In April 2020, President Will Dudley formed a Contingency Planning Task Force to consider the COVID-19 impact on academics, student life, enrollment, employment and finances for a variety of scenarios that the university may face in the 2020-21 academic year. It remains the university's goal to reopen campus for in-person instruction in Fall 2020, assuming the university can do so safely and in accordance with prevailing guidelines from health and government officials.
The task force was charged with developing recommendations on how W&L can secure continuity of instruction and offer the best possible education to our students while allowing for the possibility of ongoing social distancing requirements and potential disruptions to the university's traditional academic calendar.
Scenarios investigated by the task force and its associated working groups include:
- Return to campus by students, faculty and staff in the fall.
- A hybrid Instruction model, with a portion of the academic year held on campus and a portion with students completing coursework at home / remotely.
- Fully virtual instruction for fall term.
- The return to campus of a limited number of students due to restrictions on the facilities and services available.
The Contingency Planning Task Force was composed of four main working groups - Academics, Student Life, Finance and Employment, and Admissions and Enrollment - with representatives from the undergraduate and law faculty, staff, students and the Board of Trustees. They reported their findings to President Dudley and the Board of Trustees in early June 2020.
COVID-19 Contingency Planning Task Force Membership
- Chair: Steve McAllister, vice president of finance and university treasurer
- Marc Conner, provost and Jo and James Ballengee Professor of English
- Tim Diette, senior advisor to the president for strategic analysis and professor of economics
- Sidney Evans, vice president for student affairs and dean of students
- Brant Hellwig, dean of the law school and professor of law
- Lena Hill, dean of the College and professor of English
- Elizabeth Oliver, interim provost and Lewis Whitaker Adams Professor of Accounting
- Craig Owens, trustee
- Lynn Rainville, director of institutional history and museums, professor of anthropology
- Sally Stone Richmond, vice president of admissions and financial aid
- David Saacke, chief information officer
- Rob Straughan, Crawford Family Dean of the Williams School and professor of business administration
- Jessica Willett, chief communications officer
Members of Core Working Groups
- Academic Working Group: Elizabeth Oliver, Marc Conner, Brant Hellwig, Lena Hill, Rob Straughan, Lynn Rainville, Jim Lynn Casey, Jonathan Eastwood, Jemma Levy, Toni Locyi
- Law Academic Working Group: Brant Hellwig, David Baluarte, Beth Belmont, Brandon Hasbrouck, J.D. King
- Student Life Working Group: Sidney Evans, Chase Calhoun (student), Caleb Dance, Brant Hellwig, Jane Horton, Dave Leonard, Lauryn McCray (student), Brooke O'Brien, Sally Richmond
- Enrollment/Admissions Working Group: Sally Richmond, Tim Diette, Brant Hellwig
- Finance and Employment Working Group: Steve McAllister, Tim Diette, Drew Hess, Mary Main, Lynn Rainville
Members of Topic-Specific Working Groups
- Athletics: Sally Richmond, Grace Amaden (student-athlete), Jan Hathorn, Sidney Evans, Lena Hill, Ned Mize (student athlete), Brooke O'Brien, Josh Williamson
- Testing and Contact Tracing: Jane Horton, Sidney Evans, Sally Kirkland, David Saacke, Bill Hamilton, David Marsh, Greg Whitworth
- Classrooms and Learning Spaces: Elizabeth Oliver, Sidney Evans, Tom Kalasky, Hugh Latimer, Toni Locy, David Saacke, Steve McAllister
- Events and Visitors: Sally Richmond, Sidney Evans, John Jensen, Ethan Kipnes, Barb Mollica, Brian Murchison, Mary Webster, Jessica Willett
- Academic Technologies and Virtual Instruction: Elizabeth Oliver, Paul Hanstedt, Julie Knudson, David Saacke, Paul Youngman
- Return to Work: Mary Main, Jennifer Kirkland, Steve McAllister, Rob Straughan
- Dining: K.C. Schaefer, Sidney Evans, Jen Hickey, Steve McAllister
- Sourcing and Procurement - COVID-19: K.C. Schaefer, Sidney Evans, Jane Horton, Tom Kalasky, Dave Leonard, Debbie Weinerth
- Opening of School: Dave Leonard, Lourdes Arana (student - head CA), Sidney Evans, Ethan Kipnes, Donald LeCompte (student - head RA), Jason Rodocker, Maryanne Simurda, Debbie Weinerth, Julie Woodzicka, Paul Youngman
- Legal and Liability Exposures: Jennifer Kirkland, Sidney Evans, Lauren Kozak, Mary Main, Steve McAllister, James Shewey (RCM&D)
- Greek Life: Megan Hobbs, Leah Beard, Rives Castleman (student IFC president), Sidney Evans, Chris Reid, Jamie Winslett (student NPC president)
- Student Health Services: Jane Horton, Matt Crance, Sidney Evans, Jennifer Kirkland, James Shewey (RCM&D)