Augustana University forms Scenario Planning Task Force to decide how to operate in the fall semester

Education

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Many college students will finish the school year online. But now, some schools are taking steps to bring students back to campus for the fall semester.

Typically you would find students buzzing around Augustana University’s campus this time of year.

But pandemic concerns changed that.

That’s why university officials are now looking at how to best operate in the fall semester.

“We have a scenario planning task force that works closely with senior leadership at Augustana, to look at how to best operationalize viable scenarios for the fall and focuses on what matters most, that’s the health and safety of our students and staff and broader community, but also the on campus, face to face, learning experiences,” president Augustana University, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin said.

The task force is made up of 16 members including faculty members and other administrators. President Herseth Sandlin says the task force is meeting about every other day.

“We have folks that are from different departments, that have different perspectives as it relates to classroom and co-curricular spaces, and how we can manage viable options, that give us the most flexibility, but also clearly communicate to our parents and students that we have the right plans and protocols in place,” Herseth Sandlin said.

The group is looking at several options on how to operate in the fall.

“We are going to make progress on each of our scenarios, a lot of progress each week, and there may not be a formal announcement on what the three or four scenarios are, but then we will need to make a decision at some point, hopefully early summer, mid summer, saying this is the one we have to execute,” Herseth Sandlin said.

The South Dakota Board of Regents also announced that the public universities will reopen for the fall semester.

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