Campus Resources and Updates on COVID-19

March 5, 2020

Last updated: 05/21/20.

MBU has announced plans for distribution of CARES Act student relief grants- see FAQ below for details.

Students were notified by email on May 15 about the procedures for returning to campus to retrieve any belongings left in March. Please refer to this email for details.

Based on the best available information at this time, Mary Baldwin University plans to open its residential campus for Fall ’20 and begin classes as scheduled on August 31, 2020. Please see this video message from Dr. Fox or this press release for more details, and watch your email for important updates in the coming weeks and months.

There have been no confirmed COVID-19 cases on the MBU campus, but MBU leaders made the decision to move all undergraduate classes online as public health experts have ramped up caution about its highly contagious nature, how it is transmitted, and the importance of social distancing to stop or slow down the spread of the virus.

The university suspended in-seat classes beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, March 13, and resumed studies via online instruction at 8 a.m., Wednesday, March 18. Instruction will continue online for the remainder of the spring semester (ending April 20) and May Term (read the details of this announcement in this communication from President Pamela Fox).

Please see FAQs below and check back often as this page will be updated as additional guidance becomes available.

Students, please see this video below for a special message from MBU faculty and staff.

Alert Levels

To clearly and succinctly communicate our emergency response status, MBU has designated three levels of alert status:

  • Alert Level 1: No current hazard to campus community. Heightened alert and ongoing planning.
  • Alert Level 2: Elevated risk. Minimal immediate hazard to campus community.
  • Alert Level 3: Pandemic risk. Coordinated response with external agencies. Suspension of in-seat classes and non-essential operations.

Frequently Asked Questions

All Community

  • What are MBU's plans regarding fall semester 2020?
    Based on the best available information at this time, Mary Baldwin University plans to open its residential campus for Fall ’20 and begin classes as scheduled on August 31, 2020. Please see this video message from Dr. Fox or this press release for more details, and watch your email for important updates in the coming weeks and months.
  • Has anyone in the MBU campus community been diagnosed with COVID-19?

    No one in the MBU campus community has been diagnosed with COVID-19 at this time.

  • Where can I go for mental health support?

    Counseling and Psychological Services will have normal hours of operation from Monday–Friday from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. You can contact the office to explore options for virtual sessions at 540-887-7281. You can also contact Dr. Nadia Kuley, director of counseling and psychological services at nkuley@marybaldwin.edu. Additionally, please see this doc for alternative resources.

  • What is the status of Commencement Weekend?

    Mary Baldwin’s traditional Commencement Weekend scheduled for May 15–17 will not take place as planned. Staff have been hard at work these last several weeks to identify viable alternatives and we are pleased to share that we will host a virtual Commencement on Sunday, May 24, and that 2020 graduates will be invited to return to campus for a special class celebration on Saturday, October 10, during MBU Family Weekend. Members of the Class of 2020 are also welcome to walk in the 2021 Commencement ceremony.

    The uncertainty of the public health picture even three to four months from now, combined with a desire to provide graduates and their families with a measure of certainty about this important occasion, led us to rule out the possibility of postponement.

    MBU’s virtual Commencement page will launch on Sunday, May 24 at 10:00 a.m. EDT. It will include video messages from MBU leaders, including degree conferral by President Fox. The site will also feature individual graduate slides that were customized by students to include photos and messages and are shareable on social media and email. Visit this page to learn more and to link to the site on May 24.

    Details of the class celebration slated for Family Weekend have not been determined, but we will look for opportunities to engage student representatives from all programs to help shape this event. The Office of Student Engagement will communicate updates directly with graduates in the coming weeks.

  • What is the status of visitors to campus?

    Students should not invite visitors to campus. The only exception will be for parents or family members picking up students to return home.

    Faculty and staff should shift all meetings to online or teleconference.

    Any remaining essential visitors to campus (including families picking up students) must complete these screening questions prior to visiting campus. A “yes” response to any of these questions disqualifies individuals from visiting campus and alternative arrangements will need to be made.

  • Avoiding stigma associated with COVID-19

    Keeping our community healthy includes treating each other with respect and kindness. The U.S. Department of Education reports a rise in stereotyping, harassment, and bullying related to the virus. This is unacceptable. In accordance with our shared values, all members of our community should act with respect and compassion, no matter the circumstances.

