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Coronavirus Response

Greenville University cares! We make the health and safety of our students, employees, and campus visitors a top priority. We commit to helping you stay informed through regular communication on this webpage.

Most Recent Updates: 7/29/2020

We learned today that one of our employees has tested positive for COVID-19. We care deeply about every one of our employees and immediately provided responsive support. We immediately began implementing our response and communication plan that has been established with local health officials and the Bond County Health Department.   

Please know that: 

  • We are in communication with the Bond County Health Department.
  • We cannot identify the employee who tested positive for the virus because of privacy laws. However, that person has begun to quarantine. 
  • Additionally, we have reached out to those employees that worked in proximity to that employee (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more) during the 48 hours prior to the infected employee showing symptoms and advised them to quarantine until. Those employees have been instructed to complete a COVID test and self-quarantine while they await their test results. 
  • The spaces these employees used are in the process of being thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

What should you do during this time?

  • If you were not contacted directly about this positive case, you do not need to do anything. But, in general, if at any time you develop flu-like symptoms including dry cough and fever, please contact your medical provider, and do not come to work.  
  • Please notify HR if you are sick and unable to come to work.
  • If you would like to be tested for COVID-19, Bond County Health Department will be providing free tests from 8am to 4pm on Tuesday, July 28 and Wednesday, July 29 at the Bond County Fairgrounds. To be tested, all you need to have is a valid telephone number. Anyone can receive a test, whether or not they have any symptoms.
  • Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact HR at [email protected]

It is imperative that every employee follows the expectations set forth to socially distance (6 feet or more) and wear masks when social distance guidelines cannot be met.

Most Recent Updates: 7/24/2020

CARES Act 45 Day Report


Update: June 12th, 2020

This summer will be busy as we plan and prepare for re-launching on campus classes and residence life. We are so excited to welcome our students and employees back to campus while recognizing the need to follow the current guidelines by government and health officials. President Davis has asked me to oversee a dedicated group tasked with preparing for students to return to campus in the fall. In addition to the groups outlined below, both President Davis and I are on a daily call with local civic and health leaders daily reviewing the health situation of our community and discussing preparation plans.

Each decision will be heavily vetted with the following task force groups focused on restoring our personal, face-to-face, hands-on learning experience that is essential to a Greenville University education. Safety for our students and employees is critical and we will need everyone’s help in following protocols established with the leadership of our local and state health departments. A driving force in our decision-making process is what we are hearing from our returning and prospective students and confirmed in recent data produced by Inside HigherEd. After surveying over 10,000 students’ as to what type of format they would like to participate in this fall, 78% of them voted to return to campus and classes as normal as possible. And this is possible as we work together with our local health department and follow safety protocols.

Our Re-Launch Task Force will be divided into the following subgroups and the leaders of the sub-groups will report up to me with a debrief once a week:

Protect Them: Led by Terrell Carter

Task force members: Dr. Michael Laughlin, Travis George (WFF Cleaning Services), Amber Henrichsmeyer, Terry Everett (adjunct faculty and Greenville Public Health), Jo Branscome, Stephen Groves, Renea Barnes

This group will focus on the health and protection of stakeholders, including incrementally bringing employees back to work on campus, hosting public events safely for students, prospective students, employees and community members. A back-to-work timeline and plan will be presented to the President’s Council by the second week in June. The group will examine best practices shared from higher education and governmental entities and focus on how the reopening of Illinois impacts us on campus in both Phase 3 and Phase 4.

Special volunteer consultant: Dr. Allen Turner, DBA, MBA, MSI, MEP, Emergency Management Specialist.

Teach Them: Led by Kasey Laughlin

Task force members: Michelle Sussenbach, Dr. Kathy Taylor, Dr. Eugene Dunkley, Dr. Terrell Carter, Patrick Farmer

This group will focus on the needs of a safe teaching environment, including cleaning and disinfecting, classroom distancing, and preparation for various models of educating based on potential circumstances.

