President Marjorie Hass announced in an email to the Rhodes community July 15 that public health conditions necessitated Rhodes College continue with remote teaching and learning in fall 2020.
“I write with a heavy heart to let you know that despite our hopes and plans, the external health conditions in Memphis do not support an on-campus fall semester. All along, we have known that this was a possibility and we have waited until the last practical moment to assess it. I wish it were otherwise, but I am committed to facing the facts and to sharing them with you,” wrote Hass.
“This past week, our team consulted with public health experts here in Memphis and in our broader national Rhodes network. Unanimously, these experts expressed appreciation for the plan, agreeing that we and our Baptist partners have a solid strategy in place for returning to campus. Also, unanimously, they advised that no plan could make up for the fact that conditions in Memphis are increasingly severe. They told me that based on the current facts and trends, we should expect that campus outbreaks of COVID-19 would quickly outpace our ability to provide an appropriately safe environment for our students and staff.”
As in the spring, Rhodes will work one-on-one with international students and others who do not have a place to live to remain on campus or who need technology or other resources to be able to learn remotely.
If conditions improve, Rhodes is prepared to bring first-year students back to campus in the fall. Rhodes continues to expect and plan for an on-campus and in-person spring 2021 semester.
In recognition that a remote experience cannot fully replicate an online experience, Rhodes will adjust tuition back to the price and structure that was in place in the fall of 2017. Overall, this represents a 9% reduction in the college's tuition rate.