Ouachita coronavirus update
Following the guidance of the Centers Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local health officials regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, this page will be updated with the most current information for the campus community.
Current Operations Plan
- On-campus classes and residential life are planned to resume for fall 2020 with additional precautions in place to protect the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and guests. A Health Monitoring and Action Team (HMAT) is helping develop these protocols.
- Through July, campus offices are open Mondays through Thursdays with additional health protocols in place for employees. Guests to campus should call or email first to conduct business, as some offices are closed to visitors and some work is being conducted remotely.
- All visitors to buildings on campus must complete the screening at obu.edu/covid19screening before coming indoors. Masks are required indoors. To schedule a tour with the Office of Admissions Counseling, see obu.edu/visit.
- Campus events are canceled until further notice.
- Campus dining venues, including the Ouachita Commons cafeteria and Evans Food Court, are closed to the public through July.
- The fall 2020 semester will begin early and follow a compressed schedule, concluding
on-campus learning by Thanksgiving and with final exams administered remotely after Thanksgiving:
- Move-in for all students will be Thursday through Saturday, Aug. 13-15, on a staggered schedule to minimize crowds.
- Classes begin on Monday, Aug. 17.
- Classes will meet on Labor Day, Sept. 7, and Fall Break, Oct. 8-9.
- In-person classes end Tuesday, Nov. 24.
- Final exams will be administered remotely Nov. 30-Dec. 4.
- Online Fall Term 1 classes will run from Monday, Aug. 17, through Sunday, Oct. 11; Online Fall Term 2 classes will run from Monday, Oct. 12, through Sunday, Dec. 6.
- Dr. Wesley Kluck, vice president for student development and university physician – chair
- Tyrese Allen, Student Senate president
- Dr. Byron Eubanks, chair of the Department of Philosophy and director of the Sutton Center for Integrity
- Tim Harrell, director of student life
- Caitlin Hetzel, director of housing and assistant director of residence life
- Dr. Tim Knight, dean of the Patterson School of Natural Sciences
- Missy Lewis, compliance officer and IT Services project coordinator
- Sherri Phelps, director of human resources
- Rickey Rogers, dean of students and director of residence life
- David Sharp, director of athletics
- James Taylor, director of campus ministries
- Molly Wallace, director of health services
- Brooke Zimny, assistant to the president for communications & marketing – ex officio
- Be current with public health guidance and practices, especially as they relate to institutions of higher education.
- Give direction and recommendations for applying public health guidance/practices to Ouachita’s leadership groups; faculty, staff, and students; and sponsored activities.
- Serve as a sounding board for the university community on public health practices and recommendations that are in place.
The HMAT has identified these overarching principles to guide our community in the coming months as more specific guidelines and protocols are developed for various campus settings. It is subject to change as the public health situation evolves and as guidelines from the governmental level change.
- Federal, state and local guidelines and directives will be followed
- Individuals should observe social distancing of 6 feet
- Social groups should be limited to 25 people or fewer
- Face masks should be worn in common spaces indoors or wherever social distancing is difficult to maintain
- Individuals should increase frequency of handwashing, and additional hand sanitizer will be made available across campus
- Increased sanitation processes should be completed after each use of Ouachita facilities
- People who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or who know they have been exposed to the virus should not come to campus
- Increased protective measures are available for high risk members of the campus community
- All non-essential Ouachita-sponsored trips through December 2020 are canceled.
- Guests to buildings on campus must gain prior approval from a faculty or staff member and should maintain social distancing while on campus and wear a mask indoors. Some campus offices may be closed or operating remotely. All guests must complete the screening at obu.edu/covid19screening before coming indoors. To schedule a tour with the Office of Admissions Counseling, see obu.edu/visit.
- Individuals planning personal travel are encouraged to exercise caution and follow CDC and Arkansas Department of Health recommendations for travel. Members of the Ouachita community who travel out of state must complete the screening at obu.edu/covid19screening before returning to campus.