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Novel Coronavirus Information (COVID-19)

Lyon College shared its fall COVID-19 policies regarding masks, vaccines, and testing with students, faculty, and staff on Friday, July 16.

The College’s policy decisions were informed by the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine and by the percentage of the Lyon community and Batesville community that are vaccinated as of Monday, July 12. 

The College's campus vaccination survey showed that approximately 85 percent of Lyon College employees had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. In addition, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced in his Batesville forum on Monday, July 12, that 69.3 percent of Batesville's population is fully vaccinated and 13.9 percent is partially vaccinated.


Wearing a mask is not required. However, the College asks that all community members be respectful of one another and of their decision to wear or not wear a mask. The College will also provide N-95 masks and face shields to any faculty, staff, or student that requests them.

The policy reminds all community members that "per CDC guidelines, if you are not vaccinated, you are encouraged to wear a mask."

The College will not impose penalties on community members for wearing or not wearing masks, but it does encourage all students, faculty, and staff to continue to educate themselves on health guidelines and refer back to the College's policy as much as possible.


The College will make vaccines available to any community member that wishes to receive one. Vaccine clinics will be held on campus in August, and those dates and times will be shared soon. Lyon College will not require campus community members to be vaccinated for COVID-19, but the vaccine is strongly encouraged.


All students returning for the fall semester are required to participate in entry testing. Entry testing will be conducted on move-in days August 1st from 10 a.m. -12 p.m., August 7th from 8 a.m. -10:30 a.m., and August 15th from 1 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.The antigen test (rapid test) will be administered. Students will not be required to quarantine while awaiting results. Commuter students will need to come to campus on one of the move-in dates to participate in entry testing or schedule a time with the Director of Health and Wellness.

The College will conduct surveillance testing throughout the fall semester. The purpose of surveillance testing is to gather a statistical sample of the College campus to determine the College’s infection rate. Each week, 40 Lyon community members will be selected at random to take a rapid antigen test. For the selection process, a report provided by Information Services will generate 40 random ID numbers of current students, faculty, and staff each week. The Director of Health and Wellness will have testing times Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. and 2 - 4 p.m. and Thursday from 9 -11 a.m. and 2-4 p.m. for the participants’ convenience.

To view the full policy document, click here.

Effective June 1, Lyon College reopened its campus to visitors and no longer requires students, employees, and visitors to wear masks.



July 2021 Updates

10:30 a.m., Friday, july 16

The following message was sent to students, faculty, and staff from the College's official communications account.

Lyon Community:

Please see the attached document for fall 2021 COVID-19 protocols. Please note that these policies are subject to change in order to protect the Lyon community; the College continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and will update policies as needed. 

The College's policy decisions were informed by the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine and by the percentage of the Lyon community and Batesville community that are vaccinated as of Monday, July 12. The College's vaccination survey showed that approximately 85% of Lyon College employees have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The results of the survey are attached to this email. In addition, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced in his Batesville forum on Monday, July 12, that 69.3% of Batesville's population is fully vaccinated and 13.9% is partially vaccinated.

The College will make vaccines available to any community member that wishes to receive one. Vaccine clinics will be held on campus in August, and those dates and times will be shared soon. Lyon College will not require campus community members to be vaccinated for COVID-19, but the vaccine is strongly encouraged.

As previously communicated, the College will hold in-person instruction for the fall semester, with safety measures in place, such as barriers and reduced classroom capacity. Wearing a mask is not required. However, we ask that all community members be respectful of one another and of their decision to wear or not wear a mask. The College will also provide N-95 masks and face shields to any faculty, staff, or student that requests them. Please email covid.coordinator@lyon.edu if interested.

All students returning for the fall semester are required to participate in entry testing. Entry testing will be conducted on move-in days August 1st from 10 a.m. -12 p.m., August 7th from 8 a.m. -10:30 a.m., and August 15th from 1 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.The antigen test (rapid test) will be administered. Students will not be required to quarantine while awaiting results. Commuter students will need to come to campus on one of the move-in dates to participate in entry testing or schedule a time with the Director of Health and Wellness Jennifer Morrision.

The College will conduct surveillance testing throughout the fall semester. The purpose of surveillance testing is to gather a statistical sample of the College campus to determine the College’s infection rate. Each week, 40 Lyon community members will be selected at random to take a rapid antigen test. For the selection process, a report provided by Information Services will generate 40 random ID numbers of current students, faculty, and staff each week. The Director of Health and Wellness will have testing times Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. and 2 - 4 p.m. and Thursday from 9 -11 a.m. and 2-4 p.m. for the participants’ convenience. If the 40 selected participants do not participate in testing and do not reschedule, they will face disciplinary action.

For clarification or questions about how to follow fall procedures, please email communications@lyon.edu.

Thank you

June 2021 Updates

11:01 a.m., Tuesday, june 1

Covid Coordinator Shawn Tackett sent the following email to students, faculty and staff on June 1.


I wanted to update you on three policy changes that the Taskforce decided on during our final meeting. The first is that the Travel Notification Form is no longer required to be completed when traveling.. The form will continue to be available for those that would like to have their travel plans reviewed and I will still be reviewing any submitted.

The second item is that Lyon is discontinuing the use of the CampusClear app. You will not need to complete that screening daily.

The third change is in regards to testing. Lyon will still be doing entry testing (using rapid tests instead of the PCR tests) for students that are attending classes and/or working on campus this summer. There will not be routine surveillance testing for faculty, staff, and students through the summer; however, testing will still be available in the event that you have had an exposure to someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or you are having symptoms. In either event, please contact me asap and I will work with you to set up a time for testing.

Shawn M. Tackett, MS, LAT, ATC

COVID Coordinator

Health & Wellness

May 2021 Updates

4:00 P.m., Thursday, may 27

The Communications office sent the following email to students, staff, and faculty on May 27.


Last week, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that the state COVID-19 emergency declaration that began last year would expire on May 30. Additionally, the federal Centers for Disease Control announced on May 13 that fully-vaccinated people can go maskless both inside and outside. Since a majority of Lyon community members on campus during the summer have received the COVID-19 vaccine, the College administration is able to lift the mask requirement.


Effective June 1, Lyon College will reopen its campus to visitors and no longer require students, employees, and visitors to wear masks. Those that would prefer to continue wearing masks are welcome to do so. Please be respectful of those who are more comfortable wearing masks when meeting with others in close quarters.


While employees and students are not required to get vaccinated, the College strongly encourages everyone to do so.




Office of Strategic Marketing and Communication

1:01 P.m., Thursday, may 6

Lyon President Joey King sent the following email to students, staff, and faculty on May 6.


Dear students and colleagues,

I want to take a moment to acknowledge the hard work of not only this community but also the COVID Taskforce. Thanks to their efforts, we have not seen a positive case on campus in over six weeks, and currently, quarantine and isolation spaces are empty.

This is something to celebrate. Looking ahead to the fall semester, the Lyon experience can return to what we remember--a tight-knit campus community, student-hosted events, a standard academic calendar (with breaks), and visible smiles from our friends and peers.

Since we have made so much progress and vaccines are readily available to our community, the College no longer needs the COVID Taskforce, and the group will have its last meeting the week after Commencement.

We will continue to monitor the state of the pandemic. However, decisions regarding COVID-19 and the College’s protocols will be handled through the normal cabinet decision-making process. Members of the taskforce will focus on their usual responsibilities.

Normalcy is on the horizon. Thank you for your perseverance, and if you haven’t already, please get vaccinated.



April 2021 Updates

1:01 P.m., Tuesday, April 27

COVID Coordinator Shawn Tackett sent the following email to students, staff, and faculty on April 27.


The COVID Taskforce has made the following changes to Vendor/Contractor/Visitor policy:

1. If a vendor/contractor/visitor is coming to campus for the purpose of conducting "business" (ie, a job interview) and only going to be on campus for one day, then that person will not have to have a rapid COVID test done prior to beginning their "business." They will, however, need to be screened (have their temperature taken/documented & complete the attached screening form). This form can then be scanned and emailed to the COVID Coordinator. This policy also applies to summer day camps.

2.  If a vendor/contractor/visitor is coming to campus for the purpose of conducting "business" and will be on campus for more than one day, then that person will have to have a rapid COVID test done prior to beginning their "business".  Please contact the COVID Coordinator as much in advance as possible to schedule a time for this test. The person will need to arrive at the Temp at least 30 minutes prior to the beginning of their "business" on campus to allow for the informed consent, gather the required personal information for the person, explain the test, perform the test, and allow time for the processing of the test so results can be given before their "business" begins. This policy also applies to summer overnight camps.

These adjustments do not alter the Visitor Policy of the campus. If you have any questions regarding these adjustments, please feel free to contact me.


Shawn M. Tackett, MS, LAT, ATC

COVID Coordinator

Health & Wellness

March 2021 Updates

8:31 A.m., FrIDAY, March 26

COVID Coordinator Shawn Tackett sent the following email to students, staff, and faculty on March 26.


Dear Lyon Community,


I'm happy to share with everyone that due to the low positivity rate on campus and the high number of vaccinated students, faculty, and staff on campus, the COVID Taskforce has decided to remove traffic flow protocols from residential and academic buildings.  Due to NAIA and AMC requirements, traffic flow protocols are still in effect for athletic buildings. Mask and social distancing protocols are also still in effect.

On behalf of the COVID Taskforce, I want to thank you all for following the protocols and keeping the campus safe. I hope this change in policy is a positive sign for the future as we slowly go back to normal campus life.


Shawn M. Tackett, MS, LAT, ATC

COVID Coordinator

Health & Wellness


1:13 p.m., Thursday, March 4

The Communications department sent out the following email on March 4.


Lyon College is excited to announce the student members of the new Public Health Ambassadors program. 

The program will aid in the College’s efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 by promoting peer education between students. The ambassadors will act as role models, demonstrating how to follow safety protocols and incentivizing proper behavior through positive reinforcement.

Campus members and organizations that consistently follow the COVID-19 protocols can be rewarded by ambassadors with gift cards, Salty Dog drinks, pizza parties and other prizes.

Ambassadors will report to the Dean of Students and COVID Coordinator. They will conduct rounds during their weekly shifts and may be assigned specific College events to monitor.

The following students were selected by the College to serve as ambassadors this semester:

  • Klaudija Bacovic, of Igalo Herceg Novi, Montenegro

  • Daisy Connor, of Van Buren, Ark.

  • Daria Giles, of Marion, Ark.

  • Chase Griffith of Bay City, Texas

  • Conner Guntharp, Walnut Ridge, Ark.

  • Kasey Meyer, of Chillicothe, Ohio

  • Logan Richerson, of Lonoke, Ark.

  • Emerson Smith, of Little Rock, Ark.


COVID Coordinator Shawn Tackett believes Lyon College has chosen a great group of students to be ambassadors.

“They are very knowledgeable about the protocols and are involved in many different groups and activities on campus,” Tackett said. “This allows them to feel comfortable approaching people.”

He continued, “I look forward to working with this group of students to help keep our campus as safe as we can.”

Junior Daisy Connor wanted to make sure students’ concerns are being acknowledged in regards to the College’s protocols while helping keep the community safe through the pandemic.

“The goal is to reward those who are following protocols and to report any ideas that will help the campus run more smoothly during these times,” she said.

Sophomore Conner Guntharp saw the ambassador program as an opportunity to get some experience for a career in the medical field.

“I have always been interested in helping people with their health,” Guntharp said. “I hope to keep our spread and case numbers down so that we can keep the campus open and be able to hold events and sports.”

Freshman Kasey Meyer said she was inspired to join the program after going through the quarantine and contact tracing process herself earlier this semester.

“I want to help prevent others from having to go through that as well,” she said. “I hope to encourage my peers to follow the rules because the sooner the spread is stopped, the sooner we can get back on track.”

Junior Chase Griffith said the program’s mission is personal to him. Both of his parents would be at high risk if they caught COVID, he said, so he wanted to expedite the process of campus becoming fully safe.

“Also, a lot of my friends were seniors last year, and they were heartbroken about not having in-person graduation,” Griffith said. “I want to try to avoid that this year.”


1:00 p.m. thursday, march 4

COVID Coordinator Shawn Tackett sent the following email to students, staff, and faculty on March 4.


Hello everyone,


First, I want to say that you are doing great at helping to reduce the number of cases on our campus. A month ago we had 33 cases in one week. Last week, we had 1 case on campus. This is because everyone is doing a great job of masking and social distancing.

The topic of mask wearing outside has been brought to my attention a couple of times recently. Masks are recommended to be worn all the time, but if you are outdoors and can maintain a 6 foot social distance, then many of the experts say you can be unmasked. I strongly encourage you to wear your mask all the time, even when you are outdoors. I think it is better to have it on in case the distance between you and another person changes or someone else walks by you within 6 feet.


Building Entrances & Exits

The reason for having a one way traffic flow is to reduce the potential number of exposures. If entry and exit traffic all goes through the same doors, there is a significant amount of time when people are within 6 feet of one another and possibly being exposed. I understand that having to exit out a different door may be a little inconvenient, but I think we can use this traffic flow pattern and help keep all of our campus safe. Please continue to follow the entrance and exit signs on campus.


