Welcome Back, Bellarmine

Dear Bellarmine Students and Families,

Since March, when we moved teaching and learning online to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we have been eagerly anticipating the day when the Bellarmine community could reconvene in person.

I am delighted, therefore, to announce that we will reopen campus and welcome students back for classes on Aug. 20. We can’t wait to greet our new first-year students and reconnect with sophomores through graduate students. For those of us in higher education, nothing is more hopeful, more renewing, than fall semester.

You will notice some changes this semester designed to minimize exposure to, and potential spread of, the COVID-19 virus. I am proud of the approach we are taking to reopening, which balances our desire to provide students with a robust, in-person university experience with the need for health-conscious policies.

A Steering Committee on Contingency Planning that is co-chaired by Bellarmine’s senior vice president and the dean of our School of Nursing and Clinical Sciences has been working tirelessly since May to develop these policies, which adhere to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Kentucky public health officials.

The biggest change is to the academic calendar. In order to minimize back-and-forth student travel—and therefore reduce opportunities for students to contract or spread the virus—we will end classroom instruction by the week before Thanksgiving by eliminating the Labor Day holiday and fall break. Once students go home for Thanksgiving, they will remain at home through the end of the calendar year. Final exams will be conducted online. (Students who have a reason to remain in the residence halls, such as winter season student-athletes, will be able to do so.)

We will ensure that students and faculty are appropriately distanced from each other in all classroom settings, whether that’s a lecture or a lab. Our faculty are also busy this summer developing flexible hybrid courses that combine in-person and online delivery that will ensure students have the personal attention that makes the Bellarmine educational experience special.

We will also practice distancing in all public areas, including dining halls, where you will find more “grab-and-go” options than before. Community members will wear face coverings in community areas—in fact, we will be providing Bellarmine-branded face coverings for undergraduates, graduate students, faculty and staff so that we can be stylish and safe.

Students will still be able to participate in our wide variety of extracurricular activities, although some may be meeting in smaller groups than usual.

Ensuring a healthy return to campus will require some adaptations. But at Bellarmine, where we have an average student-to-faculty ratio of 11:1 and a focus on the individual success of each student, we are in a much better position to make this pivot than larger schools. Some factors are beyond our control, of course. We will continually monitor news and guidance from Kentucky public health officials and the CDC, and we will keep you updated on this website. For now, however, we are positive, prepared, and optimistic. We remain fully committed to continuing the essential work of educating students in mind, body, and spirit for meaningful lives, rewarding careers, ethical leadership, and service to improve the human condition—while taking the precautions that will keep our entire community healthy.

We look forward to seeing you in August!

Susan M. Donovan, Ph.D.
Bellarmine President

Keeping Our Campus Healthy


Classroom Experience


Maintaining Connection and Community


Key Dates

Fall 2020 Semester Academic Calendar

  • Aug. 14 and 15: First-year students Move-In
  • Aug. 17-19: Returning students Move-In
  • Aug. 20: Classes begin
  • Sept. 4, Oaks Day: Classes in session
  • Sept. 5, Derby Day: Classes in session
  • Sept. 7, Labor Day: Classes in session
  • Oct. 10-13 (formerly fall break): Classes in session
  • Nov. 21: Last day of classes
  • Nov. 23-29: Thanksgiving holiday
  • Nov. 30-Dec. 2: Study days
  • Dec. 3-9: Final exams online
  • Dec. 16: Fall 2020 degrees posted 

Spring 2021 Semester Academic Calendar

  • Jan. 5: Returning students move-in
  • January 6: Classes begin
  • January 18: Martin Luther King Jr. Day: No classes/University closed
  • February 10: Break day: No classes
  • March 5-7: Spring break (University closed Friday, March 5)
  • April 2-5: Easter break (University closed Friday, April 2, no evening classes on April 5)
  • April 17: Classes end
  • April 19-22: Study Days – no classes
  • April 23-29: FINAL EXAMINATIONS - conducted remotely
  • May 8: Spring 2021 Commencement


COVID-19 Information & Health Tips

For the latest on COVID-19, visit these websites:

What health precautions can I take?

  • We continue to encourage members of the University community to take precautions and exercise good health practices.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick. Do not attend class or work.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • World Health Organization: When and how to wear a mask

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. The university is engaging in enhanced cleaning of common areas.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

What if I feel sick?

If you feel sick, stay home and seek healthcare services as needed. Take care of yourself and stay home until at least 24 hours after any fever ends.

