• COVID-19 Information and Plans

  • Message from President Arnold

    Friday, October 23, 2020

    Dear Hendrix community,

    This month, we began sharing new and updated health and safety protocols with students, families, faculty, and staff by email and on this website. These include an overview of comprehensive entry and surveillance testing, contact tracing, symptom screening and reporting, isolation and quarantine, residence hall move-in and single-occupancy campus housing, and new student orientation. We have also asked students their preference for in-person or remote learning to help us plan course delivery for the spring.

    We will continue to provide additional information to everyone in our community as we approach the spring semester. In the meantime, please continue to direct questions to aboutcovid@hendrix.edu.

    Thank you for your commitment to Hendrix and all that you do to keep Hendrix moving forward.

    Sincerely,

    W. Ellis Arnold III ’79

    President


  • COVID-19 Dashboard

    View the COVID-19 Dashboard for Oct. 23, 2020

    The link above will be updated every Friday.

  • Timeline & Plan

    • Wednesday, August 5 — New student advising will begin remotely.
    • Monday, August 17 through Wednesday, August 19 — New student orientation. The traditional orientation trips are postponed at this time.
    • Thursday, August 20 — Classes begin remotely.
    • Friday, October 9 — Latest date that the College will make an announcement regarding the possibility of returning to campus during the fall semester.
    • Monday, October 26 — Latest possible date in-person instruction could begin.
    • Tuesday, November 24 — Classes will end before Thanksgiving break.
    • Wednesday, December 2 through Wednesday, December 9 — Finals will be held online. 

    Planning for the Return to Campus

    View the College's Spring 2021 Reopening Plan.

  • Contact Tracing & Testing

    Employees: If you are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19, have signs or symptoms of COVID-19, or have tested positive, follow the corresponding instructions here.

    Students: Please review the student information for testing and tracing. Students who are living on campus are required to strictly adhere to designated protocols. Students who are studying remotely and living off-campus are encouraged to follow designated protocols.

    Protocols are based upon the most recent public health guidance available from the Arkansas Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Guidance is regularly monitored for changes that may result in updates to these protocols.

  • FAQ

    These FAQs were released Wednesday, July 29, 2020, with updates made August 5, 7, 14, and 19, and September 16, 2020.

    *If you have questions after reviewing the information presented here, please email aboutcovid19@hendrix.edu.

    Coronavirus Concerns:

    When Hendrix does return to in-person classes, how will the College be implementing contact tracing? Will an app or other technology be used for coronavirus-related issues?

    [Updated August 14, 2020] Staff who have been trained in contact tracing have already begun managing the tracing process for the limited population of faculty, staff, and students currently on campus as they report experiencing symptoms. The College will use various technology solutions to remind the community to self-screen, as well as to help with contact tracing.

    How many days or weeks of declining positivity will it take for the decision to begin in-person classes?

    [Updated August 14, 2020] While a decline in positivity will be a factor in declaring a return to campus, there is no single criterion that will trigger a return to in-person classes. The College examines the range of gating criteria daily to assess the risk level to the Hendrix community.

    If campus re-opens for in-person classes this semester may I continue with remote instruction?

    [Updated August 5, 2020] Yes, a student may elect to remain with remote learning if in-person classes become possible this semester.  

    Why did the college change from plans to have in-person hybrid courses to fully remote learning?

    We have been regularly monitoring the COVID-19 cases in Arkansas and with the recent increase in positive cases and current trends, we must postpone a return to in-person classes until we can assure the health and safety of our community. 

    When is the latest date that Hendrix would bring students back?

    [Updated August 14, 2020] The latest date we would bring students back to campus would be October 26 to start in-person instruction. In that case, the College would make the announcement no later than October 9. Students would move back to campus in phases during the two weekends after the announcement; detailed move-in instructions would be provided. 

    What will Hendrix do to ensure an appropriately safe environment for our students, faculty, and staff if we return to campus this fall? 