Host Them: Led by Ross Baker

Task force members: Tom Ackerman, Naomi Brown, Mark Owens, Martin Porter, Robbie Schumacher, Chris Swift, Sean Eifert (administrator; Bond County Health Department)

This group will focus on the common space areas and how we eat together, live together, do community life, and participate in athletics together. The group will work to balance safety issues while allowing as much as possible, the GU experience and GU traditions to thrive.

Once again, we are so excited to welcome our community back this fall. We will continue to provide details and updates as this task force works together to achieve our goal.

Thank you,

Ross Baker

Dean of Students

Communication Updates


Update: May 5th, 2020


Dear Graduating Students,

We are incredibly proud of you and are determined to honor your hard work at Greenville University with a rescheduled commencement service during the Sunday of Homecoming Weekend, October 18th, 2020. Please make plans for you and your family to join us on campus for Homecoming Weekend, October 16-18. We look forward to celebrating your graduation and welcoming you back as an alum!

Due to COVID19, we were unable to proceed with the ceremonies previously scheduled for early May. However, we hope that you and many of your classmates can join us for this special day we have added to Homecoming Week just for you. It is our desire that with this advanced notice, we can accommodate most of you.

We expect to offer as many of the usual commencement festivities as possible on Sunday, October 18. In the coming weeks, you will receive additional information regarding regalia, an updated schedule, and awards and honors. Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we plan with continually changing circumstances.

I hope you and your family can come for the entire weekend to enjoy the games and races, meals and festivities, and some special celebrations. For example, we plan to dedicate the Allyson Grabowski Memorial Court, the sand volleyball court to honor your classmate Allyson Grabowski who would have graduated with this class. Many of you were part of this effort and we desire for you to be present for its dedication to honor her legacy at GU.

So please plan to join us to honor your special accomplishment.

May God bless you until then,

Brian T. Hartley, Ph.D.

COVID-19 Spring 2020 Grading Policy

In direct response to the unprecedented situation with COVID-19, a temporary grading option for students has been approved.  Students have the option to choose to receive a letter grade or pass/fail grade in one or all of their spring 2020 courses. The following information outlines the grading policy.

  1. This grade policy is only for the spring 2020 semester.

  2. This policy will apply only to undergraduate courses that began the semester in a face to face format and were forced online after spring break.  The policy will not apply to courses that were designated as online as of the beginning of the spring term.

  3. Pass/fail grades are S for satisfactory, U for unsatisfactory.  To get a S (pass) grade a student must have a C- or better in the course.  Grades of D+, D, and F will result in a U (fail) grade.  Pass/Fail grades do not positively or negatively affect the GPA. 

  4. Students may request to change from letter grades to pass/fail grades in any number of their spring 2020 courses with one exception:  courses that are being repeated cannot be completed pass/fail. 

  5. Students repeating a course that was previously failed will be unable to request a pass/fail grade. 

  6. Courses completed pass/fail will meet the prerequisite, degree, major, and minor requirements.

  7. Students should know that choosing a pass/fail grade could be problematic for certain graduate program requirements such as medical schools where pass/fail grades have historically not been accepted. Certain accredited programs such as education licensure may also be impacted. Students planning on transferring from GU to another institution to complete a baccalaureate degree should know that pass/fail grades may not be accepted in transfer. It is still unknown how schools and outside agencies plan to adjust to meet changes occurring as a result of COVID-19. 

  8. Students may decide to opt for pass/fail grades between Wednesday, April 22nd and Friday, May 15th.  Spring grades are due Tuesday, May 12th at 11:59 p.m.*  The Friday deadline to request a pass/fail grade allows students the option to see their final grade before requesting the pass/fail grades.  All decisions are final after May 15th.

*NOTE: Faculty will submit spring grades as normal.  The Records Office will manually change student’s credit type to pass/fail after all spring grades are entered.

  1. Students may still request an Incomplete grade at the end of the spring semester.  However, incomplete grades are not eligible for conversion to pass/fail grades after May 15, 2020.

Students are encouraged to consider the option to take a course pass/fail with the gravity it entails.  Talk to your instructor, academic advisor, dean, mentor, parents/guardians before applying for pass/fail options.

Students may request pass/fail grades by completing the JOTFORM available on the on my.Greenville.


