ATU president issues statement on plans for fall 2020

Coronavirus

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (News Release)–Arkansas Tech University President Dr. Robin E. Bowen issued a statement on Friday, May 1, concerning the institution’s preliminary preparations for the fall 2020 semester. 

“We are optimistically planning to resume classes and activities on our campuses in the fall, but we are also pragmatically preparing for a variety of scenarios given the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Bowen. “We will do all we can to ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff. Our preparations for fall 2020 will be informed by data and guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Arkansas Department of Health. University-wide task forces will continue to analyze that data and guidance, assess appropriate application of that information to ATU’s situation and make recommendations moving forward.”

ATU moved to virtual instruction beginning March 18, 2020, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as defined by the World Health Organization. 

Virtual instruction has continued for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester and will remain in place, with some limited exceptions, during the summer 2020 terms. The limited exceptions will be some critical labs during the July 6-Aug. 5 session. Those labs will be taught by appointment, in accordance with CDC guidelines and following faculty member consultation with the ATU director of health services.

ATU employees currently working from home are scheduled to return to campus Aug. 3, 2020. The fall 2020 semester is scheduled to begin Aug. 19. 

Bowen said the university will remain sensitive and responsive to individuals who might be at higher risk for severe illness or complications from COVID-19. 

“Our plans for fall 2020 will include special provisions for vulnerable populations,” said Bowen. “We have proven during spring 2020 that we can take extraordinary steps as a university to protect our individual and collective health while carrying out our academic mission.”

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