All Students and Families

  • What are MBU's plans for distributing federal emergency relief grants made available by the CARES Act?

    The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law on March 27, 2020, to provide fast and direct economic assistance to American workers, families, and small businesses, and to help preserve jobs. The legislation includes provisions for Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) grants to college students to assist with expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. 

    Mary Baldwin University received $560,000 in direct student relief from the federal government as part of the CARES Act mandate.

    What is MBU’s plan for distributing HEERF relief grants to students?

    All Title IV eligible (federal financial aid eligible) MBU residential and commuter undergraduate students and in-seat graduate program students enrolled in the spring 2020 semester – those students most directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic – will receive a one-time $450 relief check at your home address on file. These funds will not be applied as a credit to existing MBU balances.

    In keeping with the stated purpose of the law to provide fast and direct economic assistance, MBU is taking this blanket distribution approach as it is the quickest way to get relief funds to the students most impacted by the pandemic.

    After this initial disbursement of funds, MBU will determine how to distribute the balance of CARES Act relief funds (approximately $90,000) by the fall. This could include an application process or other approach.

    When will I know if I’m receiving a HEERF grant?

    MBU anticipates mailing relief checks the week of June 1. Individual students receiving HEERF grants will not be notified prior to receiving a check, however, the funds will be reflected in student accounts on or after May 27. Students may check their account statements via MyMBU to determine if they will receive the $450 grant.

     Who is not eligible for CARES Act HEERF grants?

    The CARES Act legislation prohibits universities from issuing HEERF grants to international students, students with DACA status, and students enrolled in online degree programs, regardless of federal financial aid eligibility. 

    What if I have questions about CARES Act relief funds? 

    All questions regarding CARES Act relief should be directed to studentfinance@marybaldwin.edu.

    Click here for CARES Act compliance reporting.

  • Can I still apply for a VFIC emergency assistance grant?

    MBU students previously had the opportunity to apply for emergency assistance grants thanks to funds from the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC). One-hundred percent of the $33,000 in emergency relief funds from VFIC now have been disbursed to students. No additional aid is available from VFIC at this time.

  • Will MBU be issuing refunds for spring 2020 tuition?

    With the ability to continue studies online for spring semester and May Term, graduation timelines, as well as financial aid, thankfully have not been impacted and so there will be no refunds on tuition for the spring semester. Additionally, as MBU reported earlier this year, there will be no tuition increase in the 2020–21 school year.

    MBU is offering refunds/credits for spring semester room and board– see FAQ below.

  • When will we be allowed to return to campus to collect our belongings if we left anything behind?

    Students were notified by email on May 15 about the procedures for returning to campus to retrieve any belongings left in March. Please read this email from Residence Life and Housing carefully for details and refer all questions to reslife@marybaldwin.edu.

  • Is there a pass/no credit option for courses?

    Faculty approved a change to the rules governing the pass/no credit (P/NC) grade option for the remainder of this semester. All undergraduate students can now take up to 4 semester hours as P/NC, and can apply this P/NC option to either a spring semester course or a May Term course. (Because students will be permitted to take up to 4 additional credits of P/NC, it is possible to apply the rule change to more than one course.) You have until the last day of the term (either spring semester or May Term) to change to P/NC. Please reach out to your academic advisor with any questions and to get approval for switching to P/NC. Knowing that students may be facing additional challenges during this uncertain time, the faculty and provost hope this policy change will help ease stress and worry about final grades. An FAQ list with more details about the P/NC option is available here.

  • What can I expect from my online courses?

    Mary Baldwin has offered high-quality online instruction for many years for our distance education students and so we have the Learning Management System infrastructure and support services in place already to meet the needs of our students transitioning online to finish the remainder of their spring semester. Students should expect to be challenged and supported as they were in their residential classes, although the particular assignments and class dynamics may be different in the new medium.

  • If I am sick, will I be penalized for missing an online class or assignment deadline?

    There is no penalty for missing class due to illness, so please take care of yourself and focus on getting better. You should email your professors as soon as possible and let them know that you’re sick. They can advise you on class content and options for making up work, as needed.

  • What are some tips for successful online learning?

