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Coronavirus

September 15, 2020

The health and well-being of our students and all members of our community is King’s priority as we continually monitor the rapidly evolving information regarding the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak. This page is intended to provide information about Coronavirus, precautions and preventive measures to take, and details specifically related to the impact this virus may have on the University.

King has established a university response team that is meeting daily to share information and updates, discuss planning and preparation details, and coordinate resources in response to the virus.  We continue to monitor reports and communicate with local and regional government officials and experts, as well as relevant educational partners and oversight agencies to best address the needs of the members of our University community.

We encourage everyone to seek the most reliable and up-to-date information about the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak. Such sources include the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, the Tennessee Department of Health, and the Virginia Department of Health. Particularly with the spring and summer travel seasons forthcoming, please consult resources for travelers, such as the CDC’s travel notices.

Executive Summary of the King University Reopening Planning and Policy Document

The Executive Summary of the King University Reopening Planning and Policy Document presents the critical elements of the school’s processes and guidelines for reopening its campuses for the Fall 2020 semester. King University students and employees may view the full Reopening Planning and Policy Document by accessing their University Portal.

View the executive summary

 

The Latest News

September 15, 2020

For King University Students:

Please access your King University email to view a video message from President Whitaker.

Recent Updates

We are pleased to inform you that the Business Office has now resumed normal working hours of 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Dear December Graduates:

It is with regret we announce King University’s fall graduation ceremony, originally scheduled for this upcoming December 12th, will be postponed because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It appears there will not be an available indoor venue in December where we could fulfill all social distance requirements necessary to hold such a large gathering, and December weather precludes our holding the ceremony outside.

Please note that all students completing degree requirements this fall semester will have their degrees conferred as normal and on time in December; we simply will postpone the ceremony honoring your achievement to a later date.

We will provide updates and more specific details about the delayed ceremony when we know more. Depending upon the state of the pandemic, it is possible we could have the ceremony during the spring semester. It is more likely, however, that this will happen the same weekend as the ceremony for spring 2021 graduates at the conclusion of the spring semester. Therefore, please hold May 1st and 2nd on your calendars for that reason.

Please monitor your King emails for updates, as well as King’s official Coronavirus webpage (www.king.edu/coronavirus) and the University’s graduation website (www.king.edu/graduation).

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we endeavor to celebrate your accomplishments in a safe and responsible manner.

Sincerely,

Dr. Matt Roberts, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dr. Rob Littleton, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

For King University Students:

Please access the University’s student Portal for information regarding the Fall 2020 Campus Covenant. This document outlines the responsibilities of our students as members of King’s Christian academic community. Our students play an important role in helping to keep our campus communities safe and reducing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In keeping with our mission of being thoughtful, responsible, and resourceful citizens, it is vital that our students take the necessary precautions to stay well and help protect others as we begin the Fall 2020 semester.

The Conference Carolinas Board of Directors have postponed all fall sports competition until the spring of 2021 after extensive deliberation. Complete details can be found on the conference website.

At this time, the plan for King Athletics and the upcoming Fall 2020 semester can be found below. King University remains committed to providing a meaningful athletic experience as a fundamental component of our overall educational mission. Guidance from a variety of governing authorities, including the NCAA, CDC, and Tennessee Department of Health, is constantly being considered and applied to provide the safest environment possible for our student athletes.

King Athletics Plan for Fall 2020

  • Men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, women’s triathlon, and women’s volleyball will conduct their non-championship segment during Fall 2020, with a focus on individual skill development and training.
    • As COVID-19 testing becomes more available and feasible, these sports will be permitted to compete in the non-championship segment, per existing NCAA bylaws.
    • NCAA guidance will be followed according to the NCAA-identified risk category for each sport.
  • Men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, baseball, and softball will conduct their standard Fall non-championship segment during Fall 2020, with a focus on individual skill development and training.
    • As COVID-19 testing becomes more available and feasible, these sports will be permitted to compete in the non-championship segment, per existing NCAA bylaws.
    • NCAA guidance will be followed according to the NCAA-identified risk category for each sport.
  • The non-NCAA sports of men’s and women’s cycling, esports, bass fishing, and cheerleading will conduct their standard seasons in the Fall, following the NCAA resocialization guidance for low-risk and medium-risk sports as appropriate.
  • Men’s and women’s swimming and men’s and women’s track and field, as low-risk sports, will proceed with their championship segment as planned and as permissible by existing NCAA bylaws.
  • At this time, men’s volleyball, acrobatics and tumbling, men’s and women’s basketball, and men’s and women’s wrestling will conduct their normal out-of-season segment. As the date for the first permissible practice in the championship segment approaches, these sports will be re-evaluated by King University and Conference Carolinas.

Below is a summary of information that was recently sent to King’s residential students from the Office of Student Affairs:

  • Residential students are to schedule a residence hall check-in time if they have not already done so with the Office of Residence Life. Students received these details by email a few weeks ago.
  • Residential students arriving on campus during August 19 through 23 should enter the campus through the main entrance where they and their guests will be asked to answer screening questions and have temperatures taken. Residential students were also reminded of details concerning masks requirements, ID cards, and residence halls policies.
  • Students were informed of a new website and app for student activities and given the information to access those resources.
  • New students were reminded of details for Launch, King’s orientation program, which will be held August 21 through 23. The Launch schedule can be found here.

Launch – Opening Weekend Office Protocol

The protocol applies to the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester as students return to campus.

Office of Registration and Records (King Building 1st Floor):

This office is set up to accept guests at the counter. Computers covered with Plexiglas and a divider in the middle so that individuals cannot cross over to the other doorway entrance.

For check-in days (August 20-21, and 23), there will be one doorway used as an entrance and the other as an exit. Guests will need to enter the front doors of the King Building to access the Registration & Records Office. Those unable to stop by can email registrar@king.edu.

