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ASU System announces intent for in-person fall classes

Coronavirus

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News Release) – Arkansas State University System’s six current institutions, as well as future member Henderson State University, intend to return to in-person classes on campuses this fall as part of the COVID-19 pandemic recovery, President Chuck Welch announced today.

Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and the Arkansas Department of Health will be used to formulate all plans in the coming weeks with a focus on maximum health and safety measures for students, faculty, staff and campus visitors.  The plans will include reopening residence halls at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Arkansas State University-Beebe and Henderson State, Welch said.

“Our chancellors and their response teams have done a tremendous job guiding our employees and students through this difficult time,” Welch said. “Students have made clear they are eager to return to campus and their traditional classes. We want to move in that direction carefully with a focus on keeping everyone as safe and healthy as possible.”

Federal and state guidelines are expected to evolve over the next few months, Welch said, so he has asked the institutions to consider multiple scenarios and plan to be flexible regarding local needs and situations.

“Safety measures for fall classes that we develop in the next few weeks may be very different by August,” Welch said. “We don’t want to rush with a definitive plan now knowing state and federal guidelines are being changed in phases. While we can’t realistically expect complete campus normalcy this fall, we will make every effort to ensure our students have the best possible experiences on campus under the difficult circumstances.”

Each ASU System institution has a Covid-19 website page with information regarding campus updates on various topics, summer classes, commencement and other issues. They can be found at:

The Arkansas State University System, based in Little Rock, serves almost 40,000 students annually on campuses in Arkansas and Queretaro, Mexico, and globally online. The ASU System includes Arkansas State University, a four-year Carnegie R2 research institution in Jonesboro with degree centers in Beebe, Mountain Home, Blytheville, Forrest City, and West Memphis, as well as Campus Queretaro in Mexico. The system’s two-year college institutions include ASU-Beebe, with additional campuses in Heber Springs and Searcy and an instructional site at Little Rock Air Force Base; ASU-Newport, with additional campuses in Jonesboro and Marked Tree; ASU-Mountain Home; ASU Mid-South in West Memphis; and ASU Three Rivers (formerly College of the Ouachitas) in Malvern.

Under a merger and transition agreement finalized on Dec. 6, 2019, Henderson State will become a system member pending Higher Learning Commission approval.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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