education schools administrative

Some Washington universities say they will resume in-person teaching this fall

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By Katherine Long

Updated April 28, 2020

Spokane’s Whitworth University is the second Eastern Washington university to announce that it will hold classes in person starting in the fall.

Last week, Washington State University President Kirk Schulz said in a tweet that WSU would return to in-person instruction fall term, although the school has not announced further details.

In a message addressed to the Whitworth campus on Tuesday, President Beck Taylor noted that “in most jurisdictions, and certainly in Eastern Washington, the rates of infection and hospitalization are flattening … the signs are positive.”

Whitworth plans to begin fall semester with residence halls open and classes taught on campus, but Taylor also said that “returning to a full state of normality may not be possible.”

Many colleges and universities across the nation haven’t yet decided whether classes will resume this fall.

In a message to campus last week, University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce said she was putting together two task forces “to outline when and how more UW employees can safely return to our campuses and to prepare for how students may come back to our campuses for autumn quarter.”

The Chronicle of Higher Education is keeping a running list of colleges’ plans to reopen for in-person classes. According to the list, the University of Oregon is aiming for in-person instruction but says the fall quarter likely won’t look like last year’s.

The University of Portland may adjust its academic calendar and conduct some or all instruction online. Stanford University may delay the fall quarter until winter, and the University of Colorado at Boulder is leaning toward a hybrid plan.

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