Cumberland University Statement

Cumberland University's Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Cumberland University continues to closely monitor the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. At this time there are no confirmed cases in the Cumberland community.

Continue to closely monitor your Cumberland email for the latest information and updates.

Key Updates:

  • Beginning Monday, March 16 all on-ground classes will transition to an online learning format
  • Residence halls will remain open and dining services will continue to operate on a modified schedule with limited services for increased safety
  • All university staff and academic offices, including the library, will remain open. Please contact individuals directly with specific questions before coming to campus
  • All campus events have been postponed through at least March 31, 2020
  • CU in conjunction with the NAIA has canceled the Spring 2020 sports season, including practices, games and tournaments
  • All university sponsored travel has been discontinued through March 31, 2020
  • Any student or employee who is ill or who believes they may have been exposed to the virus should self-quarantine and contact Joe Gray at [email protected] or 615-547-1255

All summer classes will be taught in an online format. This includes May term, Summer 1, Summer 2 and Full Summer terms.

Based on Executive Orders from Governor Lee, beginning Monday, April 6, 2020 the library facility will be closed until April 14. Resources and librarians will be available to help students and faculty remotely.

Additionally, all classes beginning in May will be in an online learning format.

At this moment, Cumberland is fortunate not to have any confirmed cases on our campus. Several members of the CU family have, however, lost loved ones or been otherwise disaffected by this aggressive disease. Our hearts go out to those of you who have suffered these losses. If there is anything that CU can do to assist you or your loved ones, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly.

In response to the CDC guidelines and Governor Lee’s Executive Orders, CU has made the following decisions, with the well-being of our CU family in mind:

  • In accordance with Gov. Lee’s most recent Executive Order, the Phillip’s Dining Hall and the LCC Kiosk will now be open for takeout only. Students, faculty and staff are welcome to continue to use these facilities, but are encouraged to be mindful in regard to social distancing and to only eat (or gather for any other reason) in groups of 10 or less.
  • The Commencement ceremony originally scheduled for May 2, 2020 will be postponed to June 20, 2020. Due to the constantly changing situation, this date is also subject to change, based on government orders and recommendations from the CDC, but an official confirmation of this date will be made in May.
    • The Nursing Pinning Ceremony will take place on the evening of Friday, June 19. Details on time and location will be announced soon.
    • The Commencement ceremony on Saturday, June 20 will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Memorial Hall Lawn (weather permitting) for all degrees - associate, bachelors and masters.
  • The Phoenix Ball, originally scheduled for June 6, 2020 will be postponed to August 1, 2020. This date is also subject to change, based on government orders and recommendations from the CDC. More information on the Phoenix Ball can be found at

This is a difficult time, and I want to encourage all of you to look for opportunities to help those around you. I’m constantly inspired by the many ways our CU family is assisting our community. Faculty and students alike are helping each other every day with the transition to online courses; our Rudy School of Nursing and Health Professions donated a stockpile of personal protective equipment (PPE) to the National Guard; and many of our nursing faculty and students have registered to assist at Vanderbilt Wilson County Hospital should that need arise.

We can all find ways to help. Call to check on a family member or friend, offer to help your neighbor with groceries, donate to a local food bank or support your local small businesses -  the little things matter, especially now.

Please continue to check your CU email for updates. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this critical time.

Cumberland University athletics in conjunction with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced today that it is canceling the spring 2020 sports season, effective immediately.

“All possible scenarios that would have supported a spring sports season were seriously considered by multiple NAIA governance groups,” said NAIA President and CEO Jim Carr. “However, the growing state of emergency due to COVID-19, as well as the Center for Disease Control’s recommendation yesterday to limit gatherings to fewer than 50 people for eight weeks, meant we could not in good conscience move forward with the spring sports season and championships.”

"The announcement today of the NAIA canceling spring 2020 sports season has impacted our campus, but we agree with the NAIA and understand the Coronavirus (COVID-19) must be taken very seriously." Director of Athletics Ron Pavan said. "In athletics, we understand that we must overcome many obstacles to be successful on and off the fields and courts."

