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Ouachita plans to resume on-campus classes for fall 2020

Hickingbotham School and central campusMay 06, 2020 - Brooke Zimny

Ouachita Baptist University President Ben Sells announced yesterday in an email to students, faculty and staff that the university plans to resume on-campus classes and residential life for fall 2020.

“As always, the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and guests continues to lead our decision-making,” Dr. Sells noted.

He added that the university will follow guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and the Arkansas Department of Health, in addition to a newly-appointed Health and Monitoring Action Team of university officials. The team is led by Dr. Wesley Kluck, who serves as Ouachita’s university physician and vice president for student development and has been a key figure in the university’s COVID-19 response throughout the semester.

“Our team is working even now to gather information and determine best practices for a variety of scenarios,” Kluck said. “We want to think through as many details as possible to make this transition safely.”

The team meets regularly and engages with campus leadership groups, academic schools, administrative departments and athletics leadership to develop plans for a variety of scenarios for the fall semester.

“I have great confidence in the leadership of Dr. Kluck and am especially grateful to have a medical doctor on staff at Ouachita during these times,” Sells said. “I know we can adapt, as needed, to deliver Ouachita’s distinct education and experience and deliver on our mission.

Ouachita students have been off campus since March 15, with all instruction completed remotely. University offices and department have continued daily operations, with faculty and staff working remotely when possible. Many in-person events have been either postponed, including spring Commencement (now planned for October 10, 2020), or transitioned to virtual formats, such as Virtual Tiger Days for prospective students (see obu.edu/virtualvisit).

To see Dr. Sells’ complete message to campus and read more about Ouachita’s coronavirus response, visit obu.edu/coronavirus.

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