University of Mobile Plans to Return to On-Campus Instruction in Fall | April 30, 2020
Dr. Lonnie Burnett, president of the University of Mobile, announced today the private Christian university plans to resume on-ground instruction and residential housing this fall.
Faculty will report to campus Aug. 10 with classes set to begin Aug. 17. Move-in day for residential students will be Aug. 14.
As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent state guidelines, the university transitioned to a fully online format for the second half of the spring semester.
“Although our faculty and students did an amazing job of completing the current semester through remote learning, our students want the benefit of our uniquely personal on-campus experience,” Burnett said.
University leaders are currently formulating plans to comply with any government regulations which may be in place when the fall semester begins. Options include limiting class sizes, increasing the available dining hall space, and offering courses in a flexible model where students might have the option of coming to the physical classroom or joining remotely via video platforms.
“The great advantage we have with our university is that we already offer small classes and we can focus on the needs of the individual student. Our employees can be nimble in addressing any need that may arise in the fall,” Burnett said.
Currently, private campus tours are available by reservation for prospective students and their families. Reservations may be made at umobile.edu/visit or call Enrollment Services at 251.442.2222. The university is accepting applications for fall enrollment at umobile.edu/apply.
University officials will continue to monitor the situation and work with state and local officials to ensure the health and safety of all students and employees. Any modifications to current plans will be promptly communicated.
An Update from UM President Dr. Lonnie Burnett | April 14, 2020
Due to the continued uncertainty concerning the COVID-19 outbreak, the Spring 2020 University of Mobile Commencement Service will be moved to Saturday, Dec 12, 2020. This service will honor all 2020 graduates from both the spring and fall semesters. The event will begin at 10 a.m. and will be held on the university lawn.
Spring graduates will receive their diplomas via certified U.S. mail upon the completion of all graduation requirements. Graduating seniors should have received an email directly from Herff Jones regarding ordered regalia. You will be given an option to keep the cap and gown or return it for a refund. It is my hope that all of our spring graduates will return in December to let us honor them. All subject and area awards that were to be awarded in May, including the Weaver Awards, will be presented in December. I promise a graduation weekend that you will not forget!
Please know that this action is taken based on the best information I have available and the decision is made, like all decisions, with the health and safety of our students and employees in mind. I am very appreciative of the way you have all handled this difficult situation. I am also proud that you will all soon represent this institution around the world, and I am excited to see how God is going to use you as you fulfill HIS purpose.
Dr. Lonnie A. Burnett
President, University of Mobile
University of Mobile Update | March 27, 2020
To the University of Mobile Community:
On my direction, the University of Mobile extended spring break through Friday, March 20 and transitioned to online course assignments beginning Monday, March 23. I promised, in my earlier statement, to reevaluate the situation on or before April 3. While my hope was to resume our normal academic and campus life schedule on April 6, the rapidly evolving situation, coupled with guidelines presented by federal and state agencies, have forced the leadership team to take additional steps. The following actions and guidelines are effective immediately:
- Online course delivery will be extended through the end of the spring semester. All on-ground courses as well as campus activities are suspended through May 10.
- Although it appears unlikely that the on-campus spring commencement ceremony will be held as currently scheduled, we will postpone a final decision until we receive additional information regarding federal and state guidelines regarding gatherings. If the spring commencement is postponed, degrees will be conferred to students who meet graduation eligibility. The diplomas will be mailed to students. We would then have a December 12 commencement service on the lawn. All 2020 spring graduates will be encouraged to participate in this ceremony. All spring academic awards will be presented at this service.
- Residential students should wait to receive authorization before returning to campus to checkout. To comply with social distancing guidelines, the checkout process will be staggered based on residence halls. Residential students will be contacted.
- The university business office will send additional information regarding student account adjustments for room and board as soon as possible.
- The Fall 2020 schedule is now viewable on MyUM and the Summer 2020 schedule will be posted soon. Registration will begin on Monday, March 30. Students should contact their advisors with any questions.
Please know that these decisions are not made without a great deal of thought and prayer. Throughout this process, our main concern has been for the health and safety of our students and employees. We are taking these actions at this time in order for our families to plan and in order to reduce as much anxiety as possible. It is important to note that the university is not suspending operations. There are nearly 1,500 students hard at work completing coursework as we finish this semester. All university offices remain operational.
Finally, please know that I am proud of the way our students, faculty, and staff have risen to the occasion during these uncertain weeks. When I accepted this position, I said that I was certain of two things. First, this university has the best people in the world, and second, our God is faithful. Having witnessed your response to this challenge, I have never been more convinced that I am correct.
Dr. Lonnie A. Burnett
President, University of Mobile
University of Mobile Update | March 19, 2020
University of Mobile Update: Message from the President | March 17, 2020
The leadership team of the University of Mobile continues to monitor the ramifications of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. In this continuously evolving situation, our primary concern continues to be the health and safety of our students, employees, and the community at large.
Based on the most recent developments and, after discussions with our leadership team, as well as with leaders of other institutions, The University of Mobile will immediately take the following actions:
- As was announced last week, Spring Break will continue during the week of March 16-20. Faculty and staff will use this week to prepare for alternative instructional methods.
- Beginning on Monday, March 23, all on-ground instruction will be moved to an online format. Students will be contacted by their instructors prior to this date with information concerning the nature of this shift. Students involved in off-campus clinical assignments as well as student teaching will be informed by their supervisors as to their status. This mode of delivery will be re-evaluated on or before April 2. The desire of the administration is to return to on-ground classes on Monday, April 6. This decision, will of, course, depend on the situation at the time.
- All campus activities will be suspended during the time that instruction is being offered online. Any exceptions must be approved by the appropriate vice president.
- Residential students are encouraged not to return to campus during the time instruction is being offered online. Exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis for international or other students who do not have alternative accommodations.
Residential students who do not meet one of the above categories will be allowed to enter their rooms to retrieve any books or belongings that they might need to successfully complete their instruction. This should be done during the week of March 16-20.
Any residential students allowed to remain on campus will be required to complete any information as requested by the Dean of Students. Meal service will be available. Residential students should also be aware that they may be asked to leave student housing at any time if the university is so directed by government officials.
- At this time, all university offices remain open. Students are encouraged to contact the appropriate office with any questions or concerns.
This is a time of stress and confusion for many. Please understand that many of our actions are necessitated by events beyond our control. However, also understand that no situation, no matter how disquieting, is beyond God’s control. I am praying that we will be back to normal very soon and will have a wonderful end to the semester. If I can personally assist you in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact my office.
Dr. Lonnie Burnett
President, University of Mobile