About Darden - Coronavirus Information and Resources

Coronavirus Information and Resources

The spread of the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, has resulted in sweeping changes to Darden School of Business operations. Darden is following University of Virginia updates and guidance regarding classes, events and operations on Darden Grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia, and at UVA Darden DC Metro in Arlington, Virginia.

The School will implement changes aligned with the University to prevent the spread of the disease, and to protect the safety, health and well-being of the community. At this time, the School is preparing to welcome students to Grounds for the start of the 2020-21 academic year in August. Please continue to check this page for updated information and links to key resources from UVA, Darden and health agencies.


Latest Information on University’s Response to the Coronavirus

Visit UVA's coronavirus website for ongoing updates.

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Latest Updates From the Darden School

Read important messages from Dean Scott Beardsley and Darden leadership regarding the School's response to COVID-19. 

  • 28 May: Message From Dean Beardsley on UVA Updates on the Fall

    28 May

    UVA Updates on the Fall

    This afternoon, UVA President Jim Ryan, Provost Liz Magill, EVP and COO J.J. Davis, and EVP for Health Affairs K. Craig Kent wrote the University community to share current thinking on planning for the fall. I urge you to read the message

    While a final framework for the fall will be announced in mid-June, the University’s leadership — in a spirit of transparency and to seek feedback — wanted to share some of the planning assumptions and the process by which they have arrived at them. Darden is active in the University working groups that are exploring and recommending solutions.

    We should recognize that as the University and Darden prepare over the summer for the next academic year, we anticipate receiving additional information and data that may influence plans, and we will continue to keep you informed. 

    The highlights of the announcement, as they pertain to Darden, are:


    • UVA is planning to start classes in August. 
    • Some classes will be held in-person, though class size will be determined based on social distancing restrictions. (Larger classes may remain online all semester, and there will be additional guidance on social distancing restrictions.) 
    • For students who are not able to return to Grounds, and for faculty and staff with health concerns, there will be options for remote learning, teaching and working.
    • In-person instruction will conclude by Thanksgiving.
    • There will be protocols for testing, contact tracing and quarantine for those infected to protect community health.
    • Students will also have the option to request a deferral, as always.
    • Social distancing and masks will be the norms in the classrooms and across Grounds. 

    This is early information as the University works to respond to the situation presented by the pandemic, and I want to reiterate that the University will present a final framework by mid-June. Once we have this information, we will consider how best to implement the plan for next year at Darden based on our principles of protecting health while also meeting our educational mission.

    At Darden, the degree program leadership will share this information with the students. We are hard at work designing and testing what an outstanding academic experience should look like in these challenging times. The degree program leadership teams have been working hard to plan for next year with planning committees focused on the start of school for each degree program. Just yesterday, we held a successful pilot class led by Tom Steenburgh, Joanne Meier and the instructional design team to test hybrid live classroom delivery and new classroom technology in Charlottesville, and we are working on options for Rosslyn. There are also two task forces working tirelessly at Darden to scenario plan: the Covid-19 working group led by Marc Johnson and the Return to Work task force, led by Laura Martens and David Drab. 

    Overall, the information presented today is largely consistent with the assumptions and plans we at Darden have been making. The announcement that in-person instruction will conclude by Thanksgiving is new and will require creative thinking. We will continue to fine-tune our plans and keep you informed.  

    Thank you for your partnership, patience and flexibility as we work through this evolving situation. I am grateful for this community. 

  • 23 April: Dean Beardsley Announces Innovations for Students in Response to Global Uncertainty

    Dear Darden Faculty and Staff,

    Good afternoon. I hope you are all healthy and safe during this beautiful time of year in Charlottesville. This has been a spring like no other, and I cannot thank each and every one of you enough for your courage, hard work, innovative ideas and good energy in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. The collaboration and innovation the Darden community has shown these last several weeks is inspirational.

    Today, we announced that we are on track to start the school year in August for the classes of 2021 and 2022 on schedule, pending a final decision by the University on how the fall semester will unfold. We are hopeful this will be in person and on Grounds, but given the inherent uncertainty of the pandemic, we are prepared to deliver the Darden experience virtually, at first, if needed. In that event, Darden would be prepared to offer a live, synchronous remote experience and/or a hybrid solution. 

