Miami announces plans for fall 2020 return to campus

Miami University will return to campus for the fall 2020 semester on Aug. 17, according to President Gregory P. Crawford.

The Aug. 17 date is one week earlier than the original schedule. Students will complete all classes before Thanksgiving break and take their final exams remotely.

President Crawford said that “after reviewing our academic calendar and considering scenarios to provide the highest probability of a full and healthy semester on campus, we determined that eliminating travel back and forth to campus at Thanksgiving is the best option for the safety and health of our students and their families, and for our faculty and staff.”

Crawford also said that while primary emphasis will always be on in-person, personal interaction, the Miami faculty is developing a full range of flexible and engaging curriculum delivery options to ensure the best possible experience for students.

Miami is adapting to meet public health measures such as face-coverings and physical distancing requirements. In addition, Miami will

  • Selectively employ high quality, evidence-based hybrid approaches where needed, particularly to accommodate students who may need to self-isolate and those whose health conditions prevent a return to the classroom.
  • In some cases, we may need to have courses online due to social distancing and space limitations.

“Regardless of the method of delivery, we are committed to providing a Miami-quality education, continuing our relationship-driven, liberal arts foundation, experiential-rich education, founded on character and intellect,” President Crawford said.

Miami continues to work with local public health officials and follow the guidance and directives of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Governor Mike DeWine, and the Ohio Department of Health to safeguard the health of students, faculty, staff and visitors to our campuses.

Miami is also working closely with all of Ohio’s public universities to develop safety guidelines to facilitate the return to our campuses.

Among other actions, Miami is planning to implement physical distancing requirements, daily health self-assessments, the use of face coverings, enhanced cleaning, partitions where appropriate, and take-out dining options.

In working with TriHealth, the local hospital and healthcare provider, Miami is developing a plan for testing. Miami ad TriHealth have set up a system to isolate and/or quarantine residential students who may be exposed to the virus so they can continue their studies in place while protecting our students, faculty, and staff.

A phased return to research has already begun and a phased return for other work areas is in the planning stages now.

Coordinating these efforts is the Safe Return to Campus Planning and Coordinating Committee, co-chaired by the Chair of the Senate Executive Committee, Dana Cox, and by Gwen Fears, Assistant Vice President of Student Life.

“The committee is a highly accomplished and experienced team of faculty, staff and students from across our campuses, along with internal and external advisers,” President Crawford said.

The committee will coordinate communication and actions among units on our campuses, and is charged to:

  1. Gather and share ideas and concerns from our community about the return of our campuses.
  2. Develop an ongoing environmental scan on other universities’ actions and national trends.
  3. Review guidance and health practices from government and agency experts for the return to face-to-face instruction, student life and activities.
  4. Provide guidance and serve as a sounding board for many ideas that are proposed around scheduling, events, logistics, equipment, testing and other issues.
  5. Investigate, track and record lessons learned from the crisis.
To learn more, visit the committee's website to stay up-to-date on Miami’s plans to return in the fall.