Kent State, University of Akron Plan to Reopen Campuses in Fall
In a letter to the campus community, Kent State announced Friday that the university will resume residential living and in-person classes at the Kent campus in August. The letter, from interim Provost Manfred van Dulmen, states, "We are developing several scenarios to ensure an outstanding and safe experience for our students, faculty and staff."
The letter goes on to explain the campus environment will be different with classes likely to be a combination of face-to-face and remote teaching. Faculty will be allowed to decide whether they want to teach in person or remotely.
A committee that's been working to develop the plan has created what it calls the Flashes Safe Seven to which everyone will be asked to adhere.
Flashes Safe Seven Principles
- Face masks or cloth facial coverings are required. The university is working to make face masks available for those who do not have their own.
The university says it's relying on state and federal guidelines as well as its own health experts. It plans to share more details by June 1 about a phased approach for the return to campus.
"At this time, employees who are currently working remotely should continue to do so," van Dulmen stated. "Anyone deemed essential to return to campus will work closely with their supervisor to follow the Flashes Safe Seven."
The university has the latest information about reopening plans online at .
University of Akron President Gary Miller also said today the campus plans to welcome students this fall unless circumstance change significantly. The university will open under the following conditions:
- Physical distancing rules and personal protection strategies currently in place will apply to all campus activities, including in the classroom.
- Residence halls will be open and operate within physical distancing guidelines.
- Students should expect a mix of face-to-face, hybrid, and online classes. Many courses will be offered through dual delivery, which will give students the option to take the class in person or online.
- High levels of personal health monitoring, consideration of others and adherence to regulations will be expected of everyone.
- Staffing will be kept at minimum levels while continuing to meet the needs of those we serve.
- The full range of student services will be offered.
- To the extent possible, the classroom schedules now in place for returning students will be retained.
A group of more than 60 people from UA have worked under the leadership of Interim Executive Vice President and Provost Joe Urgo to develop the plan. Miller says Urgo has also worked with a group of leaders from Ohio’s public universities to develop protocols to guide decisions regarding the entire range of university operations. Among the things they considered: scheduling and course delivery, physical space and classroom maintenance, student wellbeing and support, residence halls and dining, athletics and recreation, finance and campus safety.
Miller says a number of unknowns remain regarding such things as the management of high-density activities. He says those areas are continuing to be reviewed and additional detailed planning will be completed before classes begin.
Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include information about the University of Akron's plans to reopen this fall.
Copyright 2021 WKSU. To see more, visit .