Update: May 26, 2020

Taylor University continues to develop plans for reopening our campus and services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we seek God’s direction in navigating this challenging time.

Virtual Commencement Celebrations

It was deeply painful for us all that we weren’t able to honor our 2020 graduates at Commencement this past Saturday. However, our creative faculty and staff made a series of videos (featuring some very special guests) to celebrate our graduates at a virtual Commencement – check out the playlist here!

Graduates, remember to mark August 15 on your calendar for the rescheduled Commencement ceremony that will be held on Taylor’s campus! We are so proud of all you have accomplished, and can’t wait to see what God will do in your lives!

Employees Returning to Campus

We are initiating a phased approach for employees to return to work on campus beginning Monday, June 1, 2020. There will be specific expectations of employees when on campus in order to properly adhere to CDC guidelines of social distancing, the State of Indiana protocols, and University needs.

From June 1 – July 3, some employees will be again working on campus. However, they will be encouraged to maintain social distancing in their work areas, meet over Zoom or other forms of distance communication rather than meet in person, and use masks or face coverings in common areas and in other interior spaces where the six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained.

We are planning for the majority of employees to return to their normal work locations by Monday, July 6.

Summer Campus Visits

We’re very excited to welcome visitors to our beautiful campus starting July 6! All campus buildings will be open for visitors, and we will be taking abundant safety and social distancing precautions to make this a positive, safe experience for students and their families.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support of Taylor University!

Update: May 18, 2020

To Our Beloved Taylor Students and Families, Employees, Alumni and Friends,

We have reached the end of the semester. I write to share this video message, as well as a series of written updates below.

The most compelling stories in the Bible are full of unexpected twists and turns. Adam and Eve are banished from Paradise. Noah builds a boat on dry land. Abraham is asked to sacrifice his long-awaited son. David conquers a giant with stones. A prodigal is welcomed home with a feast. King Jesus performs miracles and turns everything upside down.  

At Taylor, no matter how the story turns next, we hope you sense our resolve to develop more and more servant leaders to minister Christ’s redemptive love and truth. These past eight weeks, amidst life-altering circumstances and unfathomable hardship, God surprised this 174-year-old institution again. He reminded us of His faithfulness as He called us deeper together in our commitment to fulfill our educational and spiritual mission as a community that is not defined by geography. 

Now, we have reached the end of a most unexpected semester. It’s Finals Week, and we did it. We completed the semester as a dispersed community, thanks to our remarkably creative faculty and supportive staff, wholeheartedly committed to 1,829 students filled with promise. To God be the glory!

Fall Semester to Start in August

All of us can’t wait to welcome you again in person to our beautiful campus, with fall classes beginning Monday, August 31, as scheduled.

Our new and returning students will receive housing information in the next few days. Returning students have already registered for fall classes, and we are thrilled to welcome 458 new freshmen and transfer students. These numbers likely will shift some in the coming weeks.

Let me assure you that we are dedicated to ensuring compliance with all Indiana government and public health guidelines. While eager to have students return, we will act responsibly to care for the health and safety of our students, employees, and visitors. Our campus is reopening this summer as employees begin to return on a phased-in schedule, and some students return for summer research projects with faculty and to prepare for fall athletics.

We’re also preparing for the unexpected, not knowing what new health challenges and travel restrictions might emerge. Our staff and faculty will be ready to adjust quickly if we have to transition again to virtual learning. The lived-experience at Taylor is distinctive, and we have expectant hope for the academic year ahead.

If anyone would like to know more details about our reopening plans, please continue to monitor www.taylor.edu/coronavirus for regular updates.

Commencement on August 15

Mark your calendars, graduating seniors and families. Commencement will be held on Saturday, August 15. That will make for a glorious weekend, including some special events for graduating seniors, who will continue a distinctive Taylor tradition as they receive not only their diplomas, but also Bibles and Taylor servant’s towels.

Our staff is making provisions so we practice social distancing guidelines, while enabling the entire Taylor community to participate remotely, especially for graduating seniors who will not be able to participate in person. Graduating seniors and their families should look for an email with more details in the days to come.

Praise and Thanksgiving

In closing, we continue to praise God for his faithful provision these past two months! Please join us in thanksgiving to our heavenly Father.

Faithfully and together,

Paige Comstock Cunningham, PhD, JD
Interim President

Update: April 22, 2020

To Our Beloved Taylor Community: Students and Families, Employees, Alumni and Friends,

Chapel speaker J.R. Briggs (’01) asked us last Friday to ponder three questions: “What has COVID-19 taken away from you? What has it not taken away? And what blessings has it given to you?”

Oh, how I love when Taylor leaders challenge us with probing questions that draw us closer to our Lord.

