University of Memphis president discusses ‘significant issues’ that led to virtual learning

WATCH: U of M President shares what it would take to offer in-person courses to all students

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The University of Memphis is kicking off the fall semester virtually.

The school’s president shared what it would take to offer in-person courses to all students.

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“At the forefront for us is certainly the safety of our staff, faculty and students,” said David Rudd, University of Memphis President.

The University of Memphis will begin welcoming students back to school, but not in the traditional way.

“The first 30 days will be predominantly remote or virtual in nature,” Rudd said. “That in response to a number of variables.”

Rudd said this decision was a direct response to Shelby County’s positivity rate along with the high number of cases across the county.

So far, more than 22,000 people have been infected with COVID-19.

"Along with access to large volumes of testing materials and rapid turnaround times when testing results. Certainly significant issues," said Rudd.

According to Rudd, the university plans to reassess in September and evaluate the possibility for some regular on-ground and hybrid courses for students and faculty who want to return.

“We would want at least two weeks of good trend data down,” he said. “When we have a better idea of the threshold that we think would allow a more dense return.”

The college is working to meet students’ needs for adequate housing, meals and technology access.

Rudd expected an announcement regarding football scheduling in the next few days.