Page Header
A A

Click here to read the letter from Dr. Hakim Lucas 

Click here to view President's video message

March 20, 2020
 

Dear Panther Family,

I am filled with pride as I observe your resilience in the midst of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic crisis. During the past week, I met with VUU’s Emergency Management Response (EMR) team, Executive Leaders, and all leaders of university professional and student associations. This letter is to share strategic next steps the university will take to ensure the safety of all university employees and our students.

COVID-19 Update
As of Friday, March 27, the Virginia Department of Health reports 604 confirmed cases. We continue to follow recommended guidelines from the Centers for Disease ControlVirginia Department of HealthVirginia Department of Education and the Office of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Environmental Safety
VUU has increased its cleaning and disinfectant protocols to meet the guidelines set by the CDC and Department of Health. Facility employees are equipped with the proper protective clothing and masks. They are ensuring healthy work, living and learning spaces are maintained throughout the campus.

VUU Information Center and Medical Assistance
An information center has been activated to assist you with questions regarding VUU’s response to coronavirus. The number is 804-257-5673 during the hours of 10:00 am – 8:00 pm. You can also visit our website at www.vuu.edu and your social media accounts (IG, FB, Twitter) for updated information. 

VUU has partnered with the Capital Area Health Network which operates the Henderson Health Services Clinic on campus. If you are not feeling well, please contact them immediately at 804-780-0840 or cahealthnet.org

VUU Counseling Services are available for students who are feeling overwhelmed, anxiety, or depression. Contact the office at counseling@vuu.edu.

Self-Reporting and Information Sharing
The university is continuing its partnership with SGA, Faculty Senate and the Staff Association to ensure that all of our decisions are informed by all members of the Panther family. Please click on Update MyVUU to complete and submit the feedback form that fits your needs. This will help us to finalize plans for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. We ask that you submit your responses as soon as possible.

Virtual Class Instruction  March 23 – April 10

Beginning Monday, March 23, all classroom instruction will be delivered through our virtual classrooms utilizing Microsoft TEAMS and MyVUU.  You must monitor your vuu.edu email address to receive information about meeting times and which portal to use. There will be no face-to-face instruction in any physical classroom on campus through at least April 10. Please note, virtual instruction will be the only teaching modality for summer school.
 

Workforce Development and Experiential Learning

Students with lab credits or internships:

  • Lab course for students who receive virtual instruction – VUU is securing an online assessment tool which will allow students to complete lab assignments and log their work.
  • Internships for students who receive virtual instruction - VUU will assist students with the search for a new internship in their hometown or virtually.

Students with work study and workforce development assignments will be extended telework opportunities through the appropriate offices in alignment with university policies. Students will be contacted directly by the offices of Financial Aid and Workforce Development.

Student Refunds
At this time, student refunds will be processed only for undergraduate and graduate students who have paid all tuition and fees and have student account credit balances as a result of federal or private student aid. The university is developing a strategy on prorating room and board charges for the spring semester. All undergraduate and graduate students eligible for refunds will receive a secure communication from Financial Aid to provide electronic transfer information.

L. Douglas Wilder Library
The library will be open for students, faculty, and staff ONLY. The library will be open from 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., Monday – Thursday; 8;30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. on Friday, and 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. Please be prepared to show identification.

Housing
We are aware that students have different situations regarding their housing status. Students have a vast range of requests from staying on campus to securing their belongings. Please click on Update MyVUU to indicate your housing preference. We are working to address the responses and will notify you after your submission has been reviewed. This process will be implemented to maintain the safety and well-being of our campus family.


Dining
The Dining Hall will serve all meals to-go. It will operate on a brunch and dinner schedule. Brunch is 10:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Dinner is served 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Acceptable forms of payment include credit or debit cards, and student ID cards.


Spiritual Care
In lieu of our weekly chapel service, VUU will launch a prayer call for every Thursday at 11:00 a.m. It is open to everyone by calling 804-521-9510; access code  166008.

Please note the following updated University event postponements


Our reaccreditation visit by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) has been postponed.


The Legacy Awards Gala has been rescheduled for June 11 and will be held at The Shed at Main Street Station.


All 2020 Commencement exercises are postponed.

I thank you for your collaboration and excellence as we implement our emergency response and business continuity plans. Your compassion, acts of kindness towards others, and tenacity in finding solutions to this crisis is a sign that our majestic light still shines bright.

With Panther Pride,

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 March 23, 2020, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has confirmed 219 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.