President W. Taylor Reveley IV announced Thursday the creation of a cross-university team of leaders and experts to look at all aspects of campus life to help Longwood prepare to safely re-open for in-person learning in the upcoming fall semester.
“Right now, we remain in the heart of a serious national crisis that is affecting countless families, and has been felt at every college campus,” Reveley said. “But as we push through this phase, like every sector of society, we’re already beginning to think about how to get safely back up and running again. With our setting, structure and experienced leadership, Longwood is well positioned to find our way back to familiar routines of in-person learning this fall, while taking prudent steps to ensure public health.
“This group will build on the outstanding work of our Incident Command Team, which has helped us navigate our response this spring to the national Covid-19 outbreak, and tap their expertise as well as broader guidance,” Reveley said. “They will research and report back to the President’s Council with creative and informed recommendations covering every aspect of campus life—from academics to housing and dining arrangements to health practices around testing and responding if cases emerge.”
The Covid-19 Planning team will also survey parents, students and university stakeholders to garner feedback, questions and concerns as it prepares recommendations. The group will work closely with community leaders, local healthcare providers and the Virginia Department of Health.
...Longwood is well positioned to find our way back to familiar routines of in-person learning this fall, while taking prudent steps to ensure public health.President W. Taylor Reveley IV Tweet This
“In a few months, we’ll live in a world where the virus has subsided but not been eliminated,” Reveley continued. “We cannot be exactly sure what that will look like on campus, and public health will be our paramount consideration. But so much is at stake for our students and our community in college life returning. I am confident Longwood will be a leader when it comes to safely navigating this challenge.”
The group will include:
- University Chief of Staff and Vice President Justin Pope
- Associate Vice President of Wellness Matt McGregor
- Associate Provost/Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs David Shoenthal
- Incoming University Police Chief Doug Mooney
- Associate Vice President for Operations and Services Lori Blackwood (MBA ’17)
- Moton Museum Executive Director and Centra Southside Community Hospital Board Member Cameron Patterson ’10
- Assistant Vice President for Communications Matthew McWilliams
McGregor, who oversees student health, will also represent the Incident Command Team, which he leads. The Incident Command Team includes representatives of Longwood’s offices of Environmental Health and Safety, Emergency Management, Housing, Residential and Commuter Life, Facilities, and the University Health Center.
“On the other side of this, we’ll all appreciate that much more the opportunity to be together in-person on Longwood’s residential campus,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Tim Pierson. “Campus may need to feel a little different in some ways next fall, but I’m confident that with the help of this group we can find the right balance, and return to a more familiar Longwood.”
Anyone with questions about Longwood’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak can email firstname.lastname@example.org.