This message has been sent to Kalamazoo College students, faculty and staff:
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Kalamazoo College’s decision-making process has been science-based and informed by our local health department, state government and the Centers for Disease Control. Based on the evidence of how this virus spreads and the patterns identified in other communities, it is with an abundance of caution that Kalamazoo College will start the spring term on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, with distance instruction.
- Winter term finals will continue as planned from Sunday, March 15, 2020 through Tuesday, March 17, 2020
- Residence halls will close on Wednesday, March 18, 2020
- Academic courses in distance learning formats begin Wednesday, April 1, 2020
- The residence halls will open on Sunday, April 12, 2020
- In-person instruction resumes on Monday, April 13, 2020
The only students who may request to stay on campus during Spring Break and during the distance learning period are international students, student-athletes (as long as conference competitions are scheduled), students who are employed by the College or in the local community (pending employment verification), and domestic students whose permanent residence is more than 450 miles away.
The health of our students, faculty and staff is our utmost concern, and we believe this approach to social distancing is in the best interest of our campus community. Recognizing circumstances can quickly change, we will continue to monitor COVID-19 developments. Should plans for the spring term change, we will notify you no later than Monday, April 6, 2020.
We recognize the alternative formats used in distance learning will not replicate the in-person classroom experience for students and faculty. It will be different. We are confident meaningful teaching and learning experiences will occur, and the goal is to return to in-person instruction as soon as possible.
During this period of distance learning, Kalamazoo College offices will remain open and employees will report to work on their regular schedules. Employees should discuss with their supervisors options for working from home when appropriate. Please remember it is in your best interest and that of your colleagues to stay home if you are ill. We are aware Michigan public schools will be closing on Monday, March 16, and we understand some of you may have childcare concerns. Please work directly with your supervisors.
In addition, K is suspending all non-essential college-sponsored travel, effective immediately. Travel may only occur with the approval of the appropriate vice president.
For students with campus employment, the College is exploring ways to ensure you are kept financially whole during the extended break from campus. In addition, for those who live in the residence halls, room and board charges will be adjusted. Additional communication on this topic is forthcoming.
Please know this extremely difficult decision was made with the intent to protect the health and safety of our entire campus community. We appreciate your patience, your resiliency and your flexibility. I know this news is disappointing, and that you will have many questions. The situation is fluid, and we will continue to communicate with you. The College’s COVID-19 webpage is an additional resource for you. We care about your well-being and urge you to take care of yourselves and one another during this public health crisis.
Jorge G. Gonzalez