Quarantine & Testing after Vaccination

I have had many questions from those that have been vaccinated regarding testing and if they have to continue. The COVID Taskforce has discussed this and we will continue with the regular surveillance testing until the Department of Health changes its guidelines and says that testing after being vaccinated is not necessary. Please continue to come in for your regular bi-weekly surveillance testing appointments. I have set up reminder emails that will go out to you the day before your appointment to remind you of your time.

The CDC & Department of Health have made some new changes in regards to vaccinated individuals having to quarantine if they are exposed to someone that tests positive. The new guidelines are that if a person has been vaccinated and is exposed, they will not have to quarantine for 90 days from the date of the vaccination if they meet all 3 of these requirements:

1. You have been fully vaccinated (received both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the single dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine);

2. You are at least two weeks since your full vaccination (the second dose of the Pfizer & Moderna vaccines); and

3. You are not having any symptoms.

If you meet all three of these criteria when you are identified as a close contact, then you will not be directed to quarantine. This is only the case for 90 days from the date of vaccination. After that 90 days, you would be required to quarantine if you are a close contact.


Please let me know if you have any questions.


Shawn M. Tackett, MS, LAT, ATC

COVID Coordinator

Health & Wellness

February 2021 Updates

11:01 A.M., THURSday, February 25

President Joey King sent the following email to students, staff and faculty on Thursday, Feb. 25:

Dear students, faculty, and staff,


I am pleased to share that the COVID Taskforce has recommended the College return to a level 2 as part of the COVID-19 threshold plan. Our number of positive cases and those in quarantine/isolation has significantly decreased.

This is a result of Lyon community members following the College’s protocols, and I want to congratulate each of you for doing your part to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

As part of the transition to level 2 and to show our appreciation for your commitment, the following measures have been lifted:

  • Effective today, the College will allow a limited number of spectators at athletic events. Student-athletes will be able to provide tickets to two spectators per game.
  • The reduction in practices and rehearsals by a third will cease to be effective today. Practices and rehearsals can resume their normal frequency.

Wearing masks during practices and rehearsals is still required.

Additionally, the taskforce has agreed that 150 total capacity (includes players, coaches, officials, game workers, lyon students, faculty, staff, and players’ two guests) will be allowed to attend the men’s and women’s basketball championship games this weekend, and the doors will be locked once capacity is reached. The games are not open to the public, and mask and social distancing protocols will be enforced.

Keep in mind that the College’s protocols, including mandatory masks, social distancing, reduced classroom capacity, directional travel, the use of Campus Clear and complying with surveillance testing, are all still in effect. Following these protocols is a big part of why we are able to transition to level 2, and we must continue to adhere to them.

Again, thank you for your dedication to the health and safety of our campus. I’m proud of our resilience.




4:39 P.M., Friday, February 12

President Joey King sent the following email to students, staff and faculty on Friday, Feb. 12:

Dear students, faculty, and staff,


The Cabinet met this afternoon to reassess the College’s COVID-19 threshold level, and I am pleased to report that our case numbers have stabilized. We will remain at a level 3 for now and will continue the safety measures we implemented on Monday: no spectators, reduced practices/rehearsals, and requiring approved masks during practices.

In addition to reassessment, we also discussed the College’s COVID-19 protocols and ways we could make them more beneficial to all of our community members. Effective today, the College will adopt the CDC’s recommendation to reduce quarantine from 10 days to 7 days. The College will also no longer require a PCR test for students who decide to quarantine at home.

Student Life and the Business Office are working on providing microwaves in the quarantine and isolation rooms. They are also working with Creative Dining to provide additional food delivery options.

I sincerely want to thank each of you that reached out to my office with your feedback, and I am especially grateful to each of our community members for doing their part in following the protocols to help stop the spread of COVID-19. We all signed the honor code, and we all have a responsibility to do our part and hold each other accountable. Thanks to your actions this week, we have decreased our number of positive cases on campus.




5:18 P.M., Tuesday, February 9

Lyon Provost Melissa Taverner sent the following email to students on Tuesday, Feb. 9:

Good afternoon:

I write today to clarify Lyon College's policy on remote access to academic courses. 

In October, 2020 the college announced that we would resume in-person instruction on our residential campus. The expectation is that our students will be present on campus for classes, studio work and labs for the Spring 2021 semester.  

The exception to the policy is granted only in cases of personal medical vulnerabilities or similar vulnerabilities in immediate family members.  The deadline to apply for remote learning access using an academic petition was approximately one week prior to the beginning of the spring semester, and full schedule remote learning for the term is no longer an option.

Obviously this rule does not apply to students who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are in isolation, or who have been placed in quarantine in response to contact tracing.  Those persons are expected to abide by the isolation/quarantine policy and, health permitting, will be able to access their coursework remotely ONLY for the prescribed separation period.   Faculty members currently receive official notification from the college that these persons are in isolation/quarantine, and have already shared their remote access policies and protocols with the MAC which then forwards that information to the students for their courses. At the end of the separation period students are expected to resume in-person class attendance. 

Please remember that our college policies have been put in place to permit the resumption of in-person instruction and to keep all members of our community safe.  However, it takes all community members working together and complying with all of our COVID policies that will give us the opportunity to complete the semester successfully.


Thank you.

Dr. Taverner

3:54 P.M., Monday, February 8

President Joey King sent the following email to students, staff and faculty on Monday, Feb. 8:

Lyon College officially moved to level 3 today as part of the College’s COVID-19 threshold plan. Holding safe, in-person instruction is one of our top priorities, and in order to protect that, the College will do whatever is necessary.

This coming Friday, the President’s Cabinet will reassess the College’s threshold level. If cases have not decreased, we will consider additional safety measures in order to protect in-person instruction. Specifically, the College may suspend all athletic competition and practices for two weeks.

The College’s COVID data show that the spread of COVID-19 is particularly concerning among student-athletes, which supports our plan to suspend athletic competition if necessary.

I cannot emphasize enough that we will do everything we can to continue in-person instruction.

We will look at other safety measures before considering a transition to virtual instruction.
My office will provide an update on Friday after the Cabinet reassesses the College’s status.




3:31 P.M., Monday, February 8

Lyon Health and Wellness Center sent the following email to students, staff and faculty on Monday, Feb. 8:

We are excited to welcome our new Director of Health and Wellness, Jennifer Morrison, BSN, RN, to campus. Jennifer and her husband, Shannon, are the proud parents of Cadence (15) and Chloe (10). Jennifer has 13 years experience working at White River Health System and is a welcome addition to our community.

As we transition from the on-call nurse service to a full-time nurse on campus, it's important for you to know how to make an appointment. Our office is open MTWF 8-12, 1-5 and R 8-11, 1-5. To make an appointment to see nurse Jennifer during that time, you may call 870-307-7425 or email health@lyon.edu. We will schedule a time for you to come to Health and Wellness to be seen or, if necessary, nurse Jennifer will make a room visit. Like other health clinics, we will do a temperature check and ask a few questions before your visit. 

If you are COVID positive and need assistance after-hours, please call 870-805-0259. This number is only to be used by COVID positive students who have a critical need that can not wait until normal clinic hours.

Please reach out if you have any questions. We look forward to helping you stay healthy and well this semester.


Thanks so much,

Health and Wellness 


4:26 P.M., Tuesday, February 2

Covid Coordinator Shawn Tackett sent the following email to students, staff and faculty on Tuesday, Feb. 2:

In an effort to maintain the safety of our students, faculty, and staff, the COVID Taskforce continues to review and update our policies. The COVID-19 Test Protocol and Travel Policy are being updated to include that in addition to filling out the travel form* on lyon.edu/coronavirus, any student, staff, or faculty member that is away from campus for 5 days or more will be required to take a PCR  test upon return and quarantine until receiving the results. This includes students who have been identified as a close contact of someone that has tested positive for COVID-19 and wants to quarantine at home. The close contact could schedule a time with the COVID Coordinator to do this test on day 7 of their quarantine and then continue their quarantine on campus. 

NOTE: At this time PCR COVID-19 testing is only being done Monday-Friday due to limitations of shipping out samples on the weekends.

*This form is not meant to request permission to travel, but rather it is meant to collect information in order to keep the traveler and the Lyon community safe.

Shawn M. Tackett, MS, LAT, ATC | COVID Coordinator

January 2021 Updates

8:00 A.M. Wednesday, January 27

Covid Coordinator Shawn Tackett sent the following email to students, staff and faculty on Wednesday, Jan. 27:

If you have not done your COVID-19 entry test yet, please contact me this morning so we can get it scheduled and have the results prior to classes starting next week. If you are a local student that has been approved for remote learning, the COVID Taskforce has recommended that you have an entry test done and be included in the surveillance testing rotation in case you need to access any of the campus facilities during the semester (i.e., need to go to the library, the MAC, lab sessions, study groups, etc.).

Shawn M. Tackett, MS, LAT, ATC
COVID Coordinator
Health & Wellness Office
Lyon College


3:18 p.m., monday, JANUARY 25

Lyon Provost Melissa Taverner sent the following email to students on Monday, Jan. 25:

Good afternoon,

The deadline to apply for remote learning for the spring 2021 semester at Lyon College is Tuesday, January 26th by 5 PM.  You will need to submit a fully completed Academic Petition to the Provost for consideration of this request. Please remember such a petition will only be granted in the cases of students who have health challenges that make them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 infection, or if the petitioning student has immediate family members with whom they live who have similar vulnerabilities.   

Additionally please be aware that all laboratories will be held in person this semester and will NOT be available as online experiences. You may need to work with your advisor to substitute another course for your spring laboratory course if you are permitted to enroll remotely.  

Thank you.

Dr. Taverner 


9:53 a.m., friday, JANUARY 22

The following email was sent to the Lyon College community by the Office of Strategic Marketing and Communications on Jan. 22:

Students, faculty, and staff:

The Lyon College COVID-19 taskforce has developed a staged response plan to address changes in the status of COVID-19 on campus and in the Batesville community. We will evaluate a number of different metrics to holistically assess the College's level of risk due to COVID-19. The plan outlines what actions the College will take in response to changing risk levels.

How it works:

  1. Every week on Wednesday, the COVID taskforce will assess the criteria outlined in the plan to determine the College's risk level. Some factors that are considered include campus testing rates and the availability of quarantine and isolation spaces.
  2. Once the taskforce has determined the level, it will share its recommendation with the President's Office.
  3. The level will be updated on the COVID-19 dashboard on lyon.edu/coronavirus, and depending on the level, the College will take actions necessary to meet the level's requirements.

The College is currently at a level 2, which means masks and physical distancing are required. The level will be reevaluated every Wednesday by the COVID taskforce. The plan is attached below.

Staged Response Plan


8:00 a.m., friday, JANUARY 22

COVID Coordinator Shawn Tackett sent the following email on Jan. 22:

I wanted to let you know that I have been speaking with one of the physician groups in town regarding our Athletic Protocol, which requires a student-athlete to be cleared by a physician if they test positive for COVID-19. This physician group is using the following guidelines:

If a person tests positive on a specific date and then reports to me during the contact tracing that they have had symptoms for 4 days, but have not reported them in the CampusClear app, then that person would not be considered ready for clearance until 10 days had passed from the date of the test. Normally, the isolation period would be 10 days from the start of symptoms or date of the test if the person isn't having any symptoms, whichever comes first.

This is just something that I wanted everyone to be aware of because they may not be the only physicians using that guideline.

Shawn M. Tackett, MS, LAT, ATC | COVID Coordinator

1:20 p.m., tuesday, JANUARY 19

Director of Counseling Diane Ellis sent the following email to students on Jan. 19:

I will add my welcome to the many you will be getting over the next couple of weeks. I want to send this to let you know the Counseling Center's plans for at least the beginning of the spring semester and right now!

I am continuing to see students online, at least initially. I received a good indication that online is working for students since everyone I saw in fall 2020 said they would be willing to continue to do so in the spring. In many ways, this has worked well. We don't have to use masks and both of us can see the expressions of the other! I will still be in the office--just seeing you online. 

If 2020 wasn't enough to make you see the value of counseling, I'm not sure what will! If you want to see me for anything, please reach out. I am currently seeing students so you can make that appointment before you even start classes! 

So, here's how to make an appointment. You can call (870-307-7277) or email Jennifer Pitts (jennifer.pitts@lyon.edu) or me about making an appointment. Jennifer will contact you to set up an appointment to see her first in order to discuss forms and answer questions, just like if you were in person. If you have an immediate concern, just call Jennifer and she will help you decide what needs to happen next. These appointments are confidential with only a certain number of exceptions relating to your safety or the safety of others. 

If you have a question about any of this, please let me know. It's just going to look a little different to begin the semester. I imagine I will be seeing students in person before the end of the semester. I will let everyone know when this change happens.

I'm so glad we are at a different point now. I know all of us have struggled in some way or in many ways these last several months. I know it has been a test of my patience and coping skills at times. If you have ever thought you wanted to see what counseling is about, maybe now is the time to take advantage of this free resource!

DIANE E. ELLIS, LPC, NCC  |  Director of Counseling


2:16 p.m., monday, JANUARY 18

COVID Coordinator Shawn Tackett shared the following email with students, staff, and faculty on Jan. 18: 


Lyon College will begin surveillance rotation testing for students (that have already done their entry testing), faculty, and staff this week using Rapid Antigen Tests. If you have received an email about scheduling your appointment, it means that you are in Group A and will need to schedule your testing appointment during this week.

