Coronavirus (COVID-19) Comprehensive Update 4/2/2020 12:00 noon

Webber International University (and its branch campus St. Andrews University) has been actively monitoring the COVID-19 virus since its discovery was first made public. We have stayed informed of, and acted according to, the guidance of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

We – our students, our faculty, our staff, our administration – are resourceful, resilient people and we will get through this together. We’ve gotten through worse situations. Yet, we still need to alter our day-to-day routines to get us through safely. We hope the following FAQ will answer most of your questions, but we encourage you to contact us if there’s something we missed. Above all else, know that we are here to help and if you have an issue, don’t hesitate to contact us.

This is a multi-part FAQ (everyone, students, applicants, employees, faculty)… if you don’t see your question answered, keep scrolling.



Q: Are there any confirmed or suspected on the Webber campus?
A: No (as of 4/2/2020 12:00noon EDT).

Q: Is the University closing?
A: No. The University remains open but is operating in highly restricted mode.

  • NOBODY will be allowed to enter the campus from 8pm to 7am except on-duty, third shift employees reporting for work. If you are a residential student you must be back on campus before 8pm; you will not be admitted to campus after 8pm. Regardless of who you are, if you leave campus after 8pm you will not be allowed back on it until 7am.
  • The campus is closed 24/7/365 to all but the following people:
    • Residential students currently living on campus;
    • Off-campus students studying in the library from 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday or in the computer labs from 7am to 8am daily;
    • Employees in possession of an essential infrastructure critical employee letter who are actually working at the time and who actually need to be on campus to do whatever it is they’re doing; and
    • Vendors actively supporting critical infrastructure needs.
  • People permitted on campus must practice social distancing (no groups, > 6’ distance between people). Anyone not practicing social distancing will be instantly removed from the campus and not allowed back on until after the crisis has passed.
  • There is 24/7/365 ID check at the front gate.
    • If you don’t have Webber ID validated for Spring 2020 security has been ordered not to admit you.
    • Keeping our campus safe is serious business. Security has been ordered to call the sheriff – no warning, just call the sheriff – with respect to “alternative means of ingress”. Florida Statute 810.09(1)(a)(1) makes trespassing a felony.

Q: Should I come to campus to [insert activity here]?
A: Not if there’s another way to get it done. While we are an essential critical infrastructure facility, the best way to stay healthy and to keep others healthy is by following CDC guidelines. So, whether you’re a student, applicant, or employee, before you come in person, give us a shout to see if there’s another way to get it done.

Q: What are you doing about cleanliness and sanitation?
A: Following CDC guidelines.

Q: What should I do to avoid getting sick?
A: Follow CDC guidelines (biggies: maintain distance, wash hands, disinfect surfaces).

Q: I heard from [insert name of misinformed source here] that you had to shut down.
A: We’ve heard a lot of made up stuff too. We are an essential critical infrastructure facility, so we are not required to close but we are changing how we work to do everything possible to protect public health.

On April 1st, 2020 the Honorable Ron DeSantis, Governor of the Stare of Florida, issued Executive Order 20-91 which orders that “all persons in Florida shall limit their movements and personal interactions outside of their home to only those necessary to obtain or provide essential services or conduct essential activities.” That order goes on to state that “… ‘essential services’ means and encompasses the list published by the US Department of Homeland Security in its Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce…” Universities are, in the Director of Critical and Infrastructure Security’s March 28, 2020 guidance, classified as “essential critical infrastructure.”

Q: How will updates be communicated?
A: We will contact students via their, post updates on our website (, and post updates at


Q: Now that all classes are online, how will I know what to do to succeed with on-line instruction?
A: Check your email. If you don’t have instructions, contact our Academic Dean. The following are all still available (virtually):

  • Faculty office hours;
  • The library;
  • Tutoring;
  • Academic planning;
  • Career development; and
  • Access to academic administration for problem resolution.

Q: I don’t have a computer / I don’t have internet / Moodle’s not letting me in / my professor isn’t returning my emails, etc.
A: Contact our Academic Dean. Do it right away. We can help. But sooner is better than later.

Q: I want to add classes / drop classes / register for summer. Not sure who to talk to.
A: Contact our Academic Planner.

Q: I’m having health (including mental health) concerns.
A: Contact Student Life.

  • We can help you find a doctor who takes our insurance;
  • We can send you information for a doctor who takes our insurance and practices telemedicine;
  • We can hook you up with our mental health counselor;
  • We can hook you up with an on-line counseling resource; and
  • We can help you find local resources if none of the above work.

Q: Why do I have to use my email to communicate?
A: Federal privacy laws. We know who has emails. Other domains, not so much.

Q: My financial situation has changed. And not for the better.
A: That’s rough. And we pray that it’s short lived and that things change quickly. But please contact financial aid right away… sometimes the silver lining of a temporary setback is that it makes more grant money available.

Q: Has [insert name of activity here] been cancelled for spring?
A: Yes. All spring activities have been canceled. NAIA cancelled the 2020 spring season. The bass fishing team’s competitions and practices have been cancelled (but the Governor’s order allows fishing, so find a secluded spot somewhere in the great outdoors and stay in practice!) The Business Advisor’s Luncheon and Academic Awards Dinner cannot be held while conforming to CDC guidance.

Q: Since my sport and/or activity has been cancelled, has my scholarship been cancelled too?
A: No.