    The policies and procedures in the Fall 2020 COVID Response Plan we developed for opening the campus will remain in place.

    What are the conditions and factors the College will use to determine the return to in-person teaching on campus?

    The conditions the College will use include new COVID-19 cases, positivity rates, testing capacity and contact tracing response time, and local hospital capacity. We will also consider advice and directives from state and local health and government officials.


    Academic Concerns:

    Will the times that classes meet remain the same?

    [Updated August 14, 2020] Faculty will teach 1) fully synchronous classes or 2) courses with synchronous and asynchronous components based on the size of the course, on the level of the students in the course, and on the discipline and best practices for teaching in that discipline. Every course will have at least one synchronous instruction time each week. Faculty will communicate with their students about what class periods may be asynchronous through the semester.

    The expectation is that many of the class meetings will be synchronous. However, for some certain classes, there are good reasons to “flip the class” and have students do some of the work on their own, then get together synchronously to discuss what and how they are learning.

    [Updated August 19, 2020] The Office of Academic Affairs sent this message to students the morning of August 19, 2020, to remind students of key logistics related to remote learning.

    How will students receive academic support services when they aren’t on campus?

    [Updated August 14, 2020] All of the College’s regular academic support services will be done remotely, and the staff have been preparing for this over the summer. For example, new student advising took place remotely during the first week of August, enabling all incoming students to complete registration for the academic year. During this timeframe, every student met individually with their advisor and attended group advising meetings with their advising group and a student peer. Our student peer tutors have had extensive training over the summer for working remotely with other students, and they are excited to get to work with their peers to assist them with writing, mathematics, chemistry, and other courses. The Office of Academic Success has also been working to ensure that the College has a thorough process for working remotely with students with accommodations, and the library is ready to help students remotely with both digital and paper materials. Bailey Library staff recently sent a reminder to all faculty about their plans to provide remote research sessions for students enrolled in their courses.

    If the entire semester is remote, will pass/fail grading be an option?

    [Updated August 14, 2020] Pass/fail grades are always an option for students under the circumstances outlined in our College catalog. However, the special pass/fail option for all classes that was available for the spring 2020 semester due to the rapid change from in-person to remote learning  was only for that semester. Because the community has had time to prepare and adjust for the online format and gain familiarity with the platforms they will be using, the College will not have the special pass/fail option this fall.  

    Will the start of classes be adjusted back since it was adjusted forward this year for in-person classes? When will classes start?

    No, the current fall calendar will remain in place, and classes will start on August 20. 

    Will the College still have labs and other courses/activities that are hands-on? How will courses with performance-oriented elements and labs be completed remotely?

    [Updated September 16, 2020] Hendrix faculty have invested significant time and effort in exploring effective ways to engage students remotely and to challenge and inspire them just as they do in the physical classroom. In addition to faculty participating in training, Technology Services continues to work to improve online course delivery. 

    Hendrix studio art and performing arts instructors have worked to develop remote learning techniques that enable teaching, learning, and skill development to continue in a remote setting. These adjustments may include sending materials to students before the start of classes, using multi-camera setups for video, exploring options for audio recording, and allotting time for one-on-one coaching and review of work.

    Science faculty have been preparing for the possibility of online laboratory experiences for months. The scientific process includes: experimental design, hypothesis, execution, data analysis, assessment, and presentation. In some science laboratories, small kits can be used develop hands-on skills and create data. In other online science laboratories, execution will have to be deemphasized, but this gives space for other equally valuable skills to be developed, including working with large data and/or using computational methods. In subsequent semesters, laboratory programs will adjust to over-emphasize execution to readjust the balance of laboratory skills.

    All teaching delivered through web-based platforms and applications will be guided by the same principles of inclusive, intentional, and engaging pedagogy for which Hendrix is known. Read more about specific courses and disciplines in the Humanities and Natural Sciences Areas. 

    How will the College address engaged learning activities like research and internships?

    Students may still undertake Odyssey projects, such as research and internships. In most cases these activities will be done remotely following COVID-19 guidance provided by the Odyssey Office and Career Services. 

