Liberty University has announced it is developing plans to be fully open with in-person instruction for on-campus students this fall. Classes are still scheduled to resume on Aug. 24. The school will be implementing plans to protect faculty, staff, and students who are especially at risk for COVID-19 infection.
“Liberty University intends to operate much as usual in the fall, with extra precautions taken for the safety of our entire campus community,” said Liberty President Jerry Falwell. “I agree with what Purdue University President Mitch Daniels said about the wisdom of keeping college campuses open where COVID-19 poses close to zero lethal threat to the young people who make up such a high percentage of the campus population. We join with a large number of colleges, both public and private, across the state and the country who are planning to resume full campus operations in the fall. I am confident our administration will have the best plan in place to accommodate everyone at Liberty, including the older members of the university community, especially those with underlying health challenges that make them especially at risk.”
University officials will continue to follow all COVID-19 protocols, in compliance with state laws as it has since the spring, and to coordinate efforts through the Student Health & Wellness office and the Student Health Center on campus.
A revised academic calendar for Fall 2020 was released on Tuesday. The date for students to check into the residence halls will be a few days earlier than originally planned to allow for more staggered arrival times. Fall Break will be combined with Thanksgiving Break, which will start later than previously scheduled so that students will not need to return to campus again until the start of the spring semester, if they choose. The final days of the fall semester will be offered online so that students can participate remotely for their reviews and exams.
While in-person classes will resume in the fall, Liberty will make special accommodations for high-risk individuals to participate and will implement screening protocols, procedures to identify and isolate any COVID-19 infection, enhanced sanitation, and other special measures as appropriate. More details on extra precautions will be released as plans are finalized.
Liberty is proceeding with its postponed Commencement plans in September, with degree presentation ceremonies taking place on Friday, Sept. 11, and graduates honored at a special ceremony during the first 25 minutes of the pregame events at the first home football game on Saturday, Sept. 12. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to be the guest speaker.