Western Illinois University - like schools across the state - shut down its campuses in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Interim President Martin Abraham is leaving no doubt about whether in-person classes will resume for the fall semester.
“WIU will be open with face-to-face instruction beginning August the 24th,” he told the Board of Trustees during its quarterly meeting.
“We have decided we will run our semester straight through until Thanksgiving and then deliver the remainder of the semester through alternative formats so that students can remain at home in a safe environment without risk of contracting the virus in advance of the Christmas holiday.”
Dr. Abraham said on-campus resources will remain available for students who don’t have a place to go for the post-Thanksgiving period.
Abraham told trustees the university will implement the following safety measures:
- The number of seats in classrooms will be adjusted to allow for proper social distancing
- Class schedules will be adjusted so back-to-back sessions are not held in the same room
- Faculty members will be encouraged to develop hybrid models to supplement in-person instruction with virtual content
- The university will purchase face masks for all faculty, staff, and students
- Plexiglass shields will be installed in areas of direct contact between staff and students
- Sanitizer stations will be installed throughout both campuses
Abraham also said WIU will accommodate faculty and students “...who have verified medical issues that have concerns with attending in-person.”
The board also received the administration’s Report on Fall 2020 Health and Safety Plans.
You can read the report here.
This story was produced by Tri States Public Radio. TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.