UPDATE: 4/24/2020 


We learned yesterday from the Illinois Governor’s daily update that we have permission to allow students to begin to return to campus to pick up your belongings.  We have been working with local health officials to develop a safe process and are in the final stage of planning.  

Thank you for your patience with us as I know many of you are ready to retrieve your belongings. Our highest priority is to keep everyone safe so we want to make sure we are ready. Our goal is to have more information out to you next week detailing out the dorm move out process that will begin soon.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.  Do not return to campus until you have received permission from us in writing. 

Thank you, 

Ross Baker

Dean of Students


UPDATE: 4/15/2020 at 11:30am CDT

Dear Students, Parents, Alumni, and Friends,

As I walk across the somewhat empty Greenville University campus today, I sense the depth and richness of the many transformational moments people have shared here—more than 125 years of moments! 

For the remainder of this academic year, those growth and “aha” moments will occur at a distance. Be assured, COVID-19 has changed some things, but not everything.

  • GU’s mission to “empower students for lives of character and service through a transforming Christ-centered education” remains true.
  • Though distant, GU’s students continue to realize more of their potential each day. They remain central to the thoughts and efforts of professors and coaches working from their homes. 
  • Attention to all manner of details carries on, including care for ongoing experiments and living things in Snyder Hall of Science.
  • This week, biology professors Gregg Marcello and Eric Nord announced students defending their honors theses via Zoom. I’m certain many in our community will attend.

To date, Bond County has recorded only four confirmed cases of COVID-19. None of these persons has had known contact with GU’s campus. We thank God for protection thus far. Still, we pray for families affected.

Many persons in our extended GU family serve on the front lines in healthcare or other essential services. I am proud when I hear of their service. As the pandemic progresses, it will surely mean more cases and simultaneously more opportunities to serve.

Even in trying times, preparing the next generation of graduates to serve with the character and grace of Jesus inspires and gives us hope. 

I promise to stay in touch with you in the weeks to come.


Ivan L. Filby
Greenville University 

UPDATE: 4/2/2020 

You Count at GU in the Census

ATTN: Students who were living on campus prior to Spring Break 2020

The Census Bureau has confirmed that your parents should not include you in their census information. You will be counted through the University. All students living on campus before Spring Break 2020 will be included with the University's census information. Parents tallying their household numbers should not count GU students who were living on campus for any portion of the Spring 2020 semester.

Fall 2020 Registration

Registration has begun for Fall 2020. You should have received emails from Registrar Michelle Sussenbach and your faculty advisor. Please read and carefully follow those instructions to ensure that you are registered. 

Spring Commencement

Spring Commencement has been canceled. We will celebrate our 2020 graduates in the future as early as circumstances allow.


Please continue to make your scheduled payments. We will need several weeks to interpret and apply regulations from the Department of Education. We intend to add allowable credits to qualifying students’ accounts on a prorated basis. Each account will be adjusted based on that student’s individual financial aid awards. On a case-by-case basis, if the added credit causes a negative account balance, a refund will be issued to the student.

Student Property Left on Campus

Based on earlier guidance from local medical professionals and governmental leaders, we hoped to allow students to return to campus for their belongings in April. Due to the growth of verified cases of COVID-19 in Southern Illinois and evolving guidance from the governor and local health officials, that is no longer realistic.

As long as there is a stay-at-home order in Illinois, only essential personnel and students who were already here on March 21 may be on campus. No students may return to retrieve personal items. When the governor lifts the stay-at-home order, we will notify students and parents and begin scheduling trips to retrieve belongings. Until you hear further from us, please do not make specific plans or book plane or train tickets.

Check greenville.edu/gu-alert

Only the most urgent and pertinent updates will be sent via email. We will post updates to the GU Alert website at least weekly. Please check www.greenville.edu/gu-alert to stay informed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click here for more information on the following and other topics:

  • Refunds/credits
  • Problems with classes online
  • How long this will last
  • Commencement 2020
  • Canceled events
  • Stay-at-home order
  • Fall 2020 housing lottery
  • Fall 2020 registration
  • Mail
  • Personal property
  • Persons still on campus

UPDATE: 3/31/2020 at 1:20pm CDT



UPDATE: 3/20/2020 at 9:05am CDT

Dear Graduates, 

Due to the evolution of COVID-19, we unfortunately must cancel the Commencement ceremonies scheduled in May. We are following the recommendations of the CDC, IDPH, and other public health officials that large events should be suspended for at least eight weeks.