    The University of Virginia, consulting with health experts at UVA Health, the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will make the final decision on whether courses will start in person or virtually over the summer. We will share any news as soon as we receive it, but please know that we plan to kick off classes in August. We will continue to work with University leadership to monitor changes to our operations, and when and if we are able to return to operations in our facilities after the Governor lifts the stay at home order. 

    We also announced today a series of steps intended to make Darden as accessible and inviting as possible to incoming students joining the full-time MBA Class of 2022: 

    • For select students in the Class of 2022 who are unable to start in August, we will offer a start option in January. These students will begin other Darden activities such as career support ahead of their arrival and will complete their First Year in June. They will take part in an abbreviated summer internship or field project, and merge schedules with the remainder of the Class of 2022 at the start of Second Year.
    • We are planning additional support to safeguard and bolster the student experience for First and Second Years in areas ranging from housing to financial aid to meals on Grounds. This announcement provides more details.

    It’s important to note that we are taking these steps for our students in a time of unprecedented disruption to be flexible, innovative, compassionate, fair and student-centric — in the words of UVA President Jim Ryan, to try to be “good and great.” 

    The Admissions team has been doing incredible work in a turbulent environment, with applications up over last year, and the Class of 2022 is shaping up to be incredibly strong. 

    Offering additional flexibility to incoming students will clearly impact many in the Darden community — especially our faculty — and I cannot thank you enough for your flexibility and sacrifice to support our students. 

    We will hold a Darden Faculty and Staff Town Hall next Tuesday, April 28th, from Noon-1 p.m. (calendar invite forthcoming) and can talk more about this and other recent developments as a community. Tom Steenburgh, Marc Johnson and the MBA program team will continue to be in touch with additional details as we implement these plans.

    Thank you for all that you are all doing. I am grateful for your efforts and proud to be a part of this incredible community.

  • 14 April: Message From Dean Scott Beardsley on University Financial Update

    Dear Darden Faculty and Staff:

    This afternoon, University of Virginia executive leadership — President Jim Ryan, EVP and Provost Liz Magill, EVP for Health Affairs K. Craig Kent, and EVP and Chief Operating Officer J.J. Davis — sent a financial update to the community. 

    I urge you to read this memo, which recognizes the extraordinary efforts of the University community during this time and describes some of the serious financial consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for the University. We should also recognize that while Darden enters this crisis in a relatively strong financial position, we also face unprecedented financial pressures as the rest of the University. The uncertainties around philanthropy, enrollment revenues, endowment returns, and other major resource drivers will have a significant impact on Darden operations for the near future.

    University leadership presents some immediate belt-tightening measures that we across the University must undertake now to mitigate the short-term impact of the pandemic. These measures apply to the Darden enterprise. They also urge preparation for other possible disruptions to our operations and finances, depending on what happens at the start of the next school year.

    A second memo to Deans, Vice Presidents, Vice Provosts and Other Leaders provides more details on the outlined actions that must be taken immediately to safeguard the University’s long-term health. I urge you to read that memo as well.

    As for how this new information pertains to Darden, we are working diligently through the details and liaising with the University for further guidance. We will share updates with leaders, budget managers and the enterprise as we know more. We can provide the following information today:

    • The University policies apply to the Darden enterprise — to both the Darden School and the Darden School Foundation.
    • The following policies are effectively immediately: a hiring freeze, a salary freeze and expense reductions per University policy. Current outstanding offers will be honored; any hiring freeze exceptions must be approved by the Dean’s Office and the Provost. These changes do not affect the faculty tenure and promotion timeline and process.
    • We will adhere to the three guiding principles outlined in the memo: to maintain excellence in our core mission, support the most vulnerable and be creative. 
    • In light of the new guidelines regarding a hiring freeze, we will look to creatively deploy the talents of Darden’s staff who may, because of business disruption, have time to give to other projects. Mary Jones and Gayle Mapstone are already in conversation with Darden managers to understand this opportunity. The Dean’s Office and HR will work with managers to redeploy talent as required through this crisis. We appreciate your flexibility in helping us meet urgent needs in the organization.       
    • As per the announcement, we remain committed to avoiding furloughs or layoffs for as long as possible and using them only if absolutely necessary.
    • Over the past few weeks, the Finance Team, led by Dean Krehmeyer, along with Kirby Armentrout, Beth Van Hook, Heather Enos, and Megan Winter, have been working with budget managers to identify non-essential expenses and to plan for contingencies.
    • Degree program teams are working on contingencies for the start of school and will provide more information in the coming weeks. 

