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Erskine

Ohio Dominican Announces Plans to Resume On-Campus Instruction in Fall

ODU is preparing to resume in-person learning on its campus for the fall 2020 semester.

May 19, 2020

Ohio Dominican University (ODU) is preparing to resume in-person learning on its campus for the fall 2020 semester. During the spring 2020 semester, ODU transitioned to online-only learning to adhere to social distancing directives issued by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The university’s summer courses also are taking place exclusively online.

“At this point in time, as long as directives and guidelines from Gov. DeWine and public health officials permit us to do so, we intend to resume in-person classes this fall,” said ODU President Robert Gervasi, Ph.D. “Considering the many unknown variables related to this virus, we are considering a range of options to allow us to safely educate students on campus while adhering to social distancing guidelines, including the potential use of online technology to provide students a classroom environment that features both online and in-person instruction. As we learn more about this virus, ODU will adjust its instructional strategy as needed to ensure the safety and health of all who live, learn and work at Ohio Dominican.”

To allow for enhanced social distancing in the classroom, ODU is in the process of acquiring additional equipment to install in classrooms to give students greater flexibility to attend class remotely along with students who are attending class in person.

For students who are concerned about returning to campus, are considered to be high risk during this health crisis, or may have regular exposure to high-risk individuals at home, the university is in the process of making accommodations to allow them to continue to participate in their classes 100% online.

“I am extremely grateful to our faculty and staff for their tremendous response to this crisis, and the speed at which they transitioned their in-person classes to fit the online environment,” said Manuel Martinez, Ph.D., ODU vice president for Academic Affairs. “While it is our hope that we never have to take those measures again, our response to the pandemic has proven that we are able to rise to the occasion to meet the high expectations our students have for their education.”

ODU’s Pandemic Task Force, which includes members from numerous campus offices, has met weekly since mid-March to discuss the university’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Both the Task Force and the university’s Leadership Team are now collaborating to discuss how to safely resume on-campus learning and working, which includes the distribution of disinfectant products, availability of hand sanitizing stations, signage to encourage good personal hygiene, and policies to keep the campus community safe. ODU also has asked faculty and staff to complete a confidential survey to better understand employees’ comfort level and concerns in returning to work on campus, either on a part- or full-time basis. Currently, the university’s work-from-home order runs through Friday, June 12.