Purdue University’s board of trustees has approved plans to accommodate students who do not come to the West Lafayette campus for the fall 2020 semester. The university says the online alternative is one of several actions trustees ratified as it prepares to reopen campus.
The university says the online offerings will include an extensive course catalog, including most high-enrollment courses and will allow students to take classes fully online and make progress toward their academic degree.
“The overwhelming majority of our students have indicated they want to be on campus this fall, and everything we are doing right now is aimed at offering the safest experience we can as we protect all the members of our community,” said Purdue University trustees chair Michael Berghoff. “This will include many major changes in our protocols and our behaviors. We will rely on each member of the Boilermaker community to be responsible and make the best decisions for themselves and for others.”
Along with its medical advisory team, Purdue’s plan will include the following:
- De-densify learning spaces on campus by reconfiguring facilities and assignment and scheduling protocols. For classroom spaces, student occupant capacities will be reduced by approximately 50%, and large-classroom occupancy will be limited to no more than 150 students. The space between instructor and student will be a minimum of 10 feet, and mobile plexiglass barriers will be available for additional protection.
- De-densify living spaces on campus helping ensure that residential spaces meet the following requirements: square footage per person will meet or exceed 113 square feet, allowing for a radius of 6 feet per person, or while sleeping, a separation of at least 10 feet head-to-head.
- Implement more frequent and intensive practices for disinfecting campus facilities, including the mobilization of staff and hiring additional staff for the effort as required.
- Adopt a framework for identifying the most vulnerable in the campus community to implement a process for making individual accommodations when medically appropriate.
The university says the most important factor in promoting a safe campus is compliance with protective behaviors and has ratified the Protect Purdue Pledge.
Purdue also says the August 2020 commencement ceremony will be conducted similarly to the May 2020 commencement.
Purdue says additional information and updates can be found on its Protect Purdue website.
Earlier this month, Purdue President Mitch Daniels talked about the university’s fall plans on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.