    While we do not have all of the answers today, we are confident that if we act quickly and responsibly and seek out opportunities for creativity and innovation, we will come through this crisis in a position of strength. 
    If you have suggestions or see opportunities to improve Darden while managing through this period of cost reductions, please let us know. I will continue to share information we receive from the University, and the regular emails from Marc Johnson and Dean Krehmeyer to faculty and staff will share ongoing updates. 

    I thank you for your commitment to our mission and to our community. 

  • 20 March: Dean Scott Beardsley Shares Important Update on COVID-19 Cases

    Dear Darden Faculty, Staff and Students:

    Last evening, Dr. Christopher P. Holstege of the Department of Student Health & Wellness and Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer Patricia M. Lampkin sent the following note to the UVA community. I ask that you read it and all university communications carefully. 

    From here forward, UVA will update confirmed cases in the community on this webpage of the novel coronavirus website. Please continue to review the Darden coronavirus information website for the latest information as well.

    I would also like to draw your attention to the UVA Today story published this morning that describes how UVA Health now is now administering its own COVID-19 tests.

    If you have travelled to an affected area, have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with, or is suspected of having COVID-19, or are experiencing symptoms (fever, cough, or have difficulty breathing), please self-isolate until you are able to obtain medical advice, as follows:
    •    Students: Contact Student Health at 434-982-3915 or 434-297-4261 after hours.
    •    Faculty and Staff: Either call your local health provider, call Employee Health at 434-924-2013, or consult a primary care physician remotely through Teladoc

    I appreciate everyone’s leadership in protecting the health of our broader community by avoiding non-essential gatherings larger than 10 people and following public health guidance in these challenging times.  

    We are grateful to our colleagues in the UVA Health System and other healthcare professionals who are working tirelessly to ensure our community is prepared as best they can be to deal with this health event. Please stay self and well and reach out to the Darden community for support.

  • 17 March: Important Updates From Dean Scott Beardsley and Changes in Response to COVID-19 Progression

    17 March 

    Important Updates and Changes in Response to COVID-19 Progression

    Dear Darden Faculty and Staff:

    I hope you are hanging in there and that you, your families and loved ones are weathering the storm. I have been thinking a lot about you. I write this evening with two important updates.

    University of Virginia President Jim Ryan and Provost Liz Magill issued an important communication that explains the next steps the University will take to respond to the unprecedented and rapidly changing situation caused by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. I ask you to read carefully their message to the University community, forwarded below and linked on UVA’s novel coronavirus website.

    UVA EVP-COO J.J. Davis has issued an alert that an employee of the UVA Biocomplexity Institute located on the 29th floor of 1100 Wilson Boulevard in Arlington, Virginia, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

    Following are further details on each.

    Message From UVA President Jim Ryan and Provost Liz Magill

    The President and Provost’s message provides updates on: adjustments to classes, research and events; guidance for employees; and modifications to services.

    As President Ryan and Provost Magill note, these decisions were not taken lightly and are based on the swift action required to do our best to slow the progression of this virus. We must “flatten the curve” of those infected and avoid overwhelming our health system, which would ultimately risk our patients and community.

    To do this, we must make significant adjustments, including telecommuting for faculty and staff, except those who must report in person to carry out key functions. Fortunately, our telecommuting pilot at Darden started today, and we are prepared to deliver on that action.

    I am certain that upon reading the announcement, you will have many questions and will experience many emotions. Please know that you have my full commitment to help the Darden community navigate these deeply troubling times and to push through this crisis with purpose and determination.

