Austin Peay and Middle Tennessee State Universities Address Their Coronavirus Plans


Officials at two Middle Tennessee universities announced this week that they too will make drastic measures because of the coronavirus.

Austin Peay State University President Alisa White announced the news about her school, based in Clarksville, this week.

“After considerable deliberation, we have decided to suspend classes until March 23 and move all classes to fully online instruction. Spring B and Spring II registration will be extended until classes begin March 23. A new academic calendar will be posted by the end of the day. Students in clinicals, field experiences and student teaching should contact their supervisors for information specific to their situation. We will provide advanced notice if we decide to reconvene on-ground classes. I realize this will not be an easy task, and I appreciate everyone’s flexibility for taking on the extra burden in a compressed timeframe,” White said in a press release.

“Additionally, all non-athletic University-sponsored events are canceled until further notice. If it is possible to reschedule events, details will be forthcoming. A decision about commencement will be made in the weeks to come. In following precedence set by the NCAA, sanctioned indoor athletic events will be held without fan attendance through the remainder of the academic year. Only student-athletes, coaches and essential personnel are allowed in the indoor sports venues.”

Meanwhile, Middle Tennessee State University President Sidney A. McPhee announced in a separate press release that his school will extend its spring break for students by one week, through Sunday, March 22. That, he said, will allow faculty time to prepare remote instructional delivery of current on-ground classes beginning Monday, March 23. Remote delivery of these classes will continue until further notice, he said.

“Further, as we take these prudent measures to reduce the risk of exposure, we are canceling all events (including official university events, student events, non-University or external events, co-sponsored events and university-sponsored events) through Sunday, March 29. We are in consultation with the NCAA and Conference USA regarding our continued participation in athletic contests. We will not accept any campus event space reservations until further notice,” McPhee said.

“The Tennessee Secondary School Athletics Association tournaments – the ongoing girls championship and next week’s scheduled boys championships – in Murphy Center will continue at the discretion of its leadership.”

As The Tennessee Star reported last week, University of Tennessee Interim President Randy Boyd school officials will temporarily suspend all in-person classes until further notice as a proactive measure against the coronavirus.

UT Chattanooga will suspend in-person classes until March 30, while UT Knoxville and UT Martin will suspend in-person classes until April 3. Beginning March 23 the UT Health Science Center, until further notice, will offer all face-to-face lecture classes remotely. Clinical rotations in hospitals will continue as usual.

This, according to a press release UT officials put out Wednesday.

Boyd said in the press release that he had already consulted with chancellors at UT Knoxville, UT Chattanooga, UT Martin and the UT Health Science Center.

There are no reports of confirmed coronavirus cases on any University of Tennessee campus — but, regardless, there are confirmed cases in Tennessee, UT officials said.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Austin Peay State University Campus” by Austin Peay State University.






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