  • Holds for Transcripts:
    Questions about holds for final transcripts can be directed to the Office of Registration & Records at registrar@king.edu or 423-652-6317.
  • Military Benefits:
    Mrs. Swiney, VA School Certifying Official will be available to meet with individuals with questions at the Office of Registration & Records. Questions can also be sent to veteranbenefits@king.edu.
  • Student Release of Confidential Information Form (SRCI Pin Code):
    This form is used to authorize the release of confidential information from a student’s education record. The student creates a pin code for a specific individual. The authorized individual listed to receive or request information from a student’s educational record. Educational records include official transcript, mid-term grades, class schedules, billing statements, financial aid records, letters of reprimand, and other disciplinary records. A student may also withdraw his or her consent at any time by contacting the Office of Registration & Records. Within the student portal, the form is located under Student Forms > Student Release of Confidential Information.
  • Transfer Credit Questions:
    Questions regarding transfer credit can be sent to TransferAssessment@king.edu or students my stop by the Office of Registration & Records office for assistance.

Office of Financial Aid (King Building 1st Floor)

All students can check their Financial Aid status on their Financial Aid portal.

Students must log in to their financial aid portal to accept or decline their financial aid (grants, scholarships, and loans). If their aid is left pending, funds will not show on their billing statement

Students may fax missing documents to the Financial Aid office or may upload missing documents on their financial aid portal.

If students and/or parents have financial aid questions, they may call, email, or schedule a TEAMS meeting.

Students will contact our office by the first letter of their last name:

Business Office (King Building 1st Floor)

If anyone needs to see someone in our office, they can make an appointment by going to https://outlook.office365.com/owa/calendar/KingUniversity3@KingUniversity.onmicrosoft.com/bookings. The name & email address must be entered with a place to enter their cell number and select an appointment time from the available time slots.

Staff will be in the office daily to take appointments from 9:00-2:00 through Tuesday, August 18th. Beginning Wednesday, August 19th, the hours will change to 8:30-4:30. This schedule will be effective through Labor Day, September 7. We will then plan to go back to office hours 2-3 days/week, depending on the need for appointments. Hours and days are subject to change, so please email businessoffice@king.edu to verify the schedule at that time.

We will have our front counter separated with Plexiglas between the student and the employee. We will use both doors of the Business Office but by appointment only. Anyone entering for their appointment will enter and exit using the same door, and we will place a barrier between the 2 doors to prevent anyone from crossing over to the other person’s space. We will periodically sanitize the counter space. We will schedule appointments in 15-minute increments, therefore having the ability to see 8 people/hour.

Manage your student account online: 

Log in to the student portal at https://my.king.edu.  Select My Finances from the left menu and click on Ledger. On this page, you can view your statement, pay your bill, enroll in the payment plan or submit a refund request. There is a 2.9% fee charged for all credit/debit card transactions. The first disbursement of refunds will be September 04, 2020 and weekly thereafter.

We are still receiving mail and payments may also be mailed to our office at:

1350 King College Rd, Bristol, TN 37620

Book Credit Vouchers will be available beginning August 03, 2020:  Students who have a credit balance may request a voucher through the student portal. Visit books.king.edu to order books through eCampus by class and professor. Contact eCampus directly via their website or call 1-877-284-6744 for questions concerning your order.

Register vehicle at my.king.edu.

Handbook Acknowledgement – Log in to the student portal, change the semester to FA-20, read and accept the student handbook acknowledgment. Failure to accept will block access to the portal.

Office of Student Affairs (Maclellan Hall 1st Floor)

Student Affairs staff will be set up in Maclellan Hall TV Lounge. Students will enter through the back porch.

Services available:

  • ID Cards (for new students)
  • ID Cards recoded (for returning students)
  • Immunization Forms
  • Housing

On the evening of Monday, August 17, President Whitaker will host a virtual information session for parents of incoming students. This event occurs each year in person as part of orientation events, but this year the event will be held virtually. Parents received information and login details via email. If you need additional details, please contact the Office of Student Affairs at 423.652.4740.

The Conference Carolinas Board of Directors have agreed to continue deliberations on competing in fall intercollegiate athletics after receiving additional guidance from the NCAA Sport Science Institute. For more information, visit the Conference Carolinas web site.

In this video, King’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Matt Roberts, provides information to students about preparations being made for the upcoming Fall 2020 semester.

Below is a message to King students from President Whitaker welcoming them to the 2020-2021 academic year.

Dear Faculty and Staff:

As President Whitaker mentioned in his faculty and staff update on Tuesday, July 21st, we are adjusting the fall academic calendar to minimize travel times and to end traditional face-to-face instruction on the Tuesday of Thanksgiving week. The adjusted calendar dates listed below addresses all instructional modalities: traditional, face-to-face classes, online and Adult and Graduate Studies programs.

Please note the start and end times of the fall semester remain the same. To see the updated academic calendar, please visit this link within the Office of Registration and Records (ORR) page: (https://www.king.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/academic-calendar.pdf). Later today, the revised Fall 2020 exam schedule will be posted on the ORR webpage.

Faculty are advised to contact Dr. Matt Peltier or Dr. Amy Mann if assistance is required in converting final exams virtually. Additionally, please adhere to the revised final exam schedule so we can ensure students are taking no more than two examinations per day.

Thank you for your attention and flexibility regarding these important changes. Dr. Rob Littleton will communicate the calendar adjustments to all students shortly after this email has been sent. If you have any questions about these changes, please do not hesitate to contact your school dean or me.

