Faculty and Staff - May 28, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

I hope my updates continue to find you healthy and well. I wanted to share information on Winthrop’s plan to modify the fall academic calendar in order to protect the health of our campus community. Please see the news release below that will be shared with the media today. We continue to work through additional details as we prepare to welcome back our students in August.  Please know that the health and safety of each student and employee is at the forefront of every decision that is made. Thank you once again for your patience and understanding during these unusual times.

George W. Hynd
Interim President

Winthrop to Forego Fall Break, Move to Remote Instruction Following Thanksgiving Break

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA - Interim President George W. Hynd announced today that Winthrop University will make changes to its fall 2020 academic schedule due to COVID-19. There will be no fall break in October; the university will conclude face-to-face instruction before Thanksgiving break; and then Winthrop will move to remote instruction to complete the fall semester. 

"These schedule changes will hopefully help mitigate a possible spike in COVID-19 when traditionally thousands of students, faculty and staff would be returning to campus after a few days away. We weighed the public health risks of having our campus community return from these breaks, and the risks were significant as the country may be facing a second wave of COVID-19 at the same time that we typically experience an uptick in seasonal flu cases,” said Hynd. “We feel that this move, which also has been introduced by some other South Carolina universities, will help keep our students and employees safe, all while continuing to focus on delivering the best learning experience for our students.”

While the university will welcome back the majority of its students to in-person classes in August, Hynd noted that administrators continue to work through details of how in-person instruction will look in order to maximize social distancing and keep the community safe. Winthrop is planning for the majority of classes to be on campus, but some courses will have to be shifted online that were initially planned for in-person instruction, in order to spread courses out across classrooms and scheduled meeting times.

According to Adrienne McCormick, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, faculty members will build their fall course plans and determine how the final weeks of course material will be covered remotely. “This course planning will differ significantly from the spring since the hybrid content delivery will be planned from the start. The expectations for student work during that time after Thanksgiving will depend on the courses they are taking, but in general, the final week of content and all final exams will be delivered and completed via remote instruction,” said McCormick.

While fall planning continues, Winthrop looks to welcome a small group of students back onto campus for a few Summer Session D courses, which begin on July 13. Those few in-person courses include three sections of anatomy and physiology and the corresponding labs and a graduate education course. All other Summer Session offerings will be delivered remotely. Additionally, during the month of July, there will be select student and faculty in-person research taking place on campus as part of the Eagle STEM Scholars program and the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE).

Winthrop’s new fall academic schedule meets requirements for federal financial aid and for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). 

Please note the amended schedule:

Aug. 24: Classes begin

Sept. 7: Labor Day; classes will be held 

Oct. 16-19: Fall break is cancelled; classes will be held

Nov. 3: General Election Day; classes will be held 

Nov. 24: Face-to-face instruction will end

Nov. 25-29: Thanksgiving break; no classes

Nov. 30-Dec. 7: Remote class days

Dec. 8: Study day

Dec. 9-15: Final exam period

For more information, please contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, at longshawj@winthrop.edu.