    In the days to come, we will provide forums to discuss the announcement and answer your questions about its impact on Darden – and on you as faculty and staff. There will be a Town Hall on Thursday at noon via Zoom. You will receive an Outlook invitation tomorrow. You will hear more from the COVID-19 Working Group led by Marc Johnson (*membership below) in the days ahead on the specifics of what President Ryan’s message means for Darden operations, and we can answer more questions during the Town Hall.

    I will also forward President Ryan’s announcement to students to ensure they receive it. I will speak to the students along with the program leadership on the Full-Time and Executive MBA Town Halls already scheduled over the coming days to discuss the full transition to online classes, and we will incorporate this new information.

    UVA Emergency Management Alert

    This evening, the University confirmed a second case of COVID-19 within the UVA community. The individual who is ill is a staff member at the UVA Biocomplexity Institute located in Arlington, Virginia. The Biocomplexity Institute is on the 29th floor of 1100 Wilson Boulevard. Given the Institute’s proximity to the UVA Darden DC Metro at the Sands Family Grounds, which is on the 30th and 31st floors, we at Darden are closely monitoring the situation.

    The Virginia Department of Health is leading the effort to identify individuals who were in contact with the employee of the Biocomplexity Institute, reaching out to those individuals and arranging for their isolation. University staff are also working to support potentially impacted students, faculty and staff. In addition, the Institute is being vacated and deep-cleaned with products that kill the coronavirus in accordance with guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Out of an abundance of caution, UVA Darden DC Metro will undergo the same cleaning procedure.

    Please refer to this webpage on health precautions and resources.

    Resolute in Our Mission

    As we face the unprecedented global crisis in the ongoing spread of coronavirus, let us support each other and remain resolute in our mission.

    As we receive tonight’s news, we are preparing for the launch of fully online courses. We are recruiting the next generation of students, carrying out research, and navigating the impact of the situation on our executive education and hospitality businesses. Now more than ever, we need to work together to do the very best we can – and to lead from where we are. 

    As I wrote last week, I am inspired by what the Darden faculty and staff have done in recent weeks to rise to this occasion, showing resolve, creative thinking and above all caring. I fully believe that we will see that we can be as great in the virtual classroom as in the physical classroom. This will be one of the silver linings.

    As responsible leaders, we must do our part — our duty — to ensure that health, safety and well-being are the top priorities. Please let me know if there is anything I can personally do to help you. Thank you again for the amazing work and dedication you are showing to keep the School on course.

    *Darden COVID-19 (coronavirus) working group:
    Marc Johnson (leading the group), Dawna Clarke, Shaele Culbreath, Julie Daum, Rachel Dudzik, Eric Fletcher, Anton Korinek, Laura Martens, Joanne Meier, Marc Modica, Larry Mueller, Larry Murphy, Kristen Pappas, Tom Steenburgh, Callie Thompson, Ed Warwick, Ron Wilcox

  • 12 March: Dean Scott Beardsley Update on Message From UVA Provost Liz Magill

    Dear Darden Faculty, Staff and Students:

    This evening, UVA Provost Liz Magill wrote the UVA community to provide a few updates following President Ryan’s email from yesterday about the steps the University is taking in response to the COVID-19 threat. Her full email can be found here, I urge you to read it carefully.

    Please continue to visit the University’s novel coronavirus website, which is updated regularly and provides answers to many frequently asked questions. We at Darden have set up a coronavirus information webpage that links to the UVA site and provides Darden-specific updates.

    Please continue to take steps to ensure the safety of you, your loved ones and community. Let me know if there is anything that Darden can do to help. Please stay in touch with the Darden COVID-19 Working Group (*list below) led by Marc Johnson to share any insights or suggestions with that team.

    We will continue to keep you informed and are grateful to the Darden community for your support.

  • 12 March: Important Update Regarding UVA Darden Response to COVID-19 From Dean Scott Beardsley

    12 March

    Important Update Regarding UVA Darden Response to COVID-19

    To the Darden alumni community:

    Yesterday, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic and today Virginia Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As Darden’s global community faces this unprecedented situation, I write to share updates on the University of Virginia’s and the Darden School’s response. At this time of global uncertainty, we are thinking of our entire community and hope that you are staying well and safe. If there are ways that the Darden community can support you, please let us know.

