“Virginia’s colleges and universities are anchor institutions for the Commonwealth, and Virginia is widely regarded as having the best array of public and private institutions of higher education in America, as well as powerful workforce development and credentialing programs. COVID-19 has disrupted the education of the 525,335 total students at Virginia institutions this year – 51% of them from underrepresented populations. To address this disruption, reopening higher education in Virginia in a safe and sustainable manner must be a statewide priority. While much can be achieved online, it is also true that the classroom environment, collaboration, and mentoring remain vital.” - Virginia’s “Higher Education Reopening Guidance,” June 11, 2020

A well-known hallmark of the James Madison University educational experience is the rich interaction between our students, faculty and staff in and out of classrooms, studios and laboratories. So it is imperative we work toward bringing students and faculty back to campus for the fall semester. But we must do so safely. 

As directed by Commonwealth officials and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), JMU submitted a campus reopening plan to SCHEV for compliance review. The plan, found here, and by using the left-hand menuhas been reviewed by the State Council of Higher Education and has been found to be compliant in containing the required components of the ‘Higher Education Reopening Guidance,’ which was developed in consultation with the Virginia Department of Health. And while we fully expect plans and operations to evolve as public health guidance shifts, the following principles on which the plans are based will not change:

  • The public health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff are our top considerations.
  • A hallmark of the JMU educational experience is the interaction between our students, faculty and staff in classrooms, studios and labs.
  • An in-person classroom experience for our first-year students is the preferred choice when academic units are evaluating their fall teaching schedule to make necessary modifications.
  • In-person labs and other experiential classes are prioritized when possible.
  • Students should have the opportunity for frequent face-to-face contact with their instructors even when modifications to classes are made based on efforts to increase health and safety.
  • Current and potential class schedule modifications are designed to promote students’ continued and minimally disrupted progress toward attaining their degree during an extended public health emergency

These are unprecedented times and we are deeply thankful to our students, faculty and staff, as well as for our JMU families as we all continue to be a constant wellspring of support for students. For our alumni that continue to fight this pandemic on the frontlines in health care settings and the essential workers keeping our nation going, thank you for all that you do. For those whose health, or the health of a loved one, has been impacted by this disease, we wish you strength and healing. We will continue to update this website as more information becomes available. If you have questions, please be in contact with the relevant department or responsible office so you can get the most efficient and timely response to your question.

List of communications to date

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