    Instructors will share specific advice with students in their courses. In general, students transitioning to online learning need to be purposeful about setting aside enough time to actively participate in and to complete the assigned work in each course. Students should actively seek out help as soon as they perceive the need rather than wait to see if their performance improves.

    Please also see Online Learning: The Top 5 Strategies You Can Use Right Now from the Academic Resource Center (ARC). Visit the ARC page for additional resources and ways to connect with support.

  • Will I be able to schedule meetings with my professors and advisor?

    Faculty and staff will be available by email, phone, and virtual meetings via Google Hangouts. To request a meeting, simply email the faculty or staff member.

  • Is the Academic Resource Center open during this time?

    The Academic Resource Center (ARC) will continue to offer extensive writing, math, and academic subject tutoring help to all MBU students. Students are encouraged to schedule appointments following the instructions on this page.

    For Accessibility Services requests or information, please contact Academic Resource Center Director Dr. Jenny Joczik at vjoczik@marybaldwin.edu.

  • How can I access personal and professional development support from the Vantage Point?

    The Vantage Point will continue to serve all students through this transition. Students can request a virtual meeting with staff via Mary Baldwin University Handshake.

    Currently scheduled career advising appointments will be converted to virtual meetings. If you have an appointment, staff will send you instructions on how to connect via phone or Skype when your meeting date approaches. Follow the office @mbuvantagepoint on Instagram for daily tips and tools on everything personal and professional development. Students are also encouraged to reach out with any questions to Nell Desmond (hdesmond@marybaldwin.edu) or Lindsey Walsh (lmwalsh@marybaldwin.edu).

  • What if I am already enrolled in an online or hybrid course this semester?

    Your courses will all continue as usual. Advisors have begun reaching out to all online students and you should expect to hear from them in the coming days if you haven’t already.

  • Will the move to online classes impact my ability to graduate on time?

    No. The university has made a commitment to ensuring that our students’ path to a degree will not be hindered by the disruption caused by this pandemic.

  • When will housing selection for the next academic year take place?

    Information regarding the housing selection process will be sent to students in April.

  • What is the status of registration for Summer '20 and Fall '20 classes?

    Academic advising and Summer ’20 and Fall ’20 course registration for all returning students is proceeding as scheduled. The registration process will remain open through April 20 to accommodate any students who have scheduling difficulties.

  • Will annual end-of-year honors and awards be given?

    Yes. The process of awarding them remains to be determined, but all honors and awards that are part of the traditional academic year at Mary Baldwin will be presented this year.

  • I have a work study job. What is my status?

    Please see this memo detailing Student Employment procedures that we will follow for the remainder of the Spring semester (ending April 20) for students who have returned home, for commuter students, and for students approved to remain on campus. Information regarding May Term will be sent out at the end of the Spring semester.

    MBU’s goal is for students to continue to receive the financial support from work study that they expected to receive for the remainder of this semester, and for this transition to be as smooth and stress-free as possible. The Financial Aid Office remains open and students should feel free to contact the office with questions at finaid@marybaldwin.edu or 540-887-7288.

  • Will my financial aid for spring 2020 be impacted?

    As students are continuing studies online, financial aid should not be impacted.

  • If I (or a parent or spouse) have lost income due to COVID-19, what does it mean for my financial aid?

    The 2020-21 FAFSA must be completed using the family’s 2018 income information. However, financial aid administrators have the authority to use professional judgement to review and make adjustments on a case-by-case basis. We understand that COVID-19 may have had a significant impact on your family’s income. If this is the case, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at finaid@marybaldwin.edu or 540-887-7022. They can make a determination regarding the criteria of a change, and if so, provide you with the form and specific request for documentation.

Residential Students Who Returned Home

  • Will MBU issue refunds for spring 2020 room and board fees to residential students?

    While we recognize the need to address students’ loss of services, MBU must also meet its financial obligations to maintain the financial health of the university. The university must maintain personnel costs associated with housing administration and operation. Likewise, dining services must pay an outside contractor for all labor and associated costs of its operations. 