    Are there any updates on the possibility of study abroad for the Spring 2021 semester?

    [Updated August 14, 2020] At this point, the Office of International Programs is still planning on making study abroad opportunities available in spring 2021. The official decision will be made by October 15, 2020. Deciding factors include the U.S. government travel level warning for destination countries, and whether the European Union and other countries decide to allow United States travelers to enter their borders.

    What technology support is available for students who need remote learning support?

    Students with technology needs, such as lack of internet access or computer availability, may apply for a grant to help offset these expenses. Email HendrixCares@hendrix.edu to apply for grant support. The Technology Services HelpDesk is available to assist with support questions. Email HelpDesk@hendrix.edu for assistance. 


    Financial Concerns:

    When should students/families expect to see the updated financial statements? Will the due date remain August 15 for the adjusted amounts?

    [Updated August 14, 2020] As of August 14, the Business Office is in the process of finalizing the financial statement updates. The due date has been extended to September 15, 2020.

    Will tuition for the fall semester be reduced for remote teaching and learning?

    In addition to room and board costs being removed from student bills for the period of remote learning this fall semester, students still showing a balance for tuition will receive an additional grant that will reduce the amount for tuition owed for the fall by approximately 10%. Students can expect to see this change to the billing statement by August 12, 2020. 

    If the decision is made to move to in-person learning, will the billing statements be updated again to make the adjustments for room and board?

    [Updated August 14, 2020] Yes, if students return to campus this semester, room and board charges will be prorated accordingly.

    Specific to students from Arkansas, how will Governor's Distinguished Scholarships be affected?

    [Updated August 14, 2020] The enrollment requirements for GDS will remain the same. The student will need to carry the equivalent of 15 credit hours fall and spring, but a first-year student may carry 12 hours in the fall only.  

    Will student workers be allowed to work remotely?

    Students employed by the College whose jobs may be performed remotely may do so, subject to the supervisor’s approval. 

    Student Life/Activity Concerns:

    Will any students be allowed to live on campus during this period of remote teaching and learning?

    Only a very limited number of students facing extraordinary circumstances will be allowed to live on campus. Dining Services will not be operational. Students wishing to appeal to live on campus should complete this form by August 6. Those who make this request will receive a decision by August 11, 2020. 

    How does Hendrix plan to engage students remotely, given the residential nature of its experience?

    [Updated September 16, 2020] The Office of Student Activities and Student Senate kicked off the semester with a full array of events for the first two weeks. They continue to develop ways to maintain social connection among the Hendrix community regardless of students’ locations. There will be virtual trivia nights, game nights, talent shows, and other opportunities for engagement and community building throughout the semester. The College is providing opportunities for a rich social experience; these events and activities are advertised through Microsoft Teams, the Hendrix Today email distributed to the community on weekday mornings, and through social media channels of various student organizations.

    How does the new plan for fully remote learning change the practice and training opportunities for student-athletes in fall sports?

    Coaches will remain in contact with student athletes throughout the fall and provide remote training and teambuilding. Once we resume in-person classes, training will resume following NCAA and Conference guidelines.  

    What about winter sports and esports?

    [Updated August 14, 2020] Decisions related to winter sports have not yet been made. Regarding esports, the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is making efforts to develop a competition schedule; details will be announced when confirmed.

    Will Counseling Services be available this semester?

    [Updated August 5, 2020] Yes, Counseling Services staff will remain available to students, with improvements since the unexpected closure of campus in the spring. Over the summer, the counselors have earned certification in teletherapy. So, you can now choose a videoconference format for your counseling session. Of course, you can still have a phone session if it works best for your particular situation.

    Counseling Services will reopen on August 20. Students who would like to start seeing a counselor should call Counseling Services at 450-1448. For students who would like to resume counseling, you can email your counselor directly to schedule.

    As an incoming student, can I defer my enrollment to January or August 2021?

