Update: January 15, 2021

After careful review of the current COVID-19 student testing program, universal testing will conclude today, January 15. We knew the first two weeks were crucial to mitigate the spread of the virus when we announced the universal testing plan for Interterm. We care deeply for all members of our community and are especially mindful how these efforts mitigate infection to those most at risk.

We apologize for the role communication may have had in leading to confusion or frustration. We believe this re-entry testing did help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus, with early identification of asymptomatic, pre-symptomatic, and symptomatic positive cases.

We are pleased that Lucid Laboratories has agreed to remain available for voluntary on-campus testing through at least January 22. This will also help us with current CDC protocols allowing those in quarantine due to close contact to be tested on or after day five (5) of quarantine and then be released from quarantine as early as day seven (7) if they have a negative test result and no symptoms. Providing on-campus and/or local testing options is a priority for being released from quarantine. These tests remain at no-cost to students per details announced last week. Student testing pre-registration information is available here.

Spring Semester Re-Entry

Students and Employees Returning for Spring Semester and not attending Interterm on-campus: PeRT strongly recommends obtaining a COVID-19 test prior to the return to campus, testing on or after January 25. Test results should be reported to my.taylor.edu/covidtest.

Interterm Travel

Interterm final exam day is Thursday, January 28 with a one-day Interterm break on Friday, January 29. We strongly recommend limiting travel during this time before Spring Semester classes begin Monday, February 1 at 8:00am.

Travel Reporting Update

After asking students and employees to report travel throughout the fall, we will discontinue reporting requirements for travel. Instead, students and employees should take the following precautions as part of any travel plans:

1. Limit Travel. Travel away from campus raises the possibility of contracting the virus outside of our campus and then bringing the virus back to the campus. As such, we strongly recommend all travel be limited to essential travel.

2. Remember the Safety Protocols. We are all growing weary of practicing the safety protocols. However, like the runner who wants to finish a race well, we all need to strive to do those things that can limit the spread of the virus including socially distancing, mask wearing, and washing of hands. This is especially true during these times of essential travel.

Future Plan Updates

We remain committed to working together to find ways to navigate through this pandemic that can allow the Taylor experience to continue in our campus community.

As we move forward, we will continue to address student, faculty, and staff concerns who together create the educational environment that is highly prized at Taylor.

Please know that future data and information will direct our plan in response to the pandemic, and additional changes may be necessary to safeguard our campus.

You can review the full Taylor Together, Again plan here.

Update: December 31, 2020

Earlier this week we informed you that we are blessed to have access to testing for students and employees starting January 5, 2021. Our intent is to test the entire student body each week in order to monitor the virus on campus.

We need for all students to assist with this expectation in order for us to have success in monitoring the virus and reduce the quarantine obligations required by the CDC for asymptomatic students. 

For the January term, students who have had the virus since November 1, 2020 will not need to follow this testing plan.

Background

  • The firm performing the testing collection and evaluation is Lucid Laboratory Services.
  • Costs are born by the student’s health insurance, and if not available, then Cares Act funding. Employees will also have access to testing, covered by TU’s insurance.
  • Testing will be held in Alspaugh West in the Hodson Dining Commons from 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM.

Setting up your account – THIS IS A CRITICAL STEP – BEST IF DONE ON YOUR PHONE!

  • Taking the time to register now will make the testing process much faster!
  • Please take a moment and take pictures of your insurance card front and back to have ready for registration.
  • Please pre-register with this link on your phone or computer.
  • Click the link and follow the prompts to enter your name, date of birth, address, insurance information (if no insurance information then enter your SSN – if an international student without a Social Security Number enter your Taylor ID number), and to place your signature at the bottom. You will also need to verify that you are “NOT A ROBOT” and then press submit. 

Once this registration is complete, the testing company we will be able to print this information off and bring it for tests starting on January 5, 2021.  If you do not pre-register, you will need to complete all paperwork at testing and this will slow down the testing process.

Test Results

Students should assume that test results are negative unless the University contacts them to work through the implications of a positive test result.  A negative test result will not be reported back to you. As the saying goes, “no news is good news!”

Schedule

Our plan is to divide the campus as follows for testing:

  • Monday – Begins January 11, 2021: Gerig Hall, Breuninger Hall, Campbell Hall and Swallow Robin Hall and Men’s and Women’s Basketball Team
  • Tuesday – Begins January 5, 2021: Samuel Morris Hall and Commuter Students (those students living at home and attending classes on campus).
  • Wednesday – Begins January 6, 2021: Wengatz Hall, Off-campus students, Casa, Delta, Lawvere and Luthy
  • Thursday – Begins January 7, 2021: Olson Hall and Wolgemuth Hall
  • Friday – Begins January 8, 2021 – English Hall and Bergwall Hall

We are very excited to have our students returning for the January term to be followed by our Spring 2021 term.  We believe it we all participate together in our various goals and requirements, we can finish on our semester on campus, God willing.

