University of Louisville’s plan for a safe return to campus this fall

By Madelin Shelton–

On June 23, University of Louisville Provost Beth Boehm sent out the university’s “Pivot to Fall” plan that laid out the university’s strategy for welcoming students, faculty and staff back for the fall semester.

The plan–drafted under the direction of the Pivot to Fall Coordinating Committee, Safe Return to Work Committee, and Academic Scenario Planning Committee–was split into two major sections: “Return to Campus” and “Student, Faculty and Staff Safety.”

The “Return to Campus” section announced that fall semester classes for undergraduates will begin on Aug. 17 and Fall Break will remain on Oct. 5-6, as previously scheduled. Move-in for students living on campus will include multiple days with extended time periods to promote social distancing.

In-person classes will meet regularly until  Nov. 25. After this date, all in-person classes will transition to online-only until the end of final exams. Dorms will remain open to students needing a place to stay through or after Thanksgiving break.

Over 50% of classes will be offered in a hybrid model, part online and part in-person, to allow for a quick switch to online-only should this necessity arise.

The university also disclosed that the Fall 2020 and Spring 2020 commencement ceremonies will both be held in the upcoming December, as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the postponement of the Spring 2020 ceremonies.

The key actions for “Student, Faculty and Staff Safety” included several items. Among the most notable announcements, all students, faculty and staff will be required to wear masks and practice social distancing in public areas.

U of L is also making testing available to all members of the campus community and will conduct contact tracing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Additionally, the university will increase hand sanitizer, cleaning and disinfecting throughout campus, among other preventative actions.

While the “Pivot to Fall” plan acts as a guide, the university administration acknowledges changes will likely still need to be made.

“We will continue to respond to the guidance of our public health officials and the governor of Kentucky, the latest science and research into COVID-19, advice from our colleagues at other universities and colleges, and input from our employees and students over the next to two months,” Boehm said.

File Graphic//The Louisville Cardinal

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