Important Message Regarding Remote Learning, Tuition and Fees

Dear Bradley Students,

Some students and families have reached out to me to express their disappointment as they learned some or all of their classes for the fall semester would be delivered remotely and the timing around these decisions. I recognize these concerns and want to let you know we did not arrive at this decision lightly.

While we remain very concerned about students who understandably want to return to campus full-time, we must equally address the other legitimate concerns that so many students and families have expressed about the safety of holding classes in person. That is why we offered students the opportunity to take all of their classes remotely so that our students can make the best decision in light of their personal circumstances. As I write this message, we have approximately 700 students who have opted to take all of their courses remotely this fall, and around half of our classes are entirely online.

As we prepared for the fall semester, we followed the activity of the virus, the science around COVID-19, CDC and state regulations, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Greater Peoria regional numbers and our cases of COVID-19 on campus. We felt it appropriate to provide our faculty and staff with the same options to work remotely that we had provided to our students. We wanted and needed our faculty to be fully committed to their mode of teaching this fall. The faculty who have chosen to teach face-to-face are committed to great learning experiences. Those who have chosen to teach remotely are just as committed to providing our students with a great learning experience. We understand some students and families are disappointed, but we are confident in the quality and equality of the learning experience we will provide to all of our students this fall.

We have invested significant resources and time to continue to develop our systems in this very fluid situation to ensure we would be prepared for some or all of our classes being remote. Some of those enhancements include:

Invested in Canvas Learning Management System to maximize online teaching capabilities
Increased internet bandwidth
Created the Fundamentals of Online Learning and Design (FOLD) training for instructors to further support their ability to deliver the same high-level education regardless of whether it is in person or online
Implemented new online testing and proctoring solutions to replace paper exams where appropriate
Upgraded the student VPN for direct access to labs and student servers
Refined and adjusted network traffic to further enhance performance
Upgraded specific classrooms allowing for live streaming (synchronous teaching) of classes to remote learners
Bradley’s faculty are prepared to teach face-to-face, online or in a hybrid format, and to provide a seamless, high-quality learning experience regardless of format.

While we are physically distanced, our instructors and students are still socially connected. Instructors will hold virtual office hours and be available to students regardless of their location. The hallmark of the Bradley education will continue to be the relationships between faculty and students, even if our means of communication have to change temporarily.

We have had some requests for reductions in tuition and fees. We will not reduce tuition or fees for students based on some or all of their courses are being delivered remotely. The quality and value of a Bradley education are not reduced by the online and hybrid formats, and the cost of providing a Bradley education has not been reduced. If anything, those costs have risen as we’ve prepared to provide instruction in a variety of ways. Above all, we are committed to providing an excellent Bradley education, regardless of the method of delivery.

We understand some students whose classes are all delivered remotely may now choose to live at home rather than move into campus housing. For them, we will provide appropriate credits or reimbursement for housing and dining on a case-by-case basis.

Students will still have access to many services on campus regardless of where they are learning, and course fees are used to develop the course content to ensure you continue to receive a quality education (software for students to use remotely is one example).

Our plan is to continue to move forward with the opening of campus this fall. If at some point, based on new information, we must pivot to 100% online learning, we will provide a prorated reimbursement of housing and dining fees similar to what we did in the spring. As in the spring, we would not reimburse or prorate tuition or fees.

Regardless of the delivery format, we will continue to provide the high quality Bradley education our students and their families have come to expect. Our current environment requires us to maintain physical distance but this does not prevent us from being socially connected. Our faculty remain deeply committed to the success and well-being of our students. The relationships between faculty and students is and will continue to be, the hallmark of a Bradley education.

Sincerely,

Stephen Standifird
President
Bradley University

Some media in Bradley University's current print, video and online materials was acquired before the COVID-19 pandemic. Media acquired after the pandemic began was done so in compliance with Bradley's COVID-19 safety protocols at the time. The ongoing safety of our faculty, staff and students is of the utmost concern during these unprecedented times.