    Guided by our mission, administrators have developed solutions designed to keep you on track to earn your degree, while also working to ensure that the unchanged costs of the university remain covered. As a result, we will offer to students the following:

     

    Residential Seniors

    Graduating seniors will receive a one-time cash refund or credit against unpaid balances equivalent to 45% of semester room and board fees, less 30% to cover the university’s ongoing financial obligations. MBU will send seniors their refund checks via U.S. mail after May Term.

    Example:

    Spring semester room and board (Ultimate 19): $4,865

    Unused portion (45%): $2,189

    30% reduction for fixed costs: $657

    Final adjusted credit/refund: $1,532

     

    Returning Residential Students

    • Room and Board Credit

    Returning students will receive a credit to their account equivalent to 45% of semester room and board fees, less 30% to cover the university’s ongoing financial obligations. After funds are applied to balances owed for spring semester 2020, any remaining funds will carry forward as a credit toward fall 2020 room and board charges. 

    Example:

    Spring semester room and board (Ultimate 19): $4,865

    Unused portion (45%): $2,189

    30% reduction for fixed costs: $657

    Final adjusted credit: $1,532

    • Summer Learning Grant 

    Returning residential students will be given a grant equivalent to $1,380 that applies exclusively to registering for one online MBU summer class at no cost to enable them to maintain progress toward graduation. Remember to reach out to your academic advisor for guidance about what courses to take to stay on track with your major or meet general education requirements. To claim the credit, simply register online through MyMBU by June 1. 

    • Savings in 2020–21

    As MBU reported earlier this year, there will be no tuition increase in 2020–21, and the planned 3% increase in room and board fees has been deferred and will not take effect next year.

  • Why is my refund/credit amount different from another student's?

    Student refund/credit amounts will vary depending on an individual student’s housing costs (premium location, etc.), meal plan cost, and any discounts that may have been applied (RAs, triple room, etc.). If you live in premium housing and/or have a more expensive meal plan, your refund/credit may be larger than someone with a less expensive meal plan and/or someone who lives in standard housing, and vice versa.

  • If I am a returning student who is not planning to live on campus in the fall, can I get a refund instead of a credit?

    Returning students who do not plan to live on campus next year will have their credit applied to fall 2020 tuition.

    REMINDER: Any student planning to live off campus must first be approved to do so. To request approval, please complete the Request to Move Off-Campus form.

  • What if my financial aid covers all of my charges (tuition, room and board, and fees) for the fall? Can I have a refund now?

    If after your fall charges are applied you have a credit balance due to your financial aid, that funding will be refunded to you in October. If that credit balance is due to loan funding, you are welcome to contact the financial aid office at finaid@marybaldwin.edu or 540-887-7022 and reduce your loans.

     

     

  • If I am an underclassman who is not planning to return to MBU in the fall, can I get a refund instead of a credit?

    One of the guiding principles in determining how we respond to this pandemic as an institution, and specifically in how we handle the issue of refunds and credits, is to ensure that we do everything possible to help students graduate from MBU. We are looking forward to the day that we can welcome students back to campus, and until then, we will continue to offer online instruction and support, all with the goal of keeping students on a path toward earning their degree in a timely fashion. Students who choose not to return to Mary Baldwin in fall 2020 will forfeit their credit and will not be eligible for a cash refund.

    Students planning to withdraw or transfer from MBU are asked to complete a Notice of Withdrawal form.

  • What if I still have questions about room and board refunds/credits?

    Please send all refund/credit questions to studentfinance@marybaldwin.edu.

  • What are some tips for managing my time effectively?

    Make a weekly calendar that includes your academic class schedule, study time, fitness, work, virtual meetings to stay connected with your MBU family, faculty advisor, coach, SGA, and clubs.

  • Is the Academic Resource Center open to me during this time?

    The Academic Resource Center (ARC) will continue to offer extensive writing, math, and academic subject tutoring help to all MBU students. Students are encouraged to schedule appointments following the instructions on this page.

    For Accessibility Services requests or information, please contact Academic Resource Center Director Dr. Jenny Joczik at vjoczik@marybaldwin.edu.

  • How can I access personal and professional development support from the Vantage Point?

    The Vantage Point will continue to serve all students through this transition. Students can request a virtual meeting with staff via Mary Baldwin University Handshake.