All spring sport student-athletes will not be charged with a season of competition. Any spring sport athlete that was enrolled full-time in 2020 will be given two additional semesters or the equivalent.

The safety of our student-athletes, coaches and spectators are of our utmost importance and we will comply with the CDC recommendation as the coronavirus sweeps across the United States.

Cumberland University is constantly reevaluating the situation and continue to provide the most up-to-date information.


Update as of March 13, 2020:

In response to the rapidly evolving Coronavirus/COVID-19 situation, we want to keep you informed on Cumberland’s decisions to keep our campus community safe. 

There are currently no confirmed cases of coronavirus within our campus community or in Wilson County. Given the decision by the World Health Organization to declare the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic, we are implementing several contingency options in an effort to coincide with the CDC’s recommendation of social distancing.

Beginning Monday, March 16, we are suspending in-person classes and will transition to remote course delivery through CANVAS, e-mail or other alternate methods through the end of the spring semester. All faculty have been provided training for this transition, but we appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to make this switch as seamless as possible for our students. It is imperative that students monitor their Cumberland e-mail accounts and communicate with professors through e-mail and CANVAS.

Since we realize that some on-campus students cannot easily travel home, our residence halls will remain open and dining facilities will operate on a modified schedule with limited services for increased safety. Our Office of Residence Life will reach out shortly to our residential students with more information on these services. 

At this time all university offices will remain open as usual. We urge employees to take the appropriate prevention measures as described on our website,

Key Takeaways:

  • Beginning Monday, March 16 all on-ground classes will transition to an online learning format for the rest of the spring semester
  • Residence halls will remain open at this time and dining services will continue to operate on a modified schedule with limited services for increased safety
  • All university staff and academic offices, including the library, will remain open at this time. Please contact professors or tutoring services directly with specific questions before coming to campus
  • All campus events, including athletic practices and games, have been postponed through at least March 31, 2020
  • All university sponsored travel has been discontinued through March 31, 2020
  • Any student or employee who is ill or who believes they may have been exposed to the virus should self-quarantine and contact Joe Gray at [email protected] or 615-547-1255 
  • Continue to check your Cumberland email and for updates

Our COVID-19 task force will continue to meet regularly and monitor the situation in an attempt to make decisions that keep our students, faculty and staff as safe as possible while continuing our commitment to higher education. 

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this critical time. 


As of Thursday, March 26 all campus events through April 30, 2020 have been postponed indefinitely.


As of Thursday, March 19 there are no confirmed cases within the Cumberland community.

A CU football player was tested, and the test came back negative.


Update as of March 12, 2020:

From the NAIA Mid-South Conference:

"Mid-South Conference officials announced today the suspension of all athletic events through the end of March.

The decision comes based on the continuing developments across the landscape of athletics from the effects of COVID-19.

“In an effort to make the most well-informed decisions regarding the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff due to the developments surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mid-South Conference has decided to suspend all competition at least through the end of March,” MSC Commissioner Eric Ward said. “The situation is evolving at a dizzying pace and decisions are currently being made based on incomplete and/or rapidly changing information. Conference leadership will be convening by conference call twice each week during this time period to evaluate the most recently available information and developments within the sports industry, as well as up-to-the-minute information from the NAIA and our campuses to determine the best path forward for our conference.”

The Mid-South Conference recommends fans continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Visit for updates."


Update from the President (March 11, 2020): 

CU Community,

We want to keep you all informed on Cumberland’s response to the evolving Coronavirus/COVID-19 situation.

We currently have no confirmed cases of coronavirus within our campus community. Rumors to the contrary are simply untrue.

In addition to following the CDC guidelines for handwashing and surface cleaning, Cumberland has determined that implementing the following decisions will help limit the possibility for exposure and spread of the virus without compromising our commitment to teaching our students.

As of today, March 11, all classes will continue to meet as regularly scheduled and all offices will maintain normal operations.