Sincerely,
Dr. Matt Roberts, Provost

Calendar Dates for Fall 2020: August 24 – December 11

Breaks & Holidays

  • Breaks changed:
    • Labor Day: Monday, September 7 – classes will now be held.
      • We will communicate directly to those programs who hold classes at community college sites as those sites may be closed on Labor Day.
    • Fall Break: Friday, October 16 – classes will now be held.
    • Thanksgiving: see calendar for Traditional and AGS/Online Thanksgiving breaks

Calendar Changes

  • Traditional classes:
    • Instruction for traditional classes will end on Tuesday, 11/24 and students will not return physically after Thanksgiving break. They will, however, return virtually for final exams.
    • Exams for traditional students will take place online/virtually and will be extended to 8 days starting on Wed 12/2 and ending on 12/11.
    • Thanksgiving break days have changed (now November 25-December 1).
    • The few traditional students approved to take AGS or Online courses will continue those classes remotely after Thanksgiving.
  • AGS classes:
    • Students will transition to remote learning on the Monday after Thanksgiving.
    • Thanksgiving Break is unchanged.
  • Online classes:
    • Thanksgiving Break is unchanged.
  • Thanksgiving Break:
    • Traditional: Wednesday, November 25 – Tuesday, December 1
    • AGS: Unchanged
    • Online: Unchanged

Dear Spring 2020 graduates,

As we stated previously in our July 1st communication, King University continues to plan for the August 1st graduation ceremony honoring our Spring graduates. At this time we still are able to hold the event, but please be aware that continued increase and intensity in COVID cases could result in a postponement of the graduation ceremony. Also please keep in mind that significant rain will also prevent the event from happening since inclement weather will make masks ineffective and interfere with accurate temperature screenings.

As we saw in March, the Governor’s order to shelter in place can come quickly and without much warning. Therefore, we want you to understand the associated risk for cancellation, and ask for your flexibility in your planning for travel.

Susan Marshall, Tornado Alley Shoppe Manager and Conference Services Coordinator, sent an email today (7/14) to all RSVP graduates with instructions on how to receive the graduation packet (which include tickets to event, parking pass, and cap & gown). Please email Susan at sdmarsha@king.edu if you did not receive this email and have provided the appropriate RSVP. You must come with the tickets for you and your guests, which were provided when you received your cap and gown.

We ask that you please arrive at least two hours before the ceremony begins. Upon arrival, there will be a temperature screening. Once you are here for the ceremony, we ask that you follow the guidelines that have been provided in previous communications so that we can maintain the safest environment possible. Although the tendency may be to linger and socialize with friends and professors after the ceremony, breaking social distancing could nullify all of the protective measures that allowed us to gather in the first place. Therefore, we ask that you maintain social distancing, maintain wearing a face covering, and proceed to your vehicle as soon as possible after the ceremony concludes. King University faculty, staff, and administration are very excited to provide an appropriate recognition of your academic accomplishments and graduation from King University. However, as we have stated before, our number one priority is keeping our entire King community of recent graduates, alumni, current students, employees and friend of King safe during these times, and so we thank you for your understanding as we endeavor to do both responsibly.

We plan to provide an updated email of this nature (one per week) leading up to the August 1st graduation, so please continue to monitor your email regularly and the King University’s Coronavirus webpage (https://www.king.edu/news/coronavirus/).

Sincerely,

Dr. Matt Roberts, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dr. Rob Littleton, Vice President for Student Affairs

The Conference Carolinas Board of Directors unanimously approved a plan to proceed with intercollegiate competition in conference-sponsored sports in the upcoming fall semester. Competition is able to begin no earlier than Sept. 18, 2020. Details are provided on the conference website.

Dear Spring 2020 graduates,

As we stated previously in our July 1st communication, King University continues to plan for the August 1st graduation ceremony honoring our Spring graduates. At this time we still are able to hold the event, but please be aware that continued increase and intensity in COVID cases could result in a postponement of the graduation ceremony. Also please keep in mind that significant rain will also prevent the event from happening since inclement weather will make masks ineffective and interfere with accurate temperature screenings.

As we saw in March, the Governor’s order to shelter in place can come quickly and without much warning. Therefore, we want you to understand the associated risk for cancellation, and ask for your flexibility in your planning for travel.

Susan Marshall, Tornado Alley Shoppe Manager and Conference Services Coordinator, sent an email today (7/14) to all RSVP graduates with instructions on how to receive the graduation packet (which include tickets to event, parking pass, and cap & gown). Please email Susan at sdmarsha@king.edu if you did not receive this email and have provided the appropriate RSVP.

Once you are here for the ceremony, we ask that you follow the guidelines that have been provided in previous communications so that we can maintain the safest environment possible. Although the tendency may be to linger and socialize with friends and professors after the ceremony, breaking social distancing could nullify all of the protective measures that allowed us to gather in the first place. Therefore, we ask that you maintain social distancing, maintain wearing a face covering, and proceed to your vehicle as soon as possible after the ceremony concludes. King University faculty, staff, and administration are very excited to provide an appropriate recognition of your academic accomplishments and graduation from King University. However, as we have stated before, our number one priority is keeping our entire King community of recent graduates, alumni, current students, employees and friend of King safe during these times, and so we thank you for your understanding as we endeavor to do both responsibly.

We plan to provide an updated email of this nature (one per week) leading up to the August 1st graduation, so please continue to monitor your email regularly and the King University’s Coronavirus webpage (https://www.king.edu/news/coronavirus/).