    Currently scheduled career advising appointments will be converted to virtual meetings. If you have an appointment, staff will send you instructions on how to connect via phone or Skype when your meeting date approaches. Follow the office @mbuvantagepoint on Instagram for daily tips and tools on everything personal and professional development. Students are also encouraged to reach out with any questions to Nell Desmond (hdesmond@marybaldwin.edu) or Lindsey Walsh (lmwalsh@marybaldwin.edu).

  • What if I'm having trouble accessing classes online?

    Students who have returned home and are experiencing unanticipated issues completing their courses online should contact the Office of Student Engagement for support at studentsengage@marybaldwin.edu.

Residential Students Remaining on Campus

  • What campus services are available to me?

    Dining Services
    Effective Monday, March 16, Hunt Dining Hall will be closed.

    Effective Thursday, March 19, meal service from the University Cafe will shift to a take-out only in an effort to limit gatherings of more than 10 people. Students will be required to schedule their pickup in advance using this link.

    You will need to sign up for a 20-minute time slot that you will pick up your meal. Only sign up for ONE time slot per meal. After signing up, you will receive a confirmation email. When you walk up to the counter you will present the email via your mobile device.  Please note that you are able to come at any time during the 20-minute time slot, but you will need to leave the Cafe before the time slot ends.

    To accommodate these changes, University Cafe will offer expanded hours of operation:

    • Monday through Friday 
      • Breakfast 8–11 a.m. 
      • Lunch 11 a.m.–4 p.m. 
      • Dinner 4–6:30 p.m.
    • Saturday and Sunday 
      • Lunch 11 a.m.–4 p.m. 
      • Dinner 4–6:30 p.m.


    Academic Resource Center

    The ARC will continue to offer extensive writing, math, and academic subject tutoring help to all MBU students. Students are encouraged to schedule appointments following the instructions on this page.

    For Accessibility Services requests or information, please contact Academic Resource Center Director Dr. Jenny Joczik at vjoczik@marybaldwin.edu.

    The Spencer Center for Civic & Global Engagement
    Christina Harrison and Charis Tucker will be in the office and available to provide support for students interested in civic or global engagement and study abroad plans Monday – Friday, 9 am – 5 pm. Please use this link to schedule an appointment or email them directly at charrison@marybaldwin.edu or ctucker@marybaldwin.edu.

    The Spencer Center is making plans to offer the following Spencer Center programs virtually: the Social Justice Action Group (Thursdays from 6:00-7:00 pm), COSMOS events, and Language Hours. Watch for a list of online resources and webinars about civic engagement, as well as the virtual Reveal Party for the 2020-2021 Civic & Global Engagement Theme.

    Vantage Point: Office of Personal and Professional Development
    The Vantage Point will continue to serve students through this transition. Students can request a virtual meeting with staff via Mary Baldwin University Handshake.

    Currently scheduled career advising appointments will be converted to virtual meetings. If you have an appointment, staff will send you instructions on how to connect via phone or Skype when your meeting date approaches. Follow the office @mbuvantagepoint on Instagram for daily tips and tools on everything personal and professional development. Students are also encouraged to reach out with any questions to Nell Desmond (hdesmond@marybaldwin.edu) or Lindsey Walsh (lmwalsh@marybaldwin.edu).

    Computer Labs
    Based on the needs of our on-campus population, the following computer labs will remain open: WEN 401 and WEN 402.

    Campus Safety
    The Office of Campus Safety and Security will maintain normal, 24/7 operating hours. You may contact them at 540-887-7000 or safety@marybaldwin.edu.

    Maintenance Issues
    If you have facility maintenance issues to report, submit using this link. If your maintenance issue is an emergency, call Campus Safety 540-887-7000.

    Health Services
    Health Services will operate under normal business hours. PLEASE also review this recommended guidance from the Health Center. If you have any questions you can contact the health center at (540-887-7095). The hours of operation will be:

    Monday through Friday

    • 9:00 am-5:00 pm

    Saturday and Sunday

    • Closed
    • If you need medical attention, please CALL the emergency department of Augusta Health at 540-332-4444 or the Urgent Care Clinic on Statler Boulevard at 540-245-7470.


