University of Charleston
covid graphic


Dear UC Community,

On June 19th, we released our Fall 2020 Return to Campus plan, and every day since our focus has not wavered – to deliver the best possible learning experience while keeping everyone at UC healthy and safe. Today marks the end of our plan’s key element: the in-seat instruction period for most UC campus-based programs.

We have accomplished what many universities started yet failed to do. We never had to suspend in-seat classes. We did not have to send our students home or lockdown our residence halls. Instead, we finished together what we started together.

The following video, I hope, captures some of the lessons we’ve learned this Fall. Lessons that ultimately got us to where we are…where we wanted to be…today.

Lessons We’ve Learned in 2020 | A Message from President Roth

Please enjoy, celebrate this moment, and stay safe!

Best regards,


Martin S. Roth


COVID 11.8


Dear UC Community,

We are closing in on completing our Fall 2020 in-seat instruction period for most programs in two weeks. I am proud of how well we have risen to the coronavirus challenges while remaining focused on our mission. Our participation in blood donations, community service, and engagement in the recent elections through registration and voting this semester are additional points of pride.

We have, however, experienced a lapse in our health and safety diligence. Over the past two weeks, we have experienced a notable increase in active COVID-19 cases among students, and consequently in those known to have been in close contact with them. As a result, we have our largest numbers of students in isolation and quarantine, particularly among those residing on campus. Our contact tracing indicates that the main causes have been social interactions in the residence halls and away from campus. These range from small to large gatherings to car rides in which students are not sufficiently social distanced and face coverings are not worn.

To help reverse this trend, Dean Moore has informed residential students that visitations are prohibited for the duration of the Fall semester. Further, students have been reminded of potential conduct violations related to failure to follow our health and safety protocols.

It is tempting to relax our attitudes and behaviors knowing we are close to the end of the Fall in-seat instruction period. However, given the spike in COVID-19 cases in Charleston, Kanawha County, West Virginia, and the entire nation, this is a time for us to be even more diligent and disciplined in doing the things necessary to keep ourselves and each other safe. There are more contagious people around us now than we have experienced previously this semester.

Please stay focused by wearing your face coverings at all times on campus, maintaining safe distance, avoiding groups of people, washing hands, and cleaning surfaces. I have yet to meet anyone who has enjoyed being in isolation or quarantine, let alone becoming infected and experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. It is up to us to prevent that from happening to each other.

Thank you for bearing down and finishing strong as we approach the Thanksgiving break. I know it has not been easy, but we also know the inconvenience of our health and safety protocols are worth the effort to remain healthy and stay on campus.

Best regards,

Martin S. Roth

COVID 11.3.20


Dear UC Students, Faculty and Staff,

The purpose of this message is to provide the UC community with a health and safety update.

We are very happy to report that due to everyone’s hard work and commitment to UC’s health and safety protocols such as social distancing, mask-wearing, cleaning, personal hygiene, temperature screening and symptom monitoring, our campus continues to be a very safe place to study, live, and work.

Last week’s surveillance testing of 178 individuals yielded zero positive cases! There was only one positive case from the previous week’s testing. Every week our testing results have been much better (lower positivity rates) than Kanawha County’s. We will continue the weekly random testing to make sure positive cases are quickly identified and community spread is avoided.

As of Tuesday October 27, 2020, there were only four active cases across all of our 1,761 campus-based students and employees (0.2%). Specifically, we have only two active cases among residential students (0.3%), along with one commuter student in Charleston (0.2%) and one in Beckley (0.6%). There are currently no active cases among campus-based employees. These results can be found on our website where we share our testing report each week.

Our Virtual Command Center team, led by Dean of Students Virginia Moore, Executive Vice President Cleta Harless, and HR Director Janice Gwinn, oversees testing, and when a positive case develops, help the individual with isolation and conduct contact tracing. Isolation is important to ensure the person carrying the virus does not expose others to COVID-19. Isolation decisions are determined by the local health department (Kanawha County in Charleston and Raleigh County in Beckley). Contact tracing is the process through which individuals who may be at risk are identified based on their contact with those known to have tested positive for COVID-19. Those deemed to be at high risk due to contact are required to quarantine. The number of individuals required to quarantine varies as each situation is different.

It is imperative that we are responsive to the Virtual Command Center when contacted. If selected for random surveillance testing, you must respond and participate. While no one wants to be placed in isolation or quarantine, we all appreciate how important it is not to expose others to COVID-19. Instructions must be carefully followed, including thinking carefully and truthfully about contact with those who have tested positive.

We are doing our best to communicate regularly with you. If you are unsure of our status, please go to our website, or email us at Like anything else, do not believe rumors. Check for yourself. We are being transparent about our health status and expect that all of you will share accurate information.

We are less than four weeks away from the Thanksgiving break. Everyone should be proud of UC’s success keeping our community healthy. As much as we may look forward to being home, and possibly in less strict environments, we know everyone will be eager to get back to campus in January. We will continue doing everything we can to keep campus safe for all of us next semester as well.

Best regards,

Martin S. Roth

COVID 10/27

Covid stats 10/17

COVID 10/10

covid stats 10/6


Dear UC Students and Employees,

I trust this message finds all of you doing well as we continue to make great progress this Fall semester.

The Governor of West Virginia and the Department of Health and Human Resources have established a new directive to conduct surveillance COVID-19 testing on all West Virginia college and university campuses. As per the letter UC received on September 24, 2020, from Dr. Ayne Amjad, State Health Officer and Commissioner, each college and university should test 10% of their on-campus students, faculty and staff each week. The surveillance testing is designed to keep the UC campus community, and the communities around our campuses, healthy and safe. Other states, such as Ohio and Connecticut, are also conducting mandatory surveillance COVID-19 testing on college and university campuses.

