UNC System president says commencement will be disrupted, expects to address fee questions next week 


Courtesy of the CDC

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019

Moss Brennan, Reporter

UNC System interim President Bill Roper addressed the Board of Governors at a special meeting on Friday amid the coronavirus pandemic. In his remarks, Roper mentioned spring commencement would be disrupted. 

“Unfortunately, that time frame reaches into our commencement season,” Roper said. “Simply put, we are facing the increasing likelihood that spring graduation ceremonies will be disrupted.”

Currently, App State is hopeful that commencement ceremonies can continue as planned, but according to its website, “in the event we must adjust these plans we will communicate any changes as soon as possible.”

“I know and understand that this will disappoint our students and their families, who have worked toward this goal for so many years,” Roper said. “But the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff must be our top priority. We will work with our chancellors as they consider how to celebrate academic achievement in due course.”

Roper said plans for each chancellor will make plans for their respective university on how to celebrate the academic achievement. 

Roper also said the UNC System’s office has received many questions and concerns from students and parents.  

“We are addressing the most critical issues first: health and safety, the transition to online learning, and the well-being of our students in need. Matters related to fees, room and board, and grades are also important,” Roper said. “We expect to be in position to start to answer those questions in the next week.”

App State will address refunds for housing and dining once it is beyond the immediate issues of the coronavirus pandemic, according to its coronavirus updates website. 

Witnessing our faculty, students, families and leaders at every level of the UNC System, rallying together. That has filled me with great optimism,” Roper said. “These are challenging times, and we will not get everything right, but we will make corrections as we move forward.”