Sincerely,

Dr. Matt Roberts, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dr. Rob Littleton, Vice President for Student Affairs

WHEREAS, a novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, has spread through the world and has now been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization; and

WHEREAS, on March 12, 2020, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee declared a State of Emergency to deploy additional resources to combat the spread of the virus, and on March 13, 2020, President Donald Trump declared a National Emergency over the coronavirus pandemic; and

WHEREAS, Governor Lee has issued Executive Orders Number 38 and 50, which, among other things, provide instruction for the operation of businesses during the COVID-19 global pandemic;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Mayor Richard Venable, pursuant to State of Tennessee Executive Order Number 54, and the laws of the state of Tennessee execute the following:

  1. Effective at 12:01 a.m. on July 12, 2020, all businesses, organizations, or venues open to usage by members of the public in Sullivan County, Tennessee shall require the use of face coverings or masks by their employees and members of the public while inside their premises in areas accessible by the public.
    NOTE: Cloth face coverings or masks should NOT be worn by children under two or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  2. Places of worship are exempt from the requirements of this Order, pursuant to Governor Lee’s Executive Orders No. 38 and 50.
  3. This Order does not require businesses, organizations, or venues to supply face coverings or masks to members of the public.
  4. Use of face coverings or masks shall not be required by members of the public while seated for the purpose of dining in any restaurant or business that provides food and/or drink for on premises consumption or other business as defined by The Tennessee Pledge.
  5. Sullivan County, Tennessee continues to be governed in all other aspects by the Executive Orders issued by Governor Lee.
  6. This order shall remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. on August 12, 2020, unless otherwise modified or withdrawn by future Orders or by the State of Tennessee.

Issued this 10th day of July 2020.
Richard S. Venable, Sullivan County Mayor

Good afternoon,

In order to make sure you have adequate time to prepare for the Fall 2020 semester, I want to ask that you bring the following items with you as you return to campus for your own personal use:

  • Face masks that are 3-ply disposable surgical/medical type masks, if possible. If not possible, multi-layer reusable cloth masks;
  • Wipes (Clorox or other brand of disinfectant wipes);
  • Hand Sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol;
  • Tissues (Kleenex or other brand);
  • Inexpensive digital oral thermometer for your own use; and
  • Other items you may want to consider such as gloves.

Please continue to check your King University email periodically for updates and additional information as we prepare for the Fall 2020 semester. Take care of yourself and we’ll see you in August.

Sincerely,
Robert A. Littleton, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs

Dear Spring 2020 graduates,

Although we continue to plan for the August 1st graduation ceremony, we are monitoring the noticeable increase in confirmed COVID cases in our region and elsewhere with renewed concern. Because of the statewide concern, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee recently signed Executive order No. 50 to extend the state of emergency related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to August 29, 2020. At this time we still are able to hold the event, but please be aware that continued increase in cases could result in a postponement of the graduation ceremony. Also please keep in mind that significant rain will also prevent the event from happening since inclement weather will make masks ineffective and interfere with accurate temperature screenings.

As we saw in March, the Governor’s order to shelter in place can come quickly and without much warning. Therefore, we want you to understand the associated risk for cancellation, and ask for your flexibility in your planning for travel.

King University faculty, staff, and administration are very excited to provide an appropriate recognition of your academic accomplishments and graduation from King University. However, our number one priority is keeping our entire King community of recent graduates, alumni, current students, employees and friend of King safe during these times, and so we thank you for your understanding as we endeavor to do both responsibly.

Please continue to monitor your email regularly to receive updates in a timely manner.

Sincerely,

Dr. Matt Roberts, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dr. Rob Littleton, Vice President for Student Affairs

King University Libraries will remain closed to community patrons through the end of the fall semester. Library facilities will be available for current King University students, faculty, and staff.

The following email was sent to Spring 2020 graduates from the Provost’s Office.

Greetings, King University Class of 2020!

We are excited to share with you that our plans for Spring’s rescheduled graduation ceremony for August 1st are well on their way. To make this event and celebration of your academic accomplishments possible, we must follow several guidelines provided through the CDC and the Office of the Governor’s reopening plan for the state of Tennessee. Although we plan on incorporating as many memorable aspects of graduation as possible, certain strictures must be observed in order to protect the safety of our graduates, their families, and our employees at King. Therefore, commencement will consist of the following requirements:

  • To ensure proper social distancing, each graduate attending Commencement will be provided 4 guest tickets.
  • Temperature checks will be performed before entering the event.
  • You are encouraged to arrive 2-3 hours before the beginning of the event.
  • In the case of significant rain, the event will be rescheduled.
  • Masks will be required for all attendees.
  • If possible, we encourage attendees to arrive in one vehicle. A parking pass will be provided.

These actions require the institution to have a precise count of those who will be attending graduation. Therefore, we need you to RSVP by June 30, 2020.

In the coming weeks, all graduates attending commencement will receive additional information regarding their cap and gown, tickets, and directions. Please check your King email on a frequent basis for continuing updates and instructions regarding commencement.

Please click on this link to RSVP by June 30, 2020.

Sincerely,

Dr. Matthew Roberts
Provost

King University has signed and returned the Certification and Agreement form to the Department of Education and has provided students with 50 % of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES ACT. The funds received under the CARES ACT were received on May 13, 2020, and “all” of the funds received were awarded and mailed to King University students on May 19, 2020. Eligible students and amounts were awarded under the guidelines that were in place on that date. The total awarded was $703,510. This exceeded the 50% required amount.

King University also received an Intuitional share under the CARES ACT to help King University with the additional costs of moving face to face students to an online format. This amount was $702,626.

The guidelines in place on May 19, 2020, dictated that for a student to receive these funds they must be eligible for Federal Title IV Aid. See the guidelines on this website https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/eligibility/requirements. Also, students that were already enrolled in an online program prior to March 13, 2020, would not be eligible for these funds per the guidelines.

These Emergency Grant funds were disbursed based on students having the greatest need as recommended by the Secretary of Education, Elizabeth DeVos. Calculations were based on the student’s Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) from the 2019-2020 FAFSA and a student’s enrollment status (full-time or part-time). The Department of Education stipulated that funds could only be disbursed to Title IV eligible students. In order to determine Title IV eligibility, a student must have filed a 2019-2020 FAFSA. Also, an additional amount was given to residential students as they had greater expenses associated with moving off-campus.