The State is providing test kits and lab analysis. There will be no cost to individuals selected for testing. The test being used is Vault’s FDA EUA authorized PCR saliva tests. We will administer the tests on campus then overnight mail the specimens to a designated lab. Results should be available in 48-72 hours. The Fall testing should begin as soon as the week of October 5, 2020 and conclude by Thanksgiving (week of November 23, 2020).

Here is how the surveillance testing at UC will work.

We will randomly identify 10% of our campus-based students and employees for testing each week.* If your name is selected, you must participate in the surveillance testing. Participation is not optional.

Should you be selected for surveillance testing, you will be notified via email. The email will come from the email address. The email will specify the testing date and location. A link to the Appointy scheduling system will be provided so individuals can select the time of day that works best for them.

The surveillance testing will take approximately 15 minutes to complete. Individuals should not eat, drink, chew gum, smoke, or vape for 30 minutes before testing. After check-in, individuals will be provided with a vial in which they will deposit their saliva. Once the saliva has been collected, the vial will be closed and placed in an envelope. The individual may then leave the testing site. There is no need to quarantine after providing the saliva sample.

If an individual’s test results come back positive, UC’s isolation, contact tracing, and quarantine procedures will then go into effect. The local health department will also be notified. All tested individuals will be informed of their test results. Weekly test result summaries will be posted on the UC Coronavirus webpage.

I understand this will be an inconvenience for those of us who are randomly selected for testing. However, we all appreciate the importance of containing virus spread. This can best be accomplished by identifying active carriers of the virus, even those not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, and minimizing others’ exposure to them.

Should you have any questions, we will be happy to answer them during this week’s Town Hall meetings (Tuesday, September 29, at 3 p.m. for employees, and Thursday, October 1 at 1 p.m. for students). Students may also contact Dean of Students Virginia Moore at, and employees may contact the Director of Human Resources Janice Gwinn at Questions can also be directed to

Thank you for your continued commitment to keeping our communities safe!


Martin S. Roth


COVID update 9/29 edit

Covid 9/22

Hello UC Students, Faculty and Staff,

First, I want to congratulate everyone on an impressive showing of community engagement over the weekend through our Labor of Love Days. It is exciting when we come together, make a difference in our communities, and celebrate this national holiday as a family. Labor of Love is a tradition of great pride for UC. Special thanks go to Professor Hallie Chillag and Kara Fisher for coordinating the four days of events. Many others contributed behind the scenes including Gail Carter, Jackie Hurt, Virginia Moore, Bren Stevens, Dave Traube, Jason Wilcox, and others who helped identify partners, sponsors, and projects, all while complying with our new health and safety protocols. Our dining, facilities, and security teams also made sure events went smoothly as did the outstanding Honors College and Student Government Association volunteers. And of course, special thanks to all of our students and project team leaders for rolling up their sleeves and getting the great work done. We were blessed with terrific weather, but even more so with people who believe in and live out our mission. Thanks for a successful 2nd annual Labor of Love Days at UC!

Second, now that UC has concluded our mass COVID-19 testing, we are shifting our weekly reporting to reflect active cases among key groups: Charleston residential students, Charleston commuter students, Charleston employees, Beckley students, and Beckley employees. The report for the week of August 30-September 5, 2020 is located above on this page. Those being tested for COVID-19 are being instructed to do so by a county health department or medical professional, most often due to symptoms or high-risk contact with an individual known to have COVID-19. If a member of the UC community is tested and their result is positive, they will be reported as an active case until such time as classified otherwise by the local health department. We continue to work closely with the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, WV Department of Health and Human Resources, City of Charleston, and CAMC on testing, isolation, contact tracing, quarantine, and other necessary measures to detect and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Of course, daily health monitoring via the app and temperature screening, face coverings, and social distancing remain the best mechanisms for preventing virus transmission. Please continue to be vigilant with these practices.

Third, due to the constraints on having large group gatherings, our December 2020 commencement ceremony will be virtual. Our May 2020 virtual commencement ceremony went exceptionally well, and with that experience under our belt, we are confident the virtual December event will be even better. Each graduating student will be featured in the ceremony. Graduating students may still purchase regalia if you would like to be pictured in your cap and gown (and hood for doctoral degree awardees). We will schedule photo sessions on the Charleston and Beckley campuses later this Fall, and will also accept electronic photo submissions. More details will be forthcoming from the Communications and Registrar Offices.

Please keep up the great work in your classes, communities, and keeping yourselves and others safe!

Best regards.

Martin S. Roth

Covid Chart 9/8

Good evening UC community.

I want to congratulate everyone for making it through the first week of the Fall 2020 semester!  For all of us it’s the beginning of an academic year like no other.

Whether you are studying or working on the Beckley and Charleston campuses and adapting to all of the new campus health and safety protocols, or engaged with UC remotely and adjusting to your local requirements, none of us could have imagined our world seven months ago.  Together we are living through an extraordinary pandemic, managing ourselves and our environments in ways we’d never imagined.

This week I met with, observed, listened to, and heard about many of you.  I am inspired by your resolve to make this semester a success.  What impresses me the most is how uniformly grateful everyone is to be at UC.  This means more than you can imagine to the many who worked so hard to enable each individual to learn, work, develop and grow with us this fall.

UC is a proud institution.  You continue the tradition of Golden Eagle pride.  We still have a long road ahead, but I am confident we are prepared for success.  Please continue to stay focused and make smart decisions that keep you and others healthy and safe.

