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LIST: Plans for local colleges, universities to reopen

We are checking with local colleges and universities about their plans to re-open this summer, fall

Reopening Virginia
Reopening Virginia (WSLS 10)

ROANOKE, Va. – We are checking with local colleges and universities about their plans to re-open this summer or in the fall. This list will be updated as we get new information.

  • ECPI University: The school plans on reopening now with enhanced cleaning and other protocols. Many classes will continue to meet remotely but most classes require a hands-on learning component. “We will limit the number of students who participate in labs at any given time to ensure safety, rotating them in an out to ensure they receive the hands-on learning experience that drew them to ECPI University in the first place,” said ECPI University Chief Operating Officer Barbara Larar.
  • Ferrum College: Plans to re-open in the fall with in person classes and students living in residential halls. The fall semester will be divided into two terms to provide more flexibility with instruction, with classes beginning on August 25. Changes include reducing class sizes and using more open classrooms.
  • Hollins University: intends to open on schedule as a residential campus and resume in-person instruction. “Our community is at its best when we can all be together exchanging ideas, learning from one another in and out of the classroom, and nurturing meaningful personal relationships,” said Nancy Oliver Gray, the interim president in an online update. They anticipate knowing more in mid-June and are considering everything from different scenarios that allow for possible adjustments to teaching, residential life, and even the academic calendar to the financial impact of the pandemic on university operations. Updates are being posted here.
  • James Madison University: moved classes online through the summer semester and encouraged telecommuting for employees when possible. JMU is planning to resume its on-campus, residential operations in the fall of 2020. A task force is looking at what living, learning, and dining arrangements on campus may look like should public health guidance necessitate ongoing social distancing or other measures. You can find more information here.
  • Liberty University: Here is a quote from an interview with Jerry Fallwell Jr., university president, on when he’ll decide on opening campus in the fall: “Whenever I want to. Whenever I decide that the powers-that-be have concluded that it’s safe to open, then I’ll make the call. But not until then; I don’t have to. There’s no pressure. We’re giving faculty their contracts, but we are making them contingent on enrollment levels. And there’s a chance a lot of kids won’t come back because parents are scared to send them back. So we’re going to keep our options open.”
  • Radford University: University officials say the reopening process will start on Aug. 3 and will include full operations, including on-campus housing, dining services and in-person instruction. Each university vice president will develop a phased approach for the return of employees based on each division’s needs and priorities. According to a release from the school, this means some employees will need to return to campus before Aug. 3. Radford University president, Dr. Brian Hemphill, said the school will look at policies regarding social distancing, PPE, testing, classroom setup, event sizes and more.
  • Randolph College: Randolph College is planning to resume its on-campus, residential operations in the fall. The group is working to address the questions about what the living, learning and working arrangements will look like when our community returns in the fall with a focus on public health guidance regarding social distancing and other preventative measures. At the same time, the group is also preparing for multiple scenarios should state or federal guidelines dictate changes in how we operate our campus. You can get updates here.
  • Southern Virginia University: waiting to hear back from the school about plans for the fall. Due to the situation created by the COVID-19 outbreak, this year’s Summer Term will be held online at a deeply discounted price, according to the school’s website.
  • Sweet Briar College: plans to have in-person instruction in the fall and offer students individual residence hall rooms at no additional cost. Other things the college plans to offer include “small class sizes also mean you can safely spread out in our classrooms and laboratories, hybrid or remote instruction to any student who needs it, on-campus medical care, telemedicine and COVID-19 testing this fall.” You can get updates here.
  • University of Lynchburg: A task force charged with drawing up various reopening scenarios and procedures is meeting regularly to discuss how campus can be reopened safely in the fall. President Dr. Kenneth Garren says uncertainty remains a major theme, and life on campus won’t resume as ‘normal.’ Garren added the University continues to “explore various contingencies” as the fall semester approaches, including alternate scheduling of classes, hybrid options, and opportunities for remote teaching and learning.
  • Virginia Military Institute: VMI canceled some summer programs and moved others online. They are studying an “earlier return” of Cadre on August 2. The New Cadet Oath Ceremony is currently scheduled for September 6. You can find updates here.
  • Virginia Tech: The university’s president hinted the university would hold classes on campus this fall, but says no final decision will be made until June.
  • Virginia Western Community College: Virginia Western Community College will provide Summer and Fall Semester lecture classes online and in remote learning environments with both real-time class meetings and unscheduled independent work. The college plans to offer hands-on and hybrid classes, labs and clinicals as able following guidance and regulations from Governor Northam, the Virginia Department of Health, the CDC and Virginia’s Community Colleges. Virginia Western has formed a re-opening taskforce, which is developing protocols for in-person classes in alignment with public health guidelines. Summer Semester begins May 26 and Fall Semester begins Aug. 24.
  • Washington and Lee: An update on the school’s website says: “We continue to plan and to hope for an August return. However, we cannot predict how the pandemic will unfold or how guidance from governmental and medical authorities will evolve. We must, therefore, consider and prepare for the possibility that students will not be able to return to campus as usual in August. I have formed a Contingency Planning task force to consider the impact on academics, student life, enrollment, employment, and finances should we be unable to resume in-person instruction this fall. The task force is charged with developing recommendations on how W&L should proceed in a variety of conceivable scenarios.” You can get updates here.