For the students that moved on campus in December and those commuters that are part of the basketball, wrestling, and track teams: You will test this week and next at the times you selected for the first sessions of surveillance testing. Half of you will test this week and the other half next week.

If you did not receive an email, you are in Group B and will be tested next week.

Surveillance testing will be performed in the Temp. You will show your Lyon College ID at the check-in stations to help verify identification and sign an informed consent form. The results of the Rapid Antigen Tests will be provided within 24 hours of the sample being collected.
You do not have to isolate after the rapid test. If you test positive, the COVID Coordinator will contact you within 24 hours. If you do not hear from the COVID Coordinator within 24 hours, this means you tested negative. 

Shawn M. Tackett, MS, LAT, ATC | COVID Coordinator


11:03 A.m., monday, JANUARY 18

Lyon Provost Melissa Taverner sent the following email to students on Monday, Jan. 18:

Good morning,

I offer a reminder that students who are at an increased risk for COVID infection, either personally or for an immediate family member with whom they live, can submit an academic petition to live off-campus and access their Lyon courses remotely for the spring, 2021 semester. Since the college has returned to residential status, living off-campus for students who planned to live in the residence halls is a departure from our expected model for this semester and will require college approval for remote learning.  If you are a commuter student and wish to access your courses remotely this semester, you will still need to submit the academic petition.

If you will need to access enrolled courses remotely, and if you have not already submitted the petition to continue remote course access, please complete the petition (attached) including your advisor's signature, and submit it to the Office of the Provost ASAP.  

Please let me know if you have questions.

Thank you,

Dr. Taverner

Academic Petition


8:00 A.m., FRIday, JANUARY 15

COVID Coordinator Shawn Tackett shared the following email with students on Jan. 15: 

If you are a commuter student that has not already had your COVID-19 Entry test done for the spring semester, then the COVID-19 testing date for residential students is this Tuesday (January 19) between 8 AM-Noon & 1-2 PM, Wednesday (January 20) 8-11:30 AM & 1-3:45 PM, or Thursday (January 21) between 8-10 AM & 3:30 PM. All testing will be performed in the Temp. If you are unable to test between January 19-21, you will need to schedule another time with the COVID Coordinator and make arrangements to quarantine after the test.

How to sign up:

To sign up for an appointment time, you can access the scheduling form here. You will enter your name, date of birth, race, ethnicity, local address, phone number, email address, and select the time you would prefer to have your COVID-19 test. Each time slot will allow 6 appointments. The test will not use the deep ("brain tickler") swab. Instead, we will use an observed, self-collected anterior nasal swab (the swab only has to go in 1/2"-1" into each nostril). If you are unable to perform the self-collection, I will be able to assist you with the sample collection. If this is the case, please email me once you have signed up for your appointment time so I can make a note of this and plan accordingly. The testing protocol is available to you at this link:



Like faculty and staff, students are expected to quarantine in their residences while awaiting the test results, which should be available in 2-3 days. The taskforce understands that this can be difficult for some, so we ask that you do the best that you can. Quarantine is different from isolation. In quarantine, you are expected to avoid people who live outside of your dorm room and to try to limit exposure to those in your room. As part of signing the College's roll of honor, students, as well as employees, will do their part to follow the College's protocols and keep our campus community safe.

Shawn M. Tackett, MS, LAT, ATC | COVID Coordinator

December 2020 Updates

2:00 P.m., tuesday, december 8

COVID Coordinator Shawn Tackett shared the following email with students, faculty, and staff on Dec. 8: 

Hi everyone,

I want to take a moment to strongly encourage you to get a flu shot this year, if you haven't already. I know that the majority of the health news we are hearing is focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, but the flu and other viruses are still out there and affecting many. I believe that anything we can do as individuals to reduce the chances of having the flu is a good thing for our community, both on-campus and off. Many of the symptoms for flu can be confused as symptoms for COVID-19, and getting a flu shot can help reduce that confusion and ease concerns.

I spoke with the administrator at the Independence County Health Unit here in Batesville and she has shared with me that they still have flu shot doses on hand and ready to go. If you would like to get the flu shot, you can call (870) 793-8848 to schedule an appointment. The Health Department will process the flu shot through your health insurance. If you don't have health insurance, don't let that stop you. You can still get the flu shot at no cost to you.

I hope you will strongly consider getting a flu shot if you haven't already. It's another step toward a healthy Lyon community and safe spring semester.


Shawn Tackett



1:00 P.m., Tuesday, December 8

Director of Communications Madeline Pyle shared the following email with students, faculty, and staff on Dec. 8:

Students, faculty, and staff,

At the end of October, the communications office emailed a survey to campus for the purpose of measuring the campus community’s level of understanding regarding COVID-19 policies and the community’s attitude toward following those policies. Over half of the College campus responded, which means the COVID-19 Taskforce was able to get a clear and reliable sample to measure understanding and attitudes. Thank you to everyone that participated! The survey results are attached.

Some important findings include:

  • Approximately 90% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed they intend to follow the College's COVID-19 protocols. 
  • Of the 336 participants in the survey, 65% were students.
  • Over 50% of participants indicated they felt safe about returning to campus.
  • Approximately 40% of participants indicated some level of uncertainty about where to locate information for the College’s protocols.

With these findings, the COVID-19 taskforce was able to determine what policies needed to be communicated more clearly. 

Important information to remember:

  • All COVID-19 information, including policies and case numbers, is available on lyon.edu/coronavirus. The COVID-19 activity dashboard is located at the top of the page.
  • How COVID-19 policies are determined: COVID-19 policies are discussed and created by the COVID-19 taskforce. Once a policy is approved by the taskforce, the policy is sent to the President's cabinet for final approval or follow-up.
  • How COVID-19 policies are communicated: Moving forward, all COVID-19 policies will be shared internally with Lyon employees and then Lyon students. Sending policies to employees first allows employees to ask questions that might need clarification for students. After a policy has been announced internally to students, faculty, and staff, the policy is published on lyon.edu/coronavirus and is shared on social media.

The survey will be conducted again in January to further assess communication efforts to determine what other information needs to be communicated. If you have any questions about the survey, please don't hesitate to contact me.


Madeline Pyle

November 2020 Updates

2:22 P.m., thursday, November 19

Lyon College has announced its protocols for entry testing and surveillance testing for the spring semester.

View the testing protocols

1. What kinds of tests will Lyon use?

The College will use Real-Time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction Tests, commonly known as PCR tests, for entry testing and Rapid Antigen Tests for surveillance testing.

Both tests use the anterior nasal swab technique. The swab goes approximately 1 inch into the nose, and the test can either be self-administered under the supervision of a medical professional or be administered by a medical professional. The College will NOT utilize the nasopharyngeal swab, also known as the “brain tickler,” which is required to go more than 1 inch into the nasal cavity.

The results of the PCR Tests are provided to individuals within a 2-3 day period. Results are usually returned 24-48 hours after the lab receives the samples. The results of the Rapid Antigen Tests are provided to individuals within 24 hours of the sample being collected.

The College will NOT use the more invasive nasopharyngeal swab, also known as the “brain tickler,” which is required to go more than 1 inch into the nasal cavity.

2. How will Entry Testing work?

The College will use PCR tests for the entry testing procedure and a staggered move-in day schedule to conduct tests:

  • Basketball Teams, Select Resident Life Staff – November 30, 2020
  • Football Team – January 22, 2021
  • Commuter Students – January 19, 2021-January 21, 2021
  • Baseball/Softball/Volleyball/Cheerleaders/Golf Teams & All Additional Residential Students (excluding the Football Team) – January 15, 2021
  • Remainder of Resident Life Staff - January 8, 2021
  • Lyon College Staff/Faculty – January 5, 2021
  • Wrestling/Cross Country/Track & Field/Basketball Teams & Select Resident Life Staff – December 28, 2020

Entry testing will be performed in the Temp. All students, staff and faculty will show their Lyon College ID at the check-in stations to help verify identification and will sign an informed consent form.

Small groups of 2-4 people will be called to the sample collection area and walked through the testing instructions.

3. How will Surveillance Testing work?

Lyon will use Rapid Antigen Tests for surveillance testing to maintain a safe learning environment for all members of the community. Each member of the Lyon community will be tested every other week during the spring semester. 

Every building on campus will be divided into two groups: Group A and Group B. Each group will include half of the people that live and/or work on each floor. Commuter students will be divided evenly between the two testing groups. 

Each group will then be divided into 5 testing sub-groups so that one sub-group can be tested each weekday. Group A will report for surveillance testing during the odd number weeks of the semester (Weeks 1, 3, 5, 7, etc.), and Group B will report for testing during the even number weeks of the semester (Weeks 2, 4, 6, 8, etc.).

Surveillance testing will also be performed in the Temp. All students, staff and faculty will show their Lyon College ID at the check-in stations to help verify identification and sign an informed consent form.

Small groups of 2-4 people will be called to the sample collection area and walked through the testing instructions.

If you test positive, the COVID Coordinator will contact you within 24 hours. If you do not hear from the COVID Coordinator within 24 hours, this means you tested negative.


4. What happens if you test positive for COVID-19?

If you test positive for COVID-19 during entry testing, the COVID Coordinator will notify you via phone call and begin the contact tracing procedure. You will need to identify anyone you may have been within 6 feet of for a total of 15 minutes during a 24-hour period that may have been exposed to the virus.

If you are not having symptoms, then the College will identify close contacts starting 4 days prior to your positive test. If you are having symptoms, the College will identify close contacts starting 2 days before your symptoms began. 

You will be asked for names and phone numbers of your close contacts so they can be informed and begin the quarantine process.

For privacy reasons, the person who tested positive will not be identified by name or where the exposure may have occurred.

You will then begin a 10-day isolation period. If you are a residential student, you will be contacted by Dean Lai-Monté Hunter and/or Sh’Nita Mitchell to coordinate moving you to one of the isolation rooms that have been set up on campus. If you are a commuter student or staff/faculty member, you will begin a 10-day isolation period at your home.


5. What happens if you test negative for COVID-19?

If you test negative for COVID-19 during entry testing, the COVID Coordinator will notify you via email. Once you are notified that you tested negative, you are free to move around campus.

You will not have to do entry testing again, but you will participate in surveillance testing every other week throughout the spring semester.


11:00 a.m., Friday, November 6

The Lyon College administration announced the COVID-19 protocols and practices for the 2021 spring semester on Friday, Nov. 6. 

These policies will take effect immediately in order to protect the members of both the Lyon and Batesville communities, and will continue until rescinded or updated by the Lyon College administration. They are designed to meet or exceed Arkansas Department of Health recommendations so that the College can create a working and learning environment that is as safe as possible for all members of the Lyon community. 

Lyon students, staff and faculty each have an ethical duty to do all they can to protect each other by limiting the spread of COVID-19. 

Please review the policies listed in the attached document and pay special attention to the following guidelines for members of the Lyon community:


  1. All persons must wear a mask that covers both the mouth and nose when on campus. (See Mask Policy on Page 3)
  2. Social distancing is required on Lyon College’s campus. (See Social Distancing Policy on Page 4)
  3. Daily screening via Campus Clear is required. (See Academic Affairs Practices on Page 5)
  4. All persons should communicate with COVID Coordinator Shawn Tackett when traveling or if they develop symptoms. (See Academic Affairs Practices on Page 5)

View the Spring COVID-19 Policies

October 2020 Updates

2:00 P.m., tuesday, october 27

The following move-in dates for different student groups have been reviewed and approved by the COVID-19 Taskforce and the President’s Cabinet. Please review the additional information after the dates and visit the College’s FAQ page. Students’ parents and family members will not be allowed into the residence halls. Policies regarding classroom safety, dining, cleaning protocols, housing, and athletic events are under review and will be shared the week of November 1.

  • November 29th: Basketball, International student athletes, Residence Life Staff (RLS)
  • December 14th: Wrestling
  • December 22 - 27th: No students on campus. If you are a student who needs a place to stay during this time, contact Residence Life and complete the special housing request form. 
  • December 28th: Cross Country/Track, pre-approved January Term residential students
  • January 8th: RLS
  • January 15th: Spring Move-In Baseball, Softball, Volleyball, Cheerleaders, Golf, Soccer (All additional residential students)
  • January 22nd: Football (to allow appropriate capacity for intake testing)
  • January 18th - 22nd: Student Community Project and other student activities
  • January 27th - 30th: New Student Orientation
  • February 2nd: Classes Begin

International Students

Only international student athletes are expected to arrive on November 29. This is required so that international students can quarantine for 14 days, as recommended by the Arkansas Department of Health and the CDC. All other international students must arrive by January 15 in order to quarantine for 14 days. All students returning to campus from a country outside the United States must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Student Life is working with international students that will need a place to stay between December 22-27. 

Intake Testing

All students will be required to be tested for COVID-19 once they arrive on campus. For intake testing, the College will use highly accurate PCR tests, which provide results between 3-4 days. After students test, they will enter into quarantine until their test results are received. After receiving a negative test, the student is allowed to move into their assigned residence hall. If the results are positive, the student will move into designated housing for the prescribed isolation period. Residence Life and Creative Dining will provide meals to all quarantining and isolating students so that they do not have to leave the residence hall. All students who arrive before December 22 will participate in intake testing again when they return December 27. 

