University announces next steps to reopen, including amended Fall calendar 

  Wednesday, June 10, 2020 4:00 PM

Pittsburg, KS

Russ Hall

Pittsburg State University announced Wednesday plans to fully reopen campus to students, employees, and the public on July 7, and announced a change in the fall academic calendar as a safety precaution. 

In recent weeks, some services and facilities have opened on campus, and more will become accessible to the public on a weekly basis,” said PSU President Steve Scott. While we’re proud of how well our employees have adapted to working remotely, it’s important that we get back to campus and grow accustomed to new social distancing and other processes in advance of our students’ return. 

The university intends to resume face to face instruction on Aug. 17, and administrators are closely monitoring and planning how to continue to adhere to national, state, and local public health guidelines to ensure the safety and well-being of students, employees, and visitors to campus. 

In an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the university has: 

  • shared with employees a guide for reopening, which will be updated and expanded in coming weeks. 
  • Following KDHE requirements, reminded employees who travel this summer to high-risk areas to quarantine for 14 days upon their return. 
  • encouraged employees to stagger times in the office to minimize density, with the goal of fully being back on Aug. 3. 
  • put safety measures in place including purchasing masks for all full-time employees and prospective students and parents who visit; worked with a local manufacturer to make sneeze guards for high-traffic, public-facing areas; produced social distancing floor stickers for areas that might have lines or congregating; maintained a thorough cleaning schedule of buildings since March, even when the majority of faculty and staff were working remotely. 

The university has moved Fall break from October to Nov. 23-24, the week of Thanksgiving. Instruction will move online after Thanksgiving. Commencement for those who will be graduating at semester — traditionally held the second Saturday in December — will be held on Friday, Nov. 20. Commencement for those who graduated in May will be held on Saturday, Nov. 21.

“An important factor in reducing transmission and spread is social distancing, particularly after traveling and participating in gatherings, so to reduce this risk among our students, faculty, and staff, we chose to alter our academic calendar for the fall,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Howard Smith. “Keeping our campus community safe is our top priority, and making these changes lowers our risk of an outbreak on our campus and in our community.