University of Akron Calling for Return to Campus this Fall

Akron - In-person classes will resume at the University of Akron this fall.

The school says they've been working since April to figure out how to safely bring students back and avoid spreading COVID-19. Students will take part in face-to-face classes, but can also expect online courses, as well. The full range of student services will be offered this fall too.

School president Dr. Gary Miller put out a statement on Friday:

Dear Members of The University of Akron Community,

Since late April, Dr. Joe Urgo has led a team of more than sixty individuals from across the University in planning for various scenarios to enable us to return to campus for the fall 2020 semester. In doing so, they have incorporated advice from various health officials and other expert resources. Additionally, a group of leaders from Ohio’s public universities, including Dr. Urgo, has worked to develop protocols to guide our decisions regarding the entire range of operational aspects of the University.

The UA group examined campus operations from many different perspectives, including:

  • Classroom Scheduling and Course Delivery
  • Classroom Maintenance and Physical Space Preparation
  • Laboratory and Studio Classes
  • Student Well-Being and Support
  • International Education
  • Residence Halls and Dining
  • Campus Functioning and Safety
  • Finance
  • Health
  • Athletics and Recreation

Additional detailed planning will be necessary between now and the beginning of classes in the fall. However, I believe we are in a position to make some initial determinations that will help the entire campus community – especially students – with their own planning and decisions.

The University of Akron will welcome students to return to campus in the fall of 2020, unless circumstances change significantly, and under the conditions listed below.

The following principles and practices will guide our campus activities:

  • The safety of students, faculty, contract professionals and staff is our most important goal.
  • Currently existing physical distancing rules and personal protection strategies will apply to all campus activities, including in the classroom.
  • Residence halls will be open and operate within physical distancing guidelines.
  • Face-to-face instruction will occur, and students should expect a mix of face-to-face, hybrid, and online classes. Many courses will be offered through dual delivery, which will give students the option to take the class in person or online.
  • High levels of personal health monitoring, consideration of others and adherence to regulations will be expected of everyone.
  • Staffing in University offices will be kept at minimum levels, where possible, while continuing to meet the needs of those we serve.
  • The full range of student services will be offered.
  • To the extent possible, the classroom schedules now in place for returning students will be retained. 

There are still many unknowns. For example, it is not yet clear how high-density activities – such as marching band, athletics, intramurals, etc. – will be managed. We are continuing to review those areas of university life.

I want to thank everyone for their dedication and efforts as we seek to establish the best ways we can operate in our changed world. We encourage students to make plans to join us this fall and be part of the great adventure we have before us.

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