One thing the novel coronavirus has taught us is not to take things for granted.  Let’s make the most of each and every day.

Enjoy your weekend,

President Roth

Martin S. Roth


UC-COVID-19 Return to Campus Testing Results





Tested + Tested + Tested +
July 26 2 0 12 1 14 1
August 2 59 0 40 0 99 0
August 9 106 1 176 1 282 2
August 16 1,136 9 112 0 1,248 9
August 23 95 1 14 0 109 1
Total 1,398 11 354 2 1,752 13

Dear Students, 

As we head into the weekend and our first week of classes, I want to share a follow up to President Roth’s email.  I write to you to PLEASE find ways this semester not to be selfish and to think about your fellow UC Golden Eagle family.  As the President said, we have worked tirelessly over the last several months to make sure we have policies and procedures in place to protect you and everyone in our community.  

I implore each of you, but especially to those of you who continue to act in selfish ways, not to put our in-person semester at risk. While many students are complying with the rules and protocols set forth in our Fall 2020 Return to Campus Plan that you all received in June, too many are not.

It only takes a handful of students behaving recklessly to jeopardize the ability for all of us to be on campus this fall. 

New and particularly important is compliance with mask expectations. Masks must be worn inside at all times unless you are a residential student in your residence hall room space only being occupied by the people in your immediate living unit. If you have a guest, wear your masks.  Masks must be worn outside unless you are engaged in an activity where you can consistently maintain a distance of 6 feet from others.

There will be repercussions if you do not abide by our safety protocols. We are firm in our convictions – our actions will be swift and direct for those who are not following the guidelines we have in place.  We understand that some of these rules and policies take some adjustment time.  But forgetting your mask one time and needing to be reminded is quite different than ignoring the mask requirement and regularly leaving the residence hall or coming onto campus without one.

Any violations of our health and safety protocols, particularly those that put members of the UC community in possible danger, are subject to Student Handbook provisions and penalties for violations of Failure to Comply, Guests and Visitations, Reckless Endangerment, and/or Federal, State and Local Laws.  The following are examples of such violations:

·         Failure to Comply – Not wearing a face covering, not wearing a face covering properly, not social distancing, breaking quarantine while waiting for initial test results, or having non-UC guests on campus without permission.  Possible sanctions for this violation can be assigned 2-6 points and be subject to disciplinary probation or security mentoring.

·         Guests and Visitation (in the Residence halls) – Visiting in a residence hall that you are not assigned in, having more than one guest in your residence hall room at one time, or having non-UC guests on campus without permission. Possible sanctions for this violation can be assigned 2-10 points and be subject to suspension of guest and visitation privileges and disciplinary probation or residence hall eviction.

·         Reckless Endangerment – Breaking quarantine when you know you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive, or breaking isolation when you know you have tested positive for COVID-19.  Possible sanctions for this violation can be assigned 10-20 points and be subject to residence hall eviction, suspension, or expulsion.

·         Federal, State, and Local Laws – Failure to avoid indoor gatherings of 25 people or more, and outdoor gatherings of 100 people or more (on or off campus) that are not approved by the UC administration with proper supervision and guidance. Possible sanctions for this violation can be assigned 5-20 points and be subject to residence hall eviction, disciplinary probation, suspension, or expulsion.

Students and other members of the UC Golden Eagle community are encouraged to report violations of the Fall 2020 Return to Campus Plan using the LiveSafe App. If you see something, say something. Remind your friends to wear their masks and keep a physical distance. HOLD ONE ANOTHER ACCOUNTABLE.  Please note that intentional submissions of false reports are subject to disciplinary action under the False Information policy. 

In closing, my team, along with our faculty, coaches, and other staff expect that you take our health and safety measures to heart.  Please, do not:

·         Be selfish – your actions impact the entire community. 

·         Be the person who causes us to close campus and go online this semester. 

·         Be the reason that valued UC employees have no jobs on campus.  

·         Test the resolve of this University to take swift action to ensure the health and well-being of our campus and the Charleston community. 


The world is watching, and we want our Golden Eagle community to be the model for how universities can successfully operate in person during a pandemic. This is the time to show everyone what UC students are capable of doing. Without your compliance, our fall semester on campus will be over before it starts. We can succeed where so many other schools could not.

We can do this – but only if we are ALL IN together. Stay safe and be smart Golden Eagles!

Virginia Moore

Vice President & Dean of Students

Title IX & VI Compliance Coordinator

Dear UC Students,

It is great to have you arriving and getting settled here at UC.  I have been very impressed with your positive attitudes toward testing, masks, and other new health and safety protocols, and how grateful you are to be on campus.  We are grateful to have you!

Now let me ask you a question:

What do the University of Connecticut, University of Louisville, University of North Carolina, and Notre Dame University have in common?

Each school had groups of students socialize in close quarters without masks.  After going to parties and bars, COVID-19 spread quickly and widely through their student communities.  Why is this important to us at UC?

First, two of these schools (Notre Dame and UNC) sent all of their students home once the outbreaks occurred.  They both immediately shifted from in-class to online instruction.  Neither campus was able to manage the COVID-19 outbreak.

Second, two of these schools (Connecticut and Louisville) expelled, suspended, and evicted students from housing for their roles in hosting and organizing parties where the virus spread.  These students did not follow school health and safety plans and put their fellow students in danger.


All of us have worked too long and too hard for your safe arrival to have bad decisions require us to send some or all of you home.  


