EUGENE, Ore. – The University of Oregon plans to once again hold classes in person for fall term.
President Michael Schill announced the plans Monday, saying they will work with local, state and national leaders and other public universities on the west coast as they plan for the next academic year.
However, fall term will likely still feel different than usual, Schill said.
The university is looking into reducing the amount of people in offices, residence halls and dining facilities, increasing cleaning of all facilities, and testing and contact tracing for students and employees.
“Our fall plans will comply with Gov. Kate Brown’s emerging strategy to reopen Oregon and will be informed by guidance from the Oregon Health Authority and Lane County Public Health,” Schill said. “Our planning will also continue to put student, faculty and staff health and safety at the forefront.”
There might also be changes to class schedules, reduction in class sizes and changing room assignments to better allow for social distancing. Online classes may also expand. Sophomore Hannah Crowe said she wants to go back to in-person classes but is also scared about the health risks.
"It feels morally wrong but at the same time I value my education and in-person classes are way more immersive," Crowe said. "I feel like if we're paying the same amount in tuition, I'd much rather be on campus."
The university is also working to handle the projected budget shortfall caused by the pandemic.
“The reality is that we will need to do something to adjust expenses if enrollment declines significantly and/or we receive state budget cuts,” Schill said.
Schill also thanked faculty and staff members.
“I believe with all of my heart that we have the capacity to make the changes necessary for the University of Oregon to flourish,” he said.
Summer term is expected to be conducted remotely.
If you would like to read President Schill's full letter, you can click here.