Clarifying Message on Classes


The following communication was sent to JMU faculty by Provost Heather Coltman on March 12, 2020.

Dear faculty colleagues,

First of all, thank you to everyone working so hard this week to manage this situation. I very much appreciate all of your efforts and dedication at this time.

Recognizing that we are in a fluid, evolving situation, I know that there was some confusion about the communications from yesterday. I hope that this message clarifies the most commonly-asked questions.

Importantly, faculty need to proactively work with their AUHs to manage their unique situations and resolve concerns in the way they feel works best for their discipline, program and courses. Faculty also need to proactively communicate with students to inform them about changes, encourage them and support them through this challenging time.

  • JMU will not hold in-person classes the week of March 16. 
  • Classes typically delivered face-to-face in a classroom setting are not meeting the week of March 16. Those courses will be transitioned to an online, electronic or distance learning method, and will resume on March 23, and not before. Faculty will communicate with students as to how classes will proceed.
  • Any courses already under way, or slated to start in the second 8-week block of spring term, that are already online, will proceed as regularly scheduled on March 16 in the online format.

Online instruction for most JMU classes will continue until at least April 5. A communication will be issued by March 27 regarding the delivery of course content after April 5. University leadership is evaluating labs, clinical, experiential, studio, performance and other learning situations where online or electronic learning poses unique challenges. 

We also recognize students are participating in external placements in local healthcare, educational and other settings. Students should be in touch with their faculty members regarding these programs as they’ll be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and in partnership with the external agencies.

Please note that the university will be closed on Friday, March 13, as this is a planned holiday for faculty and staff.

Thank you for all that you do.
Heather Coltman


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Published: Friday, March 13, 2020

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 17, 2020

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