The University of Nebraska system expects to hold classes on its campuses in the fall, NU’s president said Friday.
Ted Carter said the NU system would work with public health officials and the NU Medical Center to be sure students, professors and staffers can work safely on campus.
“We will always be informed by the science, and we will act decisively if we need to change course to protect our community,” Carter said through a statement to the NU system. “We continue to plan for a variety of scenarios for the fall, including a shift” back to online classes if necessary, he said.
Carter also said that he remained optimistic but couldn’t predict when concerts, sports and other activities might resume. The NU system includes institutions in Omaha, Lincoln and Kearney.
He said NU remains committed to on-campus, in-person classes, which provide “richness to the collegiate experience.”
NU will use a checklist that will be provided by UNMC for sound protocols on cleaning, protective facewear, hygiene and other matters, he said.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Green issued a statement later Friday in which he said he expected residence halls to be open for business in the fall.
The coronavirus pandemic has compelled most colleges and universities across the country to use online classes this spring so students and professors don’t have to gather in close proximity on campus. Now colleges are beginning to determine whether they will return to some form of on-campus teaching in the fall.
The University of Oklahoma announced similar intentions Friday to those of NU. The Chronicle of Higher Education this week reported that some schools, such as San Jose State University, expect to stick with online classes in the fall. Others, such as the University of Arizona, plan to return to campus. Others haven’t decided.
Green said in his statement that he expects more data to be available on exposure to the virus by fall, and with it, greater ability to protect the community.
Some classes might blend online and in-person teaching, he said. Settings for certain classes might change to allow for social distancing, he said.