About Darden — Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Coronavirus FAQ

The spread of the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, has resulted in sweeping changes to Darden School of Business operations. This webpage provides answers to frequently asked questions regarding operations changes, plans and resources from the University of Virginia and Darden. 

You can review frequently asked questions for Darden Operations, Current Students, Prospective and Admitted Students, or Faculty and Staff.

General Information

  • How are Darden and the University of Virginia keeping students, parents, faculty and staff informed?

    Darden is communicating regularly with our community through email, alerts and this website. For University updates, please continue to monitor all communications on UVA’s coronavirus website.

    The University also maintains a detailed Coronavirus FAQ webpage with information on a broad array of topics, also broken down by FAQs for current graduate students, faculty and staff, and managers and supervisors.

    Please direct specific questions NOT addressed through these resources as follows:

    • Staff: refer specific questions to your immediate manager or supervisor.
    • Faculty: refer questions to program or faculty leadership.
    • Students:
      • If you need medical attention, contact UVA Student Health at +1-434-982-3915 or +1-434-297-4261 after hours.
      • For housing-related questions, student groups or general safety, contact a member of Darden’s Office of Student Affairs or UVA’s Office of the Dean of Students at +1-434-924-7133.
      • For issues related to advising, credits or course registration, contact the relevant dean for your program or Darden Registrar Terri Smith.
      • Questions about accommodations because of physical or mental disabilities would go to SDAC in Student Health at +1-434-342-5188.
  • Who can return to Darden Grounds while operations are impacted by the coronavirus?

    Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has issued a stay-at-home order, effective until 10 June. All employees — including faculty and staff — who are not already identified as essential to continuity of operations should no longer come to the Darden Grounds in Charlottesville or Arlington, Virginia. Students should not to come to Grounds. If you are a member of faculty or staff and believe you have an essential reason to access Grounds before 10 June, please reach out to your manager first; requests must be approved by the Dean’s Office.

    On 28 May, the University of Virginia provided an update announcing plans for in-person classes to begin in August to start the 2020-21 academic year. The University committed to provide a more extensive plan for the fall semester by mid-June. Details on when students will be permitted to return to Grounds for the fall semester are not yet available. 
  • The UVA administration has mentioned difficult financial decisions to come. What would these entail?

    Organizations of all sizes are grappling with the economic impact of this unfolding pandemic. One of the largest considerations for UVA is ongoing impacts on University operations in the next academic year. If the University and its schools are not able to operate as planned going forward, this could have significant financial implications. UVA is monitoring this closely and will continue to do so over the coming weeks and months.

    For more information on UVA’s positions on ensuring compensation and benefits, implications for contract employees and implications for student employees, visit the UVA coronavirus FAQ webpage.

    On 14 April, UVA President Jim Ryan provided a financial update to the University community announcing several belt-tightening initiatives. Darden leadership continues to work with the University to determine how the decisions apply to and impact the School. Darden leadership will share updates as they become available. The latest information is as follows:

    • 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.
    • Darden will adhere to the three guiding principles outlined in the president's 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, Darden will look to creatively deploy the talents of staff who may, because of business disruption, have time to give to other projects. The Dean’s Office and HR will work with managers to redeploy talent as required through this crisis.   
    • As per the announcement, Darden remains committed to avoiding furloughs or layoffs for as long as possible and using them only if absolutely necessary.
    • The Darden Finance team is working with budget managers to identify nonessential 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. 
  • Will Darden notify the community when there are confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the community?

    The University is not reporting on new cases within the community going forward. Given patient privacy laws, the decision to communicate a COVID-19 diagnosis to members of the community is a personal choice.

     
  • Will mail delivery continue to Darden?

    University Mail Services has confirmed that they will continue mail delivery for the foreseeable future. For Darden, we have modified our procedures as follows:

    • All Darden mail will be held securely at the University Mail Services facility (rather than delivered daily due to the buildings being closed).
    • On Wednesday of each week, David Davis will retrieve all of Darden’s weekly mail from the University Mail Services facility, and deliver essential mail at Darden, specifically for the Gatehouse, Foundation Finance and Foundation Advancement. Nonessential mail will be held and not delivered at this time.
    • UPS/FedEx deliveries will continue to be received. Each Wednesday, any essential FedEx / UPS packages received (such as technology arriving to support online learning) will be picked up and delivered. Nonessential packages will be held.
    • If you are expecting urgent mail or packages, please email [email protected], or call David at +1-434-981-5659 for special requests.
  • How can I ask Darden leadership a question that is not answered in this FAQ?

    If questions or comments come up, faculty and staff can share them through this form. Questions will be addressed as they arise during regular, ongoing town halls for the Darden community. Students should contact a member of the Office of Student Affairs with questions.