    Counseling & Psychological Services

    Counseling services will have normal hours of operation during the week. They can be contacted at 540-887-7281. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency when the office is closed please call campus security at 540-887-7000. Please also see this list of mental health resources available to you. The hours of operation will be:

    Monday through Friday

    • 9:00 am-4:30 pm

    Saturday and Sunday

    • Closed


    Student Engagement & Residence Life

    The Offices of Student Engagement (Kable House) and Residence Life & Housing (Chris House) will be open this week during the below noted hours to answer any questions that you may have. You can also contact the office at 540-887-7221 or studentsengage@marybaldwin.edu.

    Monday through Friday

    • 8:30 am-4:30 pm

    Saturday and Sunday

    • Closed
  • What campus services are closed during this period?

    The following are closed, effective May 18:

    • Grafton Library (Please note that you will still be able to access library resources through the library’s website. Questions regarding library services can be sent to ask@marybaldwin.edu.)
    • Center for Student Success (services available online; see above FAQs)
    • Physical Activities Center
    • Campus Store
    • All computer labs except WEN 401 and 402

    Many campus buildings will be closed. If you need access to a building to get work or school materials, please contact Campus Safety at 540-887-7000.

  • What are best practices for social distancing while I remain on campus?
    • Keep at least six feet between yourself and another person in all public places
    • Avoid close contact, including handshakes and hugging
    • Limit in-person meetings whenever possible
  • If I still plan to leave campus, do I need to move all of my belongings out of my dorm room?

    Students may leave non-essential belongings in their dorm room. Be sure to discard perishable food items and take ALL valuables with you before you leave campus. If in-seat classes do not resume in May, you will need to return to campus to retrieve the rest of your belongings.

  • What if I feel ill?

    Notify MBU’s Student Health Clinic at 540-887-7095 or your doctor’s office as soon as possible, and let them know your symptoms and concerns. Giving them advance notice of your arrival helps them prepare a safe waiting area for you and all other patients in the clinic. Medical personnel will ask you questions about your symptoms and recent activities including travel, take your vital signs, run tests, and advise you about next steps.

    Your healthcare professional will work with the local health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19. Testing is currently only available with coordination and authorization by the Virginia Department of Health.

    On the recommendation of health experts, we advise anyone who is ill or thinks he or she may be ill to stay home from class and/or work and seek medical care as necessary.

  • I'm worried about someone who might be sick or have been exposed to COVID-19. What should I do?

    Speak to a member of the Student Engagement team, and alert us to your concerns right away. We can assist with communicating with the individual and recommending next steps to them, and will also work to protect the confidentiality of students and their concerns.

Faculty and Staff

  • What are best practices for social distancing if I am working on campus?
    • Keep at least six feet between yourself and another person in all public places, including your office.
    • Avoid close contact, including handshakes and hugging.
    • Limit in-person meetings whenever possible- reference tools for collaborating online.
  • How should I prepare to work from home?
    • Take laptops, chargers, and any other essential items home every night
    • Ensure that Global Protect has been installed on your university laptop so that you can access shared drives (see this doc for instructions)
    • Move daily work files to Google Drive if you will not be using a university laptop at home
  • How can I stay connected and collaborate remotely with students and colleagues if needed?

    Please consult these tips for working remotely and these step-by-step tutorials for using Gchat and Blackboard Collaborate (for faculty) prepared by OIT.

    To help facilitate the transition to online instruction, OIT will offer extended Help Desk hours from 8 am – 10 pm through Friday, March 20.

    All faculty and staff are reminded to request support through the Help Desk system- please do not call or email individuals for help. The Help Desk system is the most expedient way to get help. You can submit your request online or email support@marybaldwin.edu.

  • Am I allowed to work 100% from home at this time?

    First and foremost, ANYONE WHO IS SICK IS REQUIRED TO STAY HOME. If you are out of paid sick leave, you will be given additional paid sick leave to accommodate your needs.

    At this time, anyone with the following conditions should work from home. If you cannot complete your job duties remotely, please contact your supervisor to discuss options.

    • Immuno-deficient or immuno-deficient member of your household
    • Medical condition that places you in a high-risk group
    • Pregnant
    • 65 years of age or older

    Additionally, if you are able to perform your job duties remotely, you may work from home. Please consult with your supervisor immediately to align on expectations and requirements for fully remote work as it pertains to your job. If you cannot complete your job duties remotely, but have an extreme hardship situation, please contact your supervisor.

