University to welcome back students for fall semester; employees begin July 1 to prepare
Green Bay, Wis.—The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay announced today an overview of a two-phased plan to bring faculty, staff and students back to all four UW-Green Bay campuses (Green Bay, Marinette, Manitowoc and Sheboygan) for the Fall 2020 semester. Faculty and staff who need to be on campus to do their jobs will be able to return to their offices and work spaces on July 1, 2020. The plan also includes the opening of some outdoor spaces used by the public as of July 1.
It’s the first return of UW-Green Bay employees since mid-March, when, because of COVID-19, students, faculty and staff were asked to vacate campus and study/attend classes and work from home. Many employees will continue their work virtually throughout the summer and into the fall to minimize the number of people on campus. Details for each phase of reopening follow:
Phase I: Campus Reopening; Faculty, Staff and Student Employees Return to the Workplace
- Campus reopens July 1, 2020 and will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday-Friday.
- Employees returning to a campus will be required to adhere to public health practices including wearing masks, hand hygiene, physical distancing and daily symptom assessment. The Phoenix Forward Return to Campus Plan, guidelines and expectations will be distributed to all employees later this week.
- The University will limit the number of entry and exit points into campus buildings and increase the frequency of cleaning of common and high traffic areas.
- Hand sanitizing stations and check-in/check-out procedures will be followed.
- Campus will be encouraged to travel outside and avoid using the tunnel system.
- Shorewood Golf Course, the Cofrin Memorial Arboretum, Communiversity Park with access to the bay, and the disk golf course are all reopening to the public on July 1, 2020. All members of the public accessing these spaces will need to follow CDC-recommended best practices and guidelines to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.
- A detailed snapshot —www.uwgb.edu/UWGBCMS/media/hr/files/UWGB-Campus-Operations-Snapshot-202007.pdf — of University operations for July is available and will be updated regularly.
Phase II: Bringing Students Back to Campus
While University officials welcome back some faculty and staff to campus, specific planning will continue into July in order to allow students to safely return to campus for the fall semester. Initial plans include:
- The Fall 2020 Semester will begin, as scheduled, on Sept. 2, 2020 and end on December 21, 2020.
- Classes will be offered in various formats, including in-person, hybrid/blended, and online classes. The delivery methods that each class will be offered in is under development and will be finalized by mid-July.
- The occupancy of each classroom will be reduced to allow for social distancing and masks will be required.
- The Office of Residence Life, with campus health/wellness partner Prevea and the Brown County Public Health, is developing community standards and safety measures for campus housing, as well as safety guidelines for all four campuses. University officials are confident that all students with residence hall contracts will be able to be accommodated under the current guidelines.
- Campus move-in dates will be staggered to accommodate social distancing and announced in the near future.
As University personnel continue to operate during the pandemic, leaders are preparing to be nimble in their operations and with regards to all decisions that influence and protect the safety of each member of its four-campus community.
“Our summer and fall enrollments are up and tell us people want to continue to learn,” said Chancellor Michael Alexander. “We will continue to do everything in our power to accommodate students so that they continue with their academic progression with the safety of our faculty, staff, and students as our highest priority”
Alexander’s optimism is fueled by positive signs on the enrollment front. UW-Green Bay is reporting strong enrollment trends for both summer and fall 2020. Summer student enrollment is up more than 600 students from last year, an increase of more than 20%. Early reports show fall enrollment is also up over 2019-20. Final enrollment is measured following the first few weeks in classes when students are still adding and dropping courses. If patterns continue, it would be the fifth consecutive year that UW-Green Bay enrollment has grown despite trends across the Midwest.
“We know how important access to an education is for the growth and well-being of our community,” Chancellor Alexander said. “Our mission to provide a transformative education to all who desire it is essential. We must be part of the solution to solve the educational inequity issues in our region, state, and country.”