Commuting students will also be required to participate in intake testing before the spring semester begins. After being tested, commuters will be asked to quarantine at as much as possible until they are notified of their results. More details on testing for commuters will be provided at a later date.

For more information, visit lyon.edu/coronavirus.


10:20 A.m., Monday, october 19

The following message was sent to students by Provost Taverner on October 19:

Good morning:

I write this morning to provide some details about the upcoming January term that will be held at Lyon College in 2021.  The reinstatement of this term to our academic calendar is an effort to reduce the numbers of persons on the Lyon campus in the midst of the traditional cold & flu season which this year may be exacerbated by the continuing active presence of SARS-CoV2. While parts of December and January are our traditional winter break months, dismissing for over eight weeks with no academic activity runs the risk of decreasing student success and increases the amount of time that we would need to dedicate to re-acclimation for the spring.  

This term for this academic year will stand alone and will not be linked to either the fall or spring semesters.  There will be 19 instructional days beginning on Tuesday, January 5th continuing through to Friday, January 29th.  Each class will meet daily for one hour and 40 minutes and all courses will be offered remotely. Because of the intensity of instruction, I recommend that students enroll for no more than two three-hour courses for this short term.  As always I recommend you discuss all course enrollment plans with your academic advisor. 

The Lyon College faculty members have committed to offering sixteen different courses during this term including classes from Art, Biology Business, Chemistry, Economics, Political Science, Religion and Philosophy, and Spanish.  Additionally, this is another opportunity to pursue internships or research opportunities. You can see the planned courses on the current course master by choosing the January term in the drop-down menu. 

The tuition for the January term will be the same as our normal summer school tuition, $250 per credit hour.  Students who need to be on campus (international students, research students, or interns) will be permitted to be in residence, or to come to campus if they live locally, provided that they follow the college's testing, mask, and social distancing protocols.    A limited food service plan will be available for on-campus residents. 

As you meet with your advisors to begin preparations for spring pre-registration, you can also discuss January term enrollment.  You will be able to register for your January term courses at the same time that you will register for your spring, 2021 courses.  

I hope that you will consider enrolling in one of the courses offered this January.  If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me. 


Dr. Taverner


11 A.m., Thursday, october 1

The following message was sent to students, faculty, and staff by President Joey King on October 1:

Dear Lyon Community,

I want to take a moment to laud your resilience as we have endured this strange and difficult time. We did not want a virtual fall semester, yet you prepared and adapted, making this the best virtual semester possible at Lyon College.

While we have persevered, I recognize we are all eager to return to campus life, even if it’s in a new normal. I want to assure you that we expect to be in residence for the spring 2021 semester.

Your safety continues to be our top priority, and we acknowledge that the pandemic is a fluid situation. However, the Covid-19 taskforce has taken several actions in order to efficiently prepare for a residential semester. Over the past few months, the task force has:

  • Observed the challenges of colleges that returned to in-person instruction and based off those observations, developed policies for returning to campus designed to avoid such challenges, such as the need for additional quarantine space;

  • Arranged a team of three registered nurses and a COVID Coordinator position to coordinate testing and contact tracing;

  • Entered a partnership with the COVID Health Project to ensure the College has accurate and ample Covid-19 tests available for students, faculty, and staff for the spring semester;

  • Planned and successfully conducted campus wide Covid-19 testing for faculty, staff, and any students remaining on campus, which the College intends to do again in segments when students return;

  • Started using the CampusClear app, which requires all campus members to screen themselves daily;

  • Purchased PPE and medical supplies for students, faculty, and staff, including masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, and wall-mounted thermometers;

  • Installed barriers and signage to enforce social-distancing, mask-wearing protocols, and size restrictions on groups and extracurricular activities; and

  • Planned safety renovations to dining areas such as Edwards Commons and the Salty Dog Coffee Shop, which will be complete by the spring semester.

Those are just a few of the actions we’ve taken to prepare for students’ return. More are in the works. As always, our goal is to bring everyone back to a safe learning and living environment, and we will adapt as necessary to this ever-changing situation. Nevertheless, we are ready to face this new normal together, on campus, as the Lyon community. 

Remember, we will all be expected to do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19—following the College’s safety protocols will be a part of the Lyon College honor and social codes.

Please continue to check your email for updates from me, Provost Taverner, and Dean Hunter. We are exploring a range of instructional strategies that will serve students on campus while still including our remote community members as they transition gradually back to Batesville. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Students, good luck on your midterm exams. Remember the College’s motto, and know that we all miss you terribly. Faculty and staff, I repeatedly state it, but please know I appreciate you. You are the epitome of “Perseverance Conquers All, God Willing.”



September 2020 Updates

2 p.m., Thursday, September 10

The following message was sent to students, faculty, and staff by President Joey King on September 10:

Dear Lyon Community,

Many of you have shared your concerns with me about the financial implications of continuing remote instruction this fall. When we made the decision to continue remote instruction in July, we knew that, like many colleges across the country, we would face financial repercussions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Under the direction of the Board of Trustees, the College began assessing all our options to absorb the financial impact of not having students on campus. Today, I want to share important information on the steps we have taken so far, some quite difficult.

Beginning in March 2020 when students went home for the spring semester, the College paused project spending in several departments and enforced restrictions on expenditures, travel, and hiring. At this time, the College is still under a hiring freeze for non-federally funded positions and vacant positions have not been filled. In the spring, the College also applied for and received loans from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was used to help cover payroll expenses from April to July; utilizing PPP helped us retain and pay employees who otherwise would have faced furloughs in the spring. 

Despite these retained funds, the College still faced a $4 million deficit for the fall semester alone due to lost revenue from Covid-19 related tuition adjustments and not having fall student room and board. The Board of Trustees advised senior leadership to cut all operational budgets by 10 percent, which went into effect in August. I want to take a moment to sincerely thank all of our employees who have continued their duties and responsibilities on shoestring budgets. This is admirable and must be recognized.

Altogether, the actions and sacrifices we’ve made so far amount to approximately over $1.2 million in savings. Unfortunately, these reductions are not enough, and we are forced to make additional sacrifices—these are the hardest. 

With the direction of the Board of Trustees, senior leadership evaluated the impact of disrupted campus operations on each department and the loss of revenue calculated after Census Day, which led to a very difficult employment action decision. This morning, the College informed six employees they would be furloughed indefinitely. Furloughs are a short-term, temporary unpaid leave of absence. All furloughed employees will retain their benefits, and the College will continue to communicate updates to them. Senior leadership will continue to review and reevaluate the furlough period to determine when it can end as soon as possible.

It is with a heavy heart that I must share that the repercussions on our operational budget also forced a small number of permanent staff separations and adjustments to part-time. For legal and personal privacy reasons, the College cannot publicly name those impacted. Nevertheless, please know we are committed to making the transition as easy as possible for them, and each affected employee will be provided with a severance package and additional support through human resources.

To limit the impact of the employment action, the College is issuing redeployments of staff wherever possible. For some staff, not having students on campus significantly affected their work and responsibilities. This morning, the College informed 14 employees that they would be temporarily reassigned to another department until their student-focused responsibilities become available again upon students returning to campus. Redeploying staff limits the number of employees that must participate in unpaid leave, and we are relieved that we have this option.

This is news none of us wanted to hear, and I am sure you have plenty of questions. First of all, I want to assure you that we are doing everything we can to limit the impact on our students. The employment action was issued as equitably and proportionally across campus as possible to minimize its effect on our students. Additionally, redeployed staff will still have the flexibility to assist students in their main duties, and supervisors are allocating student-focused responsibilities to other staff members. Additionally, no faculty members are affected by the employment action at this time.

To all of our employees impacted by this decision, I want you to hear from me that the employment action is in no way a reflection on you or your service to Lyon College. Like many other institutions across the nation, we are faced with an impossible situation due to the pandemic. I want to express how sorry I am we were forced to make this decision. Please know the Lyon Community is here for you.

I want to emphasize that in order for Lyon College to persevere through this pandemic, sacrifice is required and resources are limited. The College could face an estimated additional $3 million deficit in the spring if students cannot return to campus. As stewards of the College, we must make difficult choices to protect Lyon’s sustainability. 

I want to close by expressing how grateful I am to each Lyon employee for their contributions to the Lyon community. Faculty and staff are what make our campus such a special place for our students and alumni, and that is what makes this decision so devastating. We recognize this action will place stress on many of our community members. Please know we did not come to this decision lightly. The Covid-19 pandemic has presented significant challenges for all of us, and these steps are needed now in order to secure Lyon College’s future.



August 2020 Updates

12:30 P.M., FRIDAY, AUGUST 21

The Lyon College COVID-19 taskforce has developed and approved a new visitors policy, which will go into effect on Monday, August 24. As part of our ethical responsibility as members of Lyon College, all faculty, staff, and students are expected to adhere to this policy.

The College has also created a COVID-19 activity dashboard on lyon.edu/coronavirus. This dashboard will be updated regularly by the COVID Coordinator with information regarding tests, positive cases, active cases, recovered cases, and negative cases. Please review the College's contact tracing protocol. If a campus community member tests positive, the COVID Coordinator will conduct contact tracing, so any employees or students that were exposed will be contacted and advised to quarantine.

For any questions about testing, contact tracing, or employee screening please contact COVID Coordinator Shawn Tackett.



The following message was sent to the campus community from COVID Coordinator Shawn Tackett on August 20:

Hello All,

I hope this message finds you well. I am reaching out to remind everyone about the CampusClear daily screenings. This only takes a few seconds to do, but can help us stay ahead of potential COVID infections. You should take your temperature every morning. Then you can access CampusClear by either method. You can download the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The other option is to use the webpage access.

When using the app, please make sure that you select the appropriate boxes and then scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the "See Results" button. This will submit your screening for the day and you will receive a "Fast Pass". The Fast Pass will have a big smiling emoticon, a green background, & will say "You are Good to Go!" if you are cleared for the day. If you are not clear, the Fast Pass will have a concerned looking emoticon, a reddish-pink background, and will say "You are NOT cleared for campus access! I'm sorry you are not feeling well. Please contact your supervisor and the COVID Coordinator (870) 834-4731." Contact your supervisor only when you are not cleared. You do not have to contact your supervisor every time you complete the screening.

Doing this simple screening daily will help to make our campus community as safe as possible from COVID-19. I want to encourage everyone to submit your daily screening every day, even those days when you are not on campus. 

I wanted to update you on our testing process. Between Friday (August 7) & Monday, we have administered 242 COVID tests (171 staff & faculty & 71 students). For more information about our current COVID-19 status on Lyon's campus, please check out the COVID-19 Activity Board ohttps://www.lyon.edu/coronavirus. Please read the attached contact tracing protocol to review how we handle positive cases on campus. Anyone who was exposed to the positive case will be notified.

To clarify, there are only 20 students in residence halls this semester. The other tests are for local students requesting access to campus for educational purposes. For questions about access to campus, please contact Dean Mulick or fill out the campus access request form on https://www.lyon.edu/coronavirus.  

If you have any questions, please let me know!


4:00 P.M., MONDAY, AUGUST 17

The following message was sent to students from Dean Patrick Mulick on August 17:

Lyon Students-

Nurse Haley has accepted a job at White County Hospital and is no longer working as the Director of Health and Wellness. I want to thank Haley for her dedication to keeping our students and community safe during the last five COVID filled months. She was a wonderful member of the Lyon Community for over two and a half years.

For the time being, we have a team of three ICU nurses - Lauren Pickle, Melonie Koch, and Cassie Mohlke - who will be covering the Office of Health and Wellness. Each nurse has extensive medical training, with one also serving on the WRMC COVID team. We are grateful to have them part of the Lyon Community during these challenging medical times. The nurses will be available for your health needs, helping us with our COVID testing procedures, and caring for any quarantined students. Additionally, they will be working closely with the medical staff at the UAMS North Central Clinic for students who need to be seen by a physician. You can contact the Health and Wellness Office by calling 870-307-SICK or the on-call phone 870-805-0259. Also, the amazing Jennifer Pitts (870-307-7277) is still working with the Office of Health and Wellness and can answer many of your questions regarding services. 

Given the constant evolution of the pandemic, the College is in weekly contact with both UAMS and WRMC to discuss the needs of the Lyon Community and any issues with testing, supplies, or other health care resources our region is experiencing. 





The following message was sent to students from Dean Patrick Mulick on August 12:

Lyon students-

I hope that you are all doing well during these crazy times. Please remember that while you might not be physically on campus, you still have faculty and staff here to support you during this academic semester.

We understand a number of students are living around the Batesville area and need some access to campus. If an off-campus student needs to come to campus for any reason, he/she needs to submit this form to request permission. (https://form.jotform.com/202236174096150) When you complete the form you need to provide: 

  • Name
  • Reason for needing access
  • Locations need access to
  • Days/times needing access
  • Name of supervisor/instructor/coach who can confirm this need
  • You will also have to answer some questions about any symptoms or exposure you have had to COVID-19.

I will get back to each individual student as to whether or not their request has been approved. 





The COVID-19 taskforce has developed the following protocols for contact tracing (attached), employee screening, and employee travel. This information will also be available on lyon.edu/coronavirus. The College is also working on a COVID-19 testing strategy. More details on this will be shared next week. All policies will be adapted when necessary as COVID-19 circumstances evolve.