    Essential personnel will continue to report to campus as needed in order to perform the requirements of your role. Members of the Executive Staff and other supervisors will notify you if you are considered essential staff.

  • I am in the midst of an open search. Should I suspend it?

    Decisions about which searches will continue will be made and communicated by Executive Staff members. When a search is authorized to proceed to the interview stage, candidates will generally not be brought to campus. See tools for online meetings to facilitate interviews from a distance.

Alumni

  • What is the status of Homecoming Weekend, including Reunions and the Women’s Leadership Symposium?

    In the interest of the health and safety of our alumni and the broader community, Homecoming Weekend and Reunion activities scheduled for April 2–5, 2020 have been canceled. The Women’s Leadership Symposium has been postponed and now will take place October 23-24, 2020.

    Our team is convening to explore ways that we can deliver programming that is relevant and of interest to our alumni community through virtual platforms, and we look forward to sharing an update with you soon.

    For alumni who have paid registration fees for Homecoming activities, the university will gladly refund your registration fees. If you would like to have your refund applied to the Baldwin Fund, the Office of University Advancement can do so and will issue you a tax receipt for your donation and records. Please email alumni@marybaldwin.edu to indicate your preference for a donation or refund.

    If you have made reservations at a Staunton-area hotel for Homecoming, you will need to call and cancel your reservation with the property directly.

  • What is the status of regional alumni chapter events?

    Again, in the interest of health and safety, Mary Baldwin regional chapter events are canceled for the foreseeable future. This includes the March 19 Richmond Alumni Chapter event with Dr. Carey Usher.

Prospective Students

Valley Mission Partnership

  • Why is MBU housing Valley Mission clients in Tullidge Residence Hall?

    As in most communities, there is significant concern about community spread of COVID-19 in Staunton. MBU is providing Valley Mission clients with temporary housing in an effort to reduce the risk of infection among all Mission residents, and the Staunton-Augusta community at large.

    The conditions at the Valley Mission shelter do not provide adequate space for social distancing among the Mission’s approximately 80 residents. To reduce the risk of the deadly virus spreading among the shelter population (and Staunton), about 30 of the Mission’s more vulnerable clients have been moved to Tullidge where they can adequately distance themselves from other clients. There is no private residence where these individuals can be accommodated.

  • How is a dorm safe for Valley Mission clients, but not MBU students?

    When it comes to staying healthy in a global pandemic, there are degrees of safety, none of which are absolute. However, for MBU students living in dormitories, the safer option was for students to return home, and not continue to share classroom, living, dining, and bathroom facilities with hundreds of other students. This was also the safer path for faculty and staff, and for the Staunton community, which MBU is also obliged to consider.

    Absent a home, it is safer for Valley Mission clients to stay at MBU than in the shelter. It is not as safe as being in a private residence, but it is the best option for this population in these extraordinary circumstances.

  • I am a resident of Tullidge Residence Hall who left belongings in my room. What is the status of my belongings?

    While Tullidge residents were initially notified that their belongings would be packed and stored in Kable, they have been left undisturbed in students’ assigned rooms with the rooms securely locked and sealed. When students are allowed to return to campus to collect belongings, you will receive a communication with special instructions for retrieving items from Tullidge.

Operational Status

  • Why is MBU encouraging students to go home?

    Although we do not have any confirmed COVID-19 cases on campus, we are heeding the caution of public health experts about its highly contagious nature, how it is transmitted, and the importance of social distancing to stop or slow down the spread of the virus. Our goal is simple: decrease the number of situations that require community members to gather in large groups and to minimize the time spent in close proximity with each other. From this point forward, we strongly encourage anyone remaining on campus to:

    • Keep at least six feet between yourself and another person in all public places
    • Avoid close contact, including handshakes and hugging
    • Limit in-person meetings
  • What is the status of MBU regional centers?

    MBU regional centers will follow the operating status of their host institutions.

Prevention

  • What should individuals do to prevent the spread of illness?

    The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends common sense, everyday preventive actions to help fight the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

    • Stay home to the greatest extent possible.
    • If you are sick, stay home and contact your health care provider for instructions.
    • Wash your hands often and well:
      • Wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (think of singing the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end two times).  
      • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (additional hand sanitizer stations have been procured and will be posted at building entrances).
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Use your elbow if no tissue is available. 
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
    • Get a flu vaccine (see below for more).
  • Do I need a mask?

