Knox announced that all of Spring Term will be held remotely.
President Teresa Amott emailed students about the decision on Wednesday, March 25. The plan had originally been to have students return to campus in early May to finish the term. Students will now not return to campus.
The email cited the stay-at-home orders in place across much of the country, including Illinois. Total cases in Illinois are now over 1,500, but there are still no confirmed cases in Knox County.
“This is not the news you wanted to hear, and it is absolutely not the choice we wanted to make, but safeguarding your health and well-being is of paramount importance—which means keeping students off campus through at least the end of May. Nearly all faculty and staff are working remotely as well,” Amott wrote.
No decision has been made about commencement, which was scheduled for Sunday, June 7. The school hopes to hold the event but the email to the senior class said they did not want to commit to anything until they know what the situation will be in early June.
Students were asked not to come back to campus to retrieve their possessions from dorms, as Illinois is still under a stay-at-home order and the school wants to protect the health of the students who are still on campus. More information will be released in the coming weeks.
Most campus resource offices are closed physically but are working remotely. The email said offices like the Bastian Center for Career Success would be planning remote events and other ways to support students long distance.
“We will continue to offer career and networking events through the Bastian Family Center for Career Success and academic support through the Center for Teaching and Learning, as well as opportunities to pursue independent research and creative work or plan future off-campus study,” the email to freshmen, sophomores and juniors said.
Knox has set up a form for community members to share suggestions, questions and comments here: https://bit.ly/33KbrCx.