    Incoming first-year students and transfer students can seek a deferral by completing the Enrollment Deferral Form by Thursday, August 6. Any student receiving an academic-based scholarship can expect an award at the same level. For need-based financial aid review, students deferring to January 2021 will not need to re-apply for need-based financial aid; however, students seeking a deferral until August 2021 will need to submit the 2021-2022 Free Application for Federal Student Aid. During the deferral period, students are not permitted to take college coursework elsewhere. 

    As a returning student, can I take a leave of absence and return to on-campus student in January or August 2021?

    A student may apply for a Leave of Absence from the College for Fall 2020. An application for Leave of Absence is typically for one semester; however, a student with ongoing concerns about COVID-19 may request to extend this leave to cover Spring 2021. A student requesting a Leave of Absence should follow the procedure in the Hendrix Catalog

  • Health and Safety Information

    [Note: This section was last updated September 16, 2020.]

    Students living anywhere in Arkansas during remote learning may schedule telemedicine visits by calling the new Conway Regional Clinic in The Village at Hendrix, 501-852-1366. (The limited on-campus population during remote learning may also schedule in-person visits.) When you call, please mention that you are a Hendrix student and be prepared to give the clinic your student ID number. You may also make an appointment at www.conwayregional.org/hendrix. If COVID-19 testing is needed, the clinic will arrange for you to be tested at the hospital.

    The new clinic is open to students, faculty, staff, and the public. Students have three free visits to the clinic per academic year. Currently, the clinic’s hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Friday, with extended hours coming soon.

    The health and safety of the entire Hendrix community remains our top priority. Hendrix College continues to monitor developments surrounding COVID-19. Social distancing is the most effective way to decrease the spread of this illness. Listed below are tips from the Arkansas Department of Health to to protect yourself and others.  

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
    • Practice physical distancing. Avoid close contact with others, especially those who are sick, by keeping at least 6 feet between you and others.
    • Wear a cloth mask when in public and unable to maintain a 6-foot distance from others.
    • If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 or develop a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, seek testing. Testing is available in many locations, including Conway Regional Medical Center, ADH Local Health Units, and local hospitals.

    General Precautions

    • The College will continue to monitor information closely from the Arkansas Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and our Conway Regional Health System partners. Conditions will continue to be evaluated on a regular basis in the hope that a return to campus will become a more viable option.
    • Regardless of when a new return-to-campus date is set, face coverings (e.g., cloth mask, plexiglass face shield, etc.) will be required in public areas (indoor and outdoor). Hendrix has provided cloth masks to all students and employees.
    • Social distancing of six feet will continue to be expected of anyone who must come to campus to help implement the revised fall semester plans.

    Helpful Links 

    Screening and testing information from Conway Regional Health System: Conway Regional Health System offers local COVID-19 testing, which can be obtained following a telehealth or in-person visit with the Hendrix clinic: www.conwayregional.org/hendrix or 501-852-1336. The drive-through testing site is located at the Conway Regional Medical Center Campus west entrance, 2302 College Avenue. A laboratory order from a health provider is required. 

    Arkansas Department of Healthhttps://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/novel-coronavirus

    Centers for Disease Controlhttps://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html


  • Earlier Messages

    Update from October 1, 2020:

    Dear Hendrix students and families,

    The Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees and Senior Leadership Team met remotely this week to determine when to return to campus for in-person learning. 

    After reviewing current data on local and state conditions, we believe that our best course of action is to continue the semester remotely and to return to in-person classes in January. 

    During the week of October 12, we will begin sharing new and updated health and safety protocols by email and on our website. We will provide an overview of comprehensive entry and surveillance testing, contact tracing, symptom screening and reporting, isolation and quarantine, residence hall move-in and single-occupancy campus housing, and new student orientation. We will continue to provide additional information prior to students’ arrival in January. In addition, we will ask students their preference for in-person or remote learning to help us plan course delivery for the spring.