Symptoms of COVID-19 may include fever, coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. If you are experiencing these symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider and Student Health Services. Do not visit your provider until you have first contacted them, as they may need to make special arrangements for your visit. Bellarmine students can also take advantage of Norton eCare Visits over the Internet.

If you have questions about the virus, please contact Student Health Services by email or at 502.272.8313. 

Students who are experiencing anxiety about COVID-19 can contact the Counseling Center. Faculty or staff can engage the university’s employee assistance program; details are available on One Bellarmine.

COVID-19 Testing and Contact Tracing

September 22, 2020 Update

Survey Testing Information

The university will begin survey testing for COVID-19 on randomly selected groups of students, faculty and staff. Members of the campus community who live on campus and those actively coming to campus for classes or work will be eligible for the testing program. These tests will be conducted regularly beginning the week of September 28. Our goal is to test twenty-five percent of our campus community on a monthly basis, with tests taking place every week.

Along with conducting daily health screenings and symptom monitoring of all those coming to campus, this additional step will help us identify and respond to any potential spread of the virus and limit the likelihood of local outbreaks. This ongoing testing process will include both undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty and staff who have regular interaction on campus.

Each week, a pool of approximately 200 people from the groups described above will receive an email alerting them that they have been selected for survey testing. This email will contain a link to register for a testing time and a health form, which will need to be completed prior to arrival. It is important that you complete these steps to reduce testing time and prevent overcrowding. The testing process should only take about 10 minutes if all steps are completed in advance. If you would like to be tested, but are not part of the testing pool, please send an email to covid19testing@bellarmine.edu.

Appointment times for selected participants will be offered on Mondays from 1 to 5 p.m. and Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to noon in Frazier Hall. The test will be administered by Bluewater Labs and results will be communicated within 48 hours.

This pool testing will be conducted throughout the fall semester. We hope to make it as quick and convenient as possible for all participants, and it is critical that you participate to ensure we can maintain on-campus activities during the pandemic. Participants will need to bring a valid identification card and their up to date insurance information when they arrive at their appointment.

Visit our frequently asked questions page for additional information or email questions@bellarmine.edu.


August 18, 2020 Update

Contact Tracing and Case Management

Students who report symptoms or exposure should contact the Office of Health Services immediately. Employees who report symptoms should contact their HR Business Partner and supervisor. Students and employees should stay at home or in their residence hall room and seek guidance from the Office of Health Services. 

Any student or employee who receives positive diagnosis should report it to the Office of Health Services. This will be identified as a “case” (a person who has or is presumed by a provider to have COVID-19). Individuals with a case will be instructed to isolate to prevent transmission of the virus. Employees should also notify their Human Resources Business Partner and supervisor. 

Any student or employee who has potentially been exposed should report it to the Office of Health Services. This will be identified as a “contact” (a well person who has been exposed to a case or a case’s environment such that they had an opportunity acquire the infection (less than 6 feet for 15 minutes or more). Contacts will be instructed to quarantine by separating themselves from others to prevent transmission and restrict activities outside of their home. 

  • Students who are in healthcare clinical settings, caring for COVID-19 patients, have different guidelines defining an exposure. Please reference the CDC guidelines for the complete definition. 
  • Employees should also notify their HR Business Partner and supervisor.
On-Going Health Checks

Anyone who comes to campus will be required to fill out a health form which requires a temperature check. Temperature checks should be conducted at home prior to arrival on campus as much as possible. However, there will be designated offices on campus that may conduct temperature checks, should the visitor need them.

Student Life and Services

July 29, 2020 Update

Campus life will continue to be vibrant with a variety of virtual and smaller in-person opportunities for connection and community, whether that is through student organizations, late knight and weekend programming, or campus traditions. To help better connect you to engagement opportunities this fall and personalize your student experience, we invite you to take the Student Activities Interest Questionnaire if you have not already done so. We will continue to use Engage to promote campus events and student organization happenings—there will even be a feature noting if the experience is in-person or virtual.

Student activities, programs, and events are imperative for student engagement and a highlight of the campus experience. Bellarmine will strive to maintain these elements of our campus culture, while keeping members of our community safe and healthy. We must think creatively to reimagine our campus experiences to accommodate physical distancing and preventative measures, and we must acknowledge that not every program will be able to happen like it used to. Experiences will be subject to the determination of what is possible in a restrictive environment and what needs to be delayed. Further, we encourage programmatic engagement for each RSO and University department to be offered in multiple modalities (i.e. in-person and virtually) and be classified into one of four categories:

  • Definite– experiences that should be available at the beginning of the fall semester
  • Delay– experiences that can be offered later in the fall semester
  • Reschedule– experiences that may need to be reintroduced in spring 2021 or later
  • Reimagine– experiences that should be available throughout the academic year with adjustments to accommodate CDC, state, and University guidelines for COVID-19 (i.e. physically distant in-person, smaller or multiple groups, or virtually)

RSO Sponsored Events

  • All campus events should reflect University values and follow the Student Code of Conduct.
  • Students will adhere to all CDC, state, and University guidelines, as well as tenants agreed upon in the Bellarmine Knights Pledge and Acknowledgment (COVID-19), including but not limited to physical distancing, face coverings, and screenings.
  • Activities, events and meetings will largely be conducted in small groups and online. Large or campus-wide gatherings will be difficult as physical distancing practices must be maintained and face coverings must be worn in public spaces on campus.
  • Event and room reservation requests must be submitted through Engage and will be individually evaluated to determine if the event can be offered virtually or through a combination of in-person and virtual modalities.
  • Outdoor spaces or smaller classrooms/conference rooms may be available for students and student organizations upon reservation. Additional parameters and guidelines may be enforced, such as:
    • Time limitations or restrictions
    • Limited available seating
    • Reduced room/event capacity to ensure physical distancing
    • Cleaning and disinfectant protocols before, during, and after each event
  • Students hosting events will clearly communicate to participants expectations of health safety, as well as inherent health risks associated with activities.

Enforcement of Policies

Bellarmine acknowledges the existence of both rights and responsibilities of each student and the role each member plays in ensuring the vitality of our community. Students are individually and collectively responsible for their behavior and fully accountable for their actions both on and off campus. Any student, faculty, or staff member may submit a report to the Dean of Students (502.272.8150) against any person believed to be in violation of any of the guidelines or policies from the University, Kentucky Public Health Department, or Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Taking the Pledge

All students, faculty and staff must complete our #HealthyAtBU Education Module and Knight Pledge. The pledge can be found in Self Service – go to OneBellarmine, click on Self Service, click on your user name at the top right of the screen and in the drop down menu is the “agreements”. Click on that and the pledge should appear. In the text of the pledge is a link to the educational module, which is about 15 minutes long.

Student Emergency Fund

Students who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of these sudden changes can seek support through the student emergency aid fund. More info: nbegin@bellarmine.edu

Staying Connected Virtually

Here are a few ways to get together outside of virtual classes. More info: sac@bellarmine.edu

Support for Online Courses

Faculty should be your first point of contact for support in your online classes. Faculty should do their best to determine whether an issue is either technical/technological or academic, and direct you appropriately, as outlined below.

More info on technical/technology issues: Contact the Technology Support Center at tsc@bellarmine.edu or 502.272.8301

More info on academic-related issues: Contact that Student Success Center at studentsuccess@bellarmine.edu or 502.272.7400.

Students can also seek support online, via live chat, through the Bellarmine Online Learning Support group in Microsoft Teams.

Internet Resources and Documents for Students


The library is now open to current BU students, staff and faculty. Please use your BU ID card to swipe in.
Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. / Saturday - Sunday: 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Food Service

Please check the Dining Services site for information on each location's hours of operation.


Please check the SuRF site for hours of operation.

Student Concern Reporting

If you have any Title IX or student concerns, our coordinators are available to help. Contact our Title IX coordinators or complete Student Concern Report.

Campus Transportation

Bellarmine Shuttle Service will resume August 20, 2020 at 7:30 a.m.

  • Campus wide shuttle service during the week:
    • Monday - Thursday, 7:30 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.
    • Fridays, 7:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
    • Sunday. 6 - 11:30 p.m.
  • Allen Hall route:
    • Monday - Friday, 7:30 a.m. - the last class, Franciscan Circle to Allen Hall
    • For service to the Flynn Building please contact Sharon Oster at 502.272.7777 or soster@bellarmine.edu to reserve your ride time.

Things to note due to Covid-19:

  • Ridership is at 50% capacity for social distancing. Shuttles are limited to 7 passengers at a time so please plan accordingly.
  • Masks are required to ride any Bellarmine transportation vehicles.
  • Please download the Ride Systems app on your phone from the app store to see the location of the shuttles. 
Face Covering Requirements

In accordance with federal and state regulations, Bellarmine is requiring faculty, staff and students to wear a face covering while in public and common spaces on campus. The university will provide washable cloth face coverings to students. Students do not have to use the face covering provided as long as you have some sort of cloth covering that covers your mouth and nose.

What is a public place?

