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USC Salkehatchie Return to Campus Information and Resources

The USC Salkehatchie needs your support to keep our community safe as we return to campus. Learn about how the university is changing to mitigate the effects of the pandemic and what you can do to help. We'll continue to update this information as changes occur.

USC Salkehatchie Campus Status

Campus Access

USC Salkehatchie is currently operating in Phase 4 of  a four phase reopening process.  This means that

  • The campus is open  with new social distancing and face covering protocols in force throughout the fall semester.
  • Student Services will be open on both campuses 8:30-5:00 each day with a rotating schedule of employees. Appointments are not required, but strongly encouraged.
  • Many employees will continue to work remotely.  Faculty and staff must receive a “Return to Work” letter from Human Resources before returning to campus. If you have not received yours yet, contact your supervisor.
  • Each employee must continue to fill out a Daily Health Screening form prior to coming to campus and submit it to their supervisor until further notice. 


  • In person classes and online classes begin August 20.   
  • The Fall 2020 academic calendar will include two changes: first, there will be no Fall Break and second, we will conclude face-to-face instruction at Thanksgiving Break.

Messages to our Community, Students, Faculty and Staff 


Next week we begin our final phase of our campus reopening plan. 

 Beginning August 3rd, both campuses will be open to students and visitors. As we take this next step toward beginning fall classes on August 20, it is important to remember some key points: 

  • Although campus will be open starting next week, this does not mean you should report to campus. Many employees will continue to work remotely. If you are unsure of your work schedule or when you should return to campus, contact your supervisor. 
  • Student Services will be open on both campuses 8:30-5:00 each day, with a rotating schedule of employees.
  • For both faculty and staff, you must receive a “Return to Work” letter from Human Resources before returning to campus. If you have not received yours yet, contact your supervisor. 
  • Face coverings will be required to be worn on campus while inside any campus building. 
  • Face coverings may be removed while alone in your own office, but should be put back on if someone visits.
  • Each employee must continue to fill out a Daily Health Screening form prior to coming to campus and submit it to their supervisor until further notice. 
  • The Return to the Workplace page provides more information for employees and supervisors. 
  • Continue to monitor both the USC Salkehatchie Campus Reopening page and the USC Columbia Covid-19 page for additional updates. 


Some other important upcoming events:  

  • A USC Salkehatchie Virtual Town Hall meeting will be held this Friday, August 7, at 1:00 pm. Look for more information in a subsequent email and on our website. The meeting will be for all members of the Salk community--faculty, staff, and students--to provide additional information on the upcoming fall semester and to answer any questions.  
  • The first administratively-called Faculty Organization Meeting will be Tuesday, August 18, 10:00 am - 11:30 am. The meeting will be conducted virtually. Look for an email and invitation to join the meeting soon.   
  • Other standing fall meetings (Staff Meeting, Administrative Council, e.g.) will be scheduled in the near future. Most fall meetings will be held virtually this semester.

Finally, as we continue to take all the steps to ensure that we are able to return safely for the fall semester, please know that we continue to monitor the public health situation in our communities. I feel very confident that we have prepared a solid plan for a safe return to campus, if everyone will do their part. For that, I encourage and invite everyone to take the Salkehatchie Pledge! Look for an announcement about the pledge when we post it on the website. 


Here are a few updates as we near the end of July and continue to prepare for the fall semester:


  • Final phase of our reopening begins August 3. During this phase, campus will be open to students, parents, and other visitors. Before returning to work, all faculty and staff who have not yet received a “Return to Work” letter from Lisa will need to talk to your supervisor about getting one. 


  • While campus will be open beginning August 3, it will be far from “business as usual.” Face coverings will be required, and social distancing efforts will be in place, among other things. Many will continue to work from home as much as possible and work staggered schedules throughout the fall semester to keep our campus population density as low as possible at all times. Please refer to our “Risk Mitigation Plan” for more details.


  • Next week we will distribute the “Salkehatchie Pledge” to students and begin promoting it. We will also be providing additional guidance to faculty and staff about student conduct expectations and classroom management procedures in the current environment for the fall. 


  • We will continue to monitor the situation and the rate of spread of Covid-19 in our region and throughout the state. The recent sharp rise of cases throughout our state and local region over the past month has been very concerning. It appears now that the spread rate is slowing--which could be a result of the recent emphasis on wearing face coverings. This is welcome news, but we will remain vigilant in keeping watch. 


  • I am confident in our plan and in our preparation for the fall semester; however, we have to remain flexible. Our Reopening Task Force has been hard at work to prepare campus for reopening and to begin classroom-based instruction. As we proceed we may have to make adjustments, depending on changing conditions in our communities. 


I know that the current situation is unsettling and stressful, and I know it is difficult to prepare for the fall semester while it seems that conditions on the ground are constantly changing. I also know how difficult it has been to work from home for everyone and that we are all ready for things to return to normal. 


