Health and safety of University community remains OHIO’s top priority
After a historic spring semester, Ohio University is making plans to reopen campus for the fall 2020 semester.
“With the health and safety of our University community at the top of our minds, we are planning for our new normal,” President M. Duane Nellis said. “It is our hope and intention that we will return to in-person instruction in the fall if it is safe for us to do so.”
Under guidance from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and public health officials, members of the University community are discussing several scenarios to safely reopen on-campus operations. Further, OHIO is collaborating with our peer institutions across the state to help guide decision making as the impact of the pandemic continues to unfold in Athens, in Ohio, and beyond.
The University has developed working groups across its shared governance structure to assist with collaborative planning for fall semester. This includes a public health group focused on testing and quarantine needs and coordinating with local public health officials, a group focused on personal protective equipment supplies and procurement, a group focused on bringing employees back safely, an academic scenario planning group, a student experiences group, an academic policy group, and a group focused on research and lab spaces. Plans from each are being brought to a coordinating council to make recommendations to the President by the end of June.
As information about the virus continues to evolve, OHIO will adjust as necessary. The University recognizes the need to be prepared to respond to changes in the trajectory of the virus and decisions made by the state to protect the health and safety of our campus communities.
Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth Sayrs said, “Should it be necessary or required to start the fall semester remotely, we will be prepared with a full array of courses using innovative modalities. Our outstanding faculty are already working with the Office of Instructional Innovation and University Libraries to draw on the University’s longstanding strength in distance education.”
Additional information and updates will be posted online at www.ohio.edu/coronavirus/fall-planning.
(Originally posted at https://www.ohio.edu/news/2020/05/ohio-university-prepares-open-campuses-fall.)