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The University of Arkansas at Little Rock said Friday that it plans to reopen its campus and residence halls for face-to-face classes this fall.
Chancellor Christina Drale said in a news release that the university plans to use a “flexible hybrid format” for the fall 2020 semester.
“We are excited about welcoming our Trojan family back to campus this fall,” Chancellor Christina Drale said. “However, the health and safety of our campus community remains our top priority. We are working diligently on contingency plans to prepare for continuing public health developments.”
The university said it would safety protocols in place, including moving some classes to larger rooms to allow for social distancing, requiring masks in all common spaces when social distancing cannot be maintained, and equipping classroom and common areas with sanitization resources. It also said it would reduce residence hall capacities to accommodate one student per bedroom.
The university is also prepared to convert classes to online learning “immediately” if needed, with faculty having the flexibility to offering in-person sessions or online meetings depending on student health needs.
“We are carefully following guidance from the UA System, the Arkansas Department of Health, and the Center for Disease Control as the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold,” Drale said. “As new information and guidelines evolve, UA Little Rock’s plans will change as appropriate.”
The university has two teams to advise university leaders and guide campus planning this fall: the Coronavirus Emergency Response Team, which coordinates the COVID-19 emergency response efforts and reopening protocols for student services and business offices; and the Provost’s Academic COVID-19 Taskforce (PACT), which oversees academic and student support issues.
UA Little Rock is also financial help to students affected by the coronavirus.
“This includes providing up to $11 million in institutional and private scholarships, disbursing $3 million to students from the federal CARES Act, waiving application fees for fall 2020 by using the code TROJAN2020 for undergraduate students and GRAD2020 for graduate students, and extending the deadline for most merit scholarships to Aug. 1, 2020,” Cody Decker, vice chancellor for student affairs, said.