UW-Whitewater announces detailed plans for a safe return to campus

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  • Originally it was indicated that a final system-wide decision about reopening campuses for the fall would be made on July 10. A favorable announcement was made already on June 14. UW-W was actually the first campus to announce its decision, on May 29. When Chancellor Dwight C. Watson was asked how the university was able to make this announcement so early, he indicated that he knows the school is in a unique position related to its importance to its host community. Since he knew that Whitewater’s economy would suffer disproportionately if the campus did not reopen, he pressed for the earliest possible decision.
  • Classes will be held in a variety of face-to-face, online, and hybrid formats. They will begin as scheduled on September 2 but will go fully remote before Thanksgiving week for the remainder of the semester. In case of unusually high COVID-19 outbreaks, it could be necessary to move all classes to online at any time.
  • Originally it was indicated that face coverings would be strongly recommended but not required. The new guidance states that face coverings will be required in most public/shared indoor spaces, except, for e.g., residence hall rooms, during athletic training, and while eating/drinking. Exceptions may be requested by those who are unable to wear a mask due to medical reasons.

(Whitewater – June 29 – UW-W Press Release) University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Chancellor Dwight C. Watson announced today detailed plans for both the Whitewater and Rock County campuses as students, faculty and staff return for the Fall 2020 semester.

“Our desire is to have our campuses as open as possible. We will not be the same university we were in the Fall of 2019. Yet, we are committed to providing students with excellent instruction, support and services,” Waston said. “Our first priority has always been, and remains, providing for the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. We know that in bringing students, faculty and staff together there is inherent risk, but we are doing everything possible to mitigate that risk and to ensure the best learning environment possible.”

“Warhawks Return: Practices for Fall 2020” lays out the university’s key principles of operations, including expectations for face coverings, social distancing, personal hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting, and health screening/testing.

Classes will begin in the fall as planned on Wednesday, Sept. 2, and will be held in a variety of face-to-face, online, and hybrid formats. After Friday, Nov. 20, all courses will move to a fully remote modality for the remainder of the fall semester. Residence halls will be open and available during the entirety of the semester.

Everyone is encouraged to visit the recently launched Warhawks Return website. This website will be updated often with current information and has a user-friendly, frequently asked question format for various constituents.

The Warhawks Return plan is the result of months of research, planning and implementation, with collaboration among university leadership, faculty, staff, students and community members.

“We’ve come together in real and meaningful ways this entire year as we’ve faced other challenges,” Watson said. “Warhawks do not shy away from obstacles; instead they soar and find alternative ways to serve students and ensure their success.”

UW-Whitewater will host three Town Hall meetings on Thursday, July 9, regarding the return to campus. Questions can be sent in advance to cainen@uww.edu no later than noon Thursday, July 3.

The sessions are:

  • 11 a.m. for faculty and staff at both campuses

Event address for attendees:

Event number: 133 707 6554
Event password: YgTJwP3hG44

Access Code: 133 707 6554

  • 1 p.m. for members of the Whitewater and Rock County communities

Event address for attendees:

Event number: 133 987 1219
Event password: TMgqJ7Zmk42

Access Code: 133 987 1219

  • 3 p.m. for incoming and returning students and their families

Event address for attendees:

Event number: 133 125 3473
Event password: PXfd6h336Rc

Access Code: 133 125 3473

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