We cannot remind you enough, that you MUST wear your mask properly whenever you are around others indoors and, frankly, even outdoors.  We cannot remind you enough that you MUST maintain social distance from others.  We cannot remind you enough that outside of classes or other school sanctioned activities you MUST avoid indoor gatherings of 25 people or more, and outdoor gatherings of 100 people or more.  You cannot simply do one of these things – you must do ALL of these things to keep yourself and others safe.

If we are to keep our campus open, we must all adopt these practices.  As evident at other schools, it only took a fraction of their students to force everyone to return home.  Make no mistake – their students were just like you.  They came to campus healthy and COVID-free, but contracted the virus by making bad decisions.

We could not be happier to have you back on campus.  Let’s do everything we can to stay here.  Let’s commit to being responsible and making smart decisions.  Let’s do what other schools could not – keep each other healthy, safe, and together.



Martin S. Roth


Update 8.11.20

Dear UC Students and Employees,

I hope this message finds you excited for the start of the Fall semester.  While those of you studying, living, and working on the Charleston or Beckley campuses will experience some differences compared to years past, we are confident that our Return to Campus plan will enable all of us to be healthy and safe.

As announced previously, we are partnering with CAMC (Charleston Area Medical Center) on COVID-19 testing of residential students and select staff who will be in close student contact. This testing is already underway.

In addition, last week West Virginia Governor Justice announced that everyone coming to a college campus must be COVID-19 tested.  So, our campus testing is now expanding to include all commuting students, faculty and staff in both Charleston and Beckley.

We are currently working on testing locations, dates, and times for next week.  These will be communicated soon to students by Virginia Moore, and to employees by Cleta Harless.

Please note that residential students and staff coming in close contact with students must quarantine until their test results are received.  However, commuting students, faculty, and other staff in both Charleston and Beckley are not required to quarantine.  These individuals may continue with their normal routines after being tested.  All individuals will be notified of their test results and instructed as appropriate if further actions are required.

Thank you for your cooperation as we comply with the Governor’s requirement that everyone coming to a college campus in West Virginia this Fall be tested for COVID-19.

Please continue to refer to this page for additional information.

I look forward to seeing many of you on campus soon.


Best regards,

Martin S. Roth


Update 7.13.20

Dear UC Community,

I hope this message finds you healthy, safe, and excited for the upcoming academic year.

This past week we launched our online return to campus training videos and quizzes, the LiveSafe app for daily health assessments, and installed a number of temperature screening devices on the Beckley and Charleston campuses.  Employees who had been working remotely have begun returning to campus.  We also had in-seat ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing) instruction on both campuses this weekend, giving us an opportunity to implement our new practices with students and faculty.  We will continue to learn and improve our health and safety procedures as we have more employees and students on campus leading up the start of the Fall 2020 semester.

The relaxation of distancing and socialization measures nationwide seem to have facilitated increases in COVID-19 transmission throughout the country.  This has reinforced our commitment to UC’s Fall 2020 Return to Campus plan shared with all of you on June 19, 2020, and accessible here.  We believe that if we all follow the practices we have put in place, we will be doing everything we can to promote the health and safety of ourselves and each other.

Last week also brought to the forefront two major issues important to the UC community: changes to exemptions put in place earlier this year regarding international students studying in the U.S., and postponements and cancellations of Fall 2020 athletic competitions by some colleges, universities, and athletic conferences.

As we know, international students and student athletes comprise important and highly valued members of our community.  Our international students bring unique perspectives, opinions and experiences to our campus that enlighten all of our world views.  Similarly, student athletes share their unique backgrounds, passions, and commitment to success with all of us.  Both groups of students are a vital part of UC’s ongoing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

At this juncture, we do not foresee last week’s developments preventing our international students or student athletes from pursuing their academic, athletic, and other pursuits at UC this Fall.  Below I summarize the latest information that we have on these two topics and actions UC is taking on behalf of our international students and student athletes.


International Students.  On Monday July 6 the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office announced modifications to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) that specifies how students can maintain active status in the U.S.  Long-standing ICE policies for international students seeking a F-1 visa for approval to study at a U.S. college or university campus include that the student cannot enroll in a fully online program, and when they are in the U.S., they can only enroll in one online course per semester.  As many schools were forced to shift from in-seat to online instruction during the Spring 2020 semester, ICE provided a temporary exemption so that F-1 nonimmigrant students could continue their studies.  The July 6 announcement removes those temporary exemptions, prohibiting international students from returning to or remaining in the U.S. if their colleges adopt an online-only instruction model for the Fall.

As you know from our Return to Campus Plan, UC will be offering approximately 450 in-seat classes this Fall.  Furthermore, our in-seat classes will be supplemented with online, synchronous instruction (our Flex Connect model) in order to accommodate social distancing requirements in classrooms, illness, quarantines and other considerations that may prevent a student from attending class in-seat on any given day.  A smaller number of fully online courses will be available to students as well.  This mixture of online and in person classes falls into the SEVP “Hybrid” operating model, and as such will allow international students to take more than one class or three credit hours online.  Thus, our Fall 2020 instruction plan should not prevent UC students from securing a F-1 visa to study in the U.S. and should not present these students with problems if we must transition to online delivery sometime during the semester.

We have already begun taking the necessary steps to support our international students in securing their F-1 visas, including issuing new Forms I-20 to each student certifying that the school is not operating entirely online, that the student is not taking an entirely online course load for the Fall 2020 semester, and that the student is taking the minimum number of online classes required to make normal progress in their degree program.  We are also informing ICE of our Fall 2020 operational plan.  In addition, we distributed a survey to all international students last week seeking information on any travel or visa challenges they are facing.  We continue to communicate with our U.S. Senators to provide assistance where possible for students whose borders or embassies are currently closed. In the event that any international students cannot obtain an F-1 visa we will ensure that they can attend classes online from their home until such time that they can be on campus.