  • All non-athletic events scheduled through March 31 have been postponed indefinitely. We are reviewing the events list and will announce new dates or cancellations as decisions are made.
  • All university-sponsored travel, with the exception of athletics, will be cancelled through March 31 and travel beyond that date will be re-evaluated in the coming weeks.
  • All official university communications and updates will come to your Cumberland email address and will also be posted on the website at

Any student or employee who is ill or who believes they may have been exposed to the virus should self-quarantine and contact Joe Gray at [email protected] or 615-547-1255. When seeking medical attention, please call your healthcare provider prior to going in to avoid contact with others.

Cumberland is aware that we must be prepared for the possibility of a localized outbreak. In such case, it may be necessary to suspend in-person meetings and instruction for a period of time. We are actively working with faculty and staff over the next few days to prepare for the possibility of implementing alternative teaching arrangements.

To help limit the spread of the virus, we are restricting access to the Phillip’s Dining Hall to only students, faculty and staff. We are also eliminating self-serve stations of the dining hall including the salad bar. The dessert station will contain only individually-wrapped items.

The university has put together a task force which is meeting regularly to monitor the situation, take precautionary measures and prepare plans in the event of a case being identified on campus.

Please continue to monitor your Cumberland email as well as our Cumberland Coronavirus webpage. This webpage also offers additional information on the virus and prevention that may be helpful.

Finally, we ask for your patience and understanding as we seek to make the best decisions possible to help keep everyone in our community healthy and safe, while also doing our part to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

If you have questions that are not urgent, we ask you to wait for further communication that may address your concerns. If you do have an urgent question, please contact Joe Gray at [email protected] or 615-547-1255.


Paul C. Stumb, Ph.D.


Cumberland University


General Information:

While no cases of coronavirus have been identified on Cumberland's campus, we wanted to provide an update to students, faculty and staff and offer information related to the university’s preparation and prevention measures.

Cumberland is actively monitoring the evolving situation related to 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). We are closely following the guidance and recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to keep our campus safe and provide our community important information and resources. This page will serve as the university's official communication source for updates related to policies, planning and resources.

We do expect that the CDC’s guidance on COVID-19 will continue to shift as we all come to understand more about this global health crisis. As the CDC’s recommendations evolve, we will continue to work to meet those best practices and share them via this site and through community messages.


Since there is currently no vaccine for the COVID-19, the CDC advises the best way to prevent infection is to avoid exposure to coronavirus, as well as other viruses, and to take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses. Recommended actions include: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid unnecessary contact with others, including handshakes, high fives, hugs, etc. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as cell phones, keyboards, remote controls, keys, writing utensils, etc. 


At this time, Cumberland University has cancelled all university-related international travel, and we urge all members of the university community to reconsider recreational international travel plans. In addition to the spread of the virus itself, travel restrictions into and out of countries may change at any time, leading to difficulties returning home.


Symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough and shortness of breath. A runny nose, scratchy or sore throat, etc. are NOT symptoms of COVID-19. 

If you are experiencing symptoms, have been exposed to COVID-19 or have recently traveled to a CDC-designated Level 3 Country:

  • Stay home and self-quarantine if possible
  • Contact Joe Gray at [email protected] or 615-547-1255
  • If seeking medical attention, please call ahead to avoid contact with others


As the number of cases has expanded, we have learned that asymptomatic persons may unknowingly pass the virus onto others. Therefore, it is important that each individual take precautions to help safeguard the broader health and well-being of our community. Students should contact their academic dean for assistance with managing any academic responsibilities while absent from campus. Similarly, faculty and staff should seek guidance from their supervisor if they need to self-quarantine.

Self-Quarantine means:

  • Remaining alert for signs of fever, cough, or difficulty breathing during the self-observation period, which has been determined to be a minimum of 14 days.
  • Limiting contact with others.
  • If you should develop any symptoms of illness, seek health advice and instructions by telephone before visiting healthcare provider or facility.
  • Avoiding locations where large groups of people congregate, such as: public transportation; shopping centers; movie theaters; restaurants; supermarkets; stadiums; workplaces; schools; and other classroom settings.
  • To the extent possible, maintain a safe social distance (approximately 6 feet) from others.