Milligan, Tusculum change schedules, shift to online because of COVID-19

Johnson City Press • Updated Mar 13, 2020 at 8:48 PM

Two more higher education institutions recently announced schedule changes amid concerns over the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Milligan College announced Thursday afternoon that it would extend its spring break until March 20 and move to online-only classes through April 5. The move follows the lead of several other college campuses around the country, including East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, which announced the change Thursday. 

The online move will apply to traditional undergraduate programs and some graduate programs at Milligan.

“We understand this decision will have a profound impact on us all,” Milligan President Bill Greer said in a news release. “Ultimately, our decision is grounded in our responsibility for the well-being of the Milligan community and to support the international attempt to mitigate the further spread of this virus.

“We also aim to ensure our students continue to receive a high-quality learning experience during this unprecedented situation.”

Milligan canceled all college-sponsored events from March 16 until April 3, including a spring theater production.

The campus will remain open for employees. Services and amenities on campus will be limited, and the college will practice recommended social distancing and mitigation efforts.

The college said Milligan’s academic dean’s office was in close communication with all students engaged in off-campus study and was working ceaselessly to ensure their safety and quick return.

“We hope and pray that the coronavirus situation moves closer to a resolution in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we’ll be constantly evaluating our situation and will make adjustments as necessary,” Greer told the press Friday morning. 

For more information and further updates about Milligan, visit www.milligan.edu/health.

Tusculum University also announced schedule changes late Thursday night. 

“With multiple new factors that have come into play since our last email to you this afternoon, Tusculum University leaders have decided to convert classes at all three locations to online teaching, effective Monday, March 16,” the university announced in a memo. 

“Tusculum has learned about a confirmed case of coronavirus in Knox County. While that person is not a Tusculum family member, the university is following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance to take additional precautionary measures by shifting to online education.” 

The South Atlantic Conference, of which Tusculum is a member, has voted to cancel all athletic practices and games for the rest of the academic year.

Students who believe they have been exposed to a confirmed or suspected case of coronavirus or have traveled internationally have been advised not to return to the university’s three campuses.

Instead, officials said they should self-quarantine for 14 days and immediately contact Dr. Lisa Johnson-Neas, dean of students, at [email protected] or 423-636-7315 to confirm they are not returning to campus.

Students who are not symptomatic or do not need to self-quarantine may return to campus.

For more information and updates from Tusculum, visit www.tusculum.edu

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