The University of Nebraska–Lincoln is planning for in-person, on-campus instruction for the fall 2020 semester. Students are currently attending classes remotely but will transition to in-person instruction on Aug. 24. Here are considerations that may impact campus operational status moving forward.
Who will make the decisions?
Chancellor Ronnie Green is working in close consultation with University of Nebraska system leaders, along with local and regional health and safety experts (including the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department and Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services) to review current conditions and data to make decisions regarding campus operations. Campus leadership will involve key campus community stakeholders to inform decisions.
How will decisions be made?
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is developing contingency plans based on circumstances that may require the university to pause or shut down some or all operations. Decisions about whether to move from in-person to more (or solely) remote campus operations are guided by many fluid and dynamic factors including the following:
- Local, state, and federal guidelines and directed health measures.
- COVID-19 outcomes on campus and within Lincoln, Lancaster County and Nebraska communities.
- Capacity limitations for testing, isolation/quarantine and health care.
- Absence of employees needed for safety, health, operations, dining, housing, etc.
Moves to more (or solely) remote campus operations could entail the following:
- Reduced population density on university sites.
- Advanced or heightened physical distancing.
- Selected facility closures to clean/disinfect/contact trace.
- Closure or reduction of common spaces for study, work and recreation.
- Modifications and restrictions of dining hall usage and/or closure of dining halls.
- Restrictions of student interaction in residence halls, including no outside visitors.
Given the above considerations, university leadership stresses the importance of strong adherence to all health and safety guidance practices, including hand hygiene, proper cough/sneeze etiquette, and use of facial coverings indoors and when social distancing cannot be maintained outdoors. All of these measures are the new normal on campus and required to support a safe, successful return and continuation of in-person educational operations throughout the fall 2020 semester.