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Brown to prepare both on-, off-campus fall semester plans

While administrators prepare to reopen campus next fall, also plan potential remote and online options

During a heavily-attended Tuesday faculty meeting held over Zoom, President Christina Paxson P’19 and Provost Richard Locke P’18 discussed future operations, including reopening campus for the fall and contingency plans for potentially continuing online learning next semester. 

Paxson stressed that the University must be prepared for the campus to either reopen all residential halls, operate completely online or for a hybrid of the two. 

The plans will be created by one of four groups the University is assembling to manage COVID-19-related issues, which consist of one working on reopening the campus for fall 2020, one focused on remote learning, one handling personnel and one dealing with budgeting. Two of the groups will be led respectively by Paxson and Locke.

Paxson’s group will focus on operations to reopen campus successfully in the fall. Although the future is uncertain in the face of the pandemic, she is optimistic that the University “can open in the fall,” she said, “but it won’t look a hundred percent like a normal semester.” 

“We need to think about testing capacity, we need to think about capacity for self-isolation and self-quarantine and a number of other things that we need,” she said. “We will make (the campus) as safe as it possibly can be.” 

“We have to be prepared to do both,” she said. “Hopefully more will be in person than remote, but it will be foolish not to be ready to do (a remote semester) if we have to.” 

She noted the importance of creating plans “to build out (the University’s) high quality remote and online learning capacity” both for summer programs and the fall semester. Most international summer programs have already been canceled, but the University has yet to announce plans for on-campus summer programming

For international students, she said, remote learning plans are even more crucial since some of these students may face barriers to their return. Locke will lead the group on remote learning to draft these plans. 


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