    UVA President Jim Ryan announced yesterday that all courses will be moved online, urged students to return home and suspended major events. The University’s latest updates can be viewed on this website.

    My subsequent note, posted on the new Darden coronavirus information website, explains what the news means for Darden’s programs, people and operations. In alignment with UVA, we will move spring classes and executive education offerings (where possible) online and suspend all events involving more than 100 people, including reunion, which will be postponed to October. We expect continuity of academic operations, allowing the students to take their classes and credits as planned in Q4, albeit virtually.

    In anticipation of this moment, a Darden COVID-19 working group led by Senior Executive Director for Global Affairs and Enterprise Initiatives Marc Johnson has been contingency planning for several weeks. We are working swiftly to enact changes and innovate our operations on the Grounds in Charlottesville and at UVA Darden DC Metro in Rosslyn, Virginia. Fortunately, Darden has deep and broad experience in delivering our educational experience online through degree course content and other online courses that have successfully inspired millions of students across the globe. We will leverage those learnings, as well as the leadership of the most experienced faculty in this domain, to ensure that we deliver an exceptional online experience.

    This is a time when our community of responsible leaders can step forward. We are open to any suggestions you may have. Be well, and know that we are thinking of you and grateful for you and your support in these unprecedented times. 

  • 11 March: Spring Semester Update From Dean Scott Beardsley — Spring Classes Moving Online

    11 March

    Spring Semester Update From Darden — Spring Classes Moving Online

    I write to follow up on the note that you received earlier today from University of Virginia President Jim Ryan (linked above), which announces UVA’s plan to transition from in-person to online classes following spring break, encourages students to stay home and restricts University events larger than 100 people. This means we will not be holding classes on Darden Grounds in Charlottesville or Rosslyn for the foreseeable future, quite possibly through the end of the semester. President Ryan communicates that the University will reassess after April 5 at the earliest and periodically after that date.

    This announcement has widespread implications for the entire University. I write to explain what this news means for Darden — and for you. I recognize this news will cause disappointment. Ensuring the health, safety and well-being of our community is our top priority, and we appreciate your understanding and flexibility as we work to enact these changes. Today, the WHO declared COVID-19 as a pandemic. We will get through this, and if there is a time for us to step up as responsible leaders, it is now.

    Darden, led by its COVID-19 working group (*see members below), will make some changes to its operations starting immediately. We at Darden take great pride in our community, and here is what this means at a high level for our community. Please note that more detailed communications and instructions will be delivered over the next few days, first from the University and then from Darden. We have provided high-level details for areas and topics below and a contact. You will hear more information this week.

    • For Degree-Seeking Students:
      • Full-time MBA students: Quarter 4 classes will start online on March 23 and take place as scheduled. As President Ryan said, we encourage you to stay at home — recognizing that for most full-time MBA students, you live in Charlottesville and many of you may not be able to travel to your family home for a variety of reasons. You will hear more from Tom Steenburgh over the next week on the resources and plans to prepare you to take online classes from home starting on March 23. Tom and the Office of Student Affairs will work with the Darden Student Association and student leaders on how to move student organizations and events online when possible, and cancel other events as necessary.
        [Contact: [email protected]]
      • Executive MBA students: All upcoming classes in Rosslyn and Charlottesville will take place online during the scheduled weekends. For the Class of 2020, you will hear more soon about plans for Leadership Residency 2. Jim Detert will reach out to you with plans.
        [Contact: [email protected]]
      • MSBA students: All upcoming classes in Rosslyn will take place online. The MSBA team will reach out to you soon with plans.
        [Contact: Karen Connors at the McIntire School of Commerce]
      • Ph.D. Students: Doctoral Program Director Andy Wicks will provide any updates.
        [Contact: Andy Wicks]

    • For Faculty: If you are teaching in the next two months, the degree program leadership and Joanne Meier in instructional design will be in touch with you on preparing to teach online and the resources available to you. Tom Steenburgh will reach out on preparation and next steps.
      [Contact: Tom Steenburgh]

