University of Nebraska President Ted Carter announced plans on April 24 to safely resume in-person teaching and learning for each campus in the 2020 fall semester.
In an announcement to the University of Nebraska community, Carter said the university’s chancellors and leadership teams are planning for what the next academic year will look like following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Carter said the decision to resume in-person learning this fall is guided by safety, science and the mission to balance the on-campus experience with the responsibility of protecting the health of the university community.
“We are working closely with our health professionals at UNMC, who have developed a dashboard that provides real-time analysis on the presence of COVID-19 and availability of medical resources across the state,” Carter said. “The expertise of our medical center and public health officials will aide our planning for safely and purposefully welcoming students, faculty and staff back into our residence halls, classrooms and offices.”
UNO Chancellor Jeffrey Gold, M.D. said in a similar email announcement the approach to “the next normal” may involve changes to on-campus operations, including:
- Dramatically increasing campus wide flexibility to meet the needs of our learners while maintaining the pace and quality of their academic journey.
- Only partially filling some of our academic, recreational, performance and residential venues to allow for proper distancing between students.
- Providing a wide spectrum of personal protective equipment, hand sanitizer and other supplies consistent with established best practices.
- Using mobile technology to enhance learner, faculty and staff screening and when appropriate, providing access to regular testing for COVID-19 so that we can quickly identify and isolate anyone who may develop symptoms and /or COVID-19.
Gold mentioned planning is underway for all scenarios including on-campus instruction, continuation of remote learning and hybrid methods combining in-person and online instruction. UNO will continue to offer all degree programs.
Many of the regular campus functions are underway to return, including the use of campus residence halls. UNO will continue to offer campus housing to students on both the Dodge and Scott campuses.
Planning will also allow for facilities such as the Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, athletic venues and performance sites. Lectures, recitals and exhibits will continue to be held, although there is a possibility of reduced audience density.