BGSU set to begin fall classes Aug. 26

University adjusts academic calendar, adds new health and safety measures

Forward Falcons - In this together

Bowling Green State University is planning to resume in-person teaching and learning Aug. 26 with a revised academic calendar and new health and safety measures in place this fall.

Two University-wide planning groups have been working to address student academic and non-academic experiences along with safety and campus operations.

BGSU continues to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and regional and local health care partners to comply with directives and guidelines to safeguard students, faculty, staff and visitors and reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Revised Academic Calendar

In the best health and safety interests of the community and with the University's responsibility to promote public health, Bowling Green State University is adjusting its 2020-2021 academic calendar.

Classes will now start on Wednesday, Aug. 26. Students planning to live on campus will be assigned a specific move-in time during Aug. 20-25.

In-person classes will end on Wednesday, Nov. 25. The last week of classes will be Nov. 30-Dec. 4, 2020, and will be conducted remotely. Final exam week will be Dec. 7-11, 2020, and will also be conducted remotely.

Winter Session in 2021 will be canceled.

Based upon current planning, in-person classes for the spring semester will begin Jan. 11, 2021, and end on April 30, 2021. While there are changes to the academic calendar, previously announced University holidays will continue to be observed.

Preparing to Return to Campus

Before returning to campus, students, faculty and staff will successfully complete online trainings to ensure awareness of recommendations and orders from the CDC and the ODH.

Additionally, the University will conduct a health and safety assessment of its facilities. Classrooms will be retrofitted or reconfigured for appropriate physical distancing. All personal workspaces will be cleaned and sanitized and supplies and personal protective equipment will be made available.

In addition, the University will enhance its daily cleaning protocols in all facilities.

Campus Health Measures

Based upon current knowledge and the direction of the CDC and ODH, BGSU has outlined expectations for the fall semester, which include:

  • All individuals will complete a daily self-administered wellness check before coming to campus. Anyone who has a diagnosis or symptoms relating to COVID-19 must notify the University.
  • Individuals will be required to wear a face covering in all indoor public and shared environments. In the absence of the ability to physical distance, face coverings will be required at outdoor spaces as well. Everyone will be required to adhere to physical distancing requirements in classrooms, common spaces and outdoors.
  • In collaboration with the Wood County Health Department, the University will conduct health monitoring, contact tracing, testing surveillance and will work to assist with quarantine and isolation protocols.

In addition, each student, faculty and staff member will be required to comply with the University’s current business travel restrictions.

Everyone also will be required to sign a COVID-19 social commitment outlining the University's shared expectations to minimize risk for the public health of our community. This commitment will include detailed expectations regarding public health protocols.

"We are being intentional as we consider a variety of scenarios and are developing a multi-phased plan for the return to campus," BGSU President Rodney K. Rogers said. "Our plans are still evolving, requiring us to be flexible and adaptable. As we make decisions, the very health and safety of our community requires us to work together."

Faculty and Staff Guidelines

Critical personnel and researchers began returning to campus in June. Additional faculty and staff members will begin to return to BGSU campuses in phases in July.

To ensure social and physical distancing and to allow for the appropriate office and facility safety measures, faculty and staff will be prepared to work alternating schedules to reduce the University's employee footprint and avoid high density on campuses.

Reinventing a New Normal

Students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to request alternative work and classroom considerations. If students want to limit classroom exposure, BGSU will offer online classes. BGSU will also offer a hybrid learning approach called BGSUSync, allowing students to participate in a live class from their residence hall room or off-campus location.

"We are reinventing a new normal, which will necessitate adapting course delivery, classroom management and configuration, curriculum offerings, residence and dining hall safeguards, student life programming, and many operations and functions across the University," Rogers said. "We will balance the interactions that make a residential campus like ours so valuable with a priority of creating a safe environment."