However, as we now begin shifting from planning our plan to implementing it, everyone’s efforts and diligence are key to making it work. When we return, I believe our campuses will be among the safest public places to be within our communities, but your role will be essential in making that happen. 


As always, feel free to reach out to me with questions or ideas. Please know that your hard work and dedication are much very appreciated!



Walterboro, S.C. – July 8, 2020 – USC Salkehatchie will reopen for in-person classes on the Allendale and Walterboro campuses on August 20, 2020. In order to safely welcome students back, school leaders have reimagined life on its campuses for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Face coverings will be required on-campus and social distancing will be implemented in classrooms and other campus settings among members of the campus community. Additional online options are also available for students.

“Taking all necessary safety precautions, we are pleased to be able to offer face-to-face instruction to our on-campus students and dual enrollment high school students in the Fall 2020 semester,” said USC Salkehatchie Campus Dean Chris Nesmith. “Working closely with the University of South Carolina system we have worked through solutions to the challenges the pandemic has brought, and we remain committed to providing an excellent academic and student experience in a safe and healthy environment. Our campuses are a vital resource to our students and the communities in which we serve, and we are glad to reopen our doors as public health and safety guidelines permit.”

The semester will be offered in an accelerated format, with in-person instruction ending on Nov. 24. In addition, classes will be held on many traditional holidays and breaks to allow for the semester to end earlier than usual. Classes will be held remotely on Labor Day (Sept. 7), General Election Day (Nov. 3), Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. Fall break will also be cancelled with face-to-face instruction being held on Oct. 15-16. This schedule also aligns with that of University of South Carolina’s institution in Columbia.

Dean Nesmith, USC Salkehatchie campus stakeholders as well as leaders from other regional Palmetto College campuses within the University of South Carolina System have coordinated to plan for a safe reopening of campuses in the fall. Their resulting efforts produced the USC Palmetto College Campuses Reopening and Risk Mitigation Plan to guide the reopening and identify resources for the campus communities. The full plan can be read on the USC Salkehatchie website at

“Our first and foremost priority is the health, safety, and well-being of our students, faculty and staff,” said USC Palmetto College Chancellor Susan Elkins. “The plan will continue to evolve as the public health environment changes. “

For more information, contact Jane Brewer at

Next week we will begin Phase III (July 14-Aug. 3) of our phased plan to reopen campus. Additional faculty and staff will be permitted to return to their offices during this phase. However the same approval and protocols for coming on campus will remain in place:  you must receive approval from your supervisor and a Return to Work letter from HR, and continue to submit a Daily Health Screening form every time you come to campus. 

During this phase campus will remain closed to outside visitors. However, we will begin allowing students and other visitors to come on campus to meet with student support staff by appointment only. All visitors will be required to complete a Visitor Health Screening form prior to coming on campus, and will be required to wear a face covering while inside a campus building at all times. 

 Last week you received a copy of our Risk Mitigation Plan from Dr. Elkins. We have sent a press release to our local papers with information about the plan. It is also posted on our website. 

The Salk Reopening Task Force continues to make good progress on carrying out this plan. I will share a few items of our recent progress:


  • All buildings on both campuses--including classrooms, offices, bathrooms and common areas--were cleaned and sanitized throughout by a private contractor, Commercial Cleaning Service, on July 8th and 9th. 
  • A locksmith has changed all of the exterior door locks on both campuses.  New keys will be issued to buildings in Allendale by Brenda Hightower and in Walterboro by Jane Brewer. See them to receive your key(s) once you return to campus.
  • Maintenance, custodial, and safety staff attended training on APPA Level 2 cleaning standards provided by USC Environmental Health and Safety.
  • Most computer stations in labs, classrooms, tutoring labs, and libraries have been reconfigured to allow for social distancing. The remaining areas will be completed within the next two weeks.
  • IT will begin installing web cams and document cams in each classroom. 
  • Classrooms have been reconfigured or rearranged to allow for six feet between all students and the instructor. 
  • Classroom assignments may be shifting, and Dr. Love will be working with any affected faculty. We plan to have classroom assignments finalized by July 31. 
  • We are developing a “Salk Pledge” that students will be asked to sign as the semester begins, promising to abide by safe protocols and practices to help mitigate the spread of Covid-19, both on and off campus
  • When you return to campus you may notice some door knobs are marked with blue tape to indicate the room has been configured for social distancing requirements. Please do not move classroom or office furniture in these rooms. 
  • Next week several members of the task force will conduct a walk-through of both campuses to review the work that has been done to date, and to identify any areas that need additional work or attention.


I am appreciative of the hard work of the campus task force and the working groups so far in preparing campus for reopening in our next phase, beginning August 4. I am confident that we have a good plan and that we will be ready for the fall semester. 


We all hope that the trend of rising cases in our region will begin turning in the opposite direction soon. That can only happen if everyone does their part. Thank you for all that you are doing to keep yourself and others safe. 