  • Classrooms, labs and practice rooms
  • Academic and support offices
  • Meeting spaces
  • Dining hall and other on-campus eating establishments, but not while eating or drinking
  • Hallways and lobby areas of academic and administrative buildings
  • Traveling outside to and from locations on campus when you cannot practice distancing of at least 6 feet
  • Public restrooms
  • Library
  • Common areas such as lobbies, kitchens or communal bathrooms in the residence halls

What if I have a health concern about wearing a face covering?

Where do I not have to wear a face covering on campus?

  • Inside your residence hall room if you are a residential student
  • Traveling outside to and from locations when practicing physical distancing

What if I don’t have a face covering on in public places?

  • You will be asked to leave places such as classrooms, dining facilities, the library, events and even work until you are wearing your face covering. Habitual non-compliance may result in student participation in the university’s conduct process.

How do I report noncompliance?

Face covering distribution

The university will issue face coverings to all faculty, staff and students. If you have forgotten or lost your face covering, disposable face coverings can be found at Health Services or the Office of Public Safety. Residential students will receive their face coverings at their move-in date and commuter students can pick up their coverings prior to classes beginning.

How to properly wear a face covering

Putting on a face covering
Wash hands for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer before applying face covering. Touch the face covering as little as possible to avoid cross-contamination. Once it’s in place, do your best not to touch the outside of the covering or touch your face. Wash hands or use hand sanitizer after inadvertently touching your face covering. We recommend not placing it around your neck or up on your forehead.

How to properly wear a face covering
Your face covering should always cover both your nose and mouth.

Removing a face covering
To safely remove your face covering, first wash your hands for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer. Avoid touching either the outside or the inside of the covering a much as possible. Remove by the ties or area that has not been near your mouth or nose. Do not shake the covering once you have taken it off.

Care, storage and laundering of a face covering
Keep face coverings in a paper bag or a sealable plastic bag. Replace your face coverings if they become soiled, damaged or visibly contaminated. It is recommended not to use a cloth face covering more than once a day without washing it. Wash your face covering in the sink or the washing machine with hot water and detergent. Make sure you wash your hands before touching your freshly laundered face covering.

Read more about face coverings by visiting the CDC website.

Living on Campus

Over the Summer

During the past few months, as the Residence Halls were vacant, our custodial crew has been working full time to thoroughly clean and disinfect each dormitory room. In addition to normal daily cleaning, the crews have treated surface areas with a disinfectant proven effective against SARS related Coronavirus, restrooms have been deep cleaned and floors vacuumed.

Those dorms being used by Governor Scholar students have received nightly cleaning and each Saturday the restrooms are deep cleaned.


The three-year residential policy remains in place. If a you feel that moving to the residence hall poses a health risk, or if you’ve experienced a financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, you may apply for a housing exemption to pursue off-campus accommodations. 

All residents can participate in this year’s new Drop-and-Go program, which allows you to deliver belongings to your room prior to your move-in appointment. Drop-and-Go appointments will be available Sunday, August 9, through Wednesday, August 12. You can sign up for a Drop-and-Go appointment in your housing portal.

First-year students will move in August 14 and 15; returning students will move in August 17-19.

Be sure to check out the 2020 Move-In Guide prior to arrival. If you have housing-related questions, please reach out to Residence Life at reslife@bellarmine.edu.

Visitation Information: Phase I

  • In hall visitation only
  • No outside guests allowed
  • No overnight visitation throughout the semester of non-residential students
  • Please limit your guest to one Bellarmine resident from your building per dorm room at any given time. Your guest should be escorted by you at all times.
  • Visitation for opposite gender residents is from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Dining Options on Campus

Our dining facilities will follow the Kentucky Healthy at Work guidelines, with lower capacity and increased surface cleaning. The BITE+ app will allow you to order and pay online to pick up and carry out meals. Look for clear signage in Café Ogle directing the flow of people and marking physical distance requirements

Our University Dining Hall (UDH) has been overhauled; many convenient pre-packaged items will be available, and to-go boxes will be allowed and encouraged.

Seating and capacity in our dining facilities will continue to be directed by the state guidelines for restaurants.

Faculty and Staff

Staff members should discuss their work assignment with their supervisor, to determine whether they should work on campus or remotely. Faculty members should discuss this with their dean or department chair. 

All employees must fill out this COVID-19 health screening form each day prior to arriving on campus or at your respective work station.

  • If you are an employee who has any of the symptoms or risk factors identified on the form you are not allowed campus entry – not even to your own office or classroom – and you must inform your supervisor.
  • If you are unable to complete this form remotely, please visit the Office of Public Safety on the ground level of Centro's Treece Hall upon your arrival to campus.
  • If you do not have a thermometer, temperature checks are available from Public Safety.