Events

  • All in-person events on Darden Grounds in Charlottesville and Arlington, Virginia, are canceled, no matter the size, through 30 June.

    All in-person events are canceled, postponed or moved online for the spring 2020 semester and summer. These restrictions include events that are not University-sponsored but are planned to occur on Grounds, including conferences, symposia and social gatherings.

  • Will Darden Executive Education programs be canceled or postponed?

    Darden Executive Education is suspending in-person custom and open-enrollment programs through mid-June. It is working with the UVA Provost’s Office to move forward with in-person programs starting late June and will update clients as soon as more information is available. If you are registered for one of the affected open-enrollment programs, your Lifelong Learning associate will be in contact to provide more information on the status and options for your specific program. Beyond 30 June, Executive Education will make final decisions on upcoming in-person programs at least two weeks prior to each program’s start date. At that time, Executive Education will reach out to you to confirm the program details, or to let you know if the in-person program will be canceled, rescheduled or moved online.

    Read the Darden Executive Education FAQ for additional information.

  • UVA Final Exercises and Darden graduation for the Class of 2020 will take place virtually on 16 May, with in-person events scheduled for a later date.

    The University has made the difficult decision that Final Exercises will not take place as planned. It held a virtual ceremony to confer degrees 16 May. Darden also held a virtual graduation ceremony on 16 May.

    UVA will hold Final Exercises on the Lawn either this fall or next spring, depending on the state of the spread of the novel coronavirus. The University is holding the weekend of 9-11 October. However, because the University does not yet know whether it will be safe to have a large gathering in October, it is also holding 28-30 May 2021 as a backup date.

    Given the continued uncertainty about COVID-19, the University recommends against making travel plans for October until more is known about the risk of large gatherings. UVA will follow up with more definite information in June.

    Visit the Darden graduation webpage for the latest updates.

  • The 2020 Darden Reunion Weekend is rescheduled for 23-25 April 2021

    Visit the Darden Reunion Weekend webpage and read the reunion FAQ for additional updates and information. 


Academic Programming & Support

  • When will in-person classes begin again?

    All classes will remain online through the end of the spring semester and, for the Executive MBA and Master of Science in business analytics, through 30 June. By 1 June, the University will make a decision about scheduled in-person sessions for the Executive MBA, Master of Science in business analytics. Decisions regarding Darden Executive Education will be made after 1 July. 

    On 28 May, the University of Virginia provided an update announcing plans for in-person classes to begin in August to start the 2020-21 academic year. The update includes information on plans to start the academic year as planned, conclude in-person classes by Thanksgiving, provide both in-person and online class options, and provide additional flexibility for students throughout the year. The University committed to provide a more extensive plan for the fall semester by mid-June. Details on when students will be permitted to return to Grounds for the fall semester are not yet available. 

    We will communicate updated University plans and plans specific to Darden to returning students as decisions are made on the available options.

     
  • Can I use the Darden Grounds for meetings or to study?

    No, not currently. Students are encouraged to practice social distancing measures in their homes. For students residing in Virginia, they are encouraged to follow the guidelines of the stay-at-home order issued by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, effective until 10 June. 

     
  • Where can I find information about technology to learn remotely?
    • Visit Darden’s Technical Support for Remote Learning and Work website, which includes Zoom best practices such as video and audio tips and general etiquette.
    • Increased use of Zoom creates new security threats to your computer and Darden. All faculty, staff and students are asked to authenticate to https://Darden-Virginia.zoom.us before class or meetings. Authentication will provide access to Darden’s Pro version of Zoom. In addition, the Darden community should stay up-to-date with the latest software updates from Zoom. Due to the severity of Zoom security risks, you should verify that you are running the latest version of Zoom and download any missing updates manually. Click here to learn how to check what version of Zoom you have and how to initiate the update process manually.
    • For technology assistance, contact the Darden Help Desk team.
    • If you would like technical support for a virtual event or meeting, please reach out to the IT team ([email protected] or at +1-434-924-3276), Joanne Meier or Jarrod Tibbs. They can point you to resources that you can use to meet your needs.
     
  • Will Darden refund a portion of my tuition and fees?

    No, students will continue in their classes and earn full credit for Quarter 4 work. Tuition and fees will continue to pay for the faculty’s delivery of instruction, as well as all the associated costs with educational delivery.

     
  • I am worried about my internship/job offer. How can the Darden Career Center support me?

    The Darden Career Center continues to provide career coaching and other services and resources virtually, and the team welcomes all feedback and ideas. It is staying in close contact with recruiters and students to understand the evolving job market landscape and will provide updates to students directly.

    For more information on the resources available to students while learning remotely, read the Career Center FAQ on virtual support.

     
  • What will happen to Darden Worldwide courses and other global academic experiences?