As we continue our work on preparing campus for this fall, I wanted to provide you with a few updates. Last week President Caslen announced plans for reopening USC Columbia. As you know, our Salkehatchie task force, along with its various working groups across campus, has been at work on our plan that is specific to our campus, in conjunction with the other Palmetto College campuses. While this plan has many elements in common with the Columbia campus plan, there are also important differences--primarily because Columbia is a residential campus, and we are not. 


Next week I anticipate the release of our comprehensive plan, which I will share with you, and which likely will be accompanied by a press release for our local newspapers and media outlets summarizing the important points. In the meantime, I wanted to clarify some differences in our plan (as well as some items in common) with what USC Columbia is doing. 


  1. Testing will NOT be required for employees or students returning to campus at USC Salkehatchie, nor at any of the other USC system campuses besides Columbia. Instead, we will follow guidelines set by the CDC and SC DHEC on how we will screen students and employees for symptoms, and where and when testing will be encouraged or required. More details on testing options are in the forthcoming plan. 
  2. Face coverings will be required in classrooms by students and instructors. Face coverings will be required in all campus buildings by students at all times, and by employees when they are not in their own office. Washable cloth face coverings will be provided to all students and employees. Clear plastic face shields will be provided to instructors teaching live classes. 
  3. Classrooms are being configured to allow for six-foot spacing between all desks and the instructor. Most classrooms will be at 30%-50% of their usual capacity. All classrooms are being outfitted with web cameras to record lectures for those who may become ill and need to stay at home, and to make remote attendance possible. 
  4. In addition to moving large classes into larger classroom space, some classes may also be required to use a “hybrid” model of half-live and half-online instruction, while other faculty may choose to teach additional classes fully online this fall. Dr. Love is working with the faculty Academic Advisory committee on this plan and with each instructor on their options.
  5. Student lounges and common areas will be closed. Pedestrian traffic patterns within buildings will be configured to maintain social distancing. Additional protections will be installed for employees who engage with students or with the public.
  6. We have educational videos for students that are being shared during orientation, and are developing more for our website and to send out via our texting platform and through social media to all students soon. The videos are designed to educate students on the importance of safe protocols when they return to campus, and that personal responsibility to care for themselves and each other is key to maintaining a healthy campus.
  7. We have engaged a contractor to perform a thorough deep-cleaning of all buildings, offices, and classrooms before the end of the current phase of our reopening plan. We have hired additional custodial staff and intend to maintain a rigorous cleaning schedule throughout the fall and as long as necessary afterwards. Each department will be provided a kit of cleaning supplies to distribute among employees for use in their offices. Additional hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout campus buildings. All classrooms will be supplied with additional cleaning and sanitizing items, and students will be asked to use them to wipe down desks at the beginning and/or end of each class.  

There are many more points and details in our comprehensive plan, but I wanted to provide you with some highlights for now. I understand everyone is interested in getting as much information as possible, and I will share it as it becomes available. However it is important to keep in mind that this is a dynamic environment, and decisions we make now about the fall may require further adjustments in the future as circumstances change.

I hope everyone remains healthy and safe as we look forward to celebrating July 4th next weekend! 



USC Salkehatchie has launched a Campus Reopening Task Force to develop protocols and procedures necessary to safely open its campus to faculty, staff, and students. 

“The safety and health of our campus community is our utmost concern and responsibility and will guide all our decisions as we move forward,” Dean Chris Nesmith said.  “Numerous details need to be addressed. As with everything related to this current health crisis, much will depend on developing conditions. We are all hopeful the spread of COVID-19 will diminish, and conditions will improve. However, we are planning for the opposite and will continue to make all preparations to provide as safe a working and learning environment as possible this fall.”

 USC Salkehatchie is working in concert with the university, multiple government agencies, and public health experts to determine best practices for the safest and most effective route forward. The task force will develop criteria and ensure these criteria are all met before students, faculty and staff  return to campus. 

 USC Salkehatchie’s planned reopening will take place in 4 phases:

 Phase 1:  June 1 - June 21

  • Campus will remain closed with admission and financial aid staff available remotely.
  • ONLY essential staff will be allowed on campus--facilities and maintenance, etc.
  • Non-essential employees will continue to work remotely.

 Phase II: June 22 - July 13

  • Most employees will continue to work remotely, if feasible. 
  • The campus will likely remain closed to visitors. 

  Phase III: July 14 - Aug. 3

  • More staff and administration may be brought back to campus as needed with safety and health being the primary considerations. 
  • Campus possibly open to students and visitors with protocols in place. 

 Phase IV:  Aug. 4

  • Campus reopens with new social distancing protocols in force throughout the fall semester. 

Although the USC Salkehatchie campus is currently closed, admissions and financial aid staff are available by email Monday through Friday to assist students who need to enroll or complete financial aid requirements.  Summer classes are currently available for students to take online.  Information and resources can be found

You can email them at the email addresses below:

Financial Aid: