LOGAN – Utah State University President Noelle Cockett’s Friday morning virtual Town Hall meeting laid out where she and her senior management team have taken the university in the weeks since the Pandemic began while presenting what shape the future might take.
She said she has been pleased that those on campus have remained employed. At one point, she said it appeared USU might have to move to level one of the planning phase.
”Which was literally moving everyone off our campuses and centers and only those with essential functions would be able to come back,” Cockett said. “However, because of how well we implemented those early conditions and practices, we were able to avoid moving to level one and continue on with assignments that are being done throughout our campuses and centers.”
An early decision in the process was to move USU classes to online delivery which did not save the school money as hoped.
”It actually cost us more money to do that in the middle of a semester,” she explained. “A lot of our people put in many, many hours to make that happen. But it also required additional infrastructure, through software licenses, through video conference contracts, through different kind of methods for moving to remote.”
She said as changes come through the summer into the fall it should be thought of as a dial, turning from red to orange to yellow and finally to green, representing campus life before the coronavirus.
Dr. Cockett said returning to “the way we used to be” will not happen until a COVID-19 vaccine is available. She he has been told that will take 12 to 18 months.
”We are going to be in a new norm circumstance for possibly even a year. And that new norm is what we are planning out. It means that people will return to campus, but not in the large free-moving ways that we used to have.”
Events will occur, she said, but not in the numbers as before.
She said during the summer, classes will continue online (the online course fee is being eliminated for summer classes), on campus housing will be open and there will be dining options.
During Friday’s Town Hall President Cockett appeared on screen with members of her senior management, all at different remote locations throughout Logan.