Fall 2020 Reopening

A Message From the President

September 2, 2020

Greetings Claflin Family, 

University administrators and staff have been working diligently to prepare the campus for the 2020 Fall semester students. With safety as our primary focus, we made the decision to delay the reopening of campus because of COVID-19 data. As August progressed, we were in constant communication with our local and state health agencies. With this information, we are excited to welcome students to campus on September 19 and 20, 2020. 

Students are required to upload COVID-19 test results to MyClaflin 10 days before returning to campus or positive antibody results within the last 40 days. In addition, we are prepared to test every student upon arrival to campus. All students who arrive to campus will quarantine for the first week while attending classes remotely. All students with a positive result will be required to quarantine at home and can return after providing a negative test result. 

As we continuously prepare to welcome students safely to campus, we are constantly updating and improving campus options. To that end, classrooms have been sanitized and desks are spaced to promote at least six feet of distance. Computer labs, library, offices, and other spaces on campus have been provided sneeze guards, plexiglass and other safety measures to ensure safe use. Occupancy in the University Dining Center has been reduced to 50% and there will be additional outdoor seating in three locations throughout campus. Students will have the option of ordering meals through the Bite app. Meals will also be delivered, if desired. 

We are excited to have students on campus once again. For this semester to be successful, our students will need to be 100% compliant. One misstep can mean the evacuation of the campus. Together we can ensure we keep Claflin safe and have a successful semester. 


Important Dates:

  • September 19-20, 2020 - Campus Housing will open 
  • September 28, 2020 - October 2, 2020- Midterm Exams
  • October 5, 2020 - Session II Online, Evening and Graduate Programs begin
  • November 16-20, 2020 - Final Exams 
  • November 21, 2020 - Fall Commencement (Tentatively)
  • November 30, 2020 - (6 weeks)-Winter Semester begins (optional)

Thank you Claflin Family for your patience and understanding during these unprecedented times as we diligently work through the hurdles posed by COVID-19. We encourage you to keep following CDC guidelines and safety recommendations from your local, state and federal agencies.

Peace and Blessings,

Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack

July 24, 2020 

Over the last four months, the University has adjusted and adapted to the unpredictable nature of the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 has forced us to examine our daily operations and make the necessary changes. As I have shared before, we are prepared to change our plans based on the data provided by local, state and national health agencies.

Mindful of Claflin’s family oriented campus as a unique place for living and learning, we had hoped to reopen the campus in August. Out of an abundance of caution, with the safety of our students and employees in mind, the University has decided to begin the 2020 Fall semester August 10, 2020, remotely (Fully Online). Our current plans call for the reopening of campus on September 21, 2020, for in-person and hybrid instruction. For those who prefer all courses will continue to be available in a fully online modality. As you may know, this decision has not been made lightly.

The University’s administrative team has spent the last few months closely reviewing COVID-19’s impact in Orangeburg and throughout our state. We have been engaged in detailed conversations with our external community health experts in Orangeburg and all over South Carolina. From these reports generated by the South Carolina Department of Environmental Control (DHEC), and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health agencies, it has become increasingly clear that it would be unsafe to reopen the campus for face-to-face instruction in August as previously announced. However, our plan to reopen the campus has not changed, and we will do so based on the spread of COVID-19 during the next month. The outlook of health experts on the safe return of students in early August for face-face instruction and on-campus residential experiences is disconcerting. Thus, we must rely on the data to help drive our decision making.

Residence Halls are tentatively scheduled to reopen September 16, 2020. 
In that eventuality, students can continue to receive online instruction if they so desire.

Important Dates:

  • August 10, 2020 - First Day of Remote Learning
  • September 16, 2020 - Campus Housing will tentatively open
  • September 28, 2020 - October 2, 2020- Midterm Exams
  • October 5, 2020 - Session II Online, Evening and Graduate Programs begin
  • November 16-20, 2020 - Final Exams
  • November 21, 2020 - Fall Commencement (Tentatively)
  • November 30, 2020 - (6 weeks)-Winter Semester begins (optional)

For the safety of our campus community, we are requiring all students to upload COVID-19 test results to MyClaflin prior to move in.
The link for this purpose will be available closer to reopening and will be shared via email. It is impossible to overstate that the safety of students, faculty and staff is our top priority in this challenging time.

Our efforts will continue to focus on what’s best for students, faculty and staff. We will continue to monitor the fluidity of the virus and as circumstances dictate, we will communicate further adjustments to the community. We encourage you to keep following CDC guidelines and safety recommendations from your local, state and federal agencies.

Thank you Claflin Family, for your patience and understanding during these unprecedented times as we diligently work through the hurdles of COVID-19.

Peace and Blessings,

Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack




A Message From the Provost

July 10, 2020 

Coming Back to Claflin: Instructional Plans for Fall 2020

Set forth below is an update on previous communication regarding plans for instruction in the fall.  With the safety and health of the Claflin Family being our primary concern, these plans are subject to change.  The COVID-19 pandemic is an ever-changing dynamic, and our plans for high-quality teaching and learning are flexible enough to adapt to public health changes.

