MSU return-to-campus task force finalizes plan for in-person class

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WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A task force appointed by MSU President Suzanne Shipley has spent the past two-and-a-half months finalizing a plan for a safe return to campus.

At Thursday’s quarterly board of regents meeting, co-chairs presented the plan, and the plan covers just about every scenario.

The task force, made up of students, faculty and staff covered things from classroom re-arranging to how to promote a campus climate where students want to protect one another.

MSU administration members now know what campus in a COVID-19 world could look like.

“At some point, we have to find a safe way to move forward, this is an important part of our student’s lives, it sets a stage for their future success,” MSU Provost and VP of Academic Affairs James Johnston said.

Johnston co-chairs the return-to-campus taskforce with VP of Student Affairs Keith Lamb.
The task force spent the summer planning for things like how events can happen.

“Individuals have to file mitigation plans that are approved before the event and it addresses things like distancing, virtual attendance options,” Lamb said. “Masks, hand sanitation, forms for contact tracing we will require in-person registration lists.”

One major decision is what happens if a student tests positive.

“We will have electronic self-reporting forms or phone numbers that individuals can call to report a positive test,” Lamb said. “They will be contacted by a campus contact-tracer.”

Johnston and Lamb describe the fall semester as “fluid” and there’s even a learning curve for the start itself.

“What we are doing is we’re spreading out the move-in process to multiple days, individuals have to sign up for a time, they have a window of time where they can be in the building,” Lamb said.

The traditional classroom setting has been re-imagined.

“We identified the resources and the ways that we could deliver instruction and then each dean took that to their college and worked through down to each faculty how they would deliver the classes with the idea that we would be in person wherever possible,” Johnston said.

Returning to campus with a mission of keeping Mustangs safe, and some of those plans include moving homecoming and family day for the spring.

For campus-based students, there are 48 beds and rooms ready for isolation, but the university encourages students to go home to isolate.

For the entire return-to-campus plan, click here.

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