It was determined that King University had 922 face to face students on March 13, 2020, and of these students, 800 were determined to be Title IV eligible. The amounts for students ranged from $100 to $1,540 with students that were fulltime, living On-Campus and having higher need receiving the largest amounts.

The university’s CARES Act disbursement plan aligns with the US Department of Education guidance for how the funds should be distributed that were in place at the time student awards were made. The student share of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding must be used for student expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19.

Current as of July 10, 2020

King will be resuming its normal operations with precautions in August. You may access the news release here. Members of the King community please check your e-mail for a link to a video message about this from President Whitaker.

Conference Carolinas has announced that it will emphasize conference contests in the 2020-2021 academic year and currently does not have any plans to reduce conference contests in 2020-2021. The full details can be found in this release. The release also explains that Conference Carolinas institutions will reduce non-conference competition as needed to fit under new NCAA maximums, but intend to play a complete conference schedule in all sports that hold regular season conference competition.

King University’s annual ‘Experience D.C.’ trip for freshmen is scheduled for September 24-26, 2020. We continue to approach our planning with caution as we monitor COVID-19 in our area, as well as the Washington D.C. area. Consequently, all plans will be fluid in an effort to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. If we believe that health and safety are at risk with taking this trip as scheduled or relevant health authorities advise against such travel, we will seek alternative options for this event. We will continue to update regarding the ‘Experience D.C.’ trip throughout the summer.

 

Congress recently passed the CARES Act, which provides funding for higher education and more specifically, for direct distribution to students. Funds available in the CARES Act for Higher Education are roughly $14 billion and are distributed to institutions based on student enrollment. Fifty percent of that amount is earmarked to be disbursed as emergency grants directly to students to help cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus.

Currently, the guidelines dictate for a student to receive these funds they must be eligible for Federal Title IV Aid. See the guidelines on this website https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/eligibility/requirements. Also, students that were already enrolled in an online program prior to March 13, 2020, would not be eligible for these funds per the guidelines.

King University has applied for these funds, but as of May 4, they have not been received. King is currently in the process of developing an equitable strategy to disburse these funds to eligible students. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, has strongly suggested that need is taken into consideration when distributing these funds. King will be using the FAFSA, EFC (expected family contribution) and PELL eligibility to determine the distribution.

Please be patient. Students that have been determined to be eligible will receive a check cut directly to them. If there is a balance due to King, we strongly encourage that these funds be used towards that balance. Not all King students will receive a stimulus check and amounts will vary based on a student’s need.

We want to provide details on refunds issued by the University as a result of the pandemic’s disruption to the Spring 2020 semester. Even though the date for room and board refunds had passed before we shifted to a distance format, we will be giving room and board refunds for that portion of the semester when it was not possible for students to reside on campus. That equates to 7 weeks out of 16 in the Spring semester, as King had been expected to resume on campus March 16, 2020. We appreciate your patience as we worked through all the issues, some complex, that were involved. We anticipate these refunds being made after the end of the Spring term.

The refund amounts will first be credited to any outstanding balances on your student account, with a check sent to you in the mail for any remainder. If there is no balance on your student account, you will be receiving a check in the mail for the full refund amount. If you would prefer that any remaining credit be applied to the next semester (instead of receiving a check for these funds), please email the Business Office at businessoffice@king.edu by close of business May 4, 2020.

We are pleased to be able to make these refunds, as we know many of you incurred food, housing, and other expenses as a result of the pandemic. These amounts are separate from any Federal monies for students in the traditional program that may be forthcoming in the future.

The Office of Academic Affairs and the Office of Student Affairs provided an update to eligible Spring 2020 graduates about King’s postponed Commencement activities, a copy of which is provided below:

Dear Spring 2020 Graduate,

We hope this message finds you well. As mentioned in an earlier email, the Spring 2020 Commencement service is scheduled for August 1, 2020 at 10:00am on the Oval at King University. Should that date not be possible, October 17, 2020 will be our alternative date at the same time and location.

We will continue to monitor closely the directives from the State of Tennessee and Sullivan County regarding large public gatherings related to COVID-19. Our plan is to email you again the week of June 15, 2020 regarding the feasibility of the August 1 date. We want to allow as much time as possible for you to make plans. It is our hope that by mid-June, we will have a better outlook for an August 1 event. Please know that if August 1 is the date we move forward with, we must do so with continued caution as we monitor COVID-19 in our area and all plans will continue to be fluid.

We are grateful for your patience as we prepare to honor you for your work at King while keeping safety at the forefront of our decisions.

Respectfully,

Dr. Matt Roberts, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dr. Rob Littleton, Vice President for Student Affairs

The Office of Academic Affairs and the Office of Student Affairs provided an update to students, faculty, and staff about King’s postponed Spring 2020 Commencement activities, which included the following details:

  • In response to a survey sent to Spring 2020 graduates regarding preferences for rescheduling Commencement, students indicated their first choice being a summer Commencement ceremony (if allowable) and their second choice being a ceremony held during the fall semester (also if allowable).
  • In response to this feedback, King is moving forward with planning for an August 1st Commencement on the Bristol campus Oval, as well as a date of October 17th if the August date is not permissible. These dates are entirely dependent on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions that may or may not be in force at those times.

King will continue to update students as planning progresses in response to developments with the COVID-19 pandemic.

