BGSU plans to resume face-to-face this fall
May 8, 2020
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
This spring brought unforeseen challenges as our world was changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. While our students and faculty are in an online teaching and learning format and the majority of our staff are working remotely, we have approached each day with the goal of making decisions in the best interests of our community.
As previously stated, we are planning to resume face-to-face learning on our campuses this fall. We continue to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Ohio Department of Health and regional and local health care partners to comply with directives and guidelines to safeguard our students, faculty, staff and visitors and reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 on our campuses.
Bowling Green State University is a major university, but our campuses are located in small, relatively rural communities. We have one of the lowest population densities of any of the comprehensive universities in the Midwest. To date, our community and region have successfully limited the number of COVID-19 cases. The strong partnerships we have developed with local health officials, hospitals, government and first responders will continue to be leveraged to mitigate the spread of the virus and create a safe environment for students, faculty and staff to return to in the fall. While this is our plan, we also recognize the critical need to be flexible, and we will give full consideration to online and remote options.
We have established two University-wide planning groups to guide our efforts. Dr. Joe Whitehead, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, and Cecilia Castellano, vice president for enrollment management, are co-leading our student academic and non-academic experience group to ensure we are adapting our first-year and continuing undergraduate and graduate student experiences. In addition, Dr. Sue Houston, vice president for partnerships and chief of staff, and Sheri Stoll, vice president for finance and administration and chief financial officer, are co-leading our safe campus and campus operations group to ensure we provide a reduced-risk environment. We have asked faculty and staff members across our University to participate in these primary planning groups and various sub-groups focused on targeted areas such as research and residence life.
Planning to resume face-to-face in the fall will mean that our University will be different. We will balance the interactions that make a residential campus like ours so valuable with a priority of creating a safe environment. We will institute social distancing protocols and health monitoring. Dining facilities will change how they serve food and accommodate seating. Classrooms, facilities and residence halls will be frequently sanitized and monitored. We are committed to taking these actions and others to prioritize your health and safety.
While it is our plan to resume face-to-face in the fall, we would comply with any state restrictions and let science and the expertise of health officials guide our decisions.
I will continue to keep you updated regarding our plans to be back in the fall. Thank you for your hard work, patience and understanding as we work through these challenges.
Rodney K. Rogers, Ph.D.