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Click here to read the letter from Dr. Hakim Lucas 

View CARES Act Reports

September 30, 2020

Dear Panther Community,  

Fall is a nostalgic time of year for Virginia Union University. It is a time where we gather to celebrate the university and each other during Convocation and VUU’s Homecoming Like No Other. The good news is that these events are still taking place, but they are bringing us together in a virtual space. A VUU committee, led by our Dean of Students, and the VUU National Alumni Association have planned some events during the week of October 4 - 10, 2020. Look for the details in your email and on our website at www.vuu.edu.   

We had planned to celebrate the Class of 2020 during homecoming week. However, due to the continued COVID-19 restrictions we have decided to postpone the ceremony. We look forward to celebrating two classes, 2020 & 2021, during our May Commencement.   
  
Though we are in a double pandemic, dealing with the impact of COVID-19 and institutional racism, the university continues to do its work. In July, we successfully held our reaffirmation visit for accreditation by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). It was the first time this visit was held virtually. As we focus on the next ten years, EVP/COO Dr. Allia L. Carter will begin the process of meeting with each constituent group to collect your feedback on our 2020-2025 Strategic Plan entitled, "Delivering on the Promise."  

Since January 2020, our Enrollment Management team, University College, Academic Affairs and, the Office of Student Development & Success have collaborated to ensure that the university achieved its recruitment and retention goals for the Fall 2020 semester. As a result of their challenging work, in the midst of the global pandemic and the need to recreate many of our recruitment and retention strategies, we are excited to welcome 449 new undergraduate students and 115 new graduate students. We are proud of the team on increasing our new student population by 24% and increasing our total undergraduate enrollment by 7%.  

While we celebrate our new students, we also are grateful that students are returning. We have achieved an 82% retention rate from fall to fall for undergraduates. VUU is experiencing growth in recruitment and retention rates across the board which indicates that the university’s strategies are working and achieving new heights.   

 As we continue to implement our vision of becoming a nationally ranked Best in Class institution, the university celebrates the expansion of its academic programs. We have received approval by SACSCOC to offer four new programs in January 2021. They are a bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences, a bachelor's degree in Hospitality Management, a master’s degree in Hospitality Management and, a master's degree in Political Science. We are excited about these new growth opportunities and look forward to enrolling additional new students in January. Now more than ever, our students need your support by donating to scholarships. We look forward to our alumni and friends supporting student educational pursuits during our weekly Giving Tuesdays. Additionally, I encourage you to get involved and share the good news happening at VUU!  

 We continue to solicit your prayers. The environmental safety of our students, faculty, and staff is of utmost importance. Strong planning and management have helped us to remain under our goal of less than 2% of our population testing positive for the coronavirus. We will continue to implement the necessary security and health standards for the security of our campus and community.   

 If you missed the virtual Convocation on September 24, please be sure to watch the service on our YouTube (VUU TV) channel. Follow us on social media for the latest updates about VUU. I look forward to sharing with you more great news in October. 

Sincerely,

Hakim J. Lucas, Ph.D.
President & CEO


Virginia Union University is continuing to monitor updates about “COVID-19,” more commonly known as coronavirus. We are working with Capital Area Health Network (CAHN), our University-based healthcare provider, and following the recommendations from the Virginia Department of Health(VDH) as well as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

As of June 16, 2020, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has confirmed 55,331 cases of COVID-19 in Virginia. The VDH states that "the risk of exposure for members of the public is low, but individual risk is dependent on exposure." 

Click here to read the Virginia Union University Corona Virus Memo

Share your travel plans:

We strongly urge students, faculty, and staff after reading the travel information from the CDC site noted above to share any travel plans with us by clicking the following link and submitting the form provided. This will help us to take any additional precautions should the need arise. Please click here to fill out the form.

Below are some informational items for you:

Centers for Disease Control Fact sheet (English)

Informacion (en español)

We want to share a few items of utmost importance.

  1. We continue to ask everyone to practice healthy habits such as washing their hands with soap and water for at least 20-30 seconds, not sharing drinks or eating utensils, and staying home and getting rest if they are sick. These steps remain the best defense against coronavirus, flu, and other communicable diseases.
  1. We know that special attention must be given to each of our facilities to ensure they are as clean as possible daily. We will be working with our maintenance and custodial team to take a fresh look at each of our buildings to see if there are any additional cleaning techniques we need to utilize. 
  1. As you enjoy Spring Break, we are asking our University community to exercise special caution with regards to travel, especially as traveling to certain countries could increase the potential risk of exposure.  A few things to consider:
  • The CDC maintains a Travel Information website related to COVID-19, and specifically recommends avoiding all nonessential travel to countries at Warning Level 3.  Note that these ratings can change rapidly.
  • We urge faculty, staff, and students who have personal or professional plans to travel either internationally or to affected areas in the U.S. to reconsider their travel.  In doing so, we ask each of you to take into account the possibility of travel delays, future quarantines, or prolonged self-isolation when returning from travel to VUU as students, faculty, and staff returning from a level 1, 2, or 3 country should self-isolate for 14 days upon return.
  • We strongly urge students, faculty, and staff after reading the travel information from the CDC site noted above to share any travel plans with us by clicking the following link and submitting the form provided. This will help us to take any additional precautions should the need arise. Click here to fill out the form.

The decisions we are making rely heavily on the guidance we are receiving from the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health and are intended to protect the health and welfare of our faculty, staff, students, and local community. We recognize the uncertainty this global health issue is creating and are committed to keeping you informed and up-to-date as this situation evolves.

With the wealth of media overload about the coronavirus, it is normal to feel overwhelmed by anxiety, panic, worry, in addition to other things that are on your plate. Here are 5 tips to manage your anxiety.

  1. Trust your resources: we get a lot of news from social media, friends, family, etc. that can exacerbate things. Panicking about inaccurate information is a waste of time! Think critically about the source, and stay tuned to information provided from VUU. Here’s a link to the CDC that provides up to date briefings. Use this link to learn more about managing anxiety and stress from the CDC.

  1. Take a news break: staying on top of the news is one way our brains like to feel in control of an out of control situation. However, it’s a shortcut to more stress and worry! What can you do?
  • Designate 5-10 minutes in the morning and afternoon to check reliable sources for updates.
  • Turn off push notifications from news media outlets.
  • Limit time on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

  1. Focus on what you can control: when things seen scary and unknown, it’s helpful to focus on what you can control. Here are some practical things you can do:
  • Follow handwashing steps
  • Get your flu shot
  • Keep hand sanitizer in your bag and use it
  • Get enough rest
  • Cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Avoid touching your face

  1. Use healthy coping strategies: taking a break from school, work, etc., is essential for feeling balanced and well. Make sure you are doing something for yourself each other. Here are some ideas:

  1. Get help if you need it: If you’re tried at least 1-4 coping strategies, anxiety is still causing problems, and experiencing:
  • Trouble sleeping or eating
  • Problems with focus and attention
  • Difficulty going to class or work
  • Thoughts about harming or killing yourself
  • For employees: reach out to your health insurance provider for a referral to a licensed clinician, for students, contact counseling services at counseling@vuu.edu or stop by Henderson 1013.