King University students received an update from the Office of Academic Affairs announcing that all courses will be maintained in a remote learning format for the Summer 2020 semester (May 4, 2020 through August 21, 2020). The update included the following details about instructional plans for the Summer semester:

  • All online classes will continue as normally scheduled.
  • All on-ground (face-to-face) classes will take place in distance mode.
  • Professors will direct which methods will be utilized for classwork, and students should monitor their King email accounts for continued updates and communications from faculty and University offices.
  • Students are encouraged to order textbooks as early as possible through King’s virtual bookstore partner, eCampus, which currently has inventory ready to ship.
  • King is partnering with digital course materials provider VitalSource to give all King University students access to e-books through May 25. Students can access these materials through bookshelf.vitalsource.com.
  • Susan Marshall of the King University Bookstore is available to answer questions about textbooks; students may reach her by email at sdmarsha@king.edu.

With King’s announcement that the remainder of the semester will be carried out through distance mode and that Spring Commencement activities are being postponed, the Office of Student Affairs has communicated with residential students about the next steps.

For those residential students who still have belongings in residence hall rooms, King has delayed visits to campus for moving out of rooms in response to the Executive Order issued by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee. This Order has directed Tennesseans to leave home only to engage in essential activities. To act in the best interest of public health and to help stop the spread of Coronavirus, visits to campus will resume at a later date. When this date is determined based on guidance from state and local authorities, students will be notified by email to schedule appointments for moving out of the residence halls.

For students with questions about their specific situation related to moving out of the residence halls, they may contact the Office of Residence Life at 423.652.4743.

Earlier today, President Whitaker sent the following communication to King students, faculty, and staff regarding the Spring 2020 semester being finished remotely and the postponement of Commencement.

Dear King Students, Faculty, and Staff:

Despite all best efforts and intentions to return to face-to-face instruction in April, I regret that this will not be possible. There have been, as you know, many changes in the Coronavirus situation since Spring Break began. These include not only the explosion of cases, but also increasingly stringent direction with respect to the size of gatherings, what businesses and facilities should or should not remain open, and what mitigation measures are required. Since then, also, NCAA and Conference Carolinas have cancelled spring-semester championships and competition. We are also seeing other colleges in our state and region now having to deal with actual Coronavirus cases on their campuses (not simply potential ones). Good fortune and King’s early actions have contributed to our not so far having had any cases, but as the virus spreads, it is unlikely to spare any college or university. For the health of all the King community, it remains prudent for us to keep our on-campus populations as small as possible, so to minimize transmission risk.

Accordingly, we will finish our semester in a distance mode. Faculty will discuss with students the specifics of this in the days ahead, including how final examinations will be administered.

There will be further information for those few students remaining in the residence halls from the Student Affairs Office. Likewise, Student Affairs will communicate with those who have belongings in their residence hall rooms how those items can be retrieved over the remainder of the semester.

Sadly, for many of these same reasons, we will postpone our Baccalaureate and Commencement. Even if the virus situation were to have a dramatic improvement, it is highly unlikely that a gathering of thousands on the Oval would be safe. This is not a cancellation, but a delay. I will write seniors separately later and we will ask preferences for when Commencement should be rescheduled. This delay will not affect the conferral date of degrees, which will be May 15 for students who have completed requirements. It remains my intention to give each student a diploma on the Oval when that becomes feasible.

There is much uncertainty in our world and nation today. This is not something most of us have ever dealt with. There are many life lessons for us in these days. Among them is a reminder of what is truly important (and truly unimportant), how good it is to be part of a community such as King’s, and the necessity of looking beyond ourselves for support even as we aim to support others. It is my hope that when, by God’s grace, we emerge on the other side of this, we will all be better people, more attuned and responsive to those around us and more grateful for the many blessings we too often in better times take for granted.

I do ask you to remain close to your King friends and colleagues. Call them, text them, and stay connected with them on social media. Some already have family members affected by the Coronavirus in a very direct way. Given our numbers, that is likely to increase. In these days of isolation, take an extra effort to communicate with those you cannot be near right now and to pray for them.

Stay strong, stay focused on your studies, keep your sense of humor and positive attitude, and be healthy. A virus cannot stop a Tornado.

Sincerely,

Alexander Whitaker
President

 

Attention All Federal Work-Study, King Institutional Work-Study, and Graduate Assistants

Work-study paychecks have not been affected for the pay period from February 17th to March 16th. They will be distributed as normal on March 31st. This notice addresses work after our scheduled spring break for Spring 2020.

As you are aware, King University has transitioned all traditional students to an online format and has closed all residence halls to students—with some limited exceptions. King University has done this to comply with the limited social gathering guidelines provided by the federal government. We understand that this has caused many concerns, including whether or not you will be able to continue working or to get paid for hours you would have normally worked.

As a result, the Department of Education has issued guidance for schools that have closed their residence halls due to the Coronavirus. In accordance with this guidance, enrolled students unable to work during the Spring 2020 semester that had a federal work-study position prior to the closure of their school’s residence halls “may” get paid for their scheduled hours. The Department of Education has not made this suggestion mandatory, and it is up to the individual school to choose to pay federal work-study students or not.

This guidance also states that students able to work—and are offered work from their institution—must work. If a student is offered work from their institution and declines that work, they are ineligible for payment.

King University has chosen to follow this guidance for both federal work-study and King institutional work-study students alike. In order to continue providing essential services, King will be using a limited number of students in specific positions during the Spring 2020 semester.

Here are some examples of how this policy will work.

  1. You are a student from Texas and had a federal work-study or King University work-study position in the Library prior to King moving to an online format and are still enrolled—completing the Spring semester online at home. In this scenario, you are eligible to be paid as you can no longer perform your duties in the Library.
  2. You are a student that, by special exception, has been allowed to remain on campus. If King offers you a work-study position—and you are able to perform your duties as required—you must work to be paid. If you decline to perform duties that you are able to do, you are not eligible to be paid.
  3. You live locally and you want to work. (Please note that you can only work on-campus if requested by King.) As part of the Covid-19 response plan, you will not be able to work if your job doesn’t comply with social distancing standards. If a Work-Study Supervisor requests for you to work, you must work to get paid.
  4. You live in California and had a position as a tutor for the Math Department. We request that you continue working as a tutor in an online format. If you decline this request, you are not eligible to receive work-study payment. Remember: If you are offered work-study, you must work to be paid.
  5. You are a GA (Graduate Assistant). All GAs are required to continue working with their teams.