The taskforce has designated Shawn Tackett as the College’s COVID Coordinator. He will be responsible for reviewing employee’s travel requests and coordinating with employees for quarantine/testing needs. You can contact him at shawn.tackett@lyon.edu or (870) 307-7330.

Employee Screening

Starting Monday, August 10, all employees are required to use the CampusClear app to screen themselves for COVID-19 symptoms before arriving on campus. Employees must contact their supervisor each day to confirm they have completed the screening before arriving on campus.

The CampusClear app is free and can be downloaded on iPhone and Android phones. If you do not have an Apple or Android phone, or you do not want to download the app, you can access CampusClear on a desktop computer. Access links are below.

  • Apple AppStore: https://apps.apple.com/app/campusclear/id1516163872
  • Google Play (Android): https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.campusclear
  • Web app: https://ivy.ai/app/campusclear

Each day before coming into work, the employee will login to CampusClear with their Lyon email address and answer a few questions, including providing the employee’s temperature for that day. If your temperature is above 99.3, please contact the COVID Coordinator immediately. 

If you arrive on campus without taking your temperature, each building with employees will be supplied a non-contact thermometer that the employee can utilize. Employees can also contact the COVID Coordinator, and the coordinator can take your temperature. The College is also working on providing wall-mounted thermometers in some buildings. Employees must take their temperatures before beginning work each day.

Please review the contact tracing document under additonal resources for directions on what to do if you screen yourself and have a fever.

Employee Travel
When considering travelling, employees must contact the COVID Coordinator through the travel request form for instructions. This form is available on lyon.edu/coronavirus. The COVID Coordinator will review the employee’s travel plans to determine if and when the employee can return to campus for work. The coordinator bases part of the recommendation on data from COVIDActNow.org, which provides the latest COVID-19 metrics on locations in the U.S. If an employee visits an area considered low-risk and does not participate in high-risk activities, the coordinator will most likely advise the employee to return to campus.

July 2020 Updates

11:00 A.M., THURSDAY, JULY 30

The following message was sent to students from the Dean of Students on July 29:

Lyon Students-

A reminder to complete a housing request form if you have circumstances that you believe necessite you living on campus during the Fall 2020 semester. To be considered for living on campus, you must complete the form (see email below) by 5 pm tomorrow (Thursday July 30th). Remember, we have limited space and we will not be able to approve all requests. 

Those students who are approved to live on-campus will pay a $3,105 room charge. Each student will have a single room and his/her own bathroom. Additionally, each student will be required to have a meal plan. The meal plan will cost $2,200 for the semester. Specific information regarding housing and meal plans will be sent to those students who are approved to live on campus. 




10:30 A.M., WEDNESDAY, JULY 29

The following message was sent to students on Tuesday, July 29 from the Lyon College mailroom.

Greetings Lyon College Students,

With this being a very strange time, we in the mailroom want to help alleviate at least one concern; your mail.  We want to ensure that your books, packages, and mail that was shipped here over the summer still gets to you.  To that end Lyon is going to pay the shipping costs to have them shipped to you up until August 31st, 2020.  Please be sure to change your address with any company you may order from (Amazon, e-Campus, Wal-Mart, magazine subscriptions, box subscriptions, bills, correspondences, etc) as on September 1st, we will need to charge from that point forward for shipping.  This should provide plenty of notice to companies to get your address updated with them.

You are also welcome to leave your packages and mail here on campus until you are able to return (please do keep in mind that you may need special permission from Pat Mulick upon coming onto campus).

Should you want us to ship your mail and packages to you, please email your complete address to lyonmailroom@lyon.edu.  Feel free to also email us if you intend to leave your mail or packages here or if you have any other questions pertaining to your mail and packages.

Thank you,

-Brian Hardin II


9:00 A.M., MONDAY, JULY 27

The following message was sent to students by Dean of Students Patrick Mulick on Monday, July 27:

Lyon students,

Let me start by saying how sorry I am that Lyon will not be having in-person classes this fall. I know that this news was difficult to receive. I promise that the faculty and staff are as disappointed as you are about the situation. The decision is emotional for all of us (students, faculty, staff) because being together in a residential educational community is a primary reason we choose to be at Lyon. Personally, it is the face-to-face interactions that nourish me as an educator. Being with students as they learn, grow, develop, cry, laugh, and talk is what I love about my job (it definitely is not having to make decisions about going virtual!). That said, I am one of the individuals who advocated strongly for this decision and truly believe it is what is best for our students.

As with any semester, many of you will experience significant challenges over the next few months. I want you to remember that just because you are not physically on campus does not mean that you are alone. Your faculty, staff, and administrators are still here working to support you. Do not hesitate to reach out if you are struggling with classes, physical health, emotional health, financially, or socially. We have the resources to help you and are committed to doing that as well as if you were sitting in our offices. If you do not know who to contact, call or email me and I will make sure you find the right person to talk to. 

We also understand that some of you have a true need to live on campus, including housing insecurity, access to technology, international students, required in-person academic experience, etc. We have a limited number of housing spots available. If you believe you have a need to live on-campus during the Fall 2020 semester please complete this form (https://form.jotform.com/202083543034142) by Thursday July 30 at 5:00 pm. We will review all requests and notify students as soon as possible if they will or will not be allowed to be residential this fall. I want to emphasize that our spots are limited and we will likely not be able to accomodate all the requests we receive. 

Finally, I know you have lots of questions. We will be sending out a number of emails this week with more information and are working on opportunities to meet virtually with groups of students to address questions and concerns. Please be sure to look at the College's FAQ page (https://www.lyon.edu/coronavirus#FAQ) for quick answers. You should also feel free to contact me, Provost Taverner, and other faculty/staff directly with questions within our areas. Again, I want to acknowledge the frustration and sadness this decision has caused many of you. I also realize that this decision has likely added a layer of stress for most and for that I apologize. We are here to support you with all of those emotions.




 11:06 A.M., FRIDAY, JULY 24

President King sent the following message to students, faculty, and staff on July 24:

Dear Lyon Community,

With a heavy heart, I am reaching out to inform you that on Thursday, the Board of Trustees determined remote instruction for the fall would be in the best interest of the College. As many of you know, administrators and I have been working for months to secure a safe and healthy learning environment for students, faculty, and staff. Nevertheless, with the steady increase of COVID-19 cases not only across the nation but also in Arkansas, we are not comfortable with bringing back our community to such an environment.

This difficult decision was not made lightly. In March, when we transitioned to remote learning, my colleagues and I were confident that the spread of COVID-19 would have subsided by the fall and that we would return to campus under a new normal. No more than a month ago, we still believed this as we developed safety policies for campus. However, recent discussions with health officials at both White River Medical Center and UAMS North Central highlighted the challenges in bringing students back safely. In addition, the development of protective plans, involving many entities at the state and federal levels, was much more involved and took longer than expected. As cases increased across the state, we knew what choice we had to make.

I know this announcement is sudden, and I sincerely apologize for the impact this makes on your plans to return this fall, but please know we wanted to make this call now, rather than mid-semester, so we could avoid incredible disruption to our community. While we understand the emotional and financial repercussions of this decision, we must put our students and community members’ safety first. Students are the heart of our mission, and we must protect them and our commitment to them.

We will use the next few weeks before the semester begins to prepare for full remote instruction. This summer, the faculty participated in further training for these very circumstances and had already been advised to offer hybrid learning options, so I am confident in their ability to pivot to remote learning.

Meanwhile, our IT department adopted new desktop, classroom, and server support services from our technology and network services provider, Apogee. These new services enable us to engage students in the remote classroom as we would through in-person courses. Our faculty are now empowered to continue their commitment to individualized education and providing mentorships to our students, which are all integral parts of the Lyon College mission.

Like last semester, students with a compelling need may request to remain on campus by completing the residence request form. We will also make on-campus arrangements for international students. Student Life will send out the request for residence form with further instructions.

As for athletics, we are in constant communication with the NAIA and the American Midwest Conference. While we will not have athletic competition until after December 31, 2020, we are looking into fall and winter athletic opportunities in the spring. As soon as we have more information, we will share this with you.

We know many of our community members and their families have been impacted by the pandemic, and in recognition of that fact, we issued room and board refunds in the spring, and we disbursed CARES funds as soon as possible this summer. For this semester, we are issuing a grant to all students’ accounts to acknowledge their resilience. The Perseverance Grant will reduce each student’s remaining balance for fall tuition by 15 percent, and we will continue the grant into the spring semester with a 7.5% reduction to students’ remaining spring balance. Students will also not be charged room and board unless they apply and are eligible to stay on campus. Though the academic experience will be different this fall, the College’s trademark features of extraordinary teaching with high expectations for student performance will remain unchanged.

As we have seen the past few months, the pandemic’s effects are always evolving. We will follow the situation in the state and monitor the availability of testing and a vaccine, so that if we are able to safely return to campus, we will seize the opportunity.

Students, I understand this decision is significantly difficult for you. The College will continue to remotely offer student services to support you, including counseling, health and wellness, and academic support, among others. Please check your email in the coming weeks for more information from Student Life and the Provost’s Office. I speak for the whole campus when I say we are devastated that we will not see you this semester, but this decision is best for now.

Faculty, Provost Melissa Taverner will be in contact with you regarding how to finalize your remote instruction plans. I have the utmost faith in your ability to adapt during this time. As always, you have my support and sincerest gratitude for your dedication to this institution.

Staff, if you have any human resources concerns or questions, please contact Joseph Botana for further guidance. I want to thank you for your determination during this uncertain time, and I deeply appreciate your willingness to adapt and your commitment to our students.

I am sure you have questions. Please visit the FAQ page, where we have added more information about the fall. It will also be available under additional resources on the College’s COVID-19 page. Please continue to visit lyon.edu/coronavirus for updates.

We remain steadfast in the Lyon College mission of providing a well-rounded education that prepares graduates both to succeed in their careers and to contribute to society as productive citizens. Remember, perseverance conquers all, God willing. We miss you already.





Lyon College has received confirmation that one employee on campus has tested positive for COVID-19.

The employee is in good condition and is self-isolating.

At this time, all community members who were in contact with this employee have been notified and are self-isolating. The College will continue to monitor all staff in isolation and share updates as necessary. Faculty and staff are advised to contact their VP with concerns and questions.

For legal and privacy purposes, the College cannot share the identity of the employee affected. However, we can confirm that the employee is being supported and monitored by the College.

Please continue to follow these action items:

  1. Know the symptoms. COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. Symptoms include a fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties.

  2. Take precautions. Follow the attached campus guidelines and these ADH recommendations: wear a mask; wash your hands frequently; avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth; use a kleenex or cough into your elbow, avoid close contact with people who are sick; and stay home when you are sick. 

  3. Communicate. If you are exhibiting any of the above symptoms or have been in contact with someone positive or suspected to have the virus, please stay home and contact your medical provider and supervisor.

  4. Wear the mask.

Most importantly, the health and the safety of the campus are the College’s top priorities. The COVID-19 response team is in constant communication, and the College is committed to making thoughtful decisions informed by federal and state guidelines that are in the best interest of the community. 


9:00 A.M., MONDAY, JULY 20

The following message was sent to students from Provost Melissa Taverner on Friday, July 17:

Dear students,

Lyon College shared its policies for academic affairs for the fall semester earlier this week.  At this point we are still preparing for the return of students to in-person on-campus instruction.  However as we have stated before, we are continually monitoring the pandemic conditions in Batesville, Independence County and Arkansas, and will adjust our plans as we accumulate more information and receive guidance from the Arkansas Department of Health and our athletic governing body the NAIA.  

The policies that we outlined have been enacted to protect the members of our community from the spread of SARS-CoV-2.  The measures, which include the mandatory use of masks, social distancing, entry and ongoing COVID testing, daily health screening and reduced capacity in classrooms and public spaces, will reduce the likelihood of viral transmission but are predicated on community members taking them seriously and following the institution's infection control policies.  In an abundance of caution we have in place plans and facilities dedicated for quarantine of students who test positive for COVID-19, and will follow up with contact tracing on campus to interrupt the transmission cycle as quickly as possible.

In addition we are making accommodations for both faculty and students who are at in increased infection risk, either for themselves or for family and friends, to work remotely.  The faculty have been working this summer to add and modify online elements to their courses, planning for the possibility that our courses would migrate to remote delivery should conditions warrant such a shift.  If you are interested in receiving your Lyon courses remotely please speak with your academic advisor to determine how we can facilitate this change.

The plans for the fall semester at Lyon College at this point are still fluid as the infection and hospitalization rates continue to rise in our community, and we adjust accordingly. We will keep you apprised of the changes in the college's plans as they happen. 

Thank you for your patience as we navigate these uncharted waters.  Please remember that our commitment to the safety of our community members and to our higher education mission is unwavering and that we look forward to continuing our work together next month, however that happens.

My best,

Dr. Taverner


9:50 A.M., FRIDAY, JULY 17

On July 16, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson issued a statewide mask order, which will go into effect on July 20.

On July 14, the City of Batesville passed a resolution directing the wearing of face coverings, and effective July 13, Lyon required all faculty, staff, students and visitors to wear masks in campus buildings.

