COVID-19 Community Update – May 1, 2020
Dear Northwest University community member,
I am happy to communicate today to our continuing students, entering first-year and transfer students, parents, alumni, and employees that Northwest University is meticulously planning to resume residential teaching and residence life on schedule this fall. Residential students, we look forward to welcoming you back to campus! We are also pleased to announce that all non-traditional and graduate programs will return to regular operation over the summer and into the fall.
No one can predict the future, but every student and parent should know we will be following all of the best practices recommended by public health authorities to make sure students remain as healthy at Northwest University as they would be anywhere else. Students, if God has called you to attend Northwest University, you can count on us to do everything in our power to facilitate your success.
We believe that government acted wisely in suspending many activities in order to "flatten the curve" of infections and protect our healthcare institutions from being overwhelmed. As society necessarily now shifts to policies designed to open up our economy and allow important life activities to resume, we firmly believe that a high-quality educational experience for our students remains a vital priority for their lives. So, we're going to open up and provide that education in this unique Christian learning community that we all love so much.
Here are our commitments to you:
- We will resume our educational programs in all delivery modes as they operated before the pandemic, with essential enhancements and adjustments to safeguard the health of students and employees.
- Our highly-professional staff and faculty will keep working to establish safeguards for health and make any needed adjustments to minimize coronavirus infections. Throughout the summer, they will make plans to ensure that campus life can continue with the high-quality interactions, activities, and classes everyone expects to enjoy.
- We will organize classrooms and schedules, as well as corporate worship and student development activities to allow for appropriate social distancing.
- Residence halls will re-open for new students as previously scheduled.
- Most employees will return to office work as soon as the State of Washington allows. We will take a case-by-case approach with employees who have special health risks.
- Most face-to-face classes will include a remote delivery option for students who cannot or should not be present on campus.
- All Financial Aid will continue as promised.
- A new task-force has begun to make contingency plans to prepare for potential disruptions in the fall.
So make your plans to continue your studies! These past few months have felt like a tag-team wrestling match. God has stood by you through everything this virus has thrown at you, and whenever you have started to weaken, God has tagged in and taken over. After all, God remains the undefeated world champion. I have been so proud of both online students and remotely-taught traditional students as you have stayed on task despite so many distractions. Whatever comes at us, we will stand confident of God's victory.
As I have said before, we, the people of Northwest University have "kept calm and carried on" for 86 years now. Through depressions and wars and epidemics and surprises of every kind—and surely no one thinks the past century has been easy—God has never failed. Neither have we failed to trust God and work hard and prevail. We're not going to change strategies now when the moment of truth has arrived. When this virus has come and gone, we will still be carrying the Call.
Joseph Castleberry, Ed.D.
President, Northwest University