Please send any questions to PeRT@taylor.edu or covidhotline@taylor.edu.

See you soon!

Ron Sutherland
Special Assistant to the President

Update: December 29, 2020

Dear Students, Parents, and Taylor Community,

Happy New Year! I hope that you have been rejuvenated over the Christmas break. We are eager to welcome students, faculty and staff back to campus in a few days.

Please read this important update on COVID-19 planning.

Adjustments to the Taylor Together, Again Plan

As you know, the cases of COVID-19 began to spike in October, and Indiana is no exception. While the Taylor University campus has been blessed by relatively low numbers of positive cases, our county and surrounding areas have been hit hard with COVID-19. For the past 10 months, our Pandemic Response Team (PeRT) has been revisiting our safety protocols daily in coordination with Taylor’s Senior Leadership Team. As we prepare for Interterm and Spring semester amidst record numbers of positive cases, we made adjustments that will improve our ability to remain on campus.

We continue to believe God gives us a spirit that avoids fear, expresses love and care for others, and that empowers us with the ability to think and act carefully in order to limit the spread of the disease. We continue to follow federal guidelines, and consult with our local and state authorities and other experts to guide our planning. Confinement indoors during winter weather heightens the need for extra precautions.

PeRT and Senior Leadership at Taylor University continue to believe that in-person education, carefully monitored, and with actions taken with care for others at the forefront of our plan, is still a viable option for our students. However, we are making changes to help us confront the pandemic in a community focused way.

Summary

  • Get tested before returning to campus
  • Students on campus will be tested weekly
  • Mask requirements for groups of 4 or more, everywhere
  • Campus “quarantine” for the first 2 weeks

1) We continue to strongly recommend that students and employees get a COVID-19 test before returning to campus.

If you test positive, you can recover without the constraints of isolation on campus. We also ask you to report your test results at my.taylor.edu/covidtest. Additional testing information is available here.

2) We will begin on-campus testing every week for our students once they return to campus.

Twenty percent (20%) of students will be tested each day (Mon-Fri) through at least the first two weeks of Interterm. Testing may be extended as needed and will also depend on test availability. This testing plan comes with a benefit: with universal testing participation, we may be able to reduce quarantine requirements for close contacts.

This universal testing plan is not in lieu of getting a test prior to returning to campus.

3) Mask requirements will be extended to the residence halls, when in groups of four or more.

COVID-19 is an airborne virus that spreads quickly between those in close contact. Our own experience during fall semester in the residence halls showed that in a few instances, the virus spread among a wing or floor. Thus, we are expecting students who gather in groups of four or more to wear a mask, even in their residence hall/room as an attempt to reduce the spread of the virus. PeRT conferred with Student Body President Emmanuel Terrell and Vice President Anna Craig about masks in the residence halls. Emmanuel and Anna were supportive of this measure and believe that this step will be beneficial for keeping our community healthy.

Boren Student Center. Students have been lax in complying with guidelines, especially proper mask wearing, when in the Boren Center. Eating and drinking were extended over long periods of time as a justification for not wearing a mask. The PeRT considered a number of options for increasing compliance. However, because we know this is a meaningful space for students to engage, we want to give our students another opportunity to respond positively to the expectations that they wear masks and observe social distancing before taking any further steps. 

Therefore, please finish eating and drinking in 20 minutes and then return to wearing your masks if you linger to interact or study, whether or not you are sitting with someone else.  Also, please honor the seating limits of 2 at high tables, 4 at tables and 6 in booths (and please do not rearrange furniture out of compliance with these guidelines). Even if the group you are sitting with is from your home wing or floor or even if you have the CDC approved 90-day ‘window of immunity’ due to already having contracted the virus, we are asking you, out of an abundance of care, to wear your mask and keep table limits.

4)  We ask all employees and students to restrict their public interactions in our community for the first two weeks of the semester.  

This does not mean to avoid getting fuel for your car or food for your residence halls. But shopping indoors or dining in restaurants is highly discouraged. We would encourage you to support local food establishments by ordering take-out meals to go, but avoiding entering these public spaces, for the first two weeks. This plan is designed to reduce the possibility of bringing the virus back to campus, or of asymptomatic students spreading the virus to our neighbors in Upland and other local communities.

We support Sunday worship participation at local churches that observe social distancing and mask wearing during their services.

I am confident I can count on your compliance with the increased limitations for at least the first two weeks in order to keep our campus community safe. If our numbers remain low (and we are working on that definition), we plan to gradually increase student freedoms, particularly when the weather permits more outdoor activities.   

As always, our goal is to stay together for the entire semester, finishing on campus, together. We believe strongly in our in-person education, and are excited to welcome all of you back to campus in a few days!

