March 19, 2020
Dear Campus Community,
As we continue to monitor the impacts of COVID-19 on university campuses across the country, and in consultation with public health experts, it has become necessary to extend virtual learning for students at least through the remainder of the Spring semester. USC Upstate, along with all other UofSC System institutions, will teach and learn remotely through the completion of final exams in May.
Sadly, the May Commencement ceremonies must also be postponed across the UofSC System, including USC Upstate. Working closely with System President Bob Caslen, we are committed to exploring options for rescheduled, in-person ceremonies when it is safe to gather together to celebrate the achievements of the Class of 2020. Students, please know this change will not impact your degree completion status if you are scheduled to graduate in May.
Today, Governor McMaster issued another Executive Order to limit access to campus to essential, mission-critical employees only. This means that only university employees whose presence is necessary on campus to maintain continuity of our online educational offerings or to ensure the health and safety of the campus shall report to work, effective immediately. If you have any questions about whether to report to campus, please speak to your supervisor.
We realize that these steps are deeply disappointing to many of you, particularly for our graduating seniors and families. This has been an extraordinarily difficult time for the entire campus community, and we know that social distancing is necessary to slow the spread of this dangerous virus.
There are still many questions to answer. We will work as quickly as possible to keep you informed of developments. Students, please know:
If you were previously granted permission to remain on campus due to extenuating circumstances, you will be allowed to stay.
If you live in our residence halls, you will have an opportunity to retrieve your belongings at a time to be announced.
Student Affairs leaders are developing a schedule for retrieval and will update you as soon as possible.
The state’s Commission on Higher Education is coordinating with colleges and universities in order to address housing and other service reimbursements to ensure student investments are protected.
Please continue to refer to the university website for information about COVID-19. We update these web pages regularly, so please continue to check it daily. The site includes many of the university contacts who can help answer your questions.
Thank you for your continued patience and support as we navigate this ever-changing landscape. We are committed to making decisions that protect your health and safety, as well the university’s ability to continue to provide the transformative opportunities that are the hallmark of an education at USC Upstate.
We look forward to being back together on campus in the future.
J. Derham Cole, Jr.
Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs