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Coronavirus: Earlham restricts staffing to ‘essential personnel’

March 20, 2020

Earlham College President Anne Houtman announced new measures on Friday, March 20, to support state and local efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus.

Effective Tuesday, March 24, all employees will be required to work from home with the exception of designated, “essential personnel” responsible for maintaining campus operations, ensuring business continuity, and supporting students who have been unable to return home.

All campus buildings with the exception of residence halls still in use will be closed as of 5 p.m. Monday and remain closed indefinitely. Earlham faculty already began gearing up to teach remaining coursework for the spring semester online after the college sent students home at the end of last week. Those courses will resume no later than March 25.

Houtman said the decision was prompted by increasingly stringent government measures to constrain the spread of COVID-19. “By pulling together and observing the safety precautions and procedures outlined by public health officials, we can do our part in preventing a massive escalation of COVID-19 in Indiana,” she noted.

Also Friday, the college announced the cancellation of all summer conferences on campus, college-sponsored internships, on- and off-campus collaborative student-faculty research, and off-campus, immersive learning experiences.

Discussion continues about offering an alternative format or date for Commencement.

The deposit deadline for students admitted to the Class of 2024 has been moved from May 1 to June 1.

— EC —

Earlham College, a national liberal arts college located in Richmond, Indiana, is a College That Changes Lives. We aspire to provide the highest quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences. We expect our students to think rigorously, value directness and genuineness, and actively seek insights from differing perspectives. The values we practice at Earlham are rooted in centuries of Quaker tradition, but they also constitute the ideal toolkit for contemporary success.

Princeton Review ranks Earlham in the Top 20 nationally for Best Classroom Experience, and U.S. News & World Report recognizes the College as one of 55 institutions taking pioneering approaches to serving students, and ranks EC 7th for the percentage of international students on campus, 25th for “Best Undergraduate Teaching” and 34th for “Best Value.”

Brian Zimmerman is director of media relations at Earlham College. He can be reached at 765-983-1256 and


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