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Colleagues and community--

As you know, Interim Chancellor/Provost Wente has cancelled classes for the remainder of this week effective immediately. Beginning Monday, March 16 through at least March 30  the university is suspending all in-person classes and moving to online or other alternative learning options. 

All university-sponsored international travel is restricted from March 10 through April 30.  This means both travel for faculty, staff, and students here at VDS/VU and also for visitors to our school. 

The university has cancelled all university-sponsored non-athletic events and gatherings, including events sponsored by any registered student organizations through April 30th. This includes lectures and conferences as well as the Listening Circles, the Town Hall, Dave Perkins’ retirement celebration (we will celebrate Dave’s time with us in the fall), Gala, and Community Day and other planned events by VDS-related folks. 

Although classes are cancelled for the remainder of this week and students will be moving to alternative learning options from March 16 through March 30, the university will remain open and staff should report to campus for the remainder of this week and remain in contact with you supervisor/manager concerning next week.

In general, if you are in a high risk group, please be careful about exposing yourself to risk of infection.  If you have any questions, please reach out to your supervisor/manager, Dean Sheppard, or me.  

Please make use of the dedicated web page: for updates and information. This remains a very fluid and quickly changing situation.  This web site will have up-to-date information for your use.  You will also find links to the various updates and messages about the University’s response to the coronavirus.

Finally, please do not hesitate to be in touch with any questions you may have. If I do not know the answer, I will seek the consul of those who do and get back in touch with you as quickly as possible.

Regarding tornado recovery and rebuilding, we continue to direct you to the organizations and links below for ways to assist:

Gideon’s Army (615) 852-7530, 600 28th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37209 or donate online .

Lee Chapel AME Church (615) 320-0260, 1200 D.B. Todd Jr Blvd, Nashville, TN 37208

The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee Emergency Response Fund.  This group collects donations and distributes them to reputable nonprofits who are delivering vital services. The is the organization that Nashville’s mayor recommended.


Emilie Townes

Emilie M. Townes

E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Chair
Professor of Womanist Ethics and Society

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