    All travel for global academic experiences is canceled for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year.

    Moving forward, the Darden School continues to firmly believe in the transformational experiences that global academic opportunities provide students. The School also places a priority on the health and well-being of students. Darden is committed to continue offering global learning opportunities, as long as there are no perceived significant health or safety risks in the locations planned for students to visit. Over the next few months, Darden will continue monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation around the world and how this pandemic is impacting each country’s entry/exit requirements, travel restrictions and openness to foreign visitors.  

    If the COVID-19 situation abates and if it is deemed safe for students to travel internationally in the 2020-21 academic year, the School plans to offer a robust portfolio of Darden Worldwide courses in May 2021 for First Year students. Similarly, a wide variety of Darden Worldwide courses, running in January and March 2021, plus Global Consulting Projects and exchange programs will be available to Second Year students. Global residencies for the Executive MBA classes will be offered in October, January and February. The School’s goal of every student having at least one global experience by graduation remains.

     
  • I have an event planned on Grounds that needs to be canceled due to the University’s guidance and response to the coronavirus. Will I be reimbursed?

    In certain instances, these expenses will be reimbursable. Contact Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Sarah Elliott for more information.

     

Housing & Accommodations

  • I have returned to a family home or permanent residence outside Charlottesville. Will Darden or the University help me with my rent for off-Grounds housing in Charlottesville?

    The University is able to offer pro-rated refunds for on-Grounds housing and UVA Dining plans because of the contractual agreements in place with students who use these services. Given that students living off-Grounds have financial contracts with their landlords, the University and Darden do not have the same ability to help as with on-Grounds students. The University recommends contacting Student Legal Services as a potential resource to assist you, and the Financial Assistance section of the UVA Housing coronavirus information website includes additional information on potential sources of aid.

  • How is Darden helping students with housing to start the 2020-21 academic year?

    Although many admitted students have secured housing in Charlottesville already, Darden has established an administrative team to work with students on housing needs and is already communicating with property owners to advocate for increased flexibility to help prevent any financial duress.

    On 28 May, the University of Virginia provided an update announcing plans for in-person classes to begin in August to start the 2020-21 academic year. The update includes information on plans to start the academic year as planned, conclude in-person classes by Thanksgiving, provide both in-person and online class options, and provide additional flexibility for students throughout the year. The University committed to provide a more extensive plan for the fall semester by mid-June. 

  • I am a student with a disability. Where do I go to learn more about accommodations now that we are moving to online classes?

    To inquire about accommodations, students should contact the Student Disability Access Center (SDAC). Current SDAC students with questions about their accommodation should contact their SDAC Advisor directly or email [email protected]. To apply for services or learn more about SDAC, visit the SDAC website.

  • Will the University refund payments for parking or other fees?

    The University will issue pro-rated refunds for on-Grounds housing and dining plans in spring 2020. It will not refund other fees as a result of changes in operations due to COVID-19. These fees cover fixed costs of these operations and enable the University to continue to pay its employees. More information on UVA refunds and reimbursements is available on the University’s coronavirus FAQ webpage.

    IM-Rec is currently extending memberships up to two months to account for the closures to the recreational facilities. These extensions will be added to the end of all active memberships at this time at no additional membership cost. All individuals who purchased a Group Exercise pass will be receiving partial refunds for the amount of time that they were unable to utilize the passes. These refunds have been added to IM-Rec accounts for use toward a Group Exercise pass in the future.

  • What support will Darden provide to safeguard the student experience to start the academic year in fall 2020?

    Darden School leadership is considering the potential impact of the ongoing crisis and virtual delivery on other key components of the Darden experience, including career advancement, financial aid, housing and meals.

    Career — The industry experts at the Darden Career Center are well-versed in navigating uncertain terrain and will begin working immediately with all incoming students of the Class of 2022, providing early preparation for recruiting success through a powerful tool called CDWhy.

    Financial Aid — The financial aid team will continue to work with Class of 2022 students to meet the full cost of attendance to Darden through scholarships and loans. The School is also deploying additional need-based aid through a hardship fund given the challenges many are facing, as well as new scholarship resources.

    Housing — Although many admitted students have secured housing in Charlottesville already, Darden has established an administrative team to work with students on housing needs and is already communicating with property owners to advocate for increased flexibility to help prevent any financial duress.

    Meals — To build community and help offset the cost of meals when students arrive on Grounds, a new student experience fund will provide lunch each day of class for all First-Year students throughout the core curriculum. Second Year students will also receive this new meal plan, allowing the classes to come together over meals in a refreshed and renovated Darden meal facility, due to be upgraded this summer.


  • Are there new deadlines or flexibility to apply to Darden’s degree programs?