    In preparation for your return in January, we continue to make new and additional enhancements on campus: 

    • The new community health clinic in The Village at Hendrix will be expanding its testing capacity with a new testing machine that will enable us to perform testing on campus. Our partners at Conway Regional Health System are working to shorten the turnaround time for test results.
    • We have expanded our internal contact tracing team on campus.
    • Technology Services staff continue to upgrade our network capacity and classroom technology on campus. The College is working with Conway Corporation to upgrade the backbone of our campus internet, which will vastly improve access and speed. Classroom and residence hall wireless performance has also been upgraded, and Technology Services has installed 50 omnidirectional live video cameras in classroom spaces to enable more seamless and vibrant class discussions.
    • Our Dining Services team continues to evaluate new safety protocols for serving guests in the cafeteria and has held a safe and socially distanced dress rehearsal to be prepared for your arrival in January.
    • We continue to evaluate solutions to enhance air quality in our campus buildings (e.g., UV installation and other system upgrades).

    We understand that it has been a challenging year for Hendrix students and families. That is why, in addition to publishing our return plans, we will share details later this month about a new opportunity for current Hendrix students to receive a fifth year (ninth and tenth semesters) tuition-free. While we cannot undo the disruption created by COVID-19 this year, we hope that a tuition-free fifth year will allow the opportunity to have a richer residential experience at Hendrix. We look forward to sharing details about this opportunity soon. 

    We recognize that not only has COVID-19 affected current students, but it also has impacted the families of future Hendrix students. We will be introducing a new tuition model for students enrolling for the first time at Hendrix in fall 2021. We believe this change will reassure prospective students and families that a Hendrix education is accessible.

    We are grateful for your positive spirit and excited to be moving forward together.

    Sincerely,

    W. Ellis Arnold III ’79

    President
    ________

    Update from September 10, 2020:

    Dear Hendrix students and families, 

    The 2020-2021 academic year is underway, and we are off to a good start. We are excited to welcome 324 new students from 26 states in the Class of 2024. This year’s new student class is larger than last year’s, and inquiries and applications for Fall 2021 are significantly ahead of last year. We are also pleased to see strong retention among returning students, and enrollment now stands at 1,076. 

    I know that you are anxious to learn the timeline for our return to campus. It is extremely important to all of us at Hendrix that we resume in-person teaching and learning and student life on campus once it is safe to do so.  

    The next two to three weeks are critical, as our next steps depend on several factors, including COVID-19 trends in central Arkansas and the state and progress toward the Centers for Disease Control criteria. We hope to be able to make a decision regarding the remainder of the fall semester by the end of September, but we will share our plans with faculty, staff, students, and families no later than Friday, October 9. 

    In the meantime, we will continue to monitor data from the Arkansas Department of Health and CDC daily, and we meet weekly with our community partners at Conway Regional Health System. We are also keeping up with successes and challenges experienced by our colleagues at other institutions in the state, as well as member institutions of the Associated Colleges of the South. On campus, our steering committee continues to meet each week to discuss additional safety protocols in order to prepare for a safe reopening as soon as possible. Beginning this Friday, we will share our COVID-19 dashboard weekly on our web page. If you have any questions, please feel free to send them to aboutcovid19@hendrix.edu.  

    Thank you for your patience and positive spirit.      

    Sincerely, 

    W. Ellis Arnold III ’79 

    President 

    ________

    Update from July 29, 2020:

    Dear Hendrix students, 

    Over the last two months our campus community has worked diligently to prepare for your return to campus. The excitement of anticipating your return to campus has been fuel for our efforts to prepare for your return. Unfortunately, in spite of our determination, external conditions and the current trends of the virus in our state and neighboring states will prevent us from beginning the semester in person next month.  

    Today, guided by what is in the best interests for the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff, the Hendrix College Board of Trustees voted to adjust our fall opening plans and we will begin the semester remotely. Although we know this decision is prudent and wise, we share with you the extraordinary disappointment of not being together in person next month. Nevertheless, we will continue to monitor COVID-19 conditions and, if the current trends change, we will return to campus later this fall. 

