Supporting Our Students and Our Community (Message from President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D. to Main Campus Faculty and Staff)
Dear Faculty and Staff:
As we have completed another week in the Fall 2020 semester, I am reaching out to provide an important update regarding how we are continuing to provide necessary support to our students and each other. Over the course of the past week, we have instituted a number of measures to expand our ability to assist those in need of information and/or services.
CALL CENTER: We have established a call center in Martin Hall to provide increased staffing and expanded support to the Dean of Students Office. This change has allowed us to provide additional one-on-one assistance. If you have students with specific needs, such as absentee notifications or meal delivery, please direct them to the Dean of Students Office, which can be reached at (540) 831-6297 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Students who contact the University will be provided with the necessary level of assistance and guidance.
STUDENT HEALTH CENTER: The Student Health Center will now offer weekend hours. Students can receive campus-based health services on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 AM to noon. Additionally, the intake process has been modified to serve more students. The Student Health Center will continue to offer full medical consultations, evaluations, and services for those needing them. However, informational sessions and COVID-19 testing will now be offered in the Buchanan House at the beginning of each hour. Students with mild symptoms associated with COVID-19 can report directly to the Buchanan House without an appointment at 9:00 AM, 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, noon, 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM, 3:00 PM, and 4:00 PM on Monday through Thursday and 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, noon, 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM, and 3:00 PM on Friday. Students with significant symptoms associated with COVID-19 or in need of other services should continue to call the Student Health Center at (540) 831-5111 to make an appointment. Additional medical professionals have joined the Student Health Center, and additional staff have been identified to support incoming calls.
TESTING: A number of you took advantage of the testing opportunity that was offered on Friday in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health, specifically the New River Health District. We plan to offer additional testing options. Once those dates and times are confirmed, details will be shared with the campus community. Friday’s testing was processed by PathGroup, which is a testing lab that the University has contracted with to support our campus. The University is now using PathGroup exclusively to process all campus-based testing as there were increasing delays with the other two testing labs that were previously utilized.
Please know that we take our role very seriously, and we are working diligently to ensure our campus constituents are heard and supported at this critical time. Our goal is to provide any and all support needed for those who are impacted. However, we must be equally diligent in our compliance and enforcement efforts. As such, last week, the University took disciplinary action against a student group and individual members who were behaving recklessly and risking the public health of our community.
I know that every faculty and staff member is working so very hard to support our community, especially our students. Please keep up the great work and know that your efforts are appreciated and do not go unnoticed!
With Highlander Pride,
Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.