In addition to our ethical responsibility to both the Lyon and Batesville communities, we also have a legal responsibility to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Lyon community, when returning to campus this fall, please remember to wear your mask not only when you are on campus but also when you are off campus in the Batesville community and statewide.

The Governor’s order requires mask-wearing in all indoor spaces where a person is exposed to non-household members and distancing of six feet or more is not possible. Mask-wearing is also required in all outdoor settings where there is exposure to non-household members and distancing of six feet or more is not possible.

The College’s policies, Governor Hutchinson’s executive order, and the Batesville mask resolution are all available under additional resources.



The following message was sent to students by Dean of Students Patrick Mulick on July 15:

Lyon Students-

Earlier this week, the President's Office sent out an email with a series of documents explaining some of the health precautions we have put in place for the Fall 2020 semester. The policies we are developing are comprehensive in covering all aspects of life at Lyon...academic, athletic, residential, dining, and on and on. The reality is that there are still many decisions to be made and (with the nature of this pandemic) it is likely that we will have to modify some of the policies as we go along. My goal for this email is to note a few of the main parts of our campus policies. Please read them carefully so you can begin to better understand what will be expected of each member of our community and better prepare yourself for what life in a communal environment during a world-wide pandemic will look like. 


Yes, you will be required to wear a mask most places on campus. All students, faculty, and staff will be required to wear a mask whenever they are inside of a building. There will be a few exceptions to this requirement, like when in your dorm room with just you or your roommate, eating in the dining hall, or actively engaged in an athletic workout. In class...yes, all students and faculty will wear masks. Waiting for food in the Lyon Den...yes, all individuals will need to wear their masks when not actively eating food in one of the dining locations. In the library, visiting the Business Office, picking-up packages, in the MAC...yes, yes, yes, and yes. We will be providing a mask to each student, but I would recommend exploring some different mask options and bringing a number of masks that you like.


All students, faculty, and staff will be tested for COVID-19 before they move-in to a residence hall, attend a class, or start participating in a sport or extracurricular activity. The tests are nasal swabs (although not the ones that feel like they are touching your brain) and take 24-48 hours to process. The College will be paying for these tests. For students who are moving into the residence halls, you will be isolated in your room until your test results come back. This means that students need to plan an initial 24-48 hours stay in their dorm room without leaving (except to use the restroom). We will have a process for getting you food and some virtual activities to keep you entertained, but we understand this could be challenging. Students who commute to campus will be tested, asked to return home, and not allowed back on-campus until the test results come back. Once students' tests results come back negative, they will be free to move around campus as they like. A positive test will require at least a 14-day quarantine. On campus students will have to quarantine in a specific location on campus where College personnel will monitor their symptoms and provide for their needs. 

Additionally, we will be randomly choosing a certain percentage of our community (faculty, staff, and students) to get tested each week. We will also be testing students with symptoms and those who have been in close contact with a student who tests positive. The NAIA is requiring all student-athletes be tested within 7 days of their first athletic competition. It is likely that a student will be tested a number of times throughout the semester, but that is a good thing! When we test, we can identify who is positive and protect more people. 


Only residential students (those living on campus) are allowed in the residence halls for the Fall 2020 semester. This means students who live off-campus, family, friends, significant others, etc. will not be allowed in a campus residence hall or apartment at any time. Unfortunately, this includes when students arrive on campus for move-in days. Family and friends will be allowed to help carry things to the door of the residence hall, but under no circumstance will they be allowed to enter. We will have people inside the residence hall who will help students carry their things to their rooms. I have a feeling this policy might be the most frustrating to many students. We get that it sucks! We also need to limit (as much as possible) the ability for the virus to get into our residence halls. Making this individual sacrifice better protects everyone.

There will be many more policies to cover, but I wanted to address these as they were the focus of most of the questions I have received. We fully understand that these policies will significantly impact your lives this semester. Many of them are annoying and a hassle...others may upset you, but we all have to commit ourselves to following them. This virus LOVES to be shared with others! We have to work together to create an environment where it is more difficult for the virus to do its work. We have to hold ourselves and each other accountable for being smart and making good decisions. Negligent actions by one person could jeopardize the residential college experience for all of us!  

Over the coming days and weeks, you will be receiving more information from me and other individuals involved in the Fall planning process. Please read the information carefully and do not be afraid to ask questions!

I cannot wait to see you back on campus (6 feet away and in a mask)!




12:00 P.M., TUESDAY, JULY 14

Lyon College shared its holistic COVID-19 protocols for the 2020-21 academic school year with students, faculty and staff on Monday, July 13. Wearing masks is required in all campus buildings.

The policies represent the first in a series of plans that will address academics, residence life, and athletics. Emphasis is placed on ways the behavior of each Lyon College community member contributes to a safe, healthy living and learning environment for everyone.

“As members of the culture of honor at Lyon College, we each have an ethical duty to others to do all we can to limit the spread of COVID-19,” said Provost Melissa Taverner.

The policies include the following requirements:

  1. Plans are being made for quarantining students who test positive or who are presumptive-positive. Additionally, separate space is aside for residential students who may have pre-existing conditions that make them more vulnerable. Faculty will plan courses in such a way that wherever possible (laboratory and studio or performance-based courses being notable exceptions), students who are unable to attend class will still have access to the lectures (live or recorded) and materials necessary to continue learning effectively at the same level expected in all Lyon College courses.
  2. Protocols for and frequency of COVID testing are being investigated and developed. Screening will be commonplace for persons entering Lyon College facilities.
  3. Frequent and thorough hand washing and the availability of hand sanitizer remain very important. Classrooms and other common areas will be cleaned frequently. 
  4. It is essential that all members of and visitors to the Lyon community isolate themselves and contact a health care professional immediately if they develop symptoms such as fever, coughing, or shortness of breath or if they believe they have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  5. When indoors in any building on campus, all persons must properly wear a face mask and maintain social distancing. Exceptions:
      1. Faculty or other presenters who are speaking to a group (SI leaders, etc.) must either wear a face mask, or, if deemed preferable for effective communication in an educational setting, a full face shield, though face masks are preferred. 

      2. During a laboratory or studio experience, all parties present must maintain social distancing and wear either a face mask, a face shield, or both, as determined by the faculty member. Face masks and face shields are to be used in conjunction with, not in place of, necessary primary personal protective equipment. 

      3. Faculty and staff are not required to wear a face mask or face shield while working alone in their offices or regular workspaces (labs, studios, etc.). If a single guest visits them in their workspace neither is required to wear a mask if the workspace is large enough to allow them to remain 6 feet apart. However, faculty and staff may choose to require single guests who visit them in these areas to wear a face mask. But if three or more people are present in the same office or workspace all parties must wear face masks. Social distancing must be maintained between parties at all times.

  6. Further procedures are being developed to support ongoing social distancing and community safety, and will be shared as they are completed.



The following message from President W. Joseph King was sent to students on Wednesday, July 8:

Dear students,

In a time of many unknowns, I want to offer you these certainties.

First and foremost, we care about you. Ensuring you receive your education in a safe environment is our primary concern. Administrators and I have been working constantly to develop precautions and protocols that can make this happen. 

The Lyon community is an integral part of the Lyon experience, and no matter what happens this school year, you are still a part of this community, and you will still reap the benefits.

Pandemic or not, you have access to Lyon College faculty and staff that care for you and want you to achieve, and they will not stop. 

Dustyn Bork is still painting murals; Dr. Daniels is still giving pep talks; Dean Mulick still thinks he’s funny; Sway Ankton is still coming up with fun student activities; Danell Hetrick is still training SI leaders; Tony Roepcke is still coaching; Dr. Irosha is still conducting research… They are all still here for you.

Whatever this year’s circumstances bring, do not underestimate the value of the degree you are working towards. We may have to give up some events and activities, but we are not giving up our commitment to providing a quality liberal arts education.

A Lyon degree will always carry merit. Our extensive alumni network is one of many advantages. Every year, our community hears about a graduate’s successful job application or graduate school interview, and how attending Lyon set them apart from the competition. 

When we come out of these unusual times, you will have the prestige of persevering, as is the Lyon way.

In the coming weeks, we will be sharing more plans for this school year. I thank you for your patience. Please know you are our top priority.




5:00 P.M., MONDAY, JULY 6

As we continue to plan for a safe return to on-campus learning this fall, Lyon College will postpone or alter all events that would otherwise have brought large groups of people on campus during the coming academic year, including events such as the Arkansas Scottish Festival, Homecoming, and Parents’ Weekend. Some large alumni events will be revised as virtual events or held off campus. More details to come from the Alumni Office.

The health and wellness of the Lyon College and Batesville communities remain the College’s top priorities.

June 2020 Updates

3:30 P.M., TUESDAY, JUNE 16

To limit the chance of exposure and transmission of COVID-19, the Provost’s Office has adjusted the 2020-2021 academic calendar (attached).

First-year students and new transfers will arrive on August 8 to begin Scot Week, the College’s new, comprehensive orientation program for incoming students. All returning fall athletes, including football, will arrive on campus on August 13.

Classes will still begin on August 18, but the semester has been shortened to end before Thanksgiving Break. Students will not return to campus until the spring semester begins on February 2. The calendar now includes a 19-day January 2021 term to allot for student travel (regulations permitting), research, internships, and limited online instruction.

Decreasing the number of community members on campus during heavy cold and flu months when COVID-19 will likely be present and active is a precautionary measure to prevent the transmission that occurs when people are in close proximity.

To reduce student travel on and off campus, the updated academic calendar will not offer traditional breaks such as fall break and spring break. However, the College has retained on-campus service days and added mental health days in both semesters so that students will still have an academic break, while staying on campus.

To facilitate the shorter semesters, faculty will have flexibility in how they offer final exams and how they will conclude the semester. The Divisional Council will be in discussion with the Provost about end-of-semester assessments, and recommendations will be provided by the end of July. The option to offer hybrid courses will also be available, and faculty members will be provided with training to support online course offerings.

The College’s athletic schedule will continue to follow NAIA directives.

In order to safely conduct on-campus instruction, the College is developing procedures for COVID-19 testing, and it will follow the Arkansas Department of Health guidelines. Since the pandemic circumstances are ever-changing, the academic calendar is subject to change. The health and safety of students, faculty, and staff remain the College’s top priority.



The following notice from Enrollment Services was shared with faculty and staff on June 3:

Good afternoon, Colleagues:

On June 8, we will be offering prospective students the option to tour campus in person. There are several guidelines that must be followed in order to allow such tours:

Adherence to these guidelines is mandatory per our agreement with COVID-19 campus tour committee.

Please let us know if you have questions/concerns.

May 2020 Updates

9:30 A.M., FRIDAY, MAY 29

The following notice was shared with faculty and staff on May 29:

Effective Monday, June 1, campus will be open to visitors in all areas except the academic buildings and residence halls. Enrollment services and other administrative offices will be open. Visitors are expected to practice social distancing and limit groups of people to 10 or less. We are adhering to the guidelines set forth by the Arkansas Department of Health, and signs with that information are posted on all exterior doors. Vendors must continue to check in through the Facilities Office and must be accompanied at all times by a member of the Lyon College Facilities Department.  

Staff members are to work with their department’s vice president to transition from remote work schedules to their campus offices and their normal work schedules during the week of June 1-5.  Those who cannot transition due to their own or an immediate family member’s health issue or because they have no childcare, should advise their vice president so that alternate plans can be made.  Please refer to the coronavirus page on the Lyon College website for information regarding leave through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

Safety measures are being taken as follows:

  • The Facilities Department is making plexiglass shields to put on the desks of those staff members whose positions require them to interact face-to-face with multiple visitors and students. 
  • A reusable mask will be provided to each staff member to be used when social distancing cannot be maintained. This is in accordance with the guidelines provided by the AR Department of Health
  • Social distancing indicators will be placed on the floors of high traffic areas.
  • The Facilities Department is taking extra precautions in the cleaning of buildings and work surfaces. 
  • If your work area has a safety issue not addressed with these precautions or that you haven’t already reported, please contact Clarinda Foote.

A new sign will be designed (and provided to Campus Safety) for the academic buildings and residence halls:  CLOSED TO VISITORS. FOR ASSISTANCE, PLEASE CONTACT CAMPUS SAFETY AT (870)307-7233.

Effective June 8, official campus tours held by enrollment services will resume. Visitors will be required to wear masks. Visitors participating in a campus tour will be provided with masks, and they will follow a predetermined route approved by the Campus Safety Committee.


12:00 P.M., TUESDAY, MAY 19

President Dr. W. Joseph King shared the below message with the Lyon College faculty and staff on May 19:

Dear Colleagues,

I want to commend you all for your hard work and perseverance through these past few weeks as we accomplished the first-ever virtual commencement. 

Cabinet determined yesterday that the College is considering ending remote work arrangements on June 1. However, we will continue to monitor the state’s reopening and make changes as needed. The health and safety of our campus community members remain our top priority.

Summer hours for administrative staff will begin on Friday, May 22 and conclude on Friday, July 24. Please check with your supervisor to find out how your department will participate in this program.

As always, thank you for your dedication during this unprecedented time.




2:30 P.M., THURSDAY, MAY 14

President Dr. W. Joseph King shared the below message with the Lyon College community on May 14:

Dear Lyon Community,

I want to thank you again for your perseverance and patience as we navigate these unprecedented times together. Our task force, composed of faculty and staff representatives from around the campus, continues to meet weekly, and it is developing a range of possible plans for what our fall semester will look like.

The safety and well-being of students is our top priority. We recognize that transitioning to remote instruction has been difficult and that much of our community is eager to return to campus life. 

That being said, we expect to be in residence this fall, but most importantly, our goal is to bring everyone back to a learning and living environment with safety measures in place, including continuing to sanitize residence halls and academic buildings.

Keeping our community in mind, we will continue to share detailed information throughout the summer on how the fall semester will look. While we intend to be together in-person this fall, we are also actively developing a range of contingency plans. We are prepared to be adaptive and flexible in how we maintain the high quality and personal nature of a Lyon College education that also meets state and federal guidelines. 

We will follow the Arkansas Department of Health’s guidelines as they are developed.


9:30 A.M., THURSDAY, MAY 7

Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students Dr. Patrick Mulick shared the below message with students on May 7:

Lyon Students-

I hope that you are all doing well and surviving the last week of the semester. As I said in last week's email, this is a very stressful time of the academic year, so please be taking steps to care for your physical and emotional health.  

We wanted to let you know that the College has received federal government funds as part of the CARES Act that was passed in early April. Approximately half of these funds are designated specifically for emergency relief funds to be disbursed directly to currently enrolled students in need as a result of COVID-19. As such, we have created a form for students to complete to request funds (https://form.jotform.com/201206494736152). 

A few things to keep in mind: 1) While there is no maximum limit to the funds that can be requested, we do have a large number of students in need. It is unlikely we will be able to fulfill each student's request. Please be reasonable in deciding how much money you are requesting, so we can help as many students as possible. 2) Currently, any funds you receive are considered taxable income. This designation may change in the future, but there is no guarantee that it will. This is an important factor to keep in mind. 3) The government has restricted these funds to students who are eligible for Title IV funds (federal student financial aid). Unfortunately, this means that international and DACA students are not able to receive these funds. If you are a student that falls in one of those categories, please contact me directly...it is possible that we might have other funds available for you.

There currently is not a deadline for making a request and the committee overseeing the process plans to meet regularly throughout the summer to make decisions regarding the disbursement of funds. So, you can make requests now or in the coming months if your financial circumstances change are impacted by COVID-19.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you have regarding this process...or any other needs you have. As always, we miss you around here!!!


4:00 P.M., MONDAY, MAY 4

Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students Dr. Patrick Mulick shared the below message with campus on May 4:

I wanted to remind everyone that our campus is still closed to the public and for recreational purposes for faculty, staff, and off-campus students. This policy will remain in place until at least May 16th (the official end of the Spring semester). As the State of Arkansas begins to "re-open", you can expect some modifying of our campus access policies based on the most recent data and information available...and always keeping the health and welfare of the Lyon Community, especially those students still living on-campus, as our priority.

April 2020 Updates

11:00 A.M., FRIDAY, APRIL 17

The below message from Interim Vice President of Business and Finance Richard Gaumer was sent via mail to students on Thursday, April 16:

Dear Student,

First and foremost, we want to let you know that, in these extraordinary and unprecedented times, your Lyon College family hopes that you are well, healthy, and that you are finishing the semester strong. While this may not be the way we hoped to complete this academic year, we are all still Scots together, even when apart. We believe in you.

Enclosed, you will find a prorated refund for room and board for the final portion of the spring 2020 semester. Your account credit was calculated based on the semester being 62.1% complete. You are receiving a credit of 37.9% of your room and board cost net of Lyon Aid applicable to room and board. The refund check amount is this credit, minus any balance owed to Lyon College. For information or questions regarding your refund, please contact Jill Varner, Business Office Cashier, at 870.307.7322, jill.varner@lyon.edu.

We would also like to present you with an opportunity to increase the power of your refund. For returning students, if you choose to apply your refund toward your fall 2020 room and board, Lyon College will add an additional 20% on top of that to your account. It’s our way of saying how much we want you back this fall. To participate, simply return the check with a note indicating that you would like it applied to your fall ’20 room and board.

Finally, we would like to invite you to let us know if you are encountering financial challenges related to COVID-19. Lyon College, as a part of the Federal Stimulus Package, will have funds available to assist students with financial needs related to the global pandemic. Please do not hesitate to reach out directly to Dr. Patrick Mulick, Vice President for Student Life, to learn more about the process and how to apply for financial support from Lyon College.

We are here for you.

Good luck to you on the rest of the semester, and as always: Perseverance Conquers All, God Willing.


9:00 A.M., MONDAY, APRIL 13

For information on upcoming virtual admissions events, visit https://www.lyon.edu/events.



Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students Dr. Patrick Mulick shared the below message with students on April 8:

Hello Lyon Students-

I hope you are all having a good week. I have heard that the technology issues have improved and classes are running smoothly. I hope this is the case for each of you. If it is not, please contact me so I can assist you with issues.

There has been lots of important information shared over the past week. 

The faculty and staff continue to work hard here in Batesville. Most of us are working remotely now, but are constantly thinking of the students and how to serve you more effectively. We are also continuing to plan for your return to classes in August!

Make sure to tune into my Facebook Live session on the Lyon College account at noon tomorrow (Thursday). I am eager to hear from you and answer your questions!


5:00 P.M., FRIDAY, APRIL 3

The Lyon College Office of the Provost has announced the College's updated plans for commencement, baccalaureate, and the spring honors convocation.

The College will hold a virtual commencement at 10 a.m. CST Saturday, May 16. The video of commencement will be shared on all of the College’s social media channels and can be viewed on the website at https://www.lyon.edu/commencement-2020

Diplomas will be mailed to graduates as soon as possible following commencement. Seniors are encouraged to take selfies in their regalia for the College to share and celebrate following the commencement ceremony.

The College will not host baccalaureate and the torch lighting ceremony at this time. However, graduates will have the opportunity to attend a special 2020 alumni event in the fall. More details about the alumni event will be shared soon.

A recording of the spring honors convocation will be posted on the College’s social media channels and website on Tuesday, April 21. Award certificates from the convocation will be distributed after the video is posted.

Provost Dr. Melissa Taverner shared the following message on Friday, April 3:

To members of the Lyon College Class of 2020 and their families:

We are living in unprecedented times. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to a halt virtually all of our normal daily activities, has precipitated the necessity for communities to exist and support each other in new ways and has resulted in the temporary cancellation of celebrations that mark milestones.

The plans that we have had in place for months to recognize and honor the accomplishments of our graduates are now undergoing some necessary changes so that we can continue to protect the most vulnerable among us. We will not be able to gather together on campus as a Lyon family on the weekend of May 9th for Commencement Weekend, but that does not mean that this important moment in the lives of our students, the faculty and staff, friends and family will go unmarked.  We all mourn the loss of these important rituals: walking together into Brown Chapel for a service of thanksgiving and blessing on Friday; the long walk together to Bryan Lake in the gathering twilight to create a powerful collective beacon grounded in community as each graduate shares their flame around the water; processing one last time, accompanied by bagpipes, with faculty and friends to the ceremony of celebration marking the beginning of your life as Lyon alumni. The sadness of unrealized anticipation must be recognized, but we cannot allow this disappointment to supplant the joy and pride in your accomplishments.



Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students Dr. Patrick Mulick shared the below message with students on April 1:

Lyon Students-

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to remove any financial barriers for current students registering for fall 2020 classes, Lyon College has waived the registration deposit.

Students who have questions related to payments should contact Jill Varner in the Accounts Receivable Office at jill.varner@lyon.edu or (870) 307-7322.

Any student who has encountered a significant adverse change in their own or their parents’ financial circumstances should contact Tommy Tucker, Director of Financial Aid at thomas.tucker@lyon.edu or (870) 307-7257.


March 2020 Updates

4:40 P.M., TUESDAY, MARCH 31

Lyon College President Dr. W. Joseph King shared the below message with students on March 31:

Dear Students,

Many of you have reached out to my office as well as other offices on campus in regard to refunds of room and board charges. I assure you Lyon College will refund a prorated amount for students’ room and board. After the Business Office clears unpaid account balances, students will be refunded the remaining prorated balance on April 17. The Business Office will contact students in the coming days with more information. For updates, please visit lyon.edu/coronavirus.  

Please know that we miss you and look forward to the day you are all moving back into our residence halls. Seniors, we understand your sadness about missing your last semester on campus and just yesterday began forming a task force to make plans for both a virtual graduation ceremony as well as an in person ceremony when conditions allow. 

In closing, good luck in your classes. Keep in constant contact with your faculty and advisors. Never hesitate to reach out to any of us with questions, concerns, or news in general. We care about you.

Stay safe,


9:00 A.M., MONDAY, MARCH 30

Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students Dr. Patrick Mulick shared the below message with students on March 30:

Lyon Students-

Welcome "back"!! I hope that y'all had a good Spring Break...although I realize that it was nothing like you had planned for it to be. Today starts a very new type of learning environment, but one that we are committed to including the "Lyon Experience." You all received an email from Provost Taverner last night. She provided you lots of wonderful tips and strategies for successfully completing the rest of the semester. Please read her email carefully.

One of the tips I really liked is to develop a routine. In times of change and chaos, a good, consistent routine is something that we can use to create a sense of control. This will be important as you attempt to complete your coursework remotely. A routine that includes good sleep schedules, regular exercise, and a healthy diet is something that you can lean on if you start to feel overwhelmed by or detached from school...really it goes for life in general. I have been trying to implement a new routine in my own life as well. My girls and I got a PUPPY, so consistency is SUPER important right now!

Before I close, I want to make sure you all know that a tornado hit Jonesboro this weekend and caused substantial damage. Many of our students live in the Jonesboro area. We have heard from all of them and, while some have experienced damage to homes and family businesses, they are all safe. Please keep these students and their families in your thoughts and prayers. 

So, good luck getting up and running this week. Remember that all your support resources are still available and here if you. Do not hesitate to reach out to any of the Student Life or academic support staff!! If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me immediately.


1:15 A.M., TUESDAY, MARCH 24

Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students Dr. Patrick Mulick shared the below message with students on March 24:

Hello Lyon Students-

I wanted to send a check-in email and make sure you know that we are working hard during Spring Break to ensure your Lyon experience will be as great as possible once classes resume remotely on Monday. Obviously, there are huge changes taking place and nothing can replace the face-to-face interactions between faculty/staff and students that we have all grown to cherish as part of the Lyon community. That said, I am witnessing faculty and staff putting in huge amounts of time and effort to ensure the education and support you receive for the rest of the semester lives up to the Lyon standards you have come to expect. 

As you are beginning to settle into your life away from campus, I would encourage you to enjoy some down-time this week. The stress of the semester and, in particular, the radical shifts in society over the last few weeks can feel overwhelming. Self-care, exercise, and healthy eating are all ways you can ensure your mind and body are ready for the weeks ahead. 

We miss you!


2:00 P.M., FRIDAY, MARCH 20

Next week is spring break for our campus, but please know our response team is still monitoring COVID-19 developments. We will have staff on campus throughout next week available to the approximately 40 students remaining on campus for the remainder of the semester. Dining services, student programming, health and wellness services, and campus safety will all still be available to those students during the break.

Multiple coronavirus cases were reported in Independence County on March 19. The College immediately instituted its COVID-19 protocols in place for this scenario. Currently, no cases have been reported on campus. All students remaining on campus have been advised not to leave campus unless the need is urgent.

Faculty and staff are advised not to return to campus if they are showing symptoms or if they have been in contact with a person showing symptoms.

In the event a case does affect our campus community, we have the following quarantine measures in place:

During spring break, our facilities staff will execute additional sanitizing of all residence halls, student spaces, and classrooms. 

If you have any concerns about COVID-19 on campus, please contact the Director of Health and Wellness Haley Haile immediately at haley.haile@lyon.edu or (870) 307-7425.

After spring break, students will begin remote instruction for their courses. All student services will be available remotely including career services, the counseling center, and academic advising, among others.

For troubleshooting remote courses, students and faculty can contact IT support (support@lyon.edu), Associate Director of Administrative Computing Jeremiah Cherwien, and Director of Institutional Research Andrew English for assistance.



9:40 A.M., FRIDAY, MARCH 20

Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students Dr. Patrick Mulick shared the below message with students on March 20:

Lyon Students-

Lyon understands that the current situation is impacting you in a variety of difficult ways. For many of you, there are financial issues that are beginning to have a significant effect on your day-to-day life. The Lyon Community wants help as much possible. Earlier this week, the below email was sent to Lyon College alumni and friends. The emergency fund mentioned is specifically for students and EVERY dollar raised will be given to students in need.

If you have emergency financial needs, please submit this form (https://form.jotform.com/200756631715151). A committee will be meeting in the near future to review requests and begin to designate funds to students. The reality is that we will not be able to meet every request through this emergency fund, but we are committed to doing as much as we possibly can.  



Multiple confirmed coronavirus cases were reported in Independence County on Thursday, March 19. The College immediately instituted its COVID-19 protocols in place for this scenario. Currently, no cases have been reported on campus. All students remaining on campus have been advised not to leave campus unless the need is urgent.

Faculty and staff are advised not to return to campus if they are showing symptoms or if they have been in contact with a person showing symptoms.

