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.

Update: July 17, 2020

Dear Taylor Community,

Life is marked by high-impact moments. We go through some of these individually, such as a serious illness or death of a parent or sibling. Others affect us as a group, as when a church is destroyed by fire. National events can mark a generation—those who remember World War II, when President Reagan was shot, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, or the 2008-2009 recession.

When a distressing, disorienting event happens during your college years, you have an unparalleled opportunity for intense, deep learning. The eruption of a global pandemic is this generation’s high-impact learning moment. It has been characterized from the beginning by uncertainty, slowly emerging facts, lack of reliable data, speculation, polarization, panic, and skepticism. But we have also witnessed responses of sacrifice, bravery, kindness, and generosity.

Taylor Together, Again

How does COVID-19 affect the Taylor community? What is our plan for coming together again after the Spring 2020 upheaval?

Our Taylor Together, Again plan reflects our current best thinking, supported by guidelines, counsel, and review from various experts. Together, we are figuring this out. No one can do this alone. I’m inviting you to join with us, as we continue to learn, adapt, and grow stronger through this. While we must hold plans and decisions loosely, to adapt to changing circumstances and needs, we must also cling tightly to our shared values. At Taylor, we have chosen to live intentionally, together, within the framework of our Life Together Covenant. Because we love God, we love the people He made, and we want to care for them well.

COVID-19 has affected each of us differently. Some of you don’t know anyone who has died, or even been infected. I know entire families who have fallen ill, and others who have lost a loved one to the coronavirus. Some students are experiencing the grief of deaths in their church family. Alumni and faculty remember colleagues like Dr. Herb Nygren who were struck down. Our experiences of COVID-19 shape our perceptions about risk.

Indiana has fared better than other states. And the counties surrounding Taylor have scarcely been affected. This, too, shapes our perceptions of what is needed. Students will be returning to Upland from all across the country. We want to do what we can to ensure that an “uninvited guest” doesn’t tag along with you. So, we are asking all of you to join with us in doing our best to help Taylor stay a safe campus.

As you know, students are at a low risk of getting sick, or showing symptoms. But the recent uptick in positive COVID-19 cases includes students and young adults.  Many of our faculty and staff are in higher risk groups. When we ask you to wear a mask or take other precautions, our concern is not only for you, but also for them. Some measures may seem extreme now. It is my fervent hope that the need for these will soon end.

To our students: throughout this crisis, we have tried to give you choices. We have shared with you our preliminary Taylor Together, Again plans and asked you to acknowledge your awareness of the risks and expectations. You are adults, and it is our desire that you grow in responsibility and self-government, that you will mature in your decisions and behavior, that you would regard others more highly than yourself. This would include actions such as using the provided cleaning supplies to spot clean an area you are using, rather than expecting our housekeeping staff to disinfect every surface after each human touch. “Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. …. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone” (I Thess. 5:14).

This document represents our current effort to ensure that on-campus learning can continue, in as many “Taylor” ways as possible. We will learn in familiar ways and new ways. We can choose to grow stronger, to be better, and to creatively and courageously adapt to the disruptions forced upon us by COVID-19. You can help us improve the plan, make adjustments, and celebrate when it’s time to put it on the shelf.

Taylor Together, Again is a dynamic document, and is updated as needed. Weekly updates will be sent by email. You can also subscribe to immediate update notifications by subscribing using the form at the bottom of the page.

In the meantime, those of us in Upland eagerly anticipate when we all will be at Taylor Together, Again.

Faithfully in Christ,

Paige Comstock Cunningham, PhD, JD

Interim President

Update: July 10, 2020

Earlier this week you may have seen the new directives issued for international students. In March, due to COVID-19, Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) relaxed some of the visa requirements for international students in response to the pandemic. ICE issued a policy allowing foreign students to attend all of their classes online while remaining in the US. The new directives suggest that international students would be required to return to their home countries if their college or university plans to offer exclusively online learning. This has already been challenged in court, and there is some confusion as to the application of this guideline if colleges move to virtual or hybrid course delivery in the middle of the semester, as Taylor did this spring. 

To our international students, I want you to know that Taylor understands the anxiety and stress that this policy brings to you. International students have faced additional challenges due to COVID-19, and we will assist you in every possible way. You are vital and treasured members of the Taylor community and we celebrate the rich tradition of international students as a part of the Taylor family. We recognize these directives bring additional confusion and stress that are not conducive to your preparations for the fall semester. Our Office of Intercultural Programs is reaching out to international students to assist. If you have questions about the guidelines, this FAQ link from ICE may be helpful.

