Miami to delay campus return, require students sign ‘health and safety pledge’

Miami to delay campus return, require students sign ‘health and safety pledge’
Miami University announced Monday its undergraduate classes will begin the fall semester fully online. (Source: WXIX)

BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - Miami University will begin the fall semester with fully online undergraduate classes, according to a university release issued Monday.

Classes will remain online/remote-only until at least Sept. 21, according to the release. Undergraduate classes on Miami’s regional campuses will also begin remotely.

Move-in for undergraduate students living in residence halls will be delayed until Sept. 14 and will proceed in a phased-in manner, the release says.

Graduate students will begin on-campus classes on Aug. 17, and research activities will continue as planned, according to the release.

There will be no fall break, the university says. The last day of classes will be Friday, November 20.

Students who elect to return in the fall will be required to sign a health and safety pledge.

Additionally, the university says newly admitted and transfer students to the Oxford campus can postpone their enrollment for a semester or a year.

The university’s Safe Return to Campus plan was created in concert with TriHealth, the Butler County Health District, the City of Oxford, the Inter-University Council (all 14 public institutions in higher education in Ohio) and the Ohio Department of Health.

A Miami spokesperson explains the university is responding to the changing dynamics of the pandemic in Ohio by offering three options to students for the fall semester.

One of the options will allow students to construct a fully remote semester. Another will feature a hybrid-learning schedule.

The specific details of those plans are up to each academic department and dean and have not yet been fully released.

“As a university, we must continue to be flexible and adaptable with the health and safety of our community as our first priority,” President Greg Crawford wrote in a letter to Oxford students.

“When we began planning last spring, we had hoped that the COVID-19 pandemic would be in significant decline before classes were scheduled to begin. Instead, cases are rising in many states. With over 40% of our Oxford students coming from outside Ohio, we’ve been monitoring the situation closely.”

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