Classes Begin
Classes shall begin Monday, August 10, 2020.

Classes End
Friday, November 20, 2020, is the final day of the fall semester. Note, there is no fall break in fall 2020.

Course Instruction
Because of guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding social distancing in the COVID-19 pandemic, Claflin’s classroom seating capacity has been greatly reduced to about 20 – 30 percent.  As a result, few classrooms can safely accommodate more than 10-14 students.

  • Due to reduced seating capacity, most courses will be taught in a hybrid modality – meaning some in-person instruction combined with remote delivery via Moodle and ZOOM.
  •  All in-person lectures will be recorded and made available to students.
  • Every course offered at CU in the fall, including those taught in-person, will also be available in an online delivery modality.  Thus, a student who elects not to return to the campus in the fall, for whatever reason, may still enroll in CU courses.
  • Some courses will be delivered in an online format only – meaning there will be no in-person instruction.  The coursework will be delivered either synchronously (at a designated date and time via Moodle and ZOOM) or asynchronously (via Moodle in a self-paced deadline-driven format).
  • We are putting together technological solutions (classroom cameras, microphones, easy access to  ZOOM) to support a range of teaching and learning opportunities.
  • Students will be notified well before classes begin of the instructional modality of courses.

Social Distancing, Other Public Health Protocols
  • Face coverings, at all times, will be mandatory for staff, faculty and students.
  • Classroom buildings will have designated and marked with entry and exit doors.
  • Other signage regarding seating, CDC occupancy capacity, hand-sanitizing, and other social distancing protocols will be displayed throughout buildings.
  • Class start and end times will be adjusted as a measure of density control.

Office Hours, Advisement

  • Faculty office hours and student advisement will be conducted virtually.
  • In-office interaction between faculty and students is eliminated in fall 2020.

Grading System

  • The normal alpha grading system (A-F, I) will be observed in fall 2020.

Winter Semester

We have introduced an exciting new academic opportunity:  a winter semester.  To begin November 30, 2020 and end January 14, 2021 this academic period will be taught 100 percent online.  More information on our winter semester will be forthcoming.

The Claflin Family will be kept abreast of plans for instruction in the fall. 


A Message From the President

July 1, 2020

As COVID-19 cases in South Carolina continue to rise at an alarming rate, the University’s leadership team has determined it is prudent and in the best interest of safety to alter our reopening plan. As indicated in previous announcements, our reopening plan is not static and conditions from COVID-19 may demand adjustments.

Phase 1 will now begin on July 20, 2020, and Phase 2 on July 27, 2020. At this time, we are still planning on welcoming students to campus on August 4, 2020. Please note that these plans can change and will be updated if necessary.

Here are key dates for the upcoming year:

  • August 4-6 - New Students Report
  • August 7 - Faculty return/faculty-staff institute (virtual)
  • August 10 - Classes begin
  • November 13 - Last day of classes for traditional students
  • November 20 - Last day of Final Exams

There is much work to be done and a smooth opening will require all of us to do our part. Continue to practice social distancing and adhere to safety guidelines from local, state and federal health agencies. 

We also recommend that you adhere to the following social distancing standards until further notice:

  • Sick employees are encouraged to stay at home.
  • No large gatherings or face-to-face meetings.
  • There should be no more than five people in any workspace at any given time.
  • All large meetings will continue to meet via Zoom or other video conferencing platforms.
  • In person meetings of no more than five people can take place with the appropriate precautions.
  • Recommended social distance of 6 feet or more.
  • For mutual safety and protection, adhere to a maximum elevator capacity of two people.
  • Strongly discourage travel to locations with ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks and regularly check CDC travel warnings.

If you have a preexisting or underlying health condition that puts you at risk, please provide medical documentation to Human Resources by July 13, 2020. For specific questions about office schedules, please contact your supervisor and/or the Provost and appropriate Vice President. In the coming weeks, we hope that South Carolina will have flattened the curve and the worst of this virus will be behind us. It is our hope! Please continue to stay safe.


Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack

Claflin Safety at Work

A Message From the President

Monday, May 18, 2020

Dear Students,

We have concluded our Spring 2020 semester and I want to thank you for persevering through this challenging transition. We remain an institution still devoted and committed to providing a high-quality education. While we are still challenged by COVID-19, I am writing to calm your fears regarding the reopening of the University for the 2020 Fall Semester.

I have appointed a Reopening Task Force consisting of students, faculty and staff who have been (virtually) meeting regularly to focus on our path forward. This task force will present various recommendations of possible scenarios for reopening the University and as an administration we will work towards the best solution for Claflin University. 

I am highly optimistic and hopeful that Claflin will resume face-to-face instruction at some point in the fall. Our goal is the safety of our campus community and we are exploring all facets of operation. In the meantime, please continue to exercise safety precautions as recommended by federal, state and local officials.

I am thankful to our dynamic faculty, staff and students for flexibility and support as we deliberate our next steps to safely reopening our beautiful campus on hilltop high. More detailed campus reopening will be shared in June (or the coming weeks).

We pray that each of you and your family remain healthy and safe. Have a blessed summer break. 


Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack

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