In summary, we do not see the recent ICE directive as a problem for our students.  We are working with each international student to help them get to campus as expeditiously as possible or participate in their classes online until they can.  International students should contact Violetta Petrosyan for assistance.


Student Athletes.  A number of high-profile colleges and universities have recently announced, for example, they will be operating fully or mainly online for Fall 2020, and that they are limiting residential living to select students such as freshmen or seniors. In many cases these are large schools located in large urban areas that present a variety of health and safety challenges.  As such these schools are not supporting their Fall sport programs.  When this happens, the athletic conferences to which these schools belong are faced with the difficulty of scheduling competitions with incomplete membership.  Consequently, a number of athletic conferences announced this week that they will be delaying the start of their Fall 2020 competitions or postponing or canceling them altogether.

Another problem has been the positive testing of student athletes who returned to campuses at large Division I schools across the country.  Health officials speculate that the virus is spreading when these students congregate socially and do not adhere to social distancing and wear face masks.  In fact, a UC student who tested positive for COVID-19 last month is believed to have contracted the virus at a party in Morgantown WV along with a number of WVU student athletes.  This once again illustrates the importance of following the practices outlined in our Fall 2020 Return to Campus Plan.

As a result, there continues to be uncertainty about Fall sport competitions.  At the current time, our Mountain East Conference (MEC) is delaying the start of Fall 2020 competitions to mid-September and limiting competitions to intraleague play.  To date, all MEC member schools are opening their campuses and offering in-seat instruction this Fall.  All MEC member schools hope to have competitive seasons this Fall.

Conference meetings are occurring weekly.  We will continue to monitor NCAA guidance as well as State policies regarding athletics and sports.

In the meantime, the Athletics Department is finalizing a “COVID-19 Return to Play” manual outlining plans and procedures for athletic training, practices, competitions, travel, and fan participation. The manual adopts and reinforces the UC Fall 2020 Return to Campus plan as well as the NCAA guidelines on the “Resocialization of Collegiate Sport.”

In summary, we continue to plan for Fall 2020 athletic competitions, while utilizing all available information to assess that we can do so safely for our student athletes and the rest of our community.  The athletic staff will keep us informed of any new developments.

In conclusion, the one constant since the novel coronavirus became a global pandemic is change.  We will likely see more issues arise that pose new questions and assessments of our plans.  We will keep you informed.  Please be certain that we will remain steadfastly committed to ensuring the health and safety of our community and enabling students to achieve their personal and professional goals here at UC.

Best regards,

Martin S. Roth


Under the provisions of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the University of Charleston signed and returned the Certification and Agreement to the Department of Education assuring that the institution would use no less than 50 percent of the funds received in emergency financial aid grants to students to assist with the expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care expenses. UC gained access to this funding on May 5, 2020.

The University of Charleston received $611,494 from the Department of Education which is being distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. The full amount of this federal allocation will be awarded to students by June 4, 2020, and direct distributions to students will be completed by June 10, 2020.

Approximately 2,200 students at the institution are eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Grant Act. Of those, 1,125 students are receiving emergency financial aid grants under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. The other approximately 1,073 students were enrolled in a full online academic program and were excluded from CARES Act grant awards pursuant to Department of Education guidance stating that students “enrolled exclusively in online programs would not have expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus” and thus are ineligible to receive these emergency grants.

The University of Charleston determined to distribute 100% of the student grant funds using a formula that would ensure that all eligible students would receive a grant under the CARES Act emergency financial aid for students and that low EFC students would receive more grant funds (twice as much) than high EFC students.

The University of Charleston’s methodology in determining the Low and High EFC range took into consideration the guidelines under which the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission awards the West Virginia Higher Education Grant (WVHEG), a need-based grant. During the 2019-2020 academic year, eligible West Virginia students who had an EFC up to $11,000 were awarded the WVHEG. The University of Charleston determined the Low EFC range for CARES Act grants to be from $0 – $11,000 (which includes Federal Pell-eligible EFC’s) and High EFC range to be $11,001 and up. Also included in the High EFC range were those students who did not complete a 2019-20 FAFSA but were determined to be eligible under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Those who are or could be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 were initially identified from among all UC students. The University requested that all students who had not filed but are eligible to file a FAFSA identify themselves and provide evidence of their Title IV eligibility.

The University of Charleston used the described method of allocation which resulted in the following students receiving emergency financial aid grants in the award amounts indicated:

  1. Group 1: Students enrolled in a non-online degree program in Spring 2020 who had a full-time course load as of March 27, 2020, met the Title IV eligibility criteria, and had an EFC from the FAFSA less than $11,000. These students were awarded $642.42.
  2. Group 2: Students enrolled in a non-online degree program in Spring 2020 who had a full-time course load as of March 27, 2020, met the Title IV eligibility criteria, and had an EFC from the FAFSA greater than $11,000, or who did not have an EFC on record. These students were awarded $326.87.
  3. Group 3: Students enrolled in a non-online degree program in Spring 2020 who had a part-time course load as of March 27, 2020, met the Title IV eligibility criteria, were listed as a dependent student, and had an EFC from the FAFSA less than $11,000. These students were awarded $200.
  4. Group 4: Students enrolled in a non-online degree program in Spring 2020 who had a part-time course load as of March 27, 2020, met the Title IV eligibility criteria, were listed as a dependent student, and had an EFC from the FAFSA greater than $11,000, or who did not have an EFC on record. These students were awarded $100.


