Local colleges and universities make reopening plans

WATCH: Local colleges and universities make reopening plans

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Local colleges and universities have a short time to make tough decisions about what reopening will look like for students and staff this fall.

University of Memphis Provost Tom Nenon said the school put several workgroups together made up of faculty, staff and students.

They studied five areas to determine what reopening will look like this fall.

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“We had a fourth group that if we need to go remote for some course of the semester, what have we learned and how can we do it better,” Nenon said.

Campus leaders tried to figure out what the facilities should look like and how to make them safe.

“One was about returning to work in general particularly with staff,” Nenon said. “How do we interact safely? Who needs to be at work and what schedule?”

LeMoyne-Owen’s Interim President Carol Johnson made similar preparations.

“We’re doing a lot to get the college ready,” said Johnson. “We’re doing sanitizing, putting up signage, making sure that we don’t have too many students in any classrooms so that we can have the six feet of distance.”

The school will work to make sure students have the technology just in case they don’t return to campus in the fall.

“If we’re not on campus, we promise that we will be there remotely if we can,” Johnson said. “We’re looking forward to making sure that we have technology and computers in the hand of every student.”

Lemoyne Owen was also looking at reducing the number of students in dorms and classrooms.

The University of Memphis said more than 700 students stayed in housing facilities on campus because they did not have anywhere to go in April.

They said nobody was infected with COVID-19 thanks to proper cleaning procedures.