    Darden has announced increased flexibility, including rolling admissions through 15 July, for Round 3 applicants to the full-time MBA. Read the School’s press release for more information on application deadlines for each program and additional flexibility or visit the Discover Darden blog.

  • Darden is offering flexibility, options and support to the full-time MBA Class of 2022 to start the school year due to global uncertainty.

    The Darden School plans to begin full-time MBA classes in August as planned, and is ready for classes to take place in person, pending a final decision by University of Virginia leadership on how the University will treat the fall semester.

    On 28 May, the University of Virginia provided an update announcing plans for in-person classes to begin in August to start the 2020-21 academic year. The update includes information on plans to start the academic year as planned, conclude in-person classes by Thanksgiving, provide both in-person and online class options, and provide additional flexibility for students throughout the year. The University committed to provide a more extensive plan for the fall semester by mid-June. Details on when students will be permitted to return to Grounds for the fall semester are not yet available. 

    Recognizing that some students may not be able to start in August because of the ongoing global pandemic, the School will also offer a delayed start option for a limited portion of the incoming Class of 2022. This group will start First Year core classes in January 2021, but will begin other Darden activities such as career support ahead of their arrival. Those with a January start will take First Year classes into summer 2021, before completing an abbreviated summer internship or field project.

    The delayed start option is intended for students who need additional time before they are able to fully join the Class of 2022. Many international students may not be able to secure a visa by August, for instance, and others may need additional time due to altered professional or personal circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Admitted students interested in the delayed start will be considered and selected after committing to Darden through the next deposit deadline, which has been extended to 1 May, and then submitting a short explanation, due by 1 June, for why they would like to be considered for a January start. Students who apply after 1 June and are interested in the January start should contact the Admissions team to discuss options.

    Read the School’s press release for more information on the options, flexibility and support for the start of the school year.

  • Can I visit or tour Darden Grounds?

    All in-person visits and information sessions are canceled until further notice. Prospective students can connect in a number of ways, including scheduling a 1:1 virtual chat with a member of the Admissions team. Please monitor communications from this website for updates. Prospective students should visit the Discover Darden blog and admitted students should visit the Admitted Student blog for ways to stay connected and engage with Darden until in-person visit restrictions are lifted.

     
  • What will happen to Darden Worldwide courses and other global academic experiences?

    The Darden School continues to firmly believe in the transformational experiences that global academic opportunities provide students. The School also places a priority on the health and well-being of students. Darden is committed to continue offering global learning opportunities, as long as there are no perceived significant health or safety risks in the locations planned for students to visit. Over the next few months, Darden will continue monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation around the world and how this pandemic is impacting each country’s entry/exit requirements, travel restrictions and openness to foreign visitors.  

    If the COVID-19 situation abates and if it is deemed safe for students to travel internationally in the 2020-21 academic year, the School plans to offer a robust portfolio of Darden Worldwide courses in May 2021 for First Year students. Similarly, a wide variety of Darden Worldwide courses, running in January and March 2021, plus Global Consulting Projects and exchange programs will be available to Second Year students. Global residencies for the Executive MBA classes will be offered in October, January and February. The School’s goal of every student having at least one global experience by graduation remains.


Working Remotely

HR & Benefits

Academic Operations

  • How can I support students I work with on an individual basis?

    While UVA and Darden are not prohibiting one-on-one meetings at this time, the University encourages faculty members to convert meetings with students to phone calls, Zoom or Skype meetings, and email. This is in line with the social distancing measures recommended to keep the local community healthy. For assistance, visit UVA's Teaching Continuity webpage or reach out to your dean’s office.

  • Do I still need to hold office hours?

    Yes. Please hold virtual office hours. Potential virtual options include: email, chat functions and phone calls. See the Teaching Continuity webpage for more information.

  • How are Darden and the University ensuring research continuity?

    Faculty, staff and postdocs engaged in research are permitted to continue that research, and should make arrangements with investigators for how best to proceed. We do not know how disruptive this virus will be and encourage anyone conducting research to begin planning for what to do if that research gets disrupted. We have created a research continuity website with information on how services might be affected and recommendations for how to plan.

    For additional questions about research, visit the Research section of the University coronavirus FAQ webpage.

  • As a junior faculty member, some of my primary research activities have been or will be hampered by the coronavirus. Can I request an extension to my tenure clock?

    Faculty are encouraged to discuss with their department chairs and deans whether their research has been sufficiently disrupted by the virus to warrant a “clock stoppage.” As per current practice, the University will approve a tenure clock extension requested by a faculty member and approved by their dean if the circumstances are beyond the faculty member’s control and the disruption caused a significant delay (more than half a year, for example) or detriment to research productivity.

    UVA recommends faculty members wait until the full effect of the virus can be quantified before seeking a tenure clock extension.