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Will Moss
Hampton University class of 1995
Reggie Culpepper
Clark Atlanta University class of 1998
Kamal Imani
class of
Neal Owens
University of the District of Columbia class of 1983
class of
LaMarr Blackmon
Cal St Univ, Long Beach class of 1992
Beverly Johnson
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Tanisha LaVerne Grant
Cheyney University of Pennsylvania class of 1995
HBCUs Make Moves to Protect HBCU Students During CoronaVirus COVID19 Pandemic
Posted By: Will Moss on March 28, 2020

Universities across the globe are scrambling to deal with disruptions caused by the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. HBCUs are no exception. Across the country, universities are adapting measures to confront the viral outbreak, while staying faithful to their mission to educate students.
Some colleges have the technical capability to offer online classes and distance learning and are doing so. Others have adjusted schedules. Still up in the air are logistical factors like room & board, payments, and how to deal with support staff.

Tuskegee University has confirmed two infections: a student and a university employee. The university indicates that both are non-residents, and those that came into contact with the victims are to be in self isolation. The university is making other adjustments such as to schedules, and deadlines, and has launched an information page for students and other university stakeholders.

At Hampton University, President William R. Harvey canceled all in-person classes last week, and switched instruction to remote/virtual. All domestic students living on campus have been sent home, but accommodations are still provided to international students living in campus housing. All on-campus events have been canceled until at least April 5.
However, Harvey says faculty & staff are to report to work. “The University will remain open for business. All faculty, 12 Month Academic, and Educational Support Staff and administrators should report to work as usual,” he wrote in a statement.

In Ohio, Central State University had to cancel its Italian study-abroad program for this year. May’s graduation ceremonies have been cancelled, though the university says it will “continue to seek new opportunities to honor and celebrate the 2020 May graduating class, and will keep you posted on these activities. The university created a page to keep students and stakeholders updated.

Across the highway from Central State, at Wilberforce University, President Elfred Anthony Pinkard ordered the university to operate on reduced hours with only essential personnel present. All other employees are to work remotely, as coordinated by their supervisors.

In Atlanta, Spelman College has announced more drastic steps. The university has moved to all remote-learning through the end of spring semester. All college related international travel is canceled until at least June, 30.

Morehouse University has postponed graduation ceremonies until December. The spring tour to Ghana and Senegal has been canceled, as well as all other faculty-led study abroad programs. The university is offering information and updates on this page.

Clark Atlanta University’s President George French Jr. Took To YouTube to address students, alumni and other stakeholders.

“We understand that many students taking online/remote courses will be placed in a difficult situation, for we are away from the physical campus and resources that are normally provided by the University will be downsized. Over the past week, our administration has been engaged in dialogue with the University’s Board of Trustees, President French, Provost Bowles, and the leadership of the Faculty Assembly regarding the Spring 2020 grading process,” said Student Government Association Undergraduate President Levon Campbell, Jr. in a letter to his coeds.

In neighboring South Carolina, Claflin University is also moving to virtual classrooms, and has postponed May commencement ceremonies until December, 2020. Students are encouraged to contact their college deans via email addresses on their COVID-19 information page here.
In the nation’s capital, Howard University has moved in sync, announcing online learning for the remainder of the semester.

Fisk University is taking a more cautious approach than some collegiate peers. All classes have been moved online, but the university is suspending all on-campus activities, residence halls have closed, faculty and staff are to work remotely as well. These changes are indefinite “until factors and circumstances surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic change” said President Kevin Rome, Sr.

Fortunately, every university surveyed seems to be instituting distance learning modalities so that education can continue, though in many areas, research may suffer such as disciplines requiring laboratories or groups-like performing arts. Hopefully the universities’ newfound expertise and experience in distance learning will result in increase opportunity for nontraditional students in the future. That would be a silver lining in the cloud cast by this pandemic.
Will Moss
Hampton University class of 1995
Member Since June 1999
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