Coronavirus Update – Nov. 20, 2020 (Virtual Instruction)

Dear Campus Community,
As you all know, the rate of COVID-19 positive cases continues to climb in Johnson County and throughout the state.  Our most recent surveillance testing on campus shows an increase as well, although our consulting physicians deem the positivity rate manageable and the campus safe with our existing protocols.  
However, the increased number of students requiring virtual instruction as a result of quarantine and isolation protocols has significantly complicated the efforts of our faculty to deliver a consistent academic experience across modalities.  After consultation with Dean Flora and faculty leadership, we have decided that our students will be served best academically if classes transition to exclusively virtual format for the final weeks of the semester after Thanksgiving break.  This certainty will allow professors to adjust classroom instruction and create end-of-semester exams that are consistent for all students.  There may be some in-person exceptions such as labs, art or music courses.  Students affected will be notified by their professors in such cases. 
To be clear, the level of COVID-19 infection on campus based on surveillance testing is well within the standards of safety established and maintained by our health care professionals.  The campus will remain open and all institutional services and activities will continue as usual.  Students are welcome to remain in residence halls, and dining service will not be affected.  This decision applies only to the mode of instruction as the semester draws to a close.
As I have said since we began the fall semester, the efforts of our entire campus community to maintain a safe and healthy environment have been inspiring and successful.  Let’s all continue to work together in that effort between now and the end of final exams.  Thank you.
Kerry N. Prather
Franklin College