To read the communications sent to students throughout the awarding process, click here.

Graduation Online.  On May 2, we celebrated the accomplishments of our graduates with a virtual graduation ceremony. While we would prefer to have welcomed family and friends to campus to cheer them on, we know that this graduating class – having faced a global emergency that required a quick shift to online classes and a ‘too fast’ ending to their senior semester – will be able to overcome anything.  We offer our heartfelt congratulations, and hope to see them on campus in December to participate in our graduation ceremony at that time. If you want to revisit the ceremony, you can see it here: UC Graduation


SOAR Goes Virtual.  Typically at this time, the UC campus would be full of activity as the summer orientation season goes into full swing. However, due to campus safety precautions, the university’s SOAR (Summer Orientation, Advising and Registration) events will be taking place virtually.  SOAR events are for new UC admitted students, including freshmen and transfer students. For more information on SOAR, visit our SOAR web page.


Opening WV. West Virginia Governor Justice is rolling out changes week-by-week for WV businesses and citizens as we gradually reopen the state for business.

He has announced plans to allow additional parks and recreation venues, dine-in services, and some retail businesses to open between now and Memorial Day weekend.  Health officials are still cautioning everyone to be mindful of health risks and to take precautions as we ease into this next phase.


Please note that UC will remain in its telework / remote work mode until further notice, regardless of what we hear in the press about other businesses and industries.  The safety of our UC community continues to be at the forefront of our thoughts and plans.  UC leadership has begun scenario planning for Fall 2020 to determine the best strategies for likely campus conditions we will face.

As the final week of Spring, classes come to a close, I hope this message finds you well.  I applaud everyone’s commitment, energy, and perseverance bringing the semester to a successful close.  As this remains a busy time for everyone, I will keep this message brief.

Global, national, state and local news continues to paint different pictures of when living, study, recreation, and work conditions will change.  We continue to closely monitor guidance on resuming campus activities and the appropriate safety measures to have in place.

Sadly, we learned this week about the closure of our athletic conference partner school, Urbana University. These are challenging times for all colleges and universities.  However, please be assured that UC is well-positioned to weather this pandemic storm and continue doing what we do best: educate students for lives of productive work, enlightened living, and community involvement.


So, let me reiterate the following:

  • We are offering a full range of summer online classes. For certain programs, clinical experiences are also available.
  • We anticipate offering both in-seat and online classes in the Fall as well as reopening our residence halls. The same is true of the following Spring semester.


Of course, all final decisions will be guided by our goal to ensure the health and safety of all students, faculty and staff.  Throughout the summer we will be developing plans for different scenarios so that we can offer the best possible learning and living experiences for the upcoming academic year.

I wish all of you the best of luck with your semester ending assignments, projects, and exams.  And I look forward to celebrating with many of you your well-deserved graduation at our Virtual Commencement next weekend.

Stay safe,


I continue to be inspired by how well our community has come together during this time of unprecedented change.  Experiences and feedback shared via Town Hall meetings, emails and phone calls have been largely positive and always constructive.

As we enter the final weeks of the Spring semester, we continue to make plans for the weeks and months ahead.  Safety for our community and student success remain our primary goals.  Here are some updates pertaining to the summer months.


All UC courses through June will be delivered online.  Possible exceptions include clinical placements and internships that will be approved by deans and program directors.  As we are currently making available, remote library, tutoring, career center, disability, counseling, technology support, and other services will be offered throughout the summer.  Decisions regarding summer courses that begin in July will be made in the coming weeks.

SOAR and Other Orientations

All orientations across all UC programs scheduled through June 2020 will be conducted virtually or postponed to a later date.  The May and June SOAR new student orientation, advising and registration sessions will be transitioned to virtual experiences.    Suggestions and questions can be directed to Dean of Students Virginia Moore.

Campus Activities and Events

Campuses continue to be closed while the state “Stay at Home” order remains in effect.  We will monitor such orders and guidelines to determine when any parts of the Charleston and Beckley locations can be opened to students, faculty, staff, and visitors.  All internal and external events scheduled through June are being cancelled, postponed, or transitioned to virtual experiences including academic camps, athletic camps, Symphony Sunday, and Wine & Jazz, among others.  Decisions regarding July events will be made in the coming weeks.

These changes, and ones yet to come, are being made as new information becomes available.  We are all hopeful that sacrifices we are making today will enable us to be together again more quickly.


I want to applaud everyone’s hard work and positive attitudes as we have successfully transitioned all University instruction online. As our city, state, country and world continue to take sweeping measures to limit the spread and impact of COVID-19, UC will begin its next transition – to flexible and remote work.

Our University leaders have been carefully reviewing our work processes, focusing particularly on those that are essential to our continued operations. We have studied best remote work practices utilized in higher education and other industries. As we have managed this process, the following guiding principles and key objectives have provided direction on the most effective changes for UC.


Guiding Principles


  • Minimize personal health and safety risks for students and employees
  • Stay connected with and provide essential services to students
  • Maintain essential campus operations
  • Support employee work
  • Minimize data, security, and other institutional risks


Key Objectives


  • People
    • Minimize personnel on campus
    • Minimize in-person interactions
    • Keep employees engaged with flex and remote work
    • No community visits (non-residential students or employees)


  • Spaces
    • Only individual workspaces
    • Minimize public use spaces (library only)
    • Monitor and clean workspaces regularly (offices, library, residence halls)
    • Prepare spaces for quarantine use


  • Services
    • Minimize in-person service delivery
    • Utilize technology-enabled communications



Effective Saturday March 21st, UC will begin a remote work plan in Charleston and Beckley. The purpose of the plan is to limit on-campus work to those activities that cannot be managed remotely. Fortunately, we serve over 1,300 online students daily and already have significant expertise with remote instruction, student services, and other operations. A second and important part of the plan is to minimize all indoor public space use and social interaction on campus until such time that such measures are no longer necessary. Through this plan all University departments will continue to be open to serve our students and our employees who are online or working from home.