Continue to monitor weekly email updates and information/FAQs posted at taylor.edu/coronavirus.

If you have any concerns or observations, please let PeRT know by emailing PERT@taylor.edu.

On behalf of PeRT,

Paige Cunningham PhD, JD
Interim President

Update: November 13, 2020

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has announced new restrictions corresponding to each county’s status. Grant County is currently “orange,” necessitating changes to Taylor’s current protocols. The county’s status is updated every Wednesday.

In compliance with new state directives and in coordination with the Grant County Health Department, effective Sunday, November 15campus events and gatherings are limited to 25% capacity. Changes required to our Student Development or academic programs will be communicated throughout the weekend.

​​​It is our intention to proceed with the current academic schedule. On-campus classes conclude after classes Tuesday, November 24. Virtual final examinations will be held November 30-December 4. We will continue to monitor the situation on-campus and locally in collaboration with health officials.

Grant County’s Health Commissioner and Taylor University encourages students to be tested for COVID-19 prior to returning home for Thanksgiving break. Students have received detailed information from PeRT. Testing is available at state-operated locations and private facilities in and near Grant County. Students should continue to report symptoms, test results, and close contacts to the COVID hotline, even when at home.

Students should follow check-out procedures from Residence Life. Residence Halls will close for general use on Wednesday, November 25 at 10:00am. Students have received additional guidance regarding travel and reporting expectations.

PeRT will continue to monitor guidance regarding campus re-entry plans for January and Spring Semesters. We anticipate an update before Christmas. Students, parents, faculty, and staff should continue to regularly check emails for important updates.

You can review the full Taylor Together, Again plan.

Update: November 10, 2020

It is with great disappointment that we announce that our Silent Night game must be cancelled. 

The rising number of positive cases of COVID-19 in Grant County and Indiana warranted a reconsideration of our previously announced plan for a modified celebration. Due to recent guidance from public health officials, and at the request of the Grant County Public Health Officer, Dr. David Moore, we made this difficult decision. 

Although the Taylor campus has been blessed with a low incidence of Covid-19 cases, we must remain vigilant. College students, who may not even know they have COVID, are deemed by some health authorities to be primary vectors contributing to the current widespread surge in cases. 

Dr. Moore expressed his deep appreciation to the Taylor community for our cooperation with public health guidelines and our willingness to set aside personal preferences for the sake of others.

We prayerfully hope and believe we will be able to resume this beloved Silent Night celebration in 2021.

Faithfully and together, 

Paige Comstock Cunningham
Interim President

Update: October 30, 2020

The Taylor University Board of Trustees this week approved a plan to freeze tuition for the 2021-2022 academic year. The announcement was made during chapel this morning by Interim President, Dr. Paige Comstock Cunningham. 

Cunningham cited financial challenges facing Taylor’s students and families as key components in the decision. It marks the first time in Taylor’s recent history where there will be no tuition increase, which usually is less than five percent. Additionally, room and board and fees will increase by 3.5%, less than $400 overall. 

“This is the right thing to do for our students and for our families,” said Cunningham. “This year, more than ever before, it’s absolutely critical that holding steady to our mission looks different.” 

The initiative to freeze tuition for the 2021-2022 school year was approved by the Taylor Senior Leadership Team and the Board after a comprehensive review of tuition pricing options and university budget requirements. 

Ninety-nine percent of incoming students receive financial aid from Taylor. Last year, over $51 million in financial aid ($32 million of which came from Taylor resources) was administered to its students. “Taylor is holding steady to make the educational experience affordable through scholarships and financial aid,” said Nathan W. Baker, Vice President for Enrollment Management.

According to Cunningham, Taylor’s high student success rate, the speed at which students normally complete their college careers (3.8 years at Taylor/the national average is 5.1 years), and the success of Taylor’s transition to a virtual setting last spring were factors in student and parent satisfaction with Taylor.

“Ninety-seven percent of our parents who responded said they would support their student’s choice to attend Taylor again,” she said. “We want to affirm this confidence and believe freezing tuition for the upcoming year is one way to tangibly do that.”

Update: September 25, 2020

As we approach the midpoint of the fall semester, I would like to share the revised calendar for Interterm and Spring Semester, 2021. This has been reviewed by the Academic Policy Committee, Faculty Officers, Deans Council, Department Chairs, and Senior Leadership Team. The revisions to the calendar have been designed to comply with the guidelines of the Pandemic Response Team, in conjunction with officials of the State of Indiana. One goal is to dissuade extended travel away from campus, thus you will see that there is not a full Spring Break, but rather short breaks that lead to three-day weekends on 1/29, 3/5, and 4/2. 

