Belton, Texas – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor announced today that it will continue providing student instruction through online learning for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester, according to a news release from James Stafford, director of marketing and public relations for UMHB.

“Our hope has been to reunite with our students in person on April 6,” President Randy O’Rear told members of the UMHB community in an email. “However, with the continuing pandemic challenges nationwide and with [the stay-at-home directive issued Monday] by our local health officials, bringing students back to campus for face-to-face instruction is now unlikely. We also recognize that it would be even more disruptive for our students and faculty to transition back to face-to-face instruction in the final days of the semester.”

UMHB will continue to offer academic support, including academic coaching, tutoring and advising, through phone calls, emails and online meetings. The Student Counseling Center will also serve students remotely for the remainder of the semester, and the University Chaplain will be available to help students via emails or phone conversations.

Student housing will remain closed through the end of the Spring 2020 semester except to a limited number of residential students who have a hardship preventing them from returning home. In response to the “Stay Home Stay Safe” directive issued by Bell County officials, the university will not allow students to return to campus to retrieve their belongings at this time. Students have been directed to wait until a safe and orderly plan is announced for them to move out of their dorm rooms and apartments at a later date.

For the duration of the “Stay Home Stay Safe” directive, buildings across the university campus will remain closed. University communications will be maintained by telephone, email, and the university website. Calls to the university switchboard at 254-295-8642 will be answered and routed to personnel who can respond to callers’ questions.

Though campus visits are closed at this time, UMHB continues to accept applications for admission as usual. Registration for the Fall semester will open on April 13, as scheduled. Cru Camp (registration day for incoming freshmen), scheduled for April 25, will take place but will operate by alternative methods, in compliance with the directive from Bell County.

“I miss seeing all of you, and I know it will be a glorious day when we are reunited on campus again,” O’Rear told students in the email announcement today. “I continue to pray for you and your families. Remember, our God is in control, even in these challenging and uncertain circumstances,” he said.