Universities plan for return to classrooms in fall


University leaders are looking ahead

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — On Monday, two Oregon universities announced plans to have students return to campus in the fall.

The University of Oregon said it was making plans for on-campus instruction for fall term. While keeping the COVID-19 crisis in mind, classes could have reduced numbers, and students could be spaced further apart both in residence halls and dining areas. Intensive cleaning will likely continue on all campus facilities.

The letter to the Duck community included that testing and contact tracing could be required for all employees and students. The university president said these plans will be coordinated with local, state, and even national leaders.

UO administrators said they expect about a 15% reduction in enrollments for the upcoming school year.

The University of Portland also released a statement on Monday about having students return to campus in the fall. The university’s president addressed the school’s community in a video message.

“As of today, our energies are focused on a return to in-person instruction this fall,” said Father Mark Poorman in his video message.  “Face-to-face interaction is critical to our mission at UP, and we’re going to do everything we can to safely bring our students, faculty, and staff back onto campus.  Doing so will require adaptability on the part of all community members.”

Additionally, UP’s graduating class of 2020 will not be left behind. The university president said they plan to hold an in-person graduation for seniors as soon as it’s feasible for everyone to gather. Graduating students will still get their degrees in May, and a virtual commencement ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 3.

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