  • From the start of the Spring semester (2/1) until the midterm break (3/5): 24 class days
  • From midterm break (3/5) until Good Friday: (4/2) 19 class days
  • From Good Friday (4/2) until the end of classes (5/7): 25 class days
  • Classes begin at 8:00am on 2/1, 3/8, and 4/5.
  • Final Exams will be on campus, May 10-13.
  • Commencement will take place one week earlier, on May 15, 2021.
  • There are plans under consideration for on-campus events during the Easter holiday weekend.

Final exams will take place on campus for both Interterm and Spring Semester. We are working with the Registrar to review the due date for Interterm grades, given the shorter Interterm Break.

Thank you for your prayers as we adapt to this challenging time and serve our campus community. 

Michael D. Hammond, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice President

Update: August 19, 2020

Dear friends, 

In keeping with our Taylor Together, Again protocols, I want to update the campus on the newest COVID-19-related developments. As some of you may have learned, a student on campus has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and is now receiving care in a designated isolation area on campus. This student notified us they were not feeling well and exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19, leading us to immediately initiate the protocols laid out in our Taylor Together, Again plan for reopening the campus. We have followed up with those who have been in contact with this student so they can quarantine and be monitored. Respecting this student’s privacy is of utmost importance, and we are asking if you are aware of their identity that you maintain their confidence as an act of care for them.

Additionally, some students reported to us positive tests for COVID-19 prior to their return to campus. In response, they are either quarantined away from campus or receiving on-campus care in an isolated area. In that same manner, if you are aware of the names of these respective students, we ask that you not share them with others as an act of care for them.

In anticipating our reopening, our Senior Leadership Team worked closely with the health commissioners from the State of Indiana and Grant County to create the Taylor Together, Again plan, which makes allowance for diagnoses of instances of the coronavirus on campus as we strive for the safety and well-being of every student, faculty, and staff member. 

While we will not be making individual announcements with each instance of a diagnosis of COVID-19, we will continue regular updates to the campus community as we assess the efficacy and performance of our Taylor Together, Again plan. In the meantime, we continue to ask members of this community to wear masks when around others, practice social distancing, and frequently wash your hands. 

Please join me in prayer for this student as they recover, and for God’s hand of protection on our entire campus community of students and employees.

Faithfully and together,

Paige Comstock Cunningham, PhD, JD
Interim President

Update: August 11, 2020

With plans for the fall semester to resume later this month, there have been many questions regarding the January 2021 Interterm, especially as it relates to international travel and COVID-19. As we continue to monitor the local and global situation, as well as following the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US State Department, we have made the difficult decision to cancel all scheduled January 2021 off-campus programs. This includes all international and domestic locations. Affected groups include our January academic programs (Footsteps of Paul, Honors, etc.) and Lighthouse programs.

One of the hallmarks of a Taylor University education is the ability to travel to new locations around the globe, to become immersed in the local culture of a new land and to broaden our perspectives as we learn from the worldviews of others. COVID-19 has significantly changed the manner in which we have depended on mobility to grant us access to these opportunities and learning experiences. While our outward mobility continues to be restricted, we look forward to a time when we will be able to extend our borders once again. In the meantime, we are continuing to explore creative ways to grow as global Christians from our base here in Upland.

Charlie Brainer
Dean, International Programs
chbrainer@taylor.edu

Chip Bii
Director, Taylor World Outreach
kpbii@taylor.edu

Jeff Miller
Director, Off-Campus Programs
jfmiller@taylor.edu

Update: July 31, 2020

Over the past several weeks, information on and Indiana guidelines for COVID-19 have continued to change. As a result, Taylor has modified and updated the reopening plan. Here are a few highlights from this week:

Commencement: After years of classes and months of waiting and uncertainty, the day we have all eagerly anticipated is almost here. While the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be present, Taylor’s Leadership Team have prayerfully crafted a plan for Commencement that will make it one that is memorable, appropriate, and safe for every member of our Taylor community. Just this week, we received word this plan has the endorsement of health officials from the State of Indiana and Grant County. Commencement will be held Saturday, August 15. Click here for details.

New Students: Due to potential need for travel, Taylor is making an exception to the motor vehicle policy. Freshmen may bring vehicles at the start of the fall semester.

Athletics: The Crossroads League will proceed with fall sports through conference tournament. The Mid-States Football Association has moved conference schedule to Spring 2021. The NAIA postponed Fall 2020 Championships to Spring 2021, including football.

Health Center: Caring for our students’ health is of great importance to us, and in the midst of a pandemic, it requires even more care.

The professional relationship between our healthcare provider, Marion General Hospital and the Upland Health and Diagnostic Clinic, came to an end in recent days. Taylor University is currently exploring options. There will be a permanent or interim solution in place no later than the start of the academic year on August 16, 2020.

We do not anticipate any issues for our students and will continue to keep you advised as we anticipate the start of the fall semester.

For more information, please read the full Taylor Together, Again plan here.