Taylor is working with our legal counsel to interpret this directive with clarity as we plan for the semester ahead. Our plan to have classes on campus would satisfy the requirement for international students to reside in the United States during the academic term. International students would also be allowed to remain in the U.S. if Taylor adopts a hybrid learning approach. Taylor will report our academic plans to the Student Exchange and Visitor Program so that it is clear that our classes are meeting on campus.

Taylor University is a globally-minded community and I am grateful for the welcoming spirit we show to our international students and friends around the world. We place a high priority on the health and safety of our campus, and as you know, we are planning various measures to abide by the directives for social distancing in the State of Indiana and Grant County. We will continue to monitor these situations and respond in ways that care for the community and also allow us to move ahead with our educational and spiritual mission in the best possible ways. We pray for all members of our community as we move closer to our campus re-opening in August. Be safe and be well. 


Sincerely, 

Michael D. Hammond, Ph.D.

Provost and Executive Vice President

Update: July 1, 2020

We have been busy over the last several months working on a re-opening plan to respond to COVID-19.  Information about the virus and safety guidance changes frequently and we will continue to respond with necessary changes to our re-opening plans.

As we are looking forward to seeing you, students, back on campus engaging with your fellow students, faculty and staff, we also acknowledge that a pandemic requires us all to be more thoughtful and intentional about how we interact in order to respect and care for one another well. The Taylor community is a unique and dynamic living and learning environment, and the reality of a pandemic reminds us that this type of education comes with opportunities and risks. While these challenges are inherent to a collegiate environment, Taylor is uniquely positioned as we live out the Life Together Covenant and remain “dependent on and accountable to one another.”

With this in mind, we want to make you aware of a number of things.

First, there is no way to remove all risk from the college experience, especially in a residential setting.  This is even more true during a pandemic. We simply cannot ensure that the campus will stay free of COVID-19. However, we can work together to mitigate risk, and you will play a critical role in that effort.

Second, the current evidence seems to indicate that COVID-19 is more dangerous, in terms of death and long-term illness, to older individuals and those with underlying health conditions. Accordingly, the steps we will be asking you to take are as much for other members of the campus community as they are for yourself. By wearing masks as expectedself-assessing your daily health (including taking your temperature), and complying with reporting requirements, you demonstrate your care for your peers, professors and mentors. Obtaining a flu vaccine this fall, which could help avoid symptoms similar to COVID-19, is urged. We will also ask you to avoid travel to various areas away from campus in order to avoid transfer of the disease, and to restrict visitors you might otherwise invite to campus, unless University approval is obtained. 

We continue to work closely with local and State health officials to adapt to rapidly changing safety guidance, and will be sharing a comprehensive plan with you later in the summer.  The full re-opening plan must remain flexible as new information is available, findings from studies are released, and the incidence of COVID-19 infections changes.

For now, we are asking all students to do two things to help us in these efforts:

  1. Please review the Taylor Together, Again plan. Students, we invite your feedback. Please remember that a more comprehensive plan will be released later this summer.  We want to know which aspects of the plan you are grateful to see and which give you concern.  
  2. We also ask all students to acknowledge they have read this letter carefully and are aware of the risks and expectations. You should have received in your email a link to a form to acknowledge you have read and understand. Please take the time to submit your response.

Thank you for your commitment to the health and safety of the Taylor community.

Sincerely,

Dr. Skip Trudeau
Vice President for Student Development

Update: June 10, 2020

Taylor University today announced dates for the upcoming 2020 Fall Semester. The new schedule, adjusted from past years due to the pandemic, includes earlier starting and finishing dates, a one-day fall break, and online final exams.

“As we all have observed over the past few months, COVID-19 has disrupted many of our normal routines as we seek to mitigate the spread of the disease,” said Dr. Michael Hammond, Taylor’s Provost and Executive Vice President. “In seeking to keep Taylor University employees and students safe, we have sought to make changes that would have the best opportunity for protecting our community’s health and safety while maintaining the heart of our spiritual and educational mission.”

On-campus classes are scheduled to begin August 19, four days after the August 15 commencement ceremonies for the outgoing class of 2020, and end at the traditional Thanksgiving break. Dates for Taylor’s annual Homecoming and Family Weekend, January interterm, and the launch of spring semester are yet to be determined, but we plan to have an update on August 1. We will also provide additional details on safety guidelines as guidance comes from the State of Indiana.

Key Dates for the Fall Semester:

  • Commencement (rescheduled from May), August 15
  • Students return to campus/campus move-in, August 16-18
  • Classes begin at 5:00 pm, August 19
  • Classes will be held on Labor Day, September 7
  • Fall break, October 5
  • Thanksgiving break begins after last class, November 24
  • Final exams (virtual), November 30-December 3