Phase 2 Operations
June 3, 2020
Based on current directives of state leaders and guidance from public health officials, Louisiana higher education institutions, including Southeastern, are implementing a phased incremental return to campus operations. Accordingly, during the last couple of weeks, staff members have been working to prepare campus for the future return of more faculty, staff, and students. These efforts include cleaning and sanitizing buildings and other facilities; ensuring placement of appropriate health and safety signage; and making necessary facility modifications, such as installing plexiglass sneeze guards, as well as stockpiling masks, hand sanitizer, disinfectant, and other safety supplies.
Division heads have prioritized the return to campus of various units where the nature of operations makes it necessary to do so. These units have been working with the Office of Environmental Health and Safety to implement safe operational plans consistent with current health guidance, limiting the number of staff and employing personal protective measures and social distancing.
Within the next few days, the COVID-19 page on the Southeastern website will include a link to a list of units that have resumed partial campus operations, along with information about their schedules and levels of operation. This information will be updated routinely so that campus and community constituents will be able to easily ascertain the operating status of offices and departments in order to access services. The COVID-19 webpage will also soon include a link to a “Return to Campus Guide” that will provide additional details about return-to-campus guidelines as well as the numerous steps being taken to safeguard our faculty, staff and students.
Regular Summer Semester and Term I classes begin today, June 3, exclusively offering courses through online delivery. Term II Summer Semester begins June 30, and it is anticipated that courses will be offered online as well as a limited number of courses with at least some face-to-face instruction will be provided, employing safety measures and protocols appropriate depending on the enrollment, location, type of course, and public health guidance in place at the time.
Restoration of additional campus operations is anticipated in the weeks ahead as the Governor’s current Phase One Order is set to expire on June 5, and the state will then move into Phase Two, increasing the capacity level at which facilities can be utilized from 25% to 50%. Division Heads will continue to work with individuals within their respective divisions to prioritize and determine which activities and operations will resume on campus and when. Likewise, the Office of Environmental Health and Safety will continue to serve a gatekeeper function to ensure that access to safety supplies is available and operational plans for each unit are appropriate to help ensure the health and safety of those returning to campus. Additional details regarding the impact on campus operations of the Governor’s Phase Two Order will be shared shortly after the Order is released.
As has recently been reported in the media, the Louisiana Board of Regents announced that Louisiana higher education institutions can return to face-to-face instruction and campus operations this upcoming Fall Semester, subject to prevailing public health guidance at the time. Likewise, the University of Louisiana System has announced that all nine System institutions would resume campus instruction and operations in the Fall.
At Southeastern, our plans are to hold face-to-face instruction and other campus activities in the Fall Semester, with appropriate changes to help ensure the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff. The exact protocols and accommodations that will be necessary in the Fall will depend on the guidance by our elected leaders and public health officials at that time. While our plans are still being finalized, such measures likely will include reduced class sizes, hybrid instructional delivery, reduced occupancy in campus housing, some limitations on group activities, and other measures.
As always, we will continue working to help ensure the health and safety of our Southeastern family members while still providing our students the opportunity to achieve their educational goals and benefit from the fullness of the college experience they deserve.
John L. Crain