NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Old Dominion University President John Broderick announced on Wednesday in a letter to his students and staff that he plans to reopen the university for the 2020 fall semester.
Exact details — such as time and educational structure — are still under discussion but the president remains positive and says that other universities are planning to open for the fall as well.
“While some of these changes will require major shifts and will not be easy, we Monarchs are known for our agility, resourcefulness and innovation. I remain optimistic that we will adapt to forge ahead and fulfill our educational and research mission. Together, we will eventually conquer this challenge and thrive as a resilient community,” he said.
ODU plans to continue to evaluate the situation over the coming months to decide on the best and safest way to proceed. Additionally, the president says the campus plans to reopen but only after the public health restrictions are lifted and it is safe to do so.
A Steering Committee has been appointed to help prepare the executive staff on safely resuming in-person education, office openings, and opening the research facilities and laboratories. The committee is chaired by Dean of the College of Arts and Letters Kent Sandstrom, and the team has been working every day since the crisis began to monitor and plan.
The committee is working closely with the Public Health Policy Task Force, Executive Policy Team, local officials and state officials to create a plan that is guided by public health protocols for reopening.
“By mid-June, nearly all of us in higher education agree that we will need to determine specific plans for the fall. We recognize that to reopen safely, we will have to make transformational changes in how we work, live, and learn,” said Broderick.
The university, which is ranked among the “Best Online Programs” in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, will continue online classes throughout the summer as well as having the staff work remotely.
The president also announced that because of the financial hardships put on many during the pandemic, ODU is keeping tuition for summer courses at the 2019-20 rates.
The full letter can be read online.
As more information about other universities and colleges opening becomes available, we will post it to WAVY.com.