    • For Staff: The University remains in normal operations for staff. Please continue to report to work. If there is a change in operations, we will forward information from the University. Please direct any questions on staying home when ill, working from home or other issues to your supervisor or Darden HR.
      [Contacts in Darden HR: Georgia Meyer (School); Gayle Mapstone (Foundation)].
    • For Executive Education: Darden Executive Education will follow the University practice of restricting face-to-face classes and provide updates on our hospitality operations. Ashley Williams and Larry Murphy are communicating with program partners and open enrollment participants whether the programs will be moved online, postponed or canceled. They will also communicate with faculty involved in the programs.
      [Contacts: Ashley Williams or Larry Murphy]

    • For Major Events: All University-sponsored events that involve more than 100 people are suspended. For events less than 100 people, the University recommends alternatives to having an in-person event. Students should contact the Office of Student Affairs to determine event next steps, and Darden staff responsible for an event should contact Rachel Dudzik, who will provide additional guidance.
      [Contacts: [email protected] or Rachel Dudzik]
    • For Travel: The University travel restrictions remain in effect. See the UVA site for travel guidance.

    This is an unprecedented moment in Darden’s history, and we appreciate your understanding. Fortunately, Darden has deep and broad experience in delivering our educational experience online. Through Darden’s online, hybrid, synchronous and asynchronous courses, we have successfully inspired millions of students across the globe. We will leverage those learnings, as well as the leadership of the most experienced faculty in this domain, to ensure that we deliver an exceptional online experience.


    The faculty, leadership and technology teams have been working together on this possible scenario for weeks. For classes and designated meetings, we will use Zoom technology, which we use to teach synchronous classes across our degrees today. A simple guide to Zoom will be provided, and a tech monitor will be available for all classes.

    UVA has launched a new website where you can find the latest information about UVA’s response to the coronavirus, including official messages, operational changes, travel guidance, answers to common questions and other resources: www.virginia.edu/coronavirus

    Please visit this site frequently for updates. Other sites to reference are the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States Department of State and the Virginia Department of Health.

    Darden will launch a website with School-specific information and links to the UVA website this week. We will announce the site’s launch on The Darden Report and on our social media channels.


    At Darden, our mission is to improve the world by inspiring responsible leaders through unparalleled transformational learning experiences — whether in person or online. Our aim is to use the power of business and business collaborations to create community and solve society’s most pressing problems. We are facing a pressing problem, and I ask all of us in the community to lean on our skills as critical thinkers and problem solvers to help the School and the University achieve their aims and develop the next generation of leaders. I welcome your ideas.

    Please continue to take health precautions, and to care for yourself and each other.

    As mentioned, you will receive more information from the contacts listed above soon. Let us know how we can support you.


  • COVID-19 Working Group

    Marc Johnson

    Kush Arora
    Scott Beardsley
    Dawna Clarke
    Shaele Culbreath
    Julie Daum
    David Drab
    Rachel Dudzik
    Eric Fletcher
    Yael Gruskha-Cockayne
    Whitney Kestner
    Anton Korinek
    Dean Krehmeyer
    Jeanne Liedtka
    Laura Martens
    Joanne Meier
    Marc Modica
    Larry Mueller
    Larry Murphy
    Kristen Pappas
    Tom Steenburgh
    Callie Thompson
    Jarrod Tibbs
    Ed Warwick
    Ron Wilcox
    Ashley Williams

  • Return to Work Committee

    David Drab
    Laura Martens

    Rachel Dudzik
    Mary Margaret Frank
    Jennifer Hicks
    Anton Korinek
    Marc Modica

Darden Resources: Operations, HR and Technical Support

Resources for current students, admitted students, prospective students, faculty and staff to help navigate questions and challenges related to the School's coronavirus response. Technical support includes Zoom etiquette and best practices, audio and video tips, how to best record video with Zoom and other helpful remote technology guidelines 

Frequently Asked Questions

Quick Technology Guide

Video, Audio and Remote Tech Tips


University of Virginia Resources

Stay updated with the latest information from UVA.

UVA Coronavirus Website

University Operations Status

Health Precautions

Travel Guidance

Previous Messages Regarding Coronavirus


Government and Health Resources