July 1, 2020
Dear Hampton University Community:
The past few months have been extremely challenging times for all of us. Yet, despite all that is happening in the world today, I can still see the light at the end of the tunnel. The light shining before me is the bright beam of education that promises better opportunities to all who follow its path. Providing our students with a quality education is Hampton University’s primary raison d'être, or reason for being. Therefore, we will continue to find new and innovative ways to reach and teach our students, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, so they may move forward on their paths to success.
In my previous communication to students, I stated that the University was making plans to reopen the campus for the fall 2020 semester. In the short period of time that has passed since my last communication, the COVID-19 situation has changed drastically. As a result, the University must make changes to its initial plans.
As of today, there are more than 2.7 million cases of the virus in the U.S. and over 125,000 deaths. The latest information cites over 50,000 new cases reported nationwide in a single day. Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has speculated that the number of newly reported COVID-19 cases could increase to 100,000 per day if people continue to not wear facial coverings in public places or practice social distancing or follow other recommendations from health experts.
In that regard, 36 states recently reported an increase in cases. Among those states that have reported significant increases, 6 of the top 10 states are those where Hampton University students reside. These states include California, Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas. The other 4 states from our top 10 feeders are New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia. Experts are predicting that cases will continue to rise, and many states are beginning to revise their reopening plans and implement additional restrictions. These statistics have caused us great concern.
Therefore, out of an abundance of caution for the health, safety and welfare of our students as well as the faculty, administrative staff, administrators, maintenance and custodial staff, and others with whom students might interact, Hampton University will provide remote instruction only for the first semester of academic year 2020-2021. If conditions permit, we anticipate reopening the campus for in-person instruction in the spring of 2021. New Student Orientation for fall 2020 will take place virtually during the coming weeks. As stated in my previous letter, classes for the fall semester will begin on August 10, 2020 and end on November 20, 2020. Not reopening the campus to students will minimize the risk of the spread of COVID-19 on campus and in the Hampton, Virginia community. It is our hope that this will also allow sufficient time for the threat of the virus to diminish. We believe that this is the best way to keep everyone healthy and safe in the near future.
Because of the financial burden that the pandemic has had on students and parents, the University will reduce tuition and comprehensive fees by 15% for the fall 2020 semester. This means that the total cost for the fall 2020 semester for 10 to 17 undergraduate hours will be $12,519, a savings of $2,187. The reduced rate will be reflected in each student’s tuition bill.
To be sure, there are going to be those who criticize this decision, and there are going to be those who applaud it. Here, at Hampton, we do not hold our finger up to see which way the wind is blowing and then follow. Instead, we act responsibly and make decisions based upon what is right and best for our students and other members of the Hampton University community.
In closing, I ask that you be diligent in your efforts to remain healthy and safe. All of us should do everything in our everyday lives to decrease the spread of this virus. It is important for us to work together as we navigate this current state of affairs. Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay positive!
With all good wishes,
William R. Harvey