In a virtual town hall meeting on Tuesday, May 12, Ferris State University announced it is preparing to hold face-to-face classes for the Fall 2020 semester.
In the announcement, President David Eisler expressed careful optimism about the University’s plans for the fall and the ability of the University to safely resume in-person teaching, learning and residential life for students.
“In mid-March, when COVID-19 hit West Michigan, our University completely transformed to teaching, learning and working remotely,” said Eisler. “Our students were able to finish the semester strong because of the dedication of our faculty and staff. As we look toward the fall, we know there will be challenges ahead, but our intent is to be open and to provide our students with a safe and engaging learning and living experience.”
Eisler shared that as the University prepares its plans for in-person re-engagement, the health and well-being of the University community will continue to guide its decisions. A committee, led by Vice President for Student Affairs Jeanine Ward-Roof, has been charged with preparing the University for its return to in-person teaching and learning this fall.
“The committee is reviewing a number of factors to be implemented to ensure a safe welcome back to campus for students,” said Ward-Roof. “This includes reviewing classroom utilization, strengthening cleaning protocols, implementing social distancing measures and sharing COVID-19 related education throughout the University community.”
Given the likelihood of uncertainty in the months ahead, providing flexible teaching
and learning approaches are an important part of planning for the next academic year.
“Additionally, the University has developed plans to move back to remote delivery should conditions require it,” Eisler stated. “We are also developing online learning opportunities for students who may desire them and remote instructional accommodations for faculty who may be in high risk categories.”
At the town hall Eisler also outlined the various forms of federal and University-sponsored financial assistance available to students during this unprecedented time, including the newly created Student Hardship Fund.
“The impact of COVID-19 on our University and our students has been unlike anything we have ever seen,” said Eisler. “Hundreds of Ferris supporters have come together to build up the Student Hardship Fund, raising more than $100,000, with the goal of raising enough to help every student who is in need.”
Eisler concluded his town hall session stating that while the University will continue to be faced with challenges brought forth by this global pandemic, he expressed confidence that the University will persevere and come out stronger as a result of this experience.