Specific details will be provided to students, faculty, and staff by supervisors and appropriate University leaders. Here are a few highlights to provide everyone with a UC-wide perspective.

  • All offices essential for continued operations will remain staffed and accessible via phone and email.
  • Unless instructed to do so, employees should not come to campus except to access and gather instructional or other essential work materials, or if they need Internet access not available at their homes.
  • Students who are no longer living in our residence halls may not come to campus unless given permission to do so. Communications with professors, support offices, and fellow students should be conducted electronically.
  • UC Dining is now offering GSU Patio Door Pick-Up (river side GSU entrance)


Breakfast 8am-10am

Lunch 11:30am-1:30pm

Dinner 5pm-7pm 


Brunch 11am-1pm

Dinner 5pm-7pm

  • All classrooms, labs, and indoor public spaces on campus are closed, with the exception of the library, food court, and coffee tavern. These spaces will be closely monitored for approved social distancing and cleaned regularly. Updated takeout dining and library hours can be found on UC’s COVID-19 webpage.
  • The UC library is now physically closed but is offering remote library hours (email & phone) from 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday & Noon – 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. *Library Chat services will be available from 8:30 am – 7 p.m. Monday-Thursday
  • No visitors will be allowed inside campus facilities.


Let me assure students that you will earn your degree and be considered a graduate of the University of Charleston upon completion of your academic requirements. However, due to the campus closure extending into the foreseeable future, we will not be able to hold commencement ceremonies on campus May 2nd. We do recognize how important commencement is to our graduating students, their classmates, and loved ones. We will be hosting a Virtual Commencement on May 2nd – please look for details next week!


Updates on I3 Day and classes that begin in May 2020 are also coming soon.


Once again let me remind everyone to avoid contact with and the spread of the coronavirus through the following preventive behaviors on campus and elsewhere:


  • Limit gatherings to ten people or less
  • Maintain six (6) feet of distance between people
  • Wash our hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds (if soap and water unavailable, use an alcohol-based sanitizer)
  • Avoid touching our eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Clean keyboards, phones, and other frequent hand contact surfaces with disinfectant
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Get plenty of rest


If you are feeling ill, please seek medical attention. If you feel you need to be tested for COVID-19, or have been, please inform the following:



This information, and more can be found on UC’s COVID-19 webpage: Please visit the webpage for updates and current information.   You may also direct coronavirus-related questions to our dedicated email account


I am confident we will embrace these changes just as enthusiastically and effectively as earlier alterations to our usual ways of doing things. As issues arise or suggestions come to mind, please share them. We remain committed to ensuring student success and will continue to respond thoughtfully as circumstances change.



Martin S. Roth

As the number of COVID-19 cases rise in the U.S. and new state and federal guidance emerges, the University continues to adapt accordingly.  Please make note of the following changes that will limit non-essential social interaction as we continue to wind down in-seat instruction and Charleston campus residency.

  • In-seat instruction on both the Charleston and Beckley campuses will end today, Wednesday March 18th. All instruction will shift online effective Thursday March 19th.  Transitioning to online delivery immediately will allow students to experience new instructional techniques, provide feedback, and seek assistance before departing campus.
  • Faculty will inform students of any lab or assessment requirements that may need to be completed this week.
  • Take out dining is encouraged today. Starting Thursday March 19th, dining facilities will only offer take out service.  Residential students and employees can take meals outdoors or to their dorms and offices, respectively. The following are specific hours of operation effective Thursday March 19 through Sunday March 22:
    • Weekdays:
      • Breakfast will be available in the Coffee Tavern from 7:00-9:00 a.m.
        The CT will remain open weekdays until 3:00 p.m.
      • Lunch will be available in the Food Court from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
      • Dinner will be available in the Food Court from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
    • Weekends:
      • Breakfast will be available in the Coffee Tavern from 7:00-9:00 a.m.
      • Brunch will be available in the Food Court from 11:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
      • Dinner will be available in the Food Court from 4:00-7:30 p.m.

Any changes in operating hours for next week will be communicated.

  • The following social distance measures should be adopted:
    • In-person meetings limited to ten participants. Seating should be arranged to maximize space between occupants, with a minimum of six feet between participants.
    • Meetings with more than ten participants utilize tele- or videoconference technology.
    • Shared spaces such as computer labs, the Fitness Center, and floors of the Innovation Center should be limited to ten occupants. Fitness Center hours effective Thursday March 19th will be from 10:00 a.m-4:00 p.m. Monday-Friday.
    • Library access will be closely monitored to ensure appropriate social distancing among students, faculty, and staff. The Library will be closed to members of the local community until further notice.
    •  Library hours effective Thursday March 19th will be from 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday.


Thank you for adopting these practices as we work together to minimize the potential spread of the virus.


Please look for further updates soon on remote work and/or modified schedules for UC employees in Charleston and Beckley, I3 Day, May Commencement, and classes that begin in May 2020.


