Higher ed plans not written in stone
Almost everything printed here could change tomorrow. Or today. Pandemics…
Pepperdine University’s campus in Malibu, Calif., will remain closed for the fall semester, and classes will be held online, President Jim Gash announced.
Gash’s announcement came as the state of California broke its single-day record for new cases of COVID-19, with more than 12,100 announced. The state of 39 million people has passed New York in total known cases of the virus.
“Given these circumstances, we have decided we can best protect the health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff by conducting our fall semester online,” Gash said in a message to the 7,700-student university, which is associated with Churches of Christ.
California’s governor has issued restrictions prohibiting K-12 schools from providing in-person instruction for the beginning of the fall semester. While recommendations for colleges and universities are still pending, Gash said it is likely campuses will also face restrictions.
Gash said this was not the decision Pepperdine administrators had hoped to make.
“Our faculty and staff and regents have worked tirelessly throughout the summer to prepare us for safe in-person instruction and on-campus housing,” Gash said. “Although we are extremely disappointed that the renewed safety concerns are taking us in a different direction, we all believe this is the right decision for the health and safety of our Pepperdine family.
“To that end, our faculty have also spent the summer preparing to provide world-class academic instruction online.”
Related: Higher ed plans not written in stone
In mid-March, Pepperdine moved classes online in response to concerns about the virus. Many students studying abroad were brought home and those who lived on campus were asked to move out as the virus began to surge in parts of the U.S.
“We are not presently permitted to reopen our Malibu campus for normal residential life,” Gash said. “However, we expect to receive permission soon to house students who can demonstrate a compelling hardship which necessitates residing in on-campus housing this fall.”
The university has posted its Pepperdine Restoration Plan online. The plan details an eventual return to campus when allowed.
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