While on campus, you are required to wear a cloth face mask or covering unless you are alone in an enclosed space (e.g., an office) or alone in an area with more than 6 feet of social distancing. If you do not have one, you may obtain one from Public Safety.  

The state requirements also ask us to maintain standards such as social distancing and refraining from congregating in common areas.

Questions: humanresources@bellarmine.edu 

Prospective Students and Families

The university’s undergraduate and graduate admissions offices and financial aid office are operating and observing state health guidelines. You can find specific information regarding new policies and how best to get in touch on our enrollment roadmap.

We have created a Facebook group for current and incoming Bellarmine parents and family members.


For the Fall 2020 semester, all academic courses will be one of these three types:

In Person, Face-to-Face (F2F) Courses

The defining characteristic of face-to-face courses is that they will meet during regular class schedules and the instructor and all enrolled students will be present in the classroom together for all meetings using social distancing guidelines. This is the model we are most accustomed to but for fall 2020 there will be two main differences: 

  • Fully F2F courses may be held in larger spaces in order to achieve distancing guidelines. 
  • Cameras will be present in F2F classrooms so that meetings can be streamed or recorded to accommodate students who cannot be on campus for the F2F experience this fall. These students must inform their F2F instructors of their intentions prior to the beginning of the semester. 

Hyflex Courses (Hybrid-flexible)

Hyflex courses are a combination of face-to-face and online delivery and are necessary when existing spaces cannot accommodate current or projected section enrollment numbers. Class meetings will be carried out using some method of rotation where of a portion of the enrolled students are present in the classroom while another portion of the enrolled students attend the class virtually. The number and frequency of the in-person meetings will be determined by the instructor – who will receive guidance on maximum occupancy for the room assigned. Students who cannot be on campus this fall will have the option to virtually attend all course meetings and will be expected to meet virtually according to the published class times/days unless other arrangements have been made between student and instructor.;

  • The in-person meeting day rotations of Hyflex courses will be developed by the instructor once final room assignments and enrollment numbers have been established closer to the beginning of the semester. 
  • Just prior to the beginning of the semester, Hyflex course instructors will communicate the assigned rotation to the students in their class. 
  • Students who wish to take their fall courses completely virtually must inform their Hyflex instructors of their intentions prior to the beginning of the semester. 
  • Successful Hyflex rotations will require good, clear, and ongoing communication between the instructor and the students. 

Online Courses

Online courses are conducted 100 percent virtually throughout the entire semester.

  • Most online courses will be synchronous (required specified virtual meeting times) or have synchronous components such as scheduled discussion groups. Synchronous course times and days are reflected on the class schedule so that students know when to virtually attend. 
  • A small number of online courses will be asynchronous (specific meeting times are not required) in which case there are no times and days listed on the class schedule. Students in asynchronous courses will follow instructional expectations outlined by the instructor.

How will physical distancing occur in classrooms? 

Face coverings are required in university indoor facilities and classrooms as defined in the university’s face covering policy. Physical distancing will be maintained in classrooms with student separation of at least 6 feet in all directions maintained at all times. The instruction station will provide an additional 60 square feet of separation for the course instructor. Students will be spread throughout the classroom by reducing the number of seats/desks available for students. Classroom organization, set up and number of seats/desks shall not be changed or altered by students, instructors or other university staff.

Special Events

In order to adjust to these unprecedented times, Bellarmine University will be unable to host external events for the fall semester.  This difficult decision has been made from an abundance of caution. This decision limits the amount of people exposed to campus while providing ample space and time to keep our students engaged on campus. We appreciate your understanding and continued support of the University and look forward to having you return to campus when safe for all.

August 18, 2020 Update

What are the policies for space reservation? 

All meetings and events should default to a virtual platform unless technology limitations preclude this from taking place or unless a physical meeting is the only way to achieve your goal.

The number of attendees for a reservation should not exceed 50% of the room’s capacity, while still allowing for 6 feet of distancing. If distancing cannot be achieved at 50% capacity, then the number of attendees must be reduced.

A minimum of one hour should exist between reservations of a given space to allow for appropriate sanitation of the facility to take place.

Face coverings must be worn in all campus spaces as described by the University’s face covering policy. All attendees should position themselves with physical distance from other attendees in the room

Will athletic events take place? 

Bellarmine University Athletics is dedicated to protecting the health and safety of its student-athletes and employees. In consultation with the ASUN Conference, Bellarmine University has postponed its fall sports season until Spring 2021. This decision does not impact winter sports at this time.

Key campus contact information