Important update on WWU and the COVID-19 pandemic

Update from the president

Walla Walla University family,

As you are aware, our Emergency Management Team (EMT) has been monitoring the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Though at this time there are still no presumed positive cases of COVID-19 in residents of Walla Walla County, we believe it is prudent in this moment to take steps to limit the spread of the virus and protect our students, faculty and staff.

Walla Walla University will take the following steps:

  • All face-to-face instruction on Walla Walla University campuses will conclude after tomorrow, Friday, March 13, 2020. Please attend class tomorrow.
  • Winter quarter final exams will be administered online. Students should watch their university emails for directions from instructors on how to complete those exams, and for details about how their quarter will be completed and final grades assigned.
  • Walla Walla University will deliver classes remotely for the first four weeks of spring quarter, starting Monday, March 30, 2020.
  • The financial clearance deadline for spring quarter remains the same — Wednesday, March 25, 4 pm.
  • University officials will continue to monitor the situation, and plan to reconvene face-to-face classes on Monday, April 27, 2020.
  • Students who need to remain on our campuses or live in any university housing during the spring quarter hiatus should apply to do so by Friday, March 20, using this application.
  • Students who leave our campuses should take with them any technologies and materials they may need to participate in classes from a distance.
  • Regarding travel:
    • Students, faculty or staff participating in personal international travel (including to Canada) in the foreseeable future must complete this Personal International Travel Form.
    • We strongly encourage students, faculty and staff to reduce or eliminate personal travel until further notice. If travel is absolutely necessary to at-risk areas (as designated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), you may be asked to take appropriate steps to prevent risk to others.
    • All university-sponsored domestic travel (further than 75 miles away from any WWU campus) is strongly discouraged until further notice, and must be approved by your area’s vice president.
    • All university-sponsored international travel (including to Canada) is suspended until further notice.

We will continue to follow guidance from the CDC and the Walla Walla County Department of Community Health, as well as monitor information provided by the Washington State Department of HealthWorld Health Organization, and U.S. Department of State.

Please carefully watch your Walla Walla University email inbox — you will receive additional instructions in the coming days about everything from academic and housing arrangements to finances. Employees and supervisors should monitor their emails to receive further information related to our work environment.

We have launched an FAQ section on our WWU coronavirus web page (wallawalla.edu/coronavirus), and will update that information as quickly as possible.

Wherever you are these next few weeks, we encourage you to do everything possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our university family will be stronger if we each maintain our overall health and find ways to support each other through this unprecedented disruption.

Walla Walla University remains fully committed to supporting our students, faculty and staff as we pursue excellence in thought, generosity in service, beauty in expression and faith in God. We are family, and I invite you to keep us all in your prayers in the coming weeks.

As we’ve been processing this decision today, the words of a particular song have been echoing in my mind: “He’s got the whole world in His hands!” That includes this global pandemic. That includes all of us as members of the Walla Walla University family. That includes the weeks we will be apart. I am praying that God will bind our hearts together and continue to bless and nourish this amazing community of faith and discovery.

In His hands!

John McVay
President, Walla Walla University

Aerial view of WWU admissions building

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