Please note: King University is working to determine how scheduled hours will be managed.

The NCAA has made the decision to cancel all remaining winter and spring championships. These include all winter NCAA Division II competitions in which Conference Carolinas institutions are presently competing. Additionally, Conference Carolinas has decided to suspend all athletics competition until further notice. Further details can be found on the Conference Carolinas website. King coaches informed teams of this decision over the weekend.

The public health threat of COVID-19 Coronavirus continues to develop, and there continues to be no confirmed or suspected cases at King. Our faculty and staff are working to make every effort to help ‘flatten the curve’ (slowing the rate at which the virus spreads) and to operate in the best interest of our students and all members of the University community.

King has announced its next steps in response to COVID-19: These measures are intended to substantially diminish the risk of disease transmission on the campus and contribute to preserving the health of students, faculty, staff, and the larger community.

  • King will extend Spring Break for traditional students by one week.
  • AGS and online students will follow their academic calendar as published but with modifications in delivery method. Those details are being provided to students.
  • Residential students who are currently not on campus have been told not to return to campus (but were provided means to obtain items from their residence hall rooms).
  • Students currently in the residence halls for Spring Break are being asked to return home the week of March 16th (with some exceptions where that is not feasible).
  • During this same week, faculty will fulfill duties related to Advising Week (at a distance) and to prepare each class for a transition to a distance education mode suitable for the class.
  • All traditional classes converted to distance mode will begin Monday, March 23rd.
  • At this time, King seeks to resume face-to-face instruction on campus April 20th, to allow time for reviews, exams, etc., and, for graduates, Baccalaureate and Commencement to follow. These plans are certainly fluid in relation to developments related to COVID-19.
  • There are exceptions to the foregoing for certain programs with clinical components.
  • The campus will remain open for King personnel despite significantly decreased activity.

There will be more information forthcoming about King Athletics. Athletes not on campus should not return to campus until told to do so by their coaches. Conference Carolinas presidents are meeting today to discuss the conference’s response to the situation. We expect more details to follow in the coming days.

Although there continue to be no confirmed cases at King, Sullivan County has reported its first confirmed case. Follow local news outlets for more details:


(Ballad Health Update)

Following the announcement on Tuesday of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the region, Ballad Health has taken several steps to expand its preparedness efforts:

  • “Ballad Health has established a call center for individuals to contact if they are experiencing mild symptoms and wish to speak with a health care professional. If you believe you are experiencing mild symptoms, please stay at home and self-isolate, and call Ballad Health’s Nurse Connect at 1-833-822-5523. A Ballad Health team member will provide a screening over the telephone. The phone line is active 24 hours per day, and the service is free.
  • Anticipating the need for more COVID-19 testing in the region, Ballad Health is in the process of establishing multiple access points for testing if indicated. More details will be announced in the coming days.
  • Ballad Health will be implementing restricted entrances to its hospitals, with screenings for those who enter the facilities. These measures are intended to ensure the protection and sustainability of the health care workforce. The restrictions will go into effect in the coming days.”

For more information about these efforts, visit: https://www.balladhealth.org/news/expanding-covid19-response-efforts

Some people are at greater risk for developing more serious disease if they become infected with the coronavirus, even though the overall risk for infection remains low in most areas.

Those with underlying chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, COPD, diabetes, cancer, and immunosuppression are at greater risk for more serious symptoms with any infection. Also, the coronavirus has been more serious in those over age 65.

Some simple preventative measures for those at higher risk include:

  • Wash hands often
  • Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces
  • Avoid being in the company of someone who appears ill or has traveled from an area where there is community spread of coronavirus
  • Avoid touching face, nose, eyes, and mouth
  • Avoid high touch surfaces with fingers and hands in public places, such as handrails, doorknobs, public computer keyboards, elevator buttons (use your sleeve or a tissue to cover your finger or hand if you must touch a high-touch surface)
  • Try to maintain a distance of at least six feet from anyone showing signs of a respiratory illness – coughing, sneezing, blowing nose
  • Avoid handshakes

For more information for those at greater risk for more serious disease, visit the CDC page at:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html#take-everyday-precautions

In preparation for the potential spread of the Coronavirus in the U.S., King’s academic leadership is developing resources and contingency plans for the continuation of instruction, particularly in light of potential closure should the situation escalate.  Similar discussions and planning are in process regarding the remainder of the University’s functional units and departments.

The administration is evaluating academic travel on a case-by-case basis:

  • The current study abroad trip to Israel has been truncated with the group returning home earlier than scheduled.
  • The planned study abroad trip to Italy this spring has been canceled.
  • The planned mission trip to Camden, New Jersey, has been canceled

Additionally, Cabinet members are reviewing and evaluating upcoming King-related travel of respective employees for approval.

We continue to gather information from students and employees regarding recent and planned travel, particularly with Spring Break forthcoming, to monitor the level of exposure to this virus and to identify appropriate actions to take.

Currently the CDC website does not list Tennessee as having a confirmed case, but the Tennessee Department of Health web site has reported Tennessee as having its first confirmed cases of Coronavirus. Additionally, several news outlets are reporting the first case in Tennessee:

Please note that we will not be posting news of all Tennessee-related cases to this web page, but we will post those items considered to be significant developments in the evolving situation concerning Coronavirus.