It remains critical that we avoid contact with and the spread of the coronavirus through the following preventive behaviors on campus and elsewhere:

  •  Wash our hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds (if soap and water unavailable, use an alcohol-based sanitizer)
  • Avoid touching our eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Clean keyboards, phones, and other frequent hand contact surfaces with disinfectant
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Get plenty of rest


If you are feeling ill, please seek medical attention.  If you feel you need to be tested for COVID-19, or have been, please inform the following:


This information, and more can be found on UC’s COVID-19 webpage:  Please visit the webpage for updates and current information.   You may also direct coronavirus-related questions to our dedicated email account

I continue to be impressed by, and grateful for, how calmly, positively, and effectively our community has responded to this quickly shifting pandemic.  I know that we will continue to meet new challenges head on, and care for and support each other in the days and weeks ahead.


Martin S. Roth

Update - 3.17.2020

A Message to the UC Community on COVID-19

Dear UC Community,

I am writing to update University of Charleston students, faculty, and staff on the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, as of this writing, there are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in West Virginia. Nonetheless, the University has been actively engaged in understanding the potential risks of this outbreak to our community.

In addition to the promotion of preventive measures that I shared previously, we have formed a Pandemic Response Team, drawn on health and medical best practices from sources such as the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization, and more locally the Kanawha Charleston Health Department and WV Department of Health and Human Resources, held conference calls with other university leaders in our state and region, and participated in programs specific to the coronavirus and higher education.

Throughout this process, our primary concerns have been ensuring the health and safety of our entire community, and students’ continued degree and program progress.

After careful analysis, UC will be transitioning all Charleston and Beckley campus, in-seat classes, to online instruction. Our last day of in-seat classes will be Thursday March 19, 2020, and the first day of online instruction will be Monday March 23, 2020.

Students residing on the Charleston campus should plan to transition home or to another location Friday March 20 through Sunday March 22. Students for whom moving out at this time represents a challenge or hardship, may apply to remain in the residence halls.

At this time, no changes in instruction or scheduling will occur for students, faculty, and staff in our Online programs.

All UC employees will continue to work their normal schedules.

Additional details regarding academics, housing, student services, athletics, activities and events, and health and safety follow. Please note that due to the rapidly changing situation, further adjustments may be necessary.


Transition to Online Instruction

The University currently has over 1200 students enrolled in online courses. Thus, our faculty expertise and technology systems will make for a smooth transition. Faculty, with the support of the Provost’s Office and the Office of Information Technology, will begin preparing to engage students via distance learning for the final five weeks of the Spring 2020 semester. The first day of online instruction will be Monday March 23rd.

Students will receive information and instructions from faculty regarding individual courses. Course delivery approaches may include discussion forums, recorded lectures, and other distance learning methods. Existing eLearn courses will continue to be used. Specific transition information for laboratory, clinical, internship, and similar experiential courses will be provided.

Students without computer access may apply to purchase a computer. The cost of the computer will be added to the student’s account. Please contact the Help Desk at to learn more about securing a computer.



Students are required to move out of their residence hall rooms by Sunday March 22 at 4 p.m. Classes are cancelled Friday March 20th. Therefore, students have three days (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) to transition out of campus housing.

Students leaving the residence halls will receive room and board prorated credit for the vacated time. Check Finance Self-Service for adjustments made to your student account in late April. Since classes will be continuing, there are no tuition refunds.

Students for whom moving out at this time represents a challenge or hardship, may apply to remain in the residence halls by completing and submitting the Special Housing Request form by Tuesday, March 17th at 5p.m. This form will be available via the UC Housing Portal.

Please note that campus housing will be consolidated. The Residence Life staff will provide more information.


Student Services

The following student services will continue to be available on campus:

  • Dining services
  • Library
  • Counseling
  • Student Success Center
  • Academic Support Center
  • Fitness Center
  • Innovation Center
  • Food Pantry


Hours of service may be limited and subject to change.

At this time, the University plans to hold the May 2, 2020 commencement ceremonies as scheduled.



The Mountain East Conference has suspended all spring athletics competition indefinitely. As such we regret that the University of Charleston Spring 2020 sports schedules have been cancelled.


Activities and Events

Following West Virginia and City of Charleston guidance, large group campus events will be prohibited. Events involving at-risk populations will be postponed or cancelled.

The number of student social activities will be very limited. Event information will be communicated via email and through the UC Events app.

Prospective students are welcome to visit campus. The Admissions Office will continue offering individual visits and group events. Graduate programs and Athletics can continue campus recruiting activities.

All course-related international travel trips are cancelled.

All University-related travel will require supervisor approval.


Health and Safety

It is critical that we continue to practice appropriate prevention to avoid contact with and the spread of the coronavirus. Following Centers for Disease Control guidance, all of us should:

  • Wash our hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds (if soap and water unavailable, use an alcohol-based sanitizer)
  • Avoid touching our eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Get plenty of rest


If you are feeling ill, please seek medical attention. To relieve virus and flu-like symptoms, please:

  • Take pain and fever medications (caution: do not give Aspirin to children)
  • Use a room humidifier or take a hot shower to help ease a sore throat and cough
  • Drink plenty of liquids
  • Stay home and rest


If you feel you need to be tested for COVID-19, or have been, please inform the following:



I continue to be impressed that our students, faculty and staff have remained calm, focused on our work, and engaged in safe health practices. We will continue to assess the COVID-19 situation and determine how best to proceed.  We are confident that the actions being taken will minimize our students’ and employees’ health and safety risks while bringing the Spring 2020 semester to a successful close.

This information, and more can be found on UC’s COVID-19 webpage: Please visit the webpage for updates and current information. You may also direct coronavirus-related questions to our dedicated email account



Martin S. Roth