In the event a case does affect our campus community, we have the following quarantine measures in place:

We will continue to provide updates as they are available.



Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students Dr. Patrick Mulick shared the below message with students on March 18:

Lyon Students-

Each day we are able to address more questions and concerns that are facing our campus community. We understand that there are many more issues to be resolved, but we do feel like we are making progress on our list of priorities. Please continue to check our FAQ page for up to date information (https://www.lyon.edu/coronavirus).

The focus of today's email is the dining services. As students leave campus, we have begun to adjust our dining hours and processes to ensure an environment that provides quality food, good variety, sanitary conditions, and controlled social mobility and connection. We are still functioning on the Lyon College 2019-2020 meal plan system. Those without meal plans can purchase items at each dining location. Off-campus students who are struggling with food insecurity, please contact me or the Student Life office as soon as possible. 

Effective tomorrow (Thursday, March 19th), below are the modifications that will be put in place until further notice. These plans include the duration of the week of Spring Break.

The Salty Dog

Lyon Den

Patterson Dining Hall

Monday - Friday
Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Lunch: 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Dinner: 5:00 p.m. -  6:30 p.m

Saturday & Sunday
Brunch: 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Dinner: 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Please keep in mind the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and that there might be a need to further modify dining services in future.

All of you continue to be in our thoughts and prayers as we all try to find a rhythm to our "new normal".



The health and safety of our students are our main focus, but please know we are aware of questions about room and board. We are working on a solution and will share information as soon as it is available. We ask for your patience as we navigate this unprecedented situation.  



As a precaution against the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), Lyon College will not allow visitors on campus until further notice. It is intended to protect Lyon community members remaining on campus. There are no confirmed cases on campus at this time, and no campus members have been tested or hospitalized for symptoms.

Vendors are allowed by appointment only. For deliveries, contact Lyon Campus Safety at (870) 307-7233.

The College is still accepting mail by dropoff only. Contact Brian Hardin at (870) 307-7059.

Students remaining on campus have also been advised of the College’s “no visitor” policy. Students are to contact Student Life for approval of any visitor on campus.


10:35 A.M., TUESDAY, MARCH 17

Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students Dr. Patrick Mulick shared the below message with students on March 16:

Lyon Students-

We are living in truly unprecedented times. COVID-19 has forced all institutions of higher education to develop response plans attempting to ensure the delivery of a quality education, while also taking drastic steps to ensure the health and welfare of students. As President King stated, after today all in-person classes will be suspended for the rest of the semester. We understand that this decision will generate an abundance of questions and some anxiety. While we may not yet have answers to every question you have, we are committed to taking care of each of your needs.

Students are encouraged to leave campus if possible. That said, we understand that there are many students who need to live on-campus for a variety of reasons. We are going to work with those students! If you are a student who has a need to remain on campus past Tuesday (March 17) at 5:00 pm, please complete this waiver form (https://form.jotform.com/200754735604050). We are committed to responding to each waiver within 24-hours. 

Students who want to stay on-campus:

Life on campus is going to look different for the time being. There are some things students will need to consider when choosing to stay. For the foreseeable future:

Students still on campus, but making plans to leave:

You will need to follow standard check-out procedures and plan to take all your belongings with you. RLS will be utilizing both in-person and express check-out, so please contact your RA and provide him/her with your plans for departure. In circumstances where it is impossible for you to take all of your belongings, please notify your RA that you are leaving items, pack those in boxes, and label it with your name. It is important you understand that we are unsure when you will be allowed to pick-up your things and it is possible that they will be moved in the meantime. The College is not responsible for lost or stolen items that are left behind. Whether you leave belongings or not, ALL students are expected to leave their key with their RA. We will contact students at a later date with plans for picking up their belongings.

Students who have already left, but have belongings still on campus:


At the current time, students are not allowed back on campus if they have already traveled outside the Batesville area. Please contact Sh'Nita Mitchell (shnita.mitchell@lyon.edu) and provide her with your name, dorm room location, and a list of items remaining in your room. It is important you understand that we are unsure when you will be allowed to pick-up your things. The College will make every effort not to interact with items left behind, but it is possible that they will have to be packed and moved in some circumstances. In these cases, we will contact students prior to interacting with your items and develop a protocol that ensures their security. We will contact students at a later date with plans for picking up their belongings.

We realize that these are just some of the big questions that you all have in this quick transition of life at Lyon. Please be patient with us as we continue to address your concerns and questions. The College is developing a FAQ page which should be online soon. 

The Student Life Staff is committed to meeting your needs the best way we can through remote services technology. Trust that your Deans, Counselor, Health and Wellness, Chaplain, International Student Advisor, Career Development, Residence Life Staff, Activity Director, LEAP, APPLE, UBMS, Campus Safety, and Ms. Debra are still here and ready to serve you now and in the future! 



5:18 P.M., MONDAY, MARCH 16

In response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Office of Admissions is suspending campus visit experiences until Monday, March 30, 2020. We are also extending the May 1 "Visit Grant" and "National Decisions Day" deadlines to June 1, 2020.


11:11 A.M., MONDAY, MARCH 16

NAIA announced that it is canceling the spring 2020 sports season, effective immediately. Spring sport athletes will not be charged a season of competition. Any spring sport student-athlete who was enrolled full-time in 2020 will be awarded two additional semester terms of attendance or the equivalent.


10:35 A.M., MONDAY, MARCH 16

Message from Lyon College President, W. Joseph King:

Dear Lyon Community,

I want to thank each of you for your patience during this unprecedented time as the global community responds to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Please know your health and wellness are our top priorities. 

As you know, a response team comprised of myself, senior leadership of the college, and our director of health and wellness, has been meeting regularly and monitoring developments constantly.

We have considered our options that would best support and protect our responsibility to the campus community. I want to assure you these decisions are not taken lightly. We have responded step-by-step and examined each action. After thorough evaluation and consulting with campus leaders and health professionals both at the state and federal levels, Lyon College will take several significant steps to protect not only our campus community but also our families and our neighbors, while also preserving the academic mission of the college. 

In order to prepare for remote learning, we have started training and practicing this format with faculty and students. The remote learning format will allow us to maintain the high standards of a Lyon education, with faculty deciding the best practices for their courses. While this will take many forms, I am confident our faculty will effectively meet their course learning objectives. 

Effective after classes on Monday, March 16, students are dismissed from campus, and we will suspend all classes until the Monday following spring break, March 30. At that time, we will resume classes exclusively through remote instruction through the remainder of the semester. 

Due to the developing nature of the situation, we will be flexible in supporting students through this transition. We know this will be a difficult process. The College is ready to work with students to facilitate this process. We realize some students may need to leave possessions in the room and return at a later date to retrieve them. 

Students with a compelling need may request to remain on campus by completing this form. 

We have also been in communication with the NAIA and the American Midwest Conference (AMC) regarding athletics. The NAIA has announced the cancelation of all winter championships, and the AMC has canceled all spring competitions effective immediately. We will continue to monitor developments as we consider options regarding our May baccalaureate and commencement exercises. 

Based on our research and consultations with officials and other higher education institutions, we are: 1) canceling all campus events through the remainder of the spring term,  2) following the AMC’s instruction to cancel all spring competition, and 3) suspending all college-related travel both domestic and abroad.

You can follow updates as they are made by going to www.lyon.edu/coronavirus.

I have these requests for all our campus members:

Students, please take your course materials and essentials home with you. You will receive instructions and guidance for transition to remote learning in the coming days. 

Faculty, please defer to Provost Melissa Taverner regarding course and faculty developments. Please know I appreciate your dedication to this institution and its students.

Staff, we are in the process of developing a policy regarding remote work and leave in light of rapidly changing circumstances, and it will be shared in the coming days. Please contact Clarinda Foote for guidance should we determine working remotely is necessary. In the meantime, please continue to practice social distancing. If you are feeling sick, we encourage you to stay home. I am grateful to you all for your hard work under these stressful circumstances as you also prepare for changes.

We remain committed to Lyon College’s mission of providing a highly-personalized liberal arts education and promoting both civic and social responsibility. 

We remember our motto, “Perseverance conquers all, God willing,” which guides us today as it has since our founding.

Thank you,
W. Joseph King, Ph.D., President


3:46 P.M., SUNDAY, MARCH 15

In light of recent COVID-19 developments, the college’s response team is meeting immediately Monday morning to determine more definitive plans for remote learning and campus closures. A complete statement with those plans will be shared following that meeting.

The College is taking every precaution to protect our campus community, and we will continue to provide updates as soon as they’re available.

At this time, the campus has no confirmed cases or students that have been hospitalized for COVID-19.


4:00 P.M., FRIDAY, MARCH 13

As we go into the weekend, our response team will continue to monitor all information and updates regarding COVID-19. To avoid misinformation and ensure accurate updates, please visit our website or call our hotline at (870) 307-7411 for the latest updates. If you have information about potential cases on campus, please notify Director of Health and Wellness Haley Haile at health@lyon.edu or (870) 307-7425 immediately.

At this time, we do not have any students who are in the hospital nor any that have been seen at a hospital or tested for symptoms related to COVID-19.

We are navigating an unprecedented situation. Please know that we will provide information as soon as it is available. The response team continues to meet and will have more definitive plans early next week regarding courses after spring break. We thank you for your patience and understanding.


3:00 P.M., FRIDAY, MARCH 13

The American Midwest Conference Council of Presidents voted unanimously Friday morning to cancel all remaining intercollegiate athletic activities including Conference championships for the 2020 spring season.


11:00 A.M., FRIDAY, MARCH 13

At this time, the College has not decided to send students home for the remainder of the semester. Our response team is continuing to meet, and we will have more definitive plans early next week about courses following spring break.


10:28 A.M., FRIDAY, MARCH 13

In response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Office of Admissions is modifying scheduled campus visit experiences. We will still have campus tours but dorms, lunch, and professor meetings will be suspended until Monday, March 23, 2020. Prospective students who would like to reschedule their campus visit may do so by calling (870) 307-7250.


12:00 A.M., FRIDAY, MARCH 13

The Office of Health and Wellness and Office of Student Life are in constant contact with the student body. We do not have any students who are in the hospital nor any that have been seen at a hospital or tested for symptoms related to COVID-19. We are working with students who have concerns about their health and are helping them to seek out appropriate care if needed. The health and welfare of our students is our main priority and we are following all recommendations by the CDC, Arkansas Department of Health, and Arkansas Department of Education.



In response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Lyon College has formed a response team to determine the best course of action to ensure the health and safety of the college community. At this time, in order to effectively prepare for the possibility of transitioning to remote learning, Lyon will begin a series of online course trainings for faculty and students starting Friday, March 13. Over the course of the next few days, the college will distribute information to the campus on how to utilize the learning management system Schoology and additional resources for remote learning. Campus members can also contact IT support, Associate Director of Administrative Computing Jeremiah Cherwien, and Director of Institutional Research Andrew English for assistance.

No confirmed cases of novel coronavirus, COVID-19, have been identified among members of our campus community. 

Lyon College will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and communicate updates to faculty, staff and students via email. These updates will also be available at https://www.lyon.edu/coronavirus

Employees and students are strongly encouraged to practice the recommended CDC guidelines available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

The college advises all members of the campus to contact the Office of Health and Wellness at (870) 307-7425 or health@lyon.edu with any concerns about exposure and questions on how to avoid exposure.



As many of you know, the first presumptive case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Arkansas was reported yesterday in Pine Bluff. A presumptive case means it has been confirmed at the state level but not by the CDC. The health and safety of this community is our top priority, and we are committed to the well-being of not only this campus community but also our community’s families.

Our response team continues to monitor the situation constantly, and the Office of Health and Wellness receives all updates from the CDC and the World Health Organization. We are exploring all options to successfully complete this semester while maintaining our responsibility for the campus’s health and welfare.

We understand this situation has caused concern and anxiety to our campus community. Please know that we are committed to providing information and updates as soon as they are available. We are also keeping our athletics in mind as we consider what is best. We are with you. We are also offering additional support through the Counseling Center and the Chaplain’s Office.

Please follow these action items we shared earlier this week: 

We will keep you updated as our plans progress.



The health and wellness of the Lyon College community is our utmost priority. The College has an outbreak management plan in place in the event that COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus 2019, affects our campus. The Office of Student Life and the Office of Health and Wellness are following updates from the CDC, WHO, and the American College Health Association, and they are providing information to the campus to prepare and prevent the spread of the virus.

Currently, no cases have been confirmed on campus. A presumptive case was reported in Pine Bluff, Arkansas on March 11. The Office of Health and Wellness is monitoring students. If a case is reported on campus, the College has designated quarantine spaces and a coordination plan with the Arkansas Department of Health and the Independence County Office of Emergency Management in place.

At this time, we are asking the campus community to follow these action items:

The CDC has also issued a travel advisory for affected regions. On March 5, the Office of Health and Wellness alerted the campus community to this update. We are asking all to consider their travel plans for the upcoming spring break. If community members do decide to travel to an impacted region, they have been asked to notify Student Life and the Office of Health and Wellness at health@lyon.edu. Resident assistants and resident directors are also collecting this information from students. These advisories can be found here: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices.

We understand that some community members are concerned, and we are offering additional support through the Counseling Center and the Chaplain's Office.

If you have additional questions and concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Health and Wellness at (870) 307-7425.