BGSU actions address novel coronavirus situation.  ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌
BGSU University Seal
May 15, 2021
I want thank you and all of our BGSU faculty and staff for your hard work, resiliency and service to our students throughout this past academic year. Since Wednesday evening, both Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shared critical announcements about updated health orders and guidelines in an effort to combat the COVID-19 global pandemic. BGSU has received many questions from students, faculty, staff, parents and families about how this impacts the health and safety protocols and practices of our community.
I recognize these announcements brought changes to our nation's health strategies to slow the spread of the virus and overcome this crisis. While they are met with mixed emotions and varying perspectives, these updates reaffirm the success we see right here in Bowling Green and across Ohio and the nation in the declining COVID-19 case counts, hospitalizations and deaths and the increase in individuals vaccinated. While this does not mark the end of the global pandemic, let's take a moment to celebrate this amazing progress, which truly demonstrates the power of education, scholarship, research, technology and innovation. Progress that would not have happened without the educational and research activities of colleges and universities and their graduates throughout our nation and the world.
As a University, we have many decisions to make in the coming days and weeks. However, I want to ensure you that just like we did at the onset of this global pandemic, BGSU will continue to follow Ohio Department of Health (ODH) orders and guidelines from the CDC. Here is what we know today:
  • The ODH COVID-19 health orders will be removed for the state of Ohio on June 2. This includes orders for face coverings, physical distancing and events.
  • The CDC issued guidelines that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear face coverings outside or in the vast majority of indoor settings.
  • As previously announced, BGSU will not require its students, faculty or staff to get the COVID-19 vaccination. However, we strongly encourage it as the vaccine helps protect you and our community.
  • BGSU will also respect the comfort levels of our students, faculty and staff who personally wish to continue to follow certain health and safety measures that have proven to be effective throughout this global pandemic, such as wearing a face covering, physical distancing and health checks.
  • ODH and the CDC encourage all non-vaccinated individuals to still wear face coverings in public and to continue to follow all the COVID-19 safety protocols.
This global pandemic has required our flexibility and adaptability to successfully move forward. That does not change with these recent health announcements from ODH and the CDC. We must also ensure that we work to learn from this past year to make BGSU even better than prior to COVID-19. Based on these facts, we are planning to resume fully in-person classes and activities and experiences for our students this fall. These adjustments must be met with civility and understanding.
Next week, Chief Health Officer Ben Batey will share additional information and details with you as BGSU continues to navigate these COVID-19 challenges. We are currently developing a robust COVID-19 FAQ website to address your questions and concerns. I will also be hosting a series of virtual town halls with colleagues for various constituency groups, such as current and future students, faculty and staff, and parents and families the week of May 24. Event details will be shared next week.
On Monday, Ben Batey will also join Provost Joe Whitehead for a meeting with our deans, department chairs and school directors to engage in a dialogue about summer and fall planning. Summer course delivery modes will not change. However, these updated health guidelines allow us to offer more in-person instruction and in-person activities and experiences outside the classroom for our students this fall. We will continue to work and revise, where appropriate, the necessary planning adjustments, such as course delivery modes, for an in-person fall semester.
Like we have done time and again, we will find a way forward. Regardless of uncertainty or the perceived unknown, we are coming together. Our guiding framework for the decision-making ahead continues to prioritize the health and safety of our community, along with offering an education that serves our students and our mission to create public good.
Rodney K. Rogers signature
Rodney K. Rogers, Ph.D.
220 McFall Center | Bowling Green, Ohio 43403‑0010 | 419‑372‑2211 |