    Hendrix faculty and Fall 2020 Steering Committee members have worked since May to prepare for in-person classes and to ensure your safe return to campus. This summer, the College joined Conway Regional Health System and our neighbors in higher education in Conway to form a testing and health services partnership to fulfill our plans for in-person teaching and learning and campus life.  

    While we are confident in our campus safety plans and our partners in the community, we have serious concerns, based on public health data and predictive models, about the current trajectory of the virus in central Arkansas and across the state. In addition, many of our out-of-state students come from Texas, Tennessee, and Louisiana, which are currently experiencing high infection rates.  

    In Arkansas, average daily cases have significantly increased since mid-June. Late last week, the state recorded the two highest single-day numbers of community cases since the pandemic began. The positivity rate of infection is now higher than a month ago.  

    These alarming trends create incredible pressure on testing turnaround and timely contact tracing. Despite solid strategic planning that accounts for multiple contingencies, as well as generous assistance from our regional healthcare system partners, these overwhelming external pressures compromise our capacity to successfully manage the certain growth in cases on our campus.   

    Given the current situation and the residential nature of our community, beginning the semester remotely is the most responsible position we can take in order to protect the health, safety, and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff.  

    We are hopeful virus trends will improve so that we can welcome students back to campus safely in a staggered return and resume in-person instruction later this fall. In the meantime, by adjusting our fall plans now, our primary focus will be on preparing to meet our collective commitment to educational excellence. Hendrix faculty have invested significant time and effort since our transition to remote learning this spring. Many of them have participated in a workshop series led by our Associate Provost for Faculty Development and professional development programs sponsored by our academic consortium, exploring effective ways to engage students remotely and to challenge and inspire them just as they do in the physical classroom.  

    We will update our online resources at www.hendrix.edu/fall2020plans to reflect the adjustments to our fall plans, including the expectations and implications for remote learning, by the end of next week. If you have questions or concerns that are not covered in our new FAQs, please contact aboutcovid19@hendrix.edu.    

    This is a time of much uncertainty in higher education. It has required all of us to adapt our plans to health conditions that are beyond our control. In spite of these challenges, I am certain of this: the value and importance of what we do at Hendrix has never been greater than it is at this moment in our history; the quality of the educational experience at Hendrix has never been higher; and I am confident that together we will emerge from this time as a stronger community. You are the next generation of Hendrix graduates and the experiences that you will have at Hendrix will not only be life changing for you but will also prepare you to help shape the future of our world. 

    Thank you for your patience, perseverance, and commitment to Hendrix. 

    Sincerely,  

    W. Ellis Arnold III ’79 

    President 

    ________

    Update from July 21, 2020:

    Dear Hendrix College community members,

    While academic and campus life have changed this year because of COVID-19, our commitment to students has not. In consultation with our partners at Conway Regional Health System, a steering committee has developed a comprehensive plan to prepare for the fall semester on campus. I am pleased to share this plan with you.

    Over the past several months, I have been inspired by the Hendrix community as you have again and again demonstrated tremendous support and care for one another. Going forward, we must commit to upholding the expectations in our plan in order to safely and successfully return to teaching, learning, and living at Hendrix. That is why our plan calls for a Community Commitment. This commitment, which will be distributed before the return to campus, will reinforce our collective and individual responsibility to create and maintain a safe environment at Hendrix for students, faculty, and staff.   

    Our plan is a living document. We are closely monitoring key health and safety indicators, and we are continually evaluating our capacity to manage those trends on campus. We continue to meet weekly with our local community partners at Conway Regional Health System and monitor guidance from the Arkansas Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control daily.   

    We will continue to share new information with our community, and we will update our online resources at www.hendrix.edu/fall2020plans

    While the global pandemic continues to test all of us, it also reveals the tremendous strengths of the Hendrix community, which form the foundation of our Statement of Purpose: empathy, creativity, self-understanding, rigorous inquiry, and informed deliberation. Most important is our collective commitment to educational excellence; despite changes brought by COVID-19, I know the outstanding Hendrix education across the liberal arts will continue this fall and beyond.

