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Milligan, ETSU gear up for fall return

Brandon Paykamian • May 23, 2020 at 9:00 AM

After finishing their pandemic-altered spring semesters online, higher education institutions are planning to welcome students back to their campuses this fall.

According to the Associated Press, higher education institutions elsewhere in the nation have planned for “dramatic changes to campus life to keep the coronavirus at bay.” Changes could include reducing dorm capacity, mandatory virus testing and restrictions from leaving campus.

Milligan College recently announced plans to bring students back to campus during its first semester as Milligan University. 

President Bill Greer said it’s still “too early in the process to announce definitive plans” about specific procedures moving forward into the fall semester. More details and contingency plans will be announced in the coming weeks.

“Milligan has organized planning teams for the fall, and they have begun their work of developing protocols for reopening this fall. Whatever we do, we will place the safety and welfare of our students, faculty and staff at the forefront. We are committed to managing risk with the important necessity of carrying out our mission,” he said in a statement Thursday.

“We cannot delay the important work of educating our students as they prepare for lives of impact and service. For an institution like Milligan, this is best done in community, and our goal is to make sure this happens to the best of our ability this fall."

Limited campus tours are now available by appointment, with expanded opportunities for campus tours available on Monday, June 1. All tours will uphold proper health and social distancing guidelines, according to the university.

Campus leadership at East Tennessee State University is also currently exploring what policies to adopt when students return in August.

Recommendations will be made to President Brian Noland in June, according to ETSU spokesperson Joe Smith. From there, Smith said the university will start talking about bringing activities back to campus.

“At this time, our plans are for the ETSU campus to be open in the fall and to have students in the residence halls. We have a workgroup that is meeting to establish scenarios that prioritize the safety of all members of our community as well as visitors to our campus,” Smith said.

“These recommendations will promote principles that underscore individual responsibility for the health of our campus and the community we call home.”

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