It is with great sorrow, and deep contemplation, that we came to this decision. You each deserve to participate in this meaningful tradition and celebrate with your family the hard work and many accomplishments you experienced during your time as a student at Greenville University. As such, we are working as quickly as possible to identify an alternate date for the ceremonies in the coming year. We know you will have many questions, and we plan to send out further communication to answer these questions. At this time we can tell you the following:


  • Commencement is cancelled for May but we are looking for options to reschedule in the coming year.
  • Wait on ordering regalia if you haven’t already. If you have already ordered, keep it for now.
  • We will still award all academic and non-academic awards
  • Honor cords (undergraduate) and hoods (graduate) will be mailed with a diploma folder in May.  Honor cords and hoods will be worn at the rescheduled commencement ceremony.
  • Graduates will receive their diploma in the mail approximately six weeks after their degree is posted.

We appreciate your patience, cooperation, and adaptability in these trying times. We care deeply for you and will work diligently to honor your hard work. Please tune into the GSGA Town Hall meeting, Friday at 4:30pm by clicking this Zoom link to hear more on Greenville University updates from our GSGA cabinet and GSGA president, Sidney Webster.

Thank you,

Brian Hartley
Vice President for Academic Affairs


UPDATE: 3/16/2020 at 5:00pm CDT

Communication from Dean of Students Ross Baker 

Hear from our executive vice president, dean of students, and student body president in this video update. 

UPDATE: 3/13/2020 at 3:45pm CDT

Statement from Executive Vice President Suzanne Davis. 

UPDATE: 3/13/2020 at 1:00pm CDT

Things have changed in the last 24 hours.

Given yesterday’s statement by the Governor of Illinois, we have changed course to extend Spring Break one week.

During that week, we will move all courses online for the remainder of spring semester.

(Classes already scheduled to begin online will continue without disruption.)

While we regret our students not being able to access the enriched on-campus educational experience, we share the governor’s concern and have shifted course.

Rapid changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in the last 24 hours, and a diagnosed case in a nearby county, compel us to help members of our campus community avoid large group gatherings and promote self-isolation to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our responsibility to students, their families, staff and faculty requires that we incorporate a different approach to learning for the remainder of the semester. We have given this decision great thought and understand that it will disrupt the lives of our students, our faculty and staff, parents, and community members.  

With that in mind, we are taking the following proactive measures:    

  • Effective today (Friday, March 13), we are extending spring break for face-to-face classes until March 20, 2020. This extension allows faculty and students to pause and prepare for a transition to online classes. 
  • Regular online classes will continue as scheduled with no disruption. For example, Block B for both undergraduate and graduate level courses online will start March 16, 2020, as scheduled.
  • All face-to face-classes will resume March 23, 2020, via remote instruction. Students transitioning to remote instruction will receive more information from us and from their professors as we make the transition.
  • All classes will continue in an online format through the end of spring semester. We understand that this transition may be difficult. Student Success will personally assist any students with special circumstances that may inhibit online learning.
  • On-campus events including athletic events scheduled through April 5 have been canceled. We will re-evaluate the situation on or before April 6.
  • Belongings of students not on campus during Spring Break will continue to be secured
  • Please do not attempt to return to campus for your belongings until after April 6.
  • We will send specific instructions about returning to campus in the coming weeks.  If you have an extenuating circumstance, please reach out to community life directly at [email protected]

We will continue to review and assess the situation and apprise students as we make decisions about events like Commencement.

On-campus housing remains open to students currently living in the residence halls with prior approval. Students will have the option of continuing to stay, and GU will continue to assess any health risks to the community in line with the current coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. The library will remain open and services such as dining, counseling, health service, and tutoring on campus will continue. We may limit the hours those services operate, however, depending on the volume of students who choose to stay. The Office of Community Life will be in touch with students with more information about these changes.

