LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Officials at universities in Arkansas have announced plans to reopen campuses in the fall for in-class instruction after schools were closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
University of Arkansas System trustees approved a resolution Monday directing officials and campuses to “reopen to students, faculty and staff” in the fall, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. The system has 15 campuses and four physical academic units.
Donald Bobbitt, the school’s president, has assembled a task force to determine how campuses can reopen.
“The more difficult task as I mentioned is opening up for face-to-face delivery,” Bobbitt said. “We have already demonstrated to some extent that on a moment’s notice we can pivot to remote delivery of instruction.”
The Arkansas State University System also announced a plan to reopen dormitories and have classes on campus an at its six schools and Henderson State University, which will integrate into the system.
“Safety measures for fall classes that we develop in the next few weeks may be very different by August,” ASU System President Charles Welch said. “We don’t want to rush with a definitive plan now knowing state and federal guidelines are being changed in phases.
Chancellor Kelly Damphousse said that he has convened task forces and that he “fully expects” to have in-person meetings in August, but that there will be changes due to safety concerns.
“We will also be prepared to make adjustments and to have contingency plans in place should they be needed,” Damphousse said.
Last week, Arkansas Tech University President Robin Bowen said the university was planning for campus classes in the fall.