    Health authorities and the Commonwealth of Virginia are now advising people to wear face coverings when they leave their homes to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Medical grade masks are not necessary; according to the CDC, “cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.”

     

     

  • Should I get a flu shot?

    Anyone who has not received a vaccine against influenza this season is encouraged to get the vaccine. Flu activity has been very high in the local area this season, and is expected to continue throughout the next several months in the United States. The Student Health Clinic can administer the vaccine or refer you to another provider if necessary. (There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection.)

  • What preventive measures is MBU taking to reduce the risk of infection spreading on campus? 

    We are following the most updated information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and the Virginia Department of Health about recommendations for monitoring and testing of COVID-19. MBU’s executive staff and incident response team are tracking developments and coordinating campus resources, responses, and communications.

    MBU is taking the following specific preventive actions:
    • Cleaning crews are increasing the cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces and restrooms in university buildings, residence halls, and recreation facilities.
    • Individuals visiting the student health clinic are being screened for recent international travel (using CDC recommended screening protocol) and will be asked about their health and current symptoms. Medical personnel will recommend additional testing and actions as needed in coordination with the health department.
    • On the recommendation of health experts, the university is encouraging anyone who is ill or thinks they may be ill to stay home from class and from work and seek medical care as necessary. Faculty have received guidance on ways to accommodate students who may need to temporarily complete assignments remotely.
    • The university’s response plan has been updated, and all departments have been alerted to best practices and protocols in case of a more localized outbreak of the disease. The university will communicate important updates and timely information with students, parents, faculty, and staff, as the need arises.

Preparedness

  • How is MBU preparing for a potential outbreak?

    The university has a pandemic illness plan in place, which has been reviewed and modified to apply to the specific circumstances of a potential COVID-19 outbreak. Dr. Deborah “Deb” Greubel, dean and vice president of the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences, is leading the university’s official preparedness and response efforts. Dr. Greubel is a doctor of nursing practice and a captain in the United States Navy with extensive experience in leading healthcare teams.

    As part of this plan, university officials are monitoring closely the rapidly evolving situation around COVID-19 and following guidelines set forth by the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and coordinating with local partners at Augusta Health and the Staunton-Augusta Health Department.

    To clearly and succinctly communicate our emergency response status, MBU has designated three levels of alert status:

    • Alert Level 1: No current hazard to campus community. Heightened alert and ongoing planning.
    • Alert Level 2: Elevated risk. Minimal immediate hazard to campus community.
    • Alert Level 3: Pandemic risk. Coordinated response with external agencies. Suspension of classes and non-essential operations.

    The current alert status will be noted at the top of this page at all times. If there is a change in status, the campus community will be notified and provided any necessary guidance.

  • What protocols are in place at the Student Health Clinic?

    Student Health Clinic personnel are on alert for any patients coming to the clinic with fever and respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath) who have been traveling internationally during the 14 days before illness onset or who have been exposed to someone diagnosed with and/or exposed to COVID-19.

    Any patient suspected of infection with COVID-19 is placed on infection protocol immediately. Suspect patients are asked to wear a surgical mask as soon as they are identified and are evaluated in a private room with the door closed. Health care personnel entering the room use standard precautions to protect themselves from becoming infected.

  • What is the local hospital and are they prepared to deal with suspected and/or confirmed cases?

    MBU has a close relationship with our local hospital Augusta Health, and the university is coordinating with them in the event of a COVID-19 case on campus or a local outbreak of the disease.  

    Augusta Health has plans in place to respond to any infectious disease incident or emerging pathogen such as COVID-19. They also collaborate closely with the Virginia Department of Health, and should there be an occurrence of COVID-19 at the hospital, information will be shared regularly with the community.

    The hospital’s response plan to care for patients suspected to have COVID-19 includes procedures for: assessment of patients arriving at the emergency department or ambulatory locations; patient isolation; team member safety and health; investigation and testing; and the cleaning and disinfecting of the physical environment. For more information on Augusta Health’s preparations, please visit their coronavirus FAQ page.

International Travel

Communication