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US Colleges to Answer How They Will Conduct Fall Reopening between Mid-May and late June

The shape of what the fall semester in August will look like is still coming into focus, but most US colleges are planning for in-person classes.
BY BrainGain Magazine Staff Writer |   08-05-2020

BrainGain Magazine
New York University is proceeding on the basis that it will resume in-person classes in the fall,
but more detailed answers will come between mid-May and early June.

As US college students come to the end of the most unusual Spring semester in higher education, the Fall semester in August — for some students their first in college — is very much on everyone’s minds.

The coronavirus pandemic has left university presidents facing difficult decisions about when to reopen campuses and how to go about it. Most US colleges are working to put in place the measures necessary to protect student, faculty, and employees as they resume in-person classes on campus; reopen their student residence halls and ramp-up those parts of their research program that were closed due to COVID-19.

“There is a great deal at stake, and so, when we commit to a plan, we want to be sure it has been fully vetted and evaluated and takes advantage of the latest and best information available,” New York University President Andrew Hamilton wrote in a letter to parents seen by Braingain Magazine.

“We expect to be able to provide more detailed answers on how we will conduct the fall re-opening sometime between mid-May and early June,” he added.

Hamilton revealed that NYU’s planning groups have been focusing on the fall semester and identifying “key components” of effectively combating the spread of the coronavirus — protective equipment, testing, contact tracing, social distancing, housing for the ill, or those who must quarantine — and applying them to various scenarios for reopening the pillars of campus life like the classrooms, the labs, the housing system, the performing arts spaces, and the libraries.

New York University is among a slew of US universities gearing up for the fall semester. Brown University, a private Ivy League research university in Providence, Rhode Island is clearly leaning toward in-person classes. Brown’s President Christina Hull Paxson wrote an op-ed in “The New York Times” that called the reopening of US college campuses a "national priority." Paxon proposed “strict virus testing and tracing protocols” to ensure safety on campus.

Similarly, Bryant University, Boston University, Albany College, Colorado State University, Indiana University, Drexel University, Florida State University, Haverford College, Illinois State University and a plenty of others intend to resume face-to-face classes in August.

“Currently the vast majority say they are planning for an in-person fall semester,” reported “The Chronicle of Higher Education.”

Harvard University said the “campus will be open,” but the provost told “The Chronicle” that it will need to prepare for a “scenario in which much or all learning will be conducted remotely.”

Meanwhile, George Washington University said it will provide “a more detailed communication” about its plans for operation by May 15, while Ohio State University is leaning toward in-person classes, with a final decision by late June. Concurrently, Huntingdon said it plans to start the fall semester in person on August 10.



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