    Thank you for your patience, perseverance, and commitment to the mission of the College as we prepare for the fall at Hendrix.

    Sincerely,

    W. Ellis Arnold III ’79

    Read the full Fall 2020 COVID-19 Response Plan

    ________

    Update from July 14, 2020:

    Dear Hendrix students,

    In order to be ready to open campus for in-person classes next month, we have been developing a comprehensive plan with policies and protocols to ensure the health and safety of the Hendrix community. We will release this report early next week.  

    While we are eager to see you on campus, we are also finalizing a flexible learning option so students who have health or other concerns can learn remotely for the fall semester. We will share more information on this option, including expectations and implications for remote learning, within the next week. At that time, we will be asking all students to respond to a short survey so that we can adjust accordingly.

    We will continue to share updates with our community and update our online resources at www.hendrix.edu/fall2020plans. Plans for fall semester on campus will be added to this link next week. Additionally, you can send any questions you have to aboutcovid19@hendrix.edu.  

    Thank you for your flexibility and patience as we prepare for the fall. While COVID-19 has required changes to academic and campus life, it also represents an opportunity to reinforce our role as a national liberal arts college that inspires and challenges students to adapt and meet the shifting needs of our world.  

    Sincerely, 

    W. Ellis Arnold III ’79 
    President 

    ________

    Update from June 17, 2020:

    Dear Hendrix College community members,

    Many of you have been involved in planning for the Fall 2020 semester at Hendrix. Thank you for your hard work, your helpful suggestions, and your unwavering commitment to Hendrix College.

    As we prepare for the fall, I want to share a framework of our plans for the semester.

    • Housing assignments for new students will be released by Tuesday, June 30.
    • New student advising will be remote, beginning Wednesday, August 5.
    • New students move into residence halls Monday, August 17, and returning students arrive Wednesday, August 19. Move-in will be strategically staggered to allow as much physical spacing as possible.
    • New student orientation will be Monday, August 17 through Wednesday, August 19. The traditional orientation trips are postponed at this time.
    • Classes begin Thursday, August 20. In-person classes will end Tuesday, November 24, before Thanksgiving break.
    • Finals will be held online after Thanksgiving break.

    We will continue to communicate with you as we update our plans based on guidance we receive from the Centers for Disease Control, the Arkansas Department of Health, and Conway Regional Health System. It is critical that we follow these recommendations in order to safely and successfully return to academic and campus life at Hendrix.

    As we finalize details for the fall, we will continue to share new and updated information online at www.hendrix.edu/fall2020plans.

    While COVID-19 has required some changes to academic and campus life, it also represents an opportunity to reinforce our role as a national liberal arts college that inspires and challenges students to adapt and meet the shifting needs of our world. 

    Thank you for your flexibility and patience as we prepare for the fall, and thank you for all you do for Hendrix!

    Sincerely,

    W. Ellis Arnold III ’79

    President

    ________

    Update from March 31, 2020:

    To: Hendrix College Class of 2020 (seniors and M.A. Accounting students)
    From: President Arnold
    Subject: Hendrix College Spring 2020 Commencement

    Dear Spring 2020 graduates, 

    Spring at Hendrix usually means azaleas blooming on campus and busy days full of year-end performances, preparations for final exams, and plenty of good times and fond farewells with friends and mentors. Unfortunately, most of these milestones have been postponed indefinitely or canceled entirely. I cannot express how heartbroken I am that your final semester at Hendrix has been upended in such an extraordinary way. 

    Though it is the pinnacle of the academic year, we cannot hold Commencement 2020 on campus in May as scheduled. While many things are still uncertain and undecided, let me assure you that there will be an opportunity for you to return to campus and be recognized for your accomplishments as graduates of Hendrix College. We will celebrate what you have worked so hard to achieve these past four years. I look forward to sharing more information at a later date once we determine when that opportunity will be. 

    In the meantime, we know how important your Hendrix diploma is to you. Please make sure your address is up to date in CampusWeb no later than May 1 so that we can mail it to you at the end of the academic year. 

    During your time at Hendrix, each of you has contributed to the character and spirit of this institution. I look forward to the opportunity to celebrate with you, to personally congratulate you, and to thank you for all you mean to the College. 

    Sincerely,

    W. Ellis Arnold III ’79

    President

    ________

    An update with information about remote learning was sent to students March 19, 2020: Information About Remote Classes

    Additional updates were released March 16, 2020: Informational Updates and Available Resources for the Hendrix Community

    ________

    Update from March 13, 2020: 

    Dear Hendrix community, 

    I am grateful to everyone who has shared their concerns and offers of support as our Senior Leadership Team has monitored the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)-related developments in recent days.  

    While there are no cases of COVID-19 currently at Hendrix, our responsibility is the well-being of our students and employees. In a highly residential living and learning environment such as Hendrix, we are concerned that we cannot adequately ensure the health and safety of our students in the event of an outbreak. 

    After careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to suspend in-person classes at the conclusion of classes today, and we will transition to synchronous remote learning after Spring Break for the remainder of this semester. All other campus operations will continue, and offices will remain open. A timeline of important dates is listed below. 

    We understand there are unresolved issues and will continue working to identify solutions to questions not addressed in this message. Please know that we are absolutely committed to upholding the quality of teaching and learning.  

    We will continue to update our resource and response page at  www.hendrix.edu/coronavirus. There will be an FAQ section added to this page to address other issues, which will be updated as decisions are made. If you have questions about the information presented here, please email  aboutcovid19@hendrix.edu

    I am grateful for the hard work of staff, faculty, and students who have assisted in planning and decision-making. This decision was not made lightly, and we understand its profound impact on everyone. Thank you for your patience, support, and understanding.  

    In the coming days and weeks, the resilience of our community will be tested, but I am confident this unprecedented situation will ultimately reaffirm the character and spirit of Hendrix. 

    Sincerely, 

    W. Ellis Arnold III ’79 

    President 

    ________

    Update from March 11, 2020:

    Currently:

    • There are no cases of COVID-19 on the Hendrix campus, nor are there any suspected cases.
    • On March 2, the College sent a message to students, faculty, and staff concerning plans to address health and safety issues, travel study modifications, and academic continuity.

    In addition, here are some measures the College is currently taking:

    Addressing academic continuity concerns: As part of the College planning of our response to COVID-19, we will be setting up Office 365 Teams for Education as the on-line platform for holding classes remotely. Please note that we have NOT yet made any definite decisions about whether we will need to hold classes virtually, but we need to have the system deployed in case we decide to move in this direction. Academic Affairs and Technology Services are developing instructions and training for faculty and instructions for students. As the situation continues to develop, we will keep the Hendrix community informed about any updates or next steps.

    Response planning: The College’s Emergency Response Team has begun meeting to determine likely needs in the event COVID-19 reaches the Hendrix campus. These considerations include:

    • alternate housing for temporary containment/quarantine
    • alternate distribution of meals that would minimize the need for a large group to congregate in the same space
    • how best the College can follow updated recommendations distributed by the above sources
    • addressing sick leave policies per the recommendation of the City of Conway and local health professionals.

    Additional sanitizing: Facilities staff are paying particular attention to sanitizing high-traffic areas around campus. Thank you for your patience as this change in focus affects some of the normal campus maintenance schedules.

    Coordinating with community leaders: Assistant Dean Mike LeBlanc and Nurse Necie Reed attended a March 4 meeting called by the City of Conway to discuss COVID-19 concerns. Mayor Bart Castleberry brought together leaders from area hospitals, State and City Health Departments, larger businesses, schools, and institutions of higher education. Topics included the City’s disease readiness plan and a review of preparation by various organizations.