***Additionally, please take note of the following information***

If you are experiencing mild symptoms of a viral illness, stay home. These symptoms are commonly the same experienced with a common cold or flu. Do not go to class, concerts, sporting events, or any setting where you are in contact with other people. Please stay home. If you live in a campus residence hall, contact a staff member in residence life immediately and minimize contact with others – particularly if you have a roommate – until you receive further guidance.

If symptoms include a fever of more than 100.4 associated with cough and shortness of breath, and you think you need to seek medical attention, call the public health department at 423.279.2777 before seeking care at a local urgent care, medical office, or hospital. If you have traveled to an area with known cases of coronavirus, be sure to report this to the public health department and to the medical care provider.

A Message to the King University Community

Like many others around the nation and world, we are watching the development and the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Transmission of infectious diseases have particular concerns for areas where large groups gather and reside. Consequently, to care for our students, faculty and staff, we are carefully evaluating available information, taking what precautions we can, and making preparations in the event that cases become common in our home region.

It is important to note that at this time, there have been no confirmed cases of this virus in Tennessee or Virginia. In the last 48 hours, Georgia and North Carolina have reported cases of COVID-19. Since experts caution that community spread will eventually affect many areas of the nation, we are sharing the following guidelines so that our students and families can be informed and aware.

Remain calm and informed.

Of course, any virus that spreads so effectively and quickly is cause for concern. However, according to information provided by the Tennessee Department of Health, many people who have contracted COVID-19 experienced mild symptoms similar to the cold or the flu (typically fever, cough, and shortness of breath). Others who have tested positive have been completely free of symptoms. The virus does appear to have more substantial impact on those who are older or have compromised immune systems, but the vast majority of those who have contracted the virus have recovered.

In China, where the most cases have been reported, more than 80 percent of those testing positive for the virus experienced mild to moderate symptoms not requiring hospitalization.

Help prevent the spread.

Personal consideration and cleanliness go a long way toward limiting the spread of any cold or flu-like illness. It’s best to:

  • Wash your hands often (including between fingers and up onto wrists, scrubbing with soap and water for about 20 seconds, long enough to sing “Happy Birthday”).
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • If you have to cough or sneeze, do so into your elbow instead of your hands, and if you cough/sneeze into a tissue, throw the tissue into a waste bin. Don’t keep it in your pocket.
  • Droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze are a main source of transmission. Because all of us touch door handles, key pads, counters and more, be sure to wipe down communal surfaces — and remember to keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth, as much as you can.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.

If you have recently traveled overseas or even domestically, or you plan to do so in the coming weeks, please let us know.

Many areas overseas are reporting a rapid and intense spread of COVID-19. Understanding our community’s level of exposure to this virus will help us understand how best to care for students, faculty, and staff. If you have been out of the country in the past several weeks or plan to travel abroad soon, please email studentaffairs@king.edu with the subject line “International Travel,” and include the dates of travel and the countries you have visited or plan to visit.

Additionally, if you plan to travel to affected areas in the United States where cases of COVID-19 have been reported, such as California or Washington state, please let us know this information as well.  The CDC web site maintains current information on states that have reported cases of COVID-19.  As testing for COVID-19 increases in this country, we will likely see an upsurge in the number of reported cases.  Please stay informed about this information, particularly as you make plans for travel.

If you are planning to travel, stay informed.

Countries around the globe are responding to this outbreak in a variety of ways. If you plan to travel in the coming weeks, be aware that you may be subject to additional screening procedures and scrutiny, whether in the U.S. or beyond.

Internationally, some travelers who have been exposed to the virus have been placed in an extended quarantine. Some countries have closed their borders altogether, preventing entry and complicating return to the U.S. for those already present.

Travel advisories are in effect for areas where there is widespread or sustained community transmission of the virus. Before you travel, stay up-to-date on these advisories by visiting the Centers for Disease Control’s traveler information page, available here.

Again, if you plan to travel outside the U.S. or domestically to affected areas, please email studentaffairs@king.edu and include the dates of travel and the states or countries you have visited or plan to visit.

If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, call your doctor or health care provider.

According to information provided by the Tennessee Department of Health, most people who contract COVID-19 show symptoms very similar to the flu — fever, coughing, and / or shortness of breath. Any members of the University community who experience these issues (to the degree you feel you require medical attention) should call your doctor or health care provider.

For more information about COVID-19, along with resources from multiple health organizations and agencies including state resources for Tennessee and Virginia and travel information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), visit Ballad Health’s page on COVID-19 AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES HERE.

Direct links to key organizations with vital resources include:

The nearest urgent care facilities to the Bristol campus are:

  • Ballad Health Medical Associates Urgent Care locations
    • 2686 West State Street
      Bristol, TN
      (3.9 miles from campus)
      423.844.0026
    • 1220 Volunteer Parkway
      Bristol, TN
      (4.2 miles from campus)
      423.274.6610
  • Sapling Grove Urgent Care (Holston Medical Group)
    • 240 Medical Park Blvd, Suite 1700
      Bristol, TN
      (5.9 miles from campus)
      423.990.2466

The nearest urgent care facilities to the Kingsport campus are:

  • HMG Urgent Care Center at Medical Plaza
    • 105 W. Stone Drive
      Suite 1F
      Kingsport, TN 37660
      (2.3 miles from campus)
      423.230.2420
  • Ballad Health Medical Associates Urgent Care
    • 111 West Stone Drive
      Ste. 110
      Kingsport, TN 37660
      (2.5 miles from campus)
      423.224.3701

The nearest urgent care facilities to the Knoxville campus are:

  • Hardin Valley Internal Medicine
    • 10689 Hardin Valley Road
      Knoxville, TN 37932
      (1.1 miles from campus)
      865.692.1220