For more details, please visit the forthcoming FAQ section on this GU Alert page.  Check back often as we add new information daily. You can also sign up to receive GU Alerts by registering here.

GU remains committed to our students' success and to the health and well-being of everyone in our community. We will continue to learn and work together even with a different kind of learning delivery. We remain committed to the Greenville University educational experience and face-to-face, hands-on education we are known for. We look forward to our eventual return to face-to-face learning in the summer and fall.  

With Hope,

GU Response Team


Initial Communication on 3/12/2020

No cases.

There are currently no confirmed or suspected cases of coronavirus involving any Greenville University students or employees. (updated 3/11/2020). After Spring Break (March 9-13) classes will resume March 16.

  • Students or employees experiencing symptoms—fever, coughing, shortness of breath—should see a doctor for testing before returning to campus.

GU prepared.

Greenville University leaders continue to work with local and state health departments, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to closely monitor developments. Recommended precautions are the same as those we already take for influenza. We know what to do.

You can help us and your community by following these standard precautions.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

GU has taken rigorous mitigation measures for our students and community members:

  • An emergency response planning committee (ERPC) was established and has been meeting more than daily.
  • The ERPC identified what departments are essential to the continuing operations of the university during a crisis.
  • Essential departments have been required to prepare continuity of operation plans to ensure that they can provide vital services in a pandemic crisis.
  • Frequently Asked Questions were prepared for employees.
  • All University procedures were reviewed for impact from COVID-19 and adjusted accordingly.
  • A website page devoted to communication and helpful resources is up and will continue to be updated as more information is available.
  • GU leaders, as well as our community life and campus safety teams remain in close contact with local, state, and federal agencies to receive their recommendations.
  • GU has an up-to-date emergency response plan that includes a pandemic response.
  • We verified with the Illinois Public Health Department that our cleaning supplies are the correct ones to fight viruses.
  • We stocked up on cleaning supplies.
  • We significantly increased our cleaning regimen of public places.
  • We posted cautionary signage on proper hygiene to avoid illness.
  • We distributed hand sanitizer throughout campus.
  • We will encourage social distancing if necessary.

GU Communicates.

We commit to sharing accurate and timely information as the situation evolves. Check back on this webpage often. We will post all communication and updates to this webpage as we communicate with our community.

  • GU has a text alert system for students and employees, who had the opportunity to opt into this system when they first registered. Students who would like to confirm or update their registration may click here. All, employees—faculty and staff—may confirm or update their registration on this staff registration form.

GU’s ideal location.

GU’s location in an area of low population density puts us at a lower risk for virus exposure.

  • Campus is located within one mile of two approved testing sites, the local hospital and the county health department.
  • These sites can confirm new cases within hours.

On Monday, March 9, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker issued a disaster proclamation for the state in response to the coronavirus. This precautionary step positions Illinois to receive federal funds to help manage the situation.

Tips to Avoid Infection

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) recommends taking the following precautions to protect against infection.

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Illinois Department of Public Health

State of Illinois

Updated: April 9th, 2020

How is Greenville addressing the coronavirus?

Greenville University cares! We make the health and safety of our students, employees, and campus visitors a top priority. We commit to helping you stay informed through regular communication.

Who can help me over the phone or email?

Our admissions staff would love to help you! Please call 1-800-345-4440 or email [email protected].

How will this affect my admissions decision?

We continue to review and consider applications for the Fall 2020 semester. We also understand that you may be having a hard time collecting test scores and transcripts. If that is the case, simply let us know, and we will work with you!

Can I come to visit the campus?

GU is currently closed for campus visits. However, we would love to schedule an individual virtual visit for you.

Can I still apply to Greenville?

Yes! Now is a great time to submit an application! We still have great scholarships available for the Fall 2020 semester as well!

Are registration days canceled?

We are still figuring that out. We will be in touch with you as we know more.

I was unable to take/ re-take the SAT or ACT, will I still be considered for admission?

Yes! We understand that this was out of your control. Whether you were unable to take the test the first time or were hoping to re-take the test and improve your score, let us know, and we will be here to walk you through the steps in the process.

My current school is closed. Will you accept an unofficial transcript?


Frequently Asked Questions