For me, COVID-19 has taken away proximity, where we can be close to one another in the joys and despairs. It has not taken away the reality of a community “not defined by geography.” And it has given me the blessing of stepping back, and reconsidering the essentials of what Taylor is.

As God calls us deeper in this season of change, we rest in His faithfulness. May this video inspire you, and unite us, as we look to Him to “accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” 


Important Taylor Updates

VIRTUAL LEARNING
This is week four since our semester resumed virtually on March 30. What a time of intense and competing emotions this has been as our students, faculty and staff adapt, just like you have had to do. A recent survey of our students shows that 68% gave a “thumbs up” to their virtual classes. We celebrate the amazing work done by our faculty, students and families to adjust to this format. In the same survey, 44% of the students said they were “doing okay” and 43% said they were “doing mostly well.” All deeply miss deeply the on-campus community that sets Taylor apart. Please pray for our students.

FINANCIAL REALITIES
The pandemic has adversely impacted Taylor financially, as it has colleges everywhere. We have taken a $3.5M hit to our fiscal year due to the adjustment to room and board charges. It was the right thing to do. As we endure this difficult financial season and address more uncertainties to come, we are reminded that Taylor has weathered financial storms throughout our history, and that God has faithfully brought us through safely. We are planning expectantly as we innovate and steward resources wisely, while staying focused on developing more servant leaders. Nevertheless, we are taking difficult steps this week to furlough some employees and reduce expenses further, not knowing yet how today’s economic realities will impact future student enrollment. This is not an easy week for our employees. Please pray for them.

ALL-TAYLOR TOWN HALL ON APRIL 29
Many have reached out to ask how Taylor is doing. I invite you to join me for an online Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. (ET) when I will give a more detailed Taylor update. We will stream the event on Taylor’s Facebook and Instagram sites. Please mark your calendars – we’d love to have you join us.

Above all, I am keenly aware of and deeply grateful for your prayers for us. We are praying for you, too. May our faithful God guide us all as we stay or get well, finding creative new ways to minister Christ’s redemptive love and truth to our world in need.

Faithfully and together,

Paige Comstock Cunningham, PhD, JD
Interim President

Update: April 3, 2020

To All Our Students and Their Parents: As your first week of virtual learning at Taylor is wrapping up, I hope you are finding helpful ways to adjust. I’m back in Upland, and the campus feels empty — I miss you, students! We are all working at distances from one another. We know you parents are also adjusting to new realities. 

I’m writing to let you know about an important decision regarding adjustments to student accounts. This morning, the Board of Trustees took action to reduce housing and meal charges by 8/15 (for the 8 weeks after Spring Break) for all students who moved out of University housing. 

Universities have handled financial adjustments in a variety of ways. We believe this is the right thing to do for you, students and parents. For Taylor students, each account had to be individually adjusted, and we wanted to make sure to do this well. 

Each student’s account will vary, but some will reflect a credit balance. We want you to choose how you would like us to process that credit. Here are your options:

A: Leave it on my account for next semester. (We’re glad you’re coming back!)

B: Please send me the balance. (We’re happy to process that quickly!)

C: I’d like to donate the balance to Taylor. (Thank you!)

Why option C? The Lord may be putting this option in the hearts of our families who can help students now. Some of you have expressed a desire to do just that. But we know that many of you are not in a position to make gifts, and we truly understand. 

Need more answers? Here are some helpful links:

  • Visit this website for FAQs about how these changes may affect your account.
  • Check student emails for the link to indicate preferred option regarding a credit balance.
  • Contact bursar@taylor.edu to ask questions specifically related to your account.

Please know we take seriously the stewardship of not only your education, but also your resources. Thank you for your patience, understanding and, most importantly, prayer.

Faithfully and together,

Paige Comstock Cunningham, PhD, JD

Interim President

“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:19 NIV)

Reduction in Spring Semester Charges

Since you are unable to be on campus, the Taylor board and leadership team agree it is appropriate to reduce the amount of housing and meal charges, by 8/15 of the original housing and/or meal plan charges for all students who moved out of university housing. If you did not have one of these charges, your account will remain unaffected.

We know there may be questions about how the amount of the reduction was calculated.  We want to be very transparent about this calculation, so please note the following methodology.

  • On Friday, March 13, we announced that Spring Break would start on March 18, virtual classes would begin on March 30, with classes to resume on campus on April 14.
  • Just one week later, due to developments regarding COVID-19, we regretfully announced that we would not be able to resume classes on campus this semester.
  • On Friday, March 20, we also communicated to students the need to leave campus.
  • The campus officially moved to virtual-only learning on March 30.
  • There are 15 weeks in the semester (not counting Spring Break week), and 8 of those weeks (including finals week) occur after Spring Break week.

