Wright State University announced plans to return to teaching on its Dayton and Lake Campuses for the fall 2020 semester on Aug. 24 with a dynamic and flexible mixture of in-person and remote courses.
In an email sent to the campus community on June 30, Wright State University President Sue Edwards reiterated that the safety and wellness of students and employees continues to be the university’s number one priority as decisions are made.
“We are taking extra precautions to keep our students, faculty, employees and visitors safe,” she said.
The university will continue to monitor the pandemic in partnership with Greene and Mercer County Public Health departments and the State of Ohio, and will comply with guidelines and mandates as they evolve.
A dedicated team of faculty, staff, and students has worked with state and local health authorities, as well as Ohio’s other higher education institutions to develop comprehensive policies and protocols for a fall return to campus.
“Our faculty and staff have been flexible and innovative. And our students are amazing and resilient,” Edwards said.
Wright State will welcome students who are able and who choose to participate in an on-campus experience for the fall semester. Fall course offerings will utilize online, hybrid, and safe, socially distant, in-person on-campus classes.
“Our aim is to ensure the best experience for our students, taking into account space, scheduling, pedagogical, and health concerns for all students and employees,” Edwards said.
At this time, Wright State conservatively estimates that one-third of classes will have in-person components, while the majority of in-person classes will also deliver all content remotely to provide flexibility to students who are unable or do not feel comfortable returning to campus.
To maintain proper social distancing, many on-campus classes will have fewer students in attendance in each class section than they normally would. Large enrollment lecture-based courses will be delivered remotely, with the opportunity for students to engage in discussion via chats or discussion forums.
Wright State will prioritize the following categories of courses to be held on campus as long as the university is confident that safety and state compliance measures can be observed:
- Lab sections and lab-based courses
- Studio courses in the arts
- Active learning courses
- Discussion-based courses
Details of which courses will be on campus and which will be remote are being finalized and will be communicated to the campus community in the coming weeks.
Fall semester will start on schedule on Monday, Aug. 24. At the beginning of Thanksgiving break, on Nov. 25, all classes will move to fully remote delivery for the rest of the semester. Final exams will be taken remotely, and at this time, the fall commencement ceremony is planned for Dec. 12.
Residence Life and Housing
All residential housing communities will be open for fall semester — with reduced occupancy — for students who want to live in one of Wright State’s residence halls or on-campus apartments, including on the Lake Campus.
Residence Life and Housing staff have worked on plans throughout the summer and will take extra precautions during the 2020-2021 academic year to ensure the health and safety of all campus residents and will follow public health and state mandates.
Housing staff have worked with Student Health Services, Wright State Physicians and local health departments to monitor students’ health and have plans in place if self-isolation and quarantine areas are needed.
The university will not be able to hold the annual Move-In Day but instead will have staggered arrivals over several days in August for students moving into campus housing.
Some researchers voluntarily began working in their laboratories in a phased approach earlier this summer. All returning researchers will complete COVID-19 specific training and follow Environmental Health and Safety protocols, including face coverings, social and temporal distancing, hygiene, personal health assessments and enhanced lab management.
Only research that requires campus facilities has been conducted on campus. General office activities, data analysis, and writing continue to be done remotely in order to minimize the number of staff in the research buildings at any time.
Wright State will resume Division I athletics beginning July 6 in a systematic and controlled nature, based upon state and local dynamics. Fall sports, along with men’s and women’s basketball, will begin the initial phase. Spring sports will follow as the reopening progresses.
The Department of Athletics will mitigate the risk of transmission of COVID-19 on Wright State’s campuses; maintain a healthy environment for student-athletes, coaches and staff; and follow guidelines from the CDC, state and local governments, the NCAA and the Horizon League.
The tentative early return schedule for teams is:
- July 6: Men’s basketball
- July 13: Cross country, men’s soccer, women’s soccer and volleyball
- July 20: Baseball, golf, track and field, and women’s basketball
Facility safety and security
Wright State Facilities Management and Campus Operations has worked hard to achieve a safe and clean learning environment for students and employees in anticipation of the start of fall semester.
The facilities team has thoroughly cleaned and disinfected surfaces and objects to reduce the risk of exposure. High-touch points, including door handles, elevator buttons and handrails, are also frequently disinfected.
Facilities Management and Campus Operations will provide guidance to ensure a minimum of six feet distance between people on campus. Facilities will also provide transaction shields or barriers in campus areas where frequent person-to-person interaction occurs. Occupancy limits will be in place in restrooms and elevators.
Interim Provost Douglas Leaman, college deans and other university leaders are working on individualized plans to bring academic campus services and offices back as needed in a way that supports students’ success and prioritizes the health and safety of all students and employees.
The university will provide more information about plans for reopening academic campus services and offices before the start of fall semester.
Healthy protocols for those on campus
Wright State has implemented new protocols that all students, employees and visitors must follow while on the Dayton Campus and Lake Campus. These include social distancing, daily health assessments, hand washing, cleaning surfaces, and face coverings. The guidelines are in line with recommendations from the Ohio Department of Health, Greene and Mercer County Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“When you come to campus, it will feel different,” Edwards said.
Read about Wright State’s health and safety protocols. Additional details will be shared closer to the start of fall semester.
As more people begin returning to campus, Edwards said that faculty, staff, students and visitors are expected to comply with all safety policies, protocols, and guidelines.
“We are all in this together, and I know I can count on you,” she said. “I’m looking forward to fall semester and can’t wait to see students and colleagues on campus again!”