Miami University students will begin their 2020 fall semester on campus, university president Gregory Crawford announced Friday night.
Like students at Xavier University, which announced a similar plan in late May, they’ll come back a week early and take their finals remotely to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19.
The in-person semester will begin Aug. 17, Crawford wrote in the announcement, and run until Nov. 25, the date that would normally mark the start of Thanksgiving break.
Instead of expecting students to travel during the break and come back to campus in December, potentially having been exposed to the virus in the meantime, Miami will conduct final exams remotely for the fall semester. Students who do not have a place to live off-campus can make special arrangements with the school.
“Regardless of the method of delivery, we are committed to providing a Miami-quality education, continuing our relationship-driven, liberal arts foundation, experiential-rich education, founded on character and intellect,” Crawford wrote.
He did not name specific distancing or protection methods students and faculty would be required to observe on campus, but he said university leaders were ready to be “creative and adaptable” in figuring out when to apply tools such as face-coverings and virtual instruction.
A body known as the Safe Return to Campus Planning and Coordinating Committee will make firmer decisions as the summer continues.
“Miami is a caring, supportive community, and I thank you again for your support, your understanding, your patience, and especially your collaborative spirit, as we plan for the return to our campuses in the fall,” he wrote. “We will continue to keep you updated as more becomes certain.”