Therefore, we have calculated the reduction amount as 8/15 of the original housing and/or meal plan charge for the semester.

  • For students who have not yet paid their Spring 2020 account in full, the reduction of charges will not result in a credit balance, but instead will result in a lower balance due to Taylor. 
  • If you had a scheduled payment plan, that plan will be automatically reduced to the amount needed to cover this lower balance. 
  • In certain circumstances, a student may have received a combination of federal, state, private, and Taylor grant aid that now exceeds the charges for tuition, fees, and reduced housing and meal plans. In those cases, the amount of Taylor grant aid will be reduced accordingly. 
  • Finally, in certain circumstances, a student may have received federal Title IV aid that now exceeds the federally-determined qualifying charges. In those cases, the excess federal Title IV funds will be returned to you, with no other action required of you, per government policy.

Process for a Credit Balance

The effect of the reduction in charges is not the same for every student. For some students, this adjustment will create a credit balance. In that case, students may select from the following options:

A. I would like to leave the credit balance on my account and have that balance applied to charges for the next semester. (Note: This option will not affect eligibility for future financial aid.)

B. I would like a payment to me for the amount of the credit balance on my account.

C. I would like to have the credit balance moved from my account and treated as a gift to the University. (Note: All contributions would be tax-deductible).

Options for Finding Answers

We hope that this explanation provides clarity, but we recognize that questions may still exist.

  • Check the FAQs about how these changes may affect your account.
  • Check student emails for the link to indicate preferred option regarding a credit balance.
  • Contact bursar@taylor.edu to ask questions specifically related to your account.

Update: April 2, 2020

I trust you are all doing well and staying home and healthy. I just want to take a few moments to let you know of a change to the academic calendar, some reminders, and an opportunity to share your stories of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Campus calendar change

We will continue to honor Good Friday on April 10 as a holiday. This means there will not be class assignments or instruction on that day. However, since we are not requiring a travel day to return from Easter Sunday, we will have classes and instruction on Monday, April 13. Faculty and students, please be aware of this schedule change.

Academic Help

Students, we know this is a challenge and your professors want to hear how you are doing in their classes. Have grace and patience with one another. Students, if you have any concerns about your assignments or grades, please contact Scott Gaier at scgaier@taylor.edu or Darci Nurkkala at drnurkkala@taylor.edu in the Academic Enrichment Center. Their responsibility is to be an advocate for you to your faculty and also provide any support that you need. Additionally, if you’re struggling to get things done or want any type of extra help they are willing to connect with you through email, phone, or virtual meetings.

We want to hear your stories!

In the future, researchers will study the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. They will study the responses of colleges and universities, and of people. Charts and graphs will be easy to find, but what about the stories of those of us that actually experienced this unprecedented situation? What if there were an archive of what the Taylor community was like during the 2020 pandemic? We’d like to announce the launch of the Taylor University COVID-19 Community Archive Initiative, organized by the Ringenberg Archives & Special Collections. The goal of this project is to create a community archive that will collect, preserve, and make accessible the story of Taylor University, and the individual experiences of the Taylor community, during this unprecedented time.

We invite all current undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, staff, and administrators to contribute to this collection. More information about what type of content can be submitted, writing prompts, and additional information is available at https://library.taylor.edu/archives/pandemic-community-archive. To submit a contribution, simply complete the Content Submission Form and email your work to pillars@taylor.edu

Direct link to Content Submission Form:https://taylor.libwizard.com/f/submission-permission-form-pandemic

Direct link to the Collection (currently empty but hopefully not for long) is: https://pillars.taylor.edu/pandemic-2020/

We look forward to receiving your submissions. Thank you for helping us capture the spirit of Taylor community during this significant moment in history. If you have any questions, please email pillars@taylor.edu.

Thanks, and God bless,

Michael Hammond

Update: March 26, 2020

As of March 24 at 11:59pm, the State of Indiana is under a Stay-at-Home order until April 6, 2020 at 11:59pm. The majority of Taylor’s staff and faculty have transitioned to working from their homes.

Certain employees are still physically needed on campus to serve our 55 students that remain, as well as to prepare lessons for students finishing their semester online, to protect and care for facilities, to pay various bills, to process mail and payroll, to provide donor services, and to support students planning to attend Taylor for the first time in the fall of 2020. At least one member of the Senior Leadership Team will be present on campus each work day.

Campus Access

As part of our compliance with the Stay-at-Home directive, all campus buildings will remain closed. Faculty and staff may only access areas necessary to complete on-campus employment tasks using ID and keys.

