Area universities going to online instruction


By Scott Halasz and Whitney Vickers - editor@xeniagazette.com



XENIA — Greene County universities are joining the University of Dayton and Sinclair Community College in canceling in-person classes and moving lessons to an online format after four confirmed cases of the coronavirus were made in Ohio.

On March 9, Gov. Mike DeWine declared a state of emergency and on Tuesday called on Ohio colleges and universities to move all classes online or teach them remotely. The request came a day after Ohio State University announced it would cancel in-person classes at least through March 30.

Cedarville University

President Thomas White announced Wednesday that classes would be cancelled March 12-13 to allow faculty to transition to online instruction. Effective Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27, the university will begin online delivery of all undergraduate and graduate education and will provide additional guidance regarding classes by Wednesday, March 25.

The exceptions to this mandate may include those students participating in clinical activities or student teaching as part of their academic preparation; in those instances, the deans and chairs of the respective schools and departments will provide direct guidance regarding which experiences will continue.

All residential students should plan to be out of their residence hall by Friday, March 13, at 5 p.m. and the school anticipates reopening Sunday, March 29 but will provide additional updates via email by March 25. The Residence Life office has created a petition process for students who believe they must remain on campus. The deadline for submitting a petition is 12 p.m. on Thursday, March 12. Students who are approved to remain on campus must prepare for significantly limited on-campus activities and interactions.

In addition, the school cancelled all non-athletic events planned on campus through Sunday, March 29. Outdoor in-season sports will continue and indoor in-season sports will continue with spectators limited.

CU is also cancelling all nonessential business travel and will be reviewing summer Global Outreach and Study Abroad travel to ensure “we make wise choices” and will provide further information in the coming weeks, White said.

Central State University

According a campus-wide message from President Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, CSU maintains an emergency management plan that focuses on alternative models of operations to be implemented in case of emergencies. While most focus on natural environmental disasters, active shooters, and loss of utilities operations, the emergency plan is being updated to include disease outbreaks that could disrupt the standard operations of the university for an extended period of time.

The school has been actively engaged in “various discussions” with the Ohio Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and all of Ohio’s public colleges and universities to prepare for managing disruptions that may be the result of COVID-19.

CSU is on spring break next week, and the school said beginning March 12 students can leave campus without penalty. From March 23 through April 4 classes will be conducted remotely.

“During this period, there will not be a need for students to return to campus,” the statement from the school said.

Students who choose to remain on campus must notify their residential advisor of their intent to stay. The school said it will issue another advisory regarding remote teaching and learning protocols at a later date.

CSU also cancelled all international and non-essential domestic travel.

Wright State University

Wright State President Dr. Sue Edwards issued a campus-wide email statement March 10 in response to the coronavirus. She highlighted that although no confirmed cases of the coronavirus have taken place in the Wright State University Dayton and Lake Campus neighborhoods, the institution is taking a proactive approach to preventing the spread of the illness to protect the health of students and employees.

“I understand that the changes that we have to impose will cause measurable disruption, but, according to public health officials, the risk of not acting outweighs the inconvenience of these temporary measures,” Edwards wrote. “The safety of our campus community is always our number one priority.”

She highlighted that an impactful measure to preventing the spread of the illness is to minimize conditions in which individuals will interact and possibly spread the viral ailment. Therefore, Wright State has canceled as of midnight March 10 in-person and partial in-person classes. Faculty members have been tasked with creating lesson plans that can be delivered remotely in an online format beginning Monday, March 16 through at least Monday, March 30.

Online classes will continue as normal.

All university events are suspended until further notice, and Wright State will follow NCAA and Horizon League standards concerning athletic events. Campus operations, such as administration, research laboratories, housing, dining, libraries and computer labs, will remain open and employees are still expected to report to work unless they feel ill.

In-state travel will be permitted, but university-funded domestic and foreign air travel has been suspended until further notice.

Wilberforce University

Greene County News reached out to Wilberforce and did receive a response as of press time.

By Scott Halasz and Whitney Vickers

editor@xeniagazette.com

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507. Contact Whitney Vickers at 937-502-4532.

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507. Contact Whitney Vickers at 937-502-4532.