seek medical care right away if your illness is worsening (for example, if you have difficulty breathing).
- Call your doctor before going in: Before going to the doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them your symptoms. They will tell you what to do.
- Wear a facemask: If possible, put on a facemask before you enter the building. If you can’t put on a facemask, try to keep a safe distance from other people (at least 6 feet away). This will help protect the people in the office or waiting room.
- Follow care instructions from your healthcare provider and local health department: Your local health authorities will give instructions on checking your symptoms and reporting information.
Any student or employee who is ill or who believes they may have been exposed to the virus should self-quarantine and contact Joe Gray at email@example.com or 615-547-1255
Residence Halls & Dining:
All residence halls will remain open and dining halls will operate on a modified schedule with limited services for increased safety. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions regarding housing and dining.
Move-in days for the fall semester:
August 13 - Athlete Move In
August 14 - New Student Move In
August 15 - Returning Student Move In
August 16 - Additional Move In Day
The modified Cafe hours beginning Tuesday, March 17 will be:
- Brunch: 10:30am - 1:30pm
- Dinner: 4:30pm-7pm
The LCC Kiosk will be open Monday - Friday from 9am - 3pm
CU has suspended all campus events (including official university events, student events, external or community events and university-sponsored events) indefinitely at this time.
Beginning in the fall semester, events that allow for social distancing will be allowed.
Cumberland athletics will return in the fall and CU is closely following guidelines set by the NAIA and Mid-South Conference.
All new student registration and orientation days will take place virtually. New students will be invited to attend socially-distanced on campus welcome week activities during the first week of classes.
Information to all new students will be sent via email from your enrollment specialist. For questions, please reach out to your enrollment specialist or email email@example.com.
The CU IT department is available to help students with issues including password resets, remote access and CANVAS or CAMS issues. To submit an IT request, visit support.cumberland.edu/portal.
As of Friday, April 3, the Vise Library facility will be closed until further notice. All resources and librarians will be available to students and faculty remotely.
For additional information on the library resources, visit cumberland.edu/viselibrary.
The Writing Center is available to students online. To schedule a session email firstname.lastname@example.org and include your name, class, due date and your A number.
Tutoring is available in a distance learning format. To schedule an online tutoring session, email Ethan Lannom in the Office of Student Success at email@example.com.
Yes, the campus is still open for students to access the internet and computer labs.
In response to the reduced number of national and state testing dates for ACT and SAT caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Cumberland University is suspending the requirement for standardized test scores for students seeking admission as first time freshmen for the Fall 2020 semester. Additionally, the requirement of an ACT or SAT score for dual enrollment students is being suspended for Fall 2020.
Applicants to the 2020 freshmen class with GPAs below the University's requirement of 3.0 will be asked to complete a survey that is designed to determine persistence and grit. This will supplement the file reviewed by the University Admissions Committee.
Dual enrollment students seeking to take English or Math courses must request that their high school counselor complete an endorsement form, unless the student already has an ACT or SAT score on file with the appropriate subscores or can provide one prior to course enrollment.
Please note: The adjustment of admission requirements for this one term does not apply after the Fall 2020 admission term, does not apply to or lessen the requirements for institutional, state, or federal funding, and does not apply to or lessen the requirements for athletic eligibility. All benchmarks for grants and scholarships, as well as benchmarks for athletic eligibility, must be met in their entirety.
Yes, the private and endowed scholarship deadline has been extended to June 1, 2020.
For any questions regarding the reopening of campus, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cumberland is actively monitoring the evolving situation related to 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). We are closely following the guidance and recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to keep our campus safe and provide our community important information and resources. This page will serve as the university's official communication source for updates related to policies, planning and resources.
We do expect that the CDC’s guidance on COVID-19 will continue to shift as we all come to understand more about this global health crisis. As the CDC’s recommendations evolve, we will continue to work to meet those best practices and share them via this site and through community messages.
Since there is currently no vaccine for the COVID-19, the CDC advises the best way to prevent infection is to avoid exposure to coronavirus, as well as other viruses, and to take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses. Recommended actions include:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid unnecessary contact with others, including handshakes, high fives, hugs, etc.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as cell phones, keyboards, remote controls, keys, writing utensils, etc.
At this time, Cumberland University has cancelled all university-related international travel, and we urge all members of the university community to reconsider recreational international travel plans. In addition to the spread of the virus itself, travel restrictions into and out of countries may change at any time, leading to difficulties returning home.
Symptoms of COVID-19, as reported by the CDC include:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
As the number of cases has expanded, we have learned that asymptomatic persons may unknowingly pass the virus onto others. Therefore, it is important that each individual take precautions to help safeguard the broader health and well-being of our community. Students should contact their academic dean for assistance with managing any academic responsibilities while absent from campus. Similarly, faculty and staff should seek guidance from their supervisor if they need to self-quarantine.
- Remaining alert for signs of fever, cough, or difficulty breathing during the self-observation period, which has been determined to be a minimum of 14 days.
- Limiting contact with others.
- If you should develop any symptoms of illness, seek health advice and instructions by telephone before visiting healthcare provider or facility.
- Avoiding locations where large groups of people congregate, such as: public transportation; shopping centers; movie theaters; restaurants; supermarkets; stadiums; workplaces; schools; and other classroom settings.
- To the extent possible, maintain a safe social distance (approximately 6 feet) from others.