In response to the coronavirus outbreak, Williams Baptist University is extending its spring break to two weeks. Spring break at WBU will now begin Wednesday, March 18, which is three days sooner than originally scheduled. Classes will begin again on campus Wednesday, April 1. The break had been scheduled originally to run March 21-29.
The university is also curtailing large gatherings, and all spring sports seasons have been cancelled. University-sponsored trips off campus have been cancelled for the remainder of the spring semester, as well.
â€œOur first priority is always the health and safety or our students, so we are taking actions to protect our campus community in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak. We believe these are proactive steps which protect our students while also maintaining a conducive learning environment,â€ said WBU President Dr. Stan Norman.
The president noted that the university has other contingencies in place, should further measures become necessary.
â€œWe launched an initiative this year to provide iPads to all our students for enhanced instruction and learning, so the infrastructure is in place should online instruction be necessary. As a teaching university, our plans and preferences at this time are to continue with classroom instruction when we return from our extended spring break, but we are prepared to address alternative instructional methods should the need arise,â€ Norman said.
Here are details of WBUâ€™s plans in regard to coronavirus:
- Offices will remain open during the extended spring break.
- All university-sponsored travel on and off campus is cancelled for the remainder of the semester.
- All large gatherings on campus are cancelled for the remainder of the semester. This includes weekly chapel and praise services as well as concerts and performances.
- The American Midwest Conference has cancelled the remainder of all spring athletic events. This decision is reflective of national trends for all levels of athletic competition, both professional and collegiate.
- WBU is developing plans to address the special needs and concerns of its international students. Williams is committed to caring for these students, ensuring they are housed and fed, and that accommodations are made as needed for their studies.
The WBU president noted the situation remains very fluid, and that plans may change with new developments regarding the coronavirus threat.
WBU is a private, Christian university in Walnut Ridge.