Ohio University announces phased reopening plan

Ohio University announces phased reopening plan

ATHENS — Ohio University announced their plan for the upcoming fall semester.

They will be implementing a phased return to campus this fall and a hybrid approach for the regional campuses.

“In keeping with recommended guidance and recognition of this evolving situation, we are implementing plans that are supported by our public health, state, and medical partners to reduce the density of our students, faculty and staff,” Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis said. “While we remain committed to the highest-quality academic experience for our students, the ultimate goal is to minimize risks to our Bobcats during a time in which COVID-19 cases are on the rise.”

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The university’s plan for phased return was informed by consulting with public health and medical partners.

The fall semester will begin on August 24th as planned but with a multi-phased approach for the Athens campus.

In Phase 1, a limited number of students from a set of academic programs will be permitted to return with social distancing requirements as well face covering requirement for all student, faculty and staff.

Students in the Phase 1 approved programs will be notified no later than August 7th.

All other students will start remotely on August 24th and stay remote at least through September 27th.

The university will continue to monitor conditions to inform the second phase, beginning September 28th.

Based on the success of Phase 1, Ohio University will increase in-person course offerings as much as possible to ensure safety.

For regional campuses, the semester will start on time and only have face-to-face offerings for clincal, pratical, or lab-based classes. All other courses will be remote.

Students on all campuses who want a fully online fall semester will be able to do so, with the exception of the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.

HCOM successfully began classes in July using the hybrid approach and will continue to do so.

"I recognize that the decision to move to a phased return to campus in Athens and to expand our hybrid approach on our regional campuses will have significant impacts for our students' planning," Nellis said. "We also recognize that our students may be facing a variety of additional hardships in the midst of this public health crisis. With that in mind, the OHIO CARES Relief Fund will be modified to include eligible students enrolled in fall 2020 until funds expire, and Ohio University will commit an additional $5 million to assist even more undergraduate students who have demonstrated financial need during these unexpected transitions."

The university plans to continue to keep the OU community through email and their Be Safe Bobcats website.