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President Franklin 2020-21 Back-to-School Announcement

Welcome to Virginia University of Lynchburg

August 7, 2020

Dear VUL Students and Families,

In March, Virginia University of Lynchburg transitioned our classes and students to online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you to all of the students, faculty, and staff who understood the changes and challenges of moving to online learning in such a short time period.

VUL Administration has continued to discuss the ongoing challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and the spread of the virus across the United States. As the number of cases in our local community and across the country continue to rise, VUL is first and foremost concerned for the safety and health of our students who would return to campus this fall. While we very much miss our students, in good conscious, we cannot place our students in potential harm’s way of this pandemic by returning to campus for the 2020-21 school year. Because we do not have access to the things that would help us control the presence of the pandemic on our campus, which includes quick, large-scale asymptomatic testing and contact tracing, VUL has made the decision to move its instruction online for the fall semester.

I know this decision is disappointing to our students and their families. While the VUL on-campus experience is important to students, more important, is maintaining our student’s safety and well-being. Because we will not return to the normal, in-person campus life this semester, VUL administration, faculty, and staff will take this opportunity to bolster our ability to meet student needs through continued online learning.

During this time of our pandemic pause, VUL is reviewing and assessing our operations to ensure that we are improving our virtual support for students. While we cannot control the pandemic, we can ensure that as a campus community, supporting our students is our first priority. We will increase our student communication opportunities and enhance their customer service experience. Our faculty are busy preparing for fall online instruction and will work extremely hard to create a learning environment that nurtures student growth.

We will continue to reevaluate the conditions of the pandemic throughout this fall as we plan for the spring semester. We are revamping our VUL website to reflect COVID-19 information and resources for our students.

As a Historical Black University, VUL is proud of its rich heritage and legacy of developing young minds for entrance into an everchanging world. Your faith, brilliance, and resiliency are unmatched and unstoppable. Our resolve to achieving excellence has not faltered. Change is not always easy, but it is often necessary. As we begin the 2020-21 Academic Year, please know that we are committed to helping each of you reach your desired academic and personal goals. The VUL family is strong, disciplined, and moving forward.

In 2020-21, Transformation is our word of the year. By the renewing of our minds, we are transformed! The manifestation of this transformation will be seen through our actions and relationships. Our students, faculty, and staff are VUL family; and as a family, let us work hard to bear good fruit, together!

“So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the Knowledge of God” – Colossians 1:10 Please continue to be safe, adhere to the recommended CDC guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and pray for one another.

Sincerely,

Dr. Kathy Franklin

President

Virginia University of Lynchburg