Colleges and universities in Shelby County make plans for fall semester

Updated: Jul. 17, 2020 at 7:09 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. (WMC) - Colleges and universities in Memphis are deciding how they will offer instruction to students in the coming weeks, and all the approaches will differ.

“Everything we do, and everywhere we go, there’s a potential that we could be infected with COVID,” said Dr. Jeff Warren, a member of the city-county COVID-19 task force.

Warren said parents of college students and the students themselves, must evaluate best options for the fall, keeping the students’ health in mind.

“You have to look at how safe you think the institution they’re going to is going to be, how much information have they given you upfront,” said Warren. “And then realize it’s a relative risk.”

President Dr. David Rudd at The University of Memphis said in a letter to the campus this week that the fall will include small class and lab instruction, hybrid and online learning.

The university will operate a COVID-19 testing center on campus, and residence halls will be open under strict guidelines like required testing for students and no guests.

Officials at Rhodes College decided to postpone fall reopening plans. Students will be offered remote instruction with a tuition discount and will not be allowed to return to campus.

Leaders at Christian Brothers University said they’re exploring a hybrid instruction model with face to face and remote learning. They do plan to house residents on campus. Specifics on their strategy are expected in the coming days.

“Our recommendation and the path that we continue to pursue, even though a final decision has yet to be made, is that we are working towards an in-person return to campus,” said CBU President Jack Shannon in a message to the campus community Thursday, “We benefit as a community by being together.”

A spokesperson for LeMoyne-Owen said the college is close to releasing details on its fall plans.

“What’s most important is to realize that every institution is different. Their ability to make changes, their environment, their technology is different,” said Alisa Haushalter, Shelby County Health Department Director, “All of the local academic institutions have worked not only at the state level but also with national partners to come up with plans that are safe for their students and faculty both.”

Read more coronavirus coverage here

Copyright 2020 WMC. All rights reserved.