Coronavirus Information

To see Fall 2020 updates, click here

JBU has established an interdepartmental task force to monitor the current coronavirus outbreak and make decisions in accordance with directives from the Arkansas Department of Health, the CDC, the World Health Organization and the U.S. State Department. This page will serve as the central information repository and will be updated as new information becomes available.

 

May 4, 2020

Dear JBU Community,

It is only seven weeks ago today that we said goodbye to most of our residential students. The world has changed in those seven weeks, but I am deeply grateful to how JBU faculty, staff and students have met the challenge. JBU faculty and staff pivoted with grace, excellence and hard work to move to remote education. JBU students responded from their bedrooms and kitchen tables with flexibility, diligence and understanding as they completed their courses this semester. Thank you all for that wonderful response. Even though we have responded well, we know that much was lost in this transition — athletic events and musical performances, Junior Senior Banquet and Spy v. Spy, cups of coffee with friends and late-night runs to Taco Bell, and, most poignantly, our Spring 2020 Commencement. We grieve those losses with you. JBU is not the same when we cannot be together.

In light of our recent losses, I am so grateful to announce that JBU eagerly looks forward to resuming classes on campus in the fall. (d.v.) We want to see students here, learning from Dr. Posey in Honors classes and designing projects with Dr. Song, walking through the Quad and eating in the “Caf,” living in Mayfield and creating art in the Barn. That being said, we are also taking very seriously the risks of the COVID-19 pandemic. JBU is committed to being open in the fall in compliance with all government requirements to protect the health of our students, staff and faculty as well as the community of Siloam Springs.

We are already hard at work to be prepared to carry out our educational mission under these new circumstances. The situation remains fluid so we do not have final plans, but here is an illustrative list of the types of changes and procedures that we are exploring:

  1. Health and safety planning, including access to testing for COVID-19 for faculty, staff and students; exploring systems for contact tracing; developing protocols for regular screening of everyone for symptoms and temperatures; and consulting with local health experts and medical resources – including Community Physicians Group, which has a clinic on campus, regional hospitals and the Arkansas Department of Health for best practices and coordination of excellent health care.
  2. Facility planning, including reserving residential space for isolation of students who might get sick; evaluating best practices to lower the density of people in classrooms, dining hall and other facilities; developing new procedures for serving of food in the dining hall; enhancing cleaning protocols across campus; and evaluating the feasibility of ensuring that there are “touchless” fixtures in all larger bathrooms.
  3. Curricular and cocurricular planning, including reimagining classroom instruction through course design and technology so that students can keep up with course work even if they have to be isolated on campus; compressing the semester calendar to help minimize nonessential travel for students; and evaluating how we might be able to reconfigure large group activities, such as chapel, athletics and theatrical performances, to maintain their core function in our mission in this new context.

JBU is planning diligently for the return of students in the fall, but I would also ask students and families to discuss their responsibility in partnering with JBU to make this all work. Campus life in the fall will be good, but it also will be different. I expect that we will be asking students to take more responsibility for caring for their neighbors, which may involve practices such as standing in line for a few minutes with proper social distancing before you enter the Caf or wearing masks to lower the risk of transmitting infection. In addition, JBU’s plans during the year may also have to shift to respond to changing circumstances or government requirements, so we may need to ask for students and families to be patient and flexible with changes throughout the year.

We promise to be thoughtful, transparent and proactive in communicating with students and families, but it will be difficult to promise certainty. Campus life in the fall will likely cause some inconvenience and frustration, but we believe that those minor interruptions in “normal” life will be well worth it to return students to JBU for relational, face-to-face, Christ-centered education. Moreover, I believe that any call for self-sacrifice is a central part of our Christian faith. As I said to the students in the chapel announcing the shutdown of campus, we are taking all of these precautionary steps not primarily to protect young, healthy people, who from every account are at relatively low risk, but to protect the most vulnerable people in our community. That is what Christians do. We should love God with all of our heart, soul, strength and mind, and love our neighbor as ourselves. (Luke 10:27) May it always be true of us at JBU.

We also know that the COVID-19 pandemic may have affected your family’s financial situation since you filed the FAFSA. If you are in this situation, keep in mind that you must still file the 2020-2021 FAFSA using 2018 tax information, and then please contact David Burney in the financial aid office at finaid@jbu.edu or 479.524.7427 so we can work with you and try to address your personal situation. ‚Äč

We will be sending regular updates on our plans for opening in the fall, at least once a month, but if you have a specific question, please don’t hesitate to review FAQs on JBU’s COVID response website (jbu.edu/coronavirus) or call 479-524-9500.

Students, I look forward to seeing you again on campus in the fall. (d.v.)

All God’s blessings,

Chip

Dr. Charles W. Pollard
President, John Brown University


Updated 4/30

Employees should continue working from home until further notice.


Updated 4/8 9:04 a.m.

Room and Board. Students will receive a credit to their student account for 7/16 (43.75%) of their room and board costs for the time in which you were displaced from JBU with a few exceptions of students who have received JBU institutional aid for room and board. 

Your credit will be applied to your account, and after any outstanding balance is paid, you may request a refund for your credit via direct deposit or check. There are several other options that you could explore to use your credit including significantly discounted "JBU At Home" summer classes, applying it to fall and giving a gift to the "Bear One Another's Burdens" Scholarship Fund to assist students returning in the fall. Please go here to fill out your credit request.

Summer Academic Trips. Sadly, all summer academic trips have been canceled. We will credit in full all costs paid except for airfare. If airplane tickets were purchased, we will provide you with the confirmation number so you can use the credit offered by the airline for alternate travel.

Ireland Choir Tour: The Ireland Choir Tour is postponed until summer 2021. Any gifts given toward the choir trip will be applied toward next year’s trip and current seniors will be invited to participate in 2021.

Commencement: It deeply saddens me to tell you that we must postpone our Spring 2020 commencement ceremony until this fall. We know this is very disappointing for our graduates, their families and their friends. We will have an online celebration of your accomplishments on May 9, but it will not be a virtual commencement ceremony. It is important to note that your degree will be conferred as usual in May (or when your degree requirements are completed) so any plans for graduate school and jobs will not be affected by a postponement of the graduation ceremony. We will have more details about the May online celebration and the postponed fall commencement coming soon. And, for all of you who took graduation pictures with me before you left, we should be sending those to you in a couple of weeks. Those pictures were one of the few highlights for me during that difficult last weekend.

Updated 4/1 1:25 p.m.

We are allowing students to postpone their April payment until April 15. This will give time for the room and board adjustments to be posted to the account. For those students who have past due balances because of pending room and board and work-study adjustments, we will postpone the hold to allow the students to register. 


Previous Updates

CARES Act

Student Reimbursement Request
Disclosure Information

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Misc. Information

Cleaning & Sanitation Procedures

JBU Contacts

Residence Life - visit us in Walker Student Center

Technical questions - Help Desk / call or text 479-524-7256

Health-related questions - Rhonda Hostler, JBU nurse (479-524-7320).

International students - Billy Stevenson, senior director of International Admissions, (479-524-7119)

All other questions - fill out the form at the bottom of the page.

Outside Resources

For information about the virus and travel restrictions, visit the links below.

Miscellaneous Emails
Email from JBU Student Counseling Center 

Questions? Please visit the FAQ pages first.

(Links at top of page.)

If the FAQ pages don't have the answer you need, please fill out the form below.
We will do our best to respond as quickly as possible, but please be patient as we anticipate a high volume of questions.