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Message from the President: OCU Begins Preparations for Fall 2020

Campus Community,

As we wrap up the Spring 2020 semester, we are looking ahead with excitement and intention to the Fall 2020 semester. Based on current information and predictive modeling, Oklahoma City University will resume an on-campus presence for Fall 2020. Our return to campus will be guided by public health information and recommendations from local, state, and federal agencies.

We are fortunate that our learning environment is built around small class sizes and personalized attention. Our small class sizes, most of which are less than 20 students, and our attention to individual student success allow us to proceed with our planned return to campus, while thoughtfully examining important aspects of individual safety and campus health. Now, more than ever, we are benefitting from our longstanding ability to nimbly navigate and implement changes necessary to ensure that our learning environment responds to the needs of our community. We will continue to do our very best to make the right decisions for our students, faculty, and staff.

It will be necessary for us to respond to this crisis by making modifications to our daily lives at OCU. We will make adjustments methodically and thoughtfully, to best ensure a safe and welcoming environment for our students.

Our preparations to resume an on-campus presence will be centered around six primary areas;

  • Planning for social distancing in the in-person campus environment;
  • Providing education and training for students, faculty, and staff to keep our campus safe;
  • Implementing illness protocols to assist in managing positive cases;
  • Providing accommodations for vulnerable populations;
  • Enhancing cleaning and sanitization protocols; and
  • Providing appropriate personal protective equipment and supplies.

Our phased-in return-to-work for OCU staff is set for June 15, with full implementation by August 3. We will be implementing a variety of safety measures and training sessions prior to June 15.

We will continue to craft the structure for in-person fall classes, residential living and campus life.

Throughout our process of returning to campus for work and in-person classes, the safety of our students, employees, and visitors will remain our top priority. More information will be shared throughout the next several weeks, as we further develop safety standards for returning to campus.

Our Emergency Operations Center Team has met weekly since March 2nd to evaluate the evolving pandemic and to make informed policy recommendations. The university’s EOC policy group, which is comprised of senior administrators, continues to meet several times each week to plan for our return to in-person campus operations. I’ve been pleased with the flexibility and swiftness of decision-making from our leadership team, which has driven our ability to implement new procedures. OCU’s size, culture, and close-knit community will continue to serve us well as we move toward returning to campus.

The last seven weeks have been a challenging time of learning and innovation for all of us as we have transitioned to an online environment for studying, teaching, and working. Thank you for coming together as a university family to meet these challenges. I have never been more proud of our campus community!

During this pandemic, we have held true to our 116-year mission to Create, Lead, and Serve. I look forward to carrying our tradition forward to an even brighter future.

- Martha A. Burger, President