MEMPHIS, Tenn. —
Thursday, the University of Memphis announced this upcoming Fall Semester will begin with virtual and remote instruction.
President of University of Memphis, Dr. David Rudd says the decision wasn’t taken lightly and was made based on the latest Covid-19 data that shows Shelby County and Memphis still at high risk.
Throughout the pandemic, the University of Memphis has remained open with a population of roughly 35 to 40 percent. Dr. Rudd says his administration is implementing a phased return to campus but the first month classes will be held online.
When the pandemic started and health officials began reporting Covid-19 cases, the University of Memphis moved to remote learning, but it was process for some.
“A lot of my students never checked back in once we went virtual” said Professor Otis Sanford, Hardin Chair of Excellence in Economic and Managerial Journalism for the University of Memphis. “They sort of checked out because I was using zoom and so it was a tough time.”
“The work ethic definitely decreased for me,” said Darnesha Cummings, an incoming Junior and Nursing Major.
University officials announced when the Fall Semester starts August 17, most of the courses will be done virtually.
“A lot of faculty members, myself included were concerned about going back into the classroom and how that was going to be done, so I think this is somewhat a relief,” said Professor Sanford.
Dr. Rudd says some face to face instruction will continue when virtual is not possible like laboratories, clinical training, arts and music and engineering courses. Those groups will meet in small numbers and follow CDC guidelines.
“For health reasons it’s very vital and I’m glad they made that decision but on second hand, I feel like it’s going to hurt students as well because we have those who are visual learners, I’m a visual learner,” Cummings said.
The University of Memphis will reassess in early September to determine if regular on-ground or hybrid courses can safely return to campus. The University is also allowing students to return to campus housing and various dining options will be available, but restrictions will be in place.
“Any students, or anybody connected with the university who tested positive, that happened off campus and it did not happen on campus and that’s how protective and diligent I think the university has been” Sanford stressed.