Parents and Families - March 20, 2020

Winthrop Families,

I understand that our Student Affairs division has been sharing information with all of you so that you, too, may remain informed as we share information about remote learning and other topics with your student. Today I would like to reassure you of plans to keep teaching and learning moving forward, as well as ensuring the safety and health of our campus community. As you may know, with the Governor’s directive yesterday, we will be extending remote instruction through the end of the semester and have postponed our May Commencement ceremonies.

Academic Affairs Updates

First, we are committed to completing this semester and ensuring our graduating students meet their requirements for graduation. Our talented faculty and academic support staff have been working overtime to prepare for the shift to remote instruction beginning Monday, March 23, and ensure our students continue to receive high quality learning experiences.

We know our students are concerned about their ability to complete their work this semester. Please reassure them that the remote instruction preparations underway will give them a pathway to complete all coursework and get full credit for courses this semester. Where adjustments have to be made, faculty are at work making those adjustments. If students have specific concerns about the transition to remote instruction, please encourage them to reach out to their faculty. They are the front line of academic support. For international students returning to their home countries, faculty are prepared to work with them to complete all coursework remotely as well.

Advising sessions for fall 2020 registration also will happen remotely, so our faculty and staff are working to make sure we have processes in place to support that important work as well. Parents and extended family can partner with us in this regard by encouraging students to keep checking their email and texts, look for communications from advisors as well as faculty, and be prepared to discuss degree progress and completion plans. We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure that our students all make steady progress toward their goals.

Finally, we know that many students are concerned about completing their cultural events credits for the semester. For seniors graduating in May and August 2020, all remaining cultural events credits will be waived, as long as all other degree requirements are met. For non-graduating students, they will have ample time in the future to work on this degree requirement. 

Student Affairs Updates

Secondly, we have taken steps to limit the number of individuals on campus and thus the potential for COVID-19 spread. We have closed the residence halls to all students but those with severely extenuating circumstances. Our Dining Services staff will provide pick-up meals to students remaining with us. Our on-campus dining locations are closed.

To ensure that students receive appropriate support during this stressful time, the following guidance is offered to students and families:

· Students who are currently engaged with Counseling Services or Student Advocacy and Trauma Support counseling should check their email for messages from their counselor about telemental health needs. Please visit the Center for Student Wellness webpage for more information.

· Office of Accessibility (OA) staff are available for students via email. OA can then explore options such as Skype, telephone, or other online options to engage in discussion and conversation. OA staff can be reached at

· Health Services is offering telephone triage appointments for eligible students during the remote instruction time period. Please visit the Center for Student Wellness webpage for more information.

· The Dean of Students Office is available to assist with resource needs. Students may reach out to Assistant Dean of Students, Miranda Knight, at with questions and concerns. As there will likely be a delay in responding and limited options on campus, please call 211from your cell phone or visit for immediate assistance with resources.

· The Center for Career Development and Internships (CDI) will continue to provide career services to students virtually and by phone. To make a career consultation appointment, students should visit the CDI website and press the “Book Now” button. Next day resume reviews are still available to them through EAGLELINK.

General Updates 

As you know, the Winthrop campus is closed. Essential employees are working, including those who are deep cleaning campus facilities and preparing for the campus community’s eventual return. All internal and external events have been cancelled for the immediate future. 

Finally, we know inancial concerns are paramount to many of you. I am working with the university’s Board of Trustees and senior leadership to provide answers as soon as possible. All decisions on refunds, credits, Commencement and other concerns will be communicated to students and parents as soon as possible. 

The COVID-19 situation remains very fluid. These are challenging and unprecedented times. Please do not hesitate to reach out using the links and contacts above if you have specific questions or needs with regard to your student. Thank you for the patience you have shown as we work through extraordinary circumstances and do our part to reduce the spread of this virus. Nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of our students. Thank you for entrusting them to our care.  


George W. Hynd 

Interim President