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[OFFICIAL-L] Fall and Spring Semester updates

Dear Campus Community,

Fall Semester is now well past the halfway mark. I am so proud of our students, faculty, and staff for the resiliency demonstrated during a Fall Semester unlike any other in Wright State’s history. I wanted to share some updates and reminders about university operations as we complete the semester and head into spring.

As we have said repeatedly, the safety and well-being of Wright State’s students and employees has guided our operational choices as we have navigated a school year under threat from COVID-19. With cases on the rise in the state of Ohio, the university remains vigilant and transparent in its deployment of health and safety initiatives and mechanisms utilized to protect the safety and well-being of our students and employees.

Read more about our COVID-19 health and safety protocols on our campuses.

Visit Wright State’s public COVID-19 Dashboard.

Confidentially self-report your COVID-19 diagnosis with our COVID-19 Self-Reporting Form.

To minimize the public health risk to our campus and off-campus communities, we will continue to implement strategies that have helped to reduce the spread of disease and make new and necessary changes:

Fall Semester finish

At this time the university is still on a course to finish out the Fall Semester as announced previously. At the beginning of Thanksgiving break, on November 25, all classes will move to fully remote delivery for the rest of the semester. Final exams will be taken remotely, and a virtual fall commencement is planned for December 12.

Just a reminder that faculty and staff should work with their business officers or deans to discuss any specific technology needs to support their remote work after Thanksgiving or into the next semester. Students also should plan ahead and take advantage of services offered by the university to support their remote needs.

As we push into the heavy cold and flu season we also remind employees and students to err on the side of caution if you feel sick. If you have any cold or flu symptoms, don’t take the chance — rest up and stay home.

Spring Semester calendar, class mix

The Spring Semester academic calendar will begin on Monday, January 11. Our mix of in-person and remote classes is expected to mirror fall with about 35 percent of instruction delivered in-person or with in-person components and about 65 percent of classes delivered remotely. At this time, the university has no plans to alter its spring break schedule. As such, spring break will begin on Monday, March 1, with classes resuming Monday, March 8. If conditions change in the spring, it may require the university to reconsider this position.

In the meantime, I would like to remind students to please reach out to your instructors with questions or concerns. We all care deeply about your success, so please do not hesitate to seek help or clarifications.

Testing of symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals

You should already be aware that testing options for individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms are available through Student Health Services and Wright State Physicians. Read more about those options and how to schedule a test.

In my last communication, I also shared news of the expansion of our screening program that now includes testing of additional asymptomatic individuals through a pilot testing program. It will be administered over the remainder of the Fall Semester to a targeted group of students and employees and will inform the approaches we will use during the Spring Semester to continue to monitor student and employee populations. We will keep you apprised of the results of this new testing program with an altered COVID-19 dashboard that will be unveiled soon.

Residence Life and Housing

All residential housing communities will again be open for Spring Semester — with occupancies similar to fall — for students who want to live in one of Wright State’s residence halls or on-campus apartments, including on the Lake Campus.

Our Residence Life and Housing employees have done an excellent job of executing our health and safety initiative so far this year. Those plans will continue to be administered and communicated with residential students, along with any new public health and state mandates that may come in the new year. Housing employees have worked with Student Health Services, Wright State Physicians, and local health departments to monitor students’ health and plans in place if self-isolation and quarantine areas are needed.

Remote work for employees

Reducing our human footprint on our campuses has been a critical element in our operational approach this term and will continue into Spring Semester. Those employees whose work can be effectively accomplished remotely should expect to continue to do so in the spring. Please check with your department head or supervisor if you have questions or concerns.

No snow delays, closure for remote work

As we head into the winter months the likelihood that winter weather could impact our physical campus operations increases. With more students and employees working remotely than ever before at Wright State, I think it’s important to remind you that even when our physical campuses are impacted by a winter weather delay or closure, remote and online classroom work, as well as remote professional work among our employees, is expected to continue.

In closing, I want to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude for your collective sacrifice and commitment to learning during this unprecedented period. Our students, faculty, and staff are proving just how resilient they are.

Thank you for what you are doing for Wright State.

Take care,

Douglas W. Leaman, Ph.D.
Interim Provost