OXFORD, Ohio — Most Miami University students will spend at least their first month of the fall 2020 semester online, university spokesperson Carole Johnson announced Monday.
Although classes will resume Aug. 17 as scheduled, undergraduates shouldn’t expect to be back in classrooms until Sept. 21 — maybe later.
“When we began planning last spring, we had hoped that the COVID-19 pandemic would be in significant decline before classes were scheduled to begin,” university president Greg Crawford wrote in a letter to students.
It isn’t. Rising numbers in many states, including Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, have led to the first-time imposition of statewide masking orders, new shutdowns for bars and restaurants, and more.
According to Johnson, Miami University will work with Gov. Mike DeWine, Butler County Health and the Ohio Department of Health to create and enforce new guidelines for the upcoming academic year.
For now, she wrote, the plan is to have a phased return to campus.
Graduate students won’t see their routines disrupted — they’ll come back in person on Aug. 17 and begin work on their research right away.
But undergraduates living in residence halls won’t be allowed to start moving in until Sept. 14. Undergraduates living off-campus even have the option of remaining at home, whether or not they live nearby.
Any student who wishes to learn remotely the entire year will be able to do so, Johnson wrote.
Any student planning to return to campus will sign a health and safety pledge, the contents of which Johnson did not specify Monday night.