Q: I heard athletic eligibility has been extended?
A: We heard that too, and right from the horse’s mouth. But please contact our Faculty Athletics Representative for specific details because eligibility can be tricky.

Q: Are on-ground summer classes going on-line?
A: Probably. Current guidance does not extend that far into the future. Check back in a few days for a definitive answer.

Q: What about Graduation?
A: Graduation has been postponed until December. The vast majority of those graduating said they would prefer a December graduation to a “virtual graduation” (i.e., one with graduates but no guests). It would take multiple football fields (we only have one) to hold an outdoor graduation with guests which conforms to CDC guidance.

Q: What about the MBA trip to Spain?
A: While if it were scheduled today we could not go because currently the entire world, including Spain, is on a Level 3 Travel Alert, there is no guidance which currently extends to May 23-29. We’ll let you know as soon as the decision has been made, but as stated weeks ago, I wouldn’t be booking an expensive trip to anywhere without buying “cancel for any reason” travel insurance.

Q: I don’t know how to get in touch with my dean/coach/professor/academic advisor?
A: For the non-athletic staff directory click here. For the athletic staff directory click here.


Q: Are there security, meals, etc. provided on campus for residential students who are currently on campus?
A: Yes.

Q: What about the cafeteria?
A: Florida has banned eating in restaurants. The cafeteria is now take out only. Please avoid eating in your room and please dispose of trash properly… roaches carry some nasty diseases.

Q: What could get me asked to leave campus immediately?
A: Please be aware that doing any of the following will result in your being required to leave campus immediately and not being allowed to return until the crisis is over:

  • Leaving campus for non-essential reasons;
  • Leaving Polk county;
  • Not practicing social distancing, whether on or off campus;
  • Circumventing or attempting to circumvent campus security and safety measures; or
  • Moving off campus (once you’re gone, you’re gone until next semester).

Also, nobody except on-duty third shift employees will be admitted to the campus between the hours of 8pm to 7am. If you have to go somewhere, plan to be back by 8pm.

Q: If I do decide to go home, what should I do?
A: Get the checklist from Student Life (they can email it if you ask them to) and be sure you have followed it. And triple confirm with the airline that your flight is a go, because once you’ve left Polk County (and especially been to an airport, where infection is far more likely) you cannot come back to campus until the crisis has cleared.

Q: What if I get sick?
A: Self isolate and contact Student Life. We will follow health department recommended protocols from there. Here’s a link to the CDC’s recommendations.


Q: Wow, that beach and pool are WAY cooler than the ones at my house. Can I come hang out?
A: No. While we know the campus is super cool, we’re only exempted from the stay at home order to perform essential services and, alas, hanging out isn’t on the list.

Q: I’d like to move back on campus. Can I?
A: Sure. Contact Student Life and they will give you an application for fall.

Q: No, I meant this week?
A: No. We don’t know where you’ve been or what you’ve been doing. If you live off campus and really need a place to stay immediately, contact Student Life for assistance with locating off campus housing.

Q: I don’t have a computer at home. Can I use the computer labs?
A: Yes, if you maintain social distance. The Library is open from 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday and the computer labs are open from 7am to 8am daily.

Q: Can I come get my stuff?
A: Yes, but you must make an appointment with Student Life to be sure we don’t have social distancing issues.

Q: When does my stuff being in my room become an issue?
A: May 1.

Q: I wasn’t really planning on coming back from spring break anyway. The stuff I left can be tossed or donated. How do I let you know that?
A: Contact Student Life.


Q: Is it possible to get accepted for fall without coming to campus?
A: Yes.

Q: Scholarships? I can get these all set up from home?
A: Yes.

Q: They cancelled my standardized test date. Help!
A: Take a deep breath. Call your admissions counselor. We’ve got this all worked out.

Q: Can I take a tour?
A: You bet. Call your admissions counselor and they will take you on a virtual tour (in person tours aren’t currently on the critical activities list).

Q: I’m having trouble getting [insert item here] by the deadline.
A: There’s a lot of that going on. Call your admissions counselor. While we are first come, first served and will have more applicants than we have space for (so don’t just wait!), your admissions counselor can help find a solution.


Q: Should I come to work?
A: Check with your immediate supervisor.

Q: I’m sick.
Stay home. Seek medical care. Contact your supervisor. Click here for the CDC’s guidance.

Q: I’m immunocompromised or otherwise at risk.
A: Contact your supervisor. Click here for the CDC’s guidance.

Q: I have childcare issues.
A: Contact your supervisor.

Q: What about professional development?
A: All professional development involving face-to-face meetings is suspended. Exceptions require the personal approval of the University’s president.

Q: How do I get in touch with [insert person’s name here]?
A: For the non-athletic staff directory click here. For the athletic staff directory click here.


Q: Do I have to have on-ground office hours?
A: No. In fact, you shouldn’t. But you MUST let your students know your available office hours and MUST keep them. If a student really needs to see you face to face, we’ve got a huge football field you can yell across.

Q: I’ve got a student who isn’t participating, whose grades have slipped, or whom I’m otherwise worried about. What do I do?
A: IMMEDIATELY inform the Academic Dean and if it seems like a “hurting yourself or others issue”, inform the Dean of Student Life too.

Posted date, time, by, and authority of:  April 2nd, 2020 12:00pm EDT by the President of the University of his own authority.

Message ID: 2020-7


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