Coronavirus: Update, May 27, 2020

We are thankful to the Lord for his grace and protection. He has provided for our faculty, staff, and students during this extraordinary season. As we look forward to opening for in-person classes this fall, we are going to regularly update you on our plans for welcoming students back to campus, and securing the safety of our faculty, staff, and students.

Spearheading much of our efforts, from a health and safety standpoint, is Dr. Joe Francis, our resident medical microbiologist. He and our infectious disease task force are monitoring the latest developments related to COVID-19. We also have dedicated task forces for academics, campus safety, facilities, and student life, each working with local and federal agencies to make sure TMU is ready to open this fall. They survey the campus daily, monitor CDC guidelines for institutions of higher education, and keep track of state local guidelines from the LA County Department of Public Health.

As we plan for the fall, we have some great advantages: we are in safe, private Placerita Canyon, a residential neighborhood with limited foot traffic outside our campus. Our surrounding community is Santa Clarita, consistently ranked one of the safest cities in the nation. Because of the personal size of our student body—about 1,000 students on campus—TMU can adapt to changes and can provide more individual attention. This allows us to quickly and effectively allocate health and safety resources. Also, each class has about a 10-1 student-to-teacher ratio. In addition to the care and discipleship that provides, it also allows us to easily implement potential social distancing measures.

All that being the case, our task forces and the administration of TMU are committed to the following:

  1. On-campus classes as our primary instruction model.

  2. The development of a distance education plan that can be implemented when necessary so we can deliver a quality education no matter the circumstances.

  3. Physical distancing protocols mandated by governing authorities.

  4. Expanded student health and support services.

  5. Procedures for our health clinic to trace any infection on campus using Health Department guidelines.

  6. Partnership with our local Henry Mayo Hospital to provide testing and patient care for our students and community

  7. Procedures for reporting health conditions daily and for checking temperatures at any time.

  8. Solutions to downsize large groups, informed by federal and local guidelines.

  9. Solutions to allow access to chapel

  10. Solutions for athletic competitions

There are challenges. There will be changes to our plans. We don’t have all the answers and we certainly can’t predict the future. We are still developing plans for dining services, study abroad courses, theater and art productions, and other major campus events. That also includes athletics. Thankfully, TMU is a member of the GSAC. We support their May 13th statement: “Our goal is to make decisions regarding the Fall Sports campaign no later than July 1, in concert with the NAIA.”

We can’t wait for the fall semester to begin. Right now, we are investing in our campus so that we can more effectively invest in our students. Our dormitories are being refurbished. The common areas of TMU are being redesigned and improved, and classrooms are being updated. This August, students will descend on an educational environment where every facility, every class, every interaction can help prepare them to honor Christ in all of life.

We are grateful for the Lord’s provision, and the generosity of our donors, as we advance the campus and the biblical education that has defined our school since 1927. Whether you’re a student, parent, alumnus, or friend of TMU, we’re looking forward to seeing you on campus this fall, and we ask you to pray for us as we prepare to reopen campus and return to in-person classes.

Dr Sam Horn, President of TMUS

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