  • The Zondervan Library and KSAC are closed.
  • Outdoor athletic facilities that are locked are not open for any use, including employees and family members.
  • Boren Center will continue to serve meals as a support for those students who remain on campus. Employees are welcome to purchase carry-out meals in Boren as well.  
  • Campus access for essential duties is limited to employees. No guests or family members should be using or entering campus facilities during this time.

Contact Information

If you need to contact any department, staff member, or professor, the best way to get in touch is through email. Here’s a list of email addresses you may need:

Bursar: bursar@taylor.edu
Registrar: registrar@taylor.edu
Financial Aid: finaid@taylor.edu
Counseling Center: counselingcenter@taylor.edu
IT Support: 4040@taylor.edu
COVID-19 Response: ICRT@taylor.edu

Taylor’s main phone line has been directed to voicemail, and messages will be returned as staff are able to make those calls. 

We continue to monitor and make adjustments to our response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Taylor’s campus might be closed, but the Taylor faculty and staff are very much active and looking forward to classes starting online on March 30. 

Thank you for your prayers for our community and our world.

Mike Hammond
Provost/Executive Vice President

Update: March 23, 2020

To Our Beloved Taylor Community: Students & Families, Staff, Faculty, Alumni and Friends,
 
Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
 
With so much unsettled these days, I am sharing the following video update on the state of Taylor University. I invite you to take a few minutes to hear not only what’s been happening these past weeks, but also to hear my heart for Taylor, our amazing students, dedicated employees, and broader community.



News changes frequently. The best way for you to stay abreast of developments as they arise is right here at taylor.edu/coronavirus. For questions that aren’t answered here, or to submit comments, please email us at ICRT@taylor.edu.

Above all, thank you for praying for us, even as we pray for you. Let us all walk in faith, and in God’s peace that passes understanding. May God guide all of us all as we minister Christ’s redemptive love and truth everywhere.

Grace and peace,
Paige

Update: March 20, 2020

Thank you for your patience during these past few weeks as we have been responding to the frequently-changing global health crisis.

In the interest of the health and safety of our community, Taylor University will not be able to resume on-campus classes and programs on April 14, 2020 as we had hoped. All classes for the spring semester will be delivered in virtual format starting on March 30, 2020. As we have monitored the developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, and received direction from federal, state, and local authorities, this has become the most prudent option. The decision was made after an emergency session last evening (March 19) with the Taylor Board of Trustees and Taylor’s Senior Leadership Team.

This follows the announcement that Grant County, Indiana has been placed at an Orange level travel advisory, meaning only essential travel should be undertaken. Additionally, in the State of Indiana, the number of COVID-19 cases has more than doubled from 39 to 79 in the past two days, including one confirmed diagnosis in Grant County.

As a result, and based on what we know now, the following policies are now in effect:

  1. Residence halls will be closed and secured immediately. We will make provisions for international students and those students who are unable to return to their homes. Belongings left in the residence halls will be secured until such a time as the residence halls reopen. Students will receive additional information via email in the next few minutes from the Student Development team.
  2. All campus buildings will be locked with access restricted to employees.
  3. Information will be coming soon regarding adjustments to room and board spring semester charges. We recognize that this is a matter of importance to students and families, and we ask for your patience.
  4. Commencement will be postponed from the current date and rescheduled. This is a very important event for the Taylor family and we will be in conversation with members of the senior class on plans as we monitor the health crisis. 

Please continue to go to www.taylor.edu/coronavirus for updates and details. Questions may be directed to ICRT@taylor.edu. The health and safety of every member of the Taylor University community remains our primary concern. We are grateful God’s work in each of our lives is not limited to the boundary of the loop or the “village border,” nor is it defined by geography. Please continue to pray and have faith that the Lord will be honored in all of this and do amazing things in our midst.

Faithfully in Christ,

Paige Comstock Cunningham, Interim President

Michael D. Hammond, Provost/Executive Vice President

Update: March 19, 2020

As of March 19, 2020, the Grant County Health Department reported NO confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Grant County. As a precautionary measure, the County Commissioners elevated the travel status in Grant County to Orange which limits travel on Grant County roads to only essential travel such as to and from work, grocery stores, medical treatment or supplies, emergency situations, and other essential services until further notice.

As a result, Taylor University has encouraged students who were planning to travel home in the coming days to consider departing soon due to the possibility of more restrictive conditions.

Taylor offices continue to remain open and staffed. University officials will continue monitoring the situation and will make regular updates. If you have any questions, please email icrt@taylor.edu.

Update: March 17, 2020

Please take a few minutes to watch this video greeting and brief update for the employees of Taylor. Thank you for all you are doing for our Taylor students, each other, and our community.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, may you be assured of the peace of God that passes understanding.

With appreciation, 

Paige

Paige Comstock Cunningham, PhD, JD

Interim President