July 28, 2020, KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – The Oregon Institute of Technology (“Oregon Tech”) Board of Trustees met on July 24, both remotely and with some of the members in-person at the university’s Klamath Falls campus, with the primary focus to review the university’s re-opening plans for fall 2020.
Oregon Tech’s vice president for Student Affairs, Dr. Erin Foley, presented the reopening plan to Trustees, noting its core components of health and safety for all campus communities, while delivering high quality academic programs to students. She noted that the plan is inclusive of state and federal guidance including collaboration with health agencies, the Governor’s Office and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC). The overriding goal of the plan is to not close any campus completely, but to have plans in place to address issues as they may arise, such as modification to the program delivery. Dr. Foley said that resumption plans are fluid, based on campus and local conditions, and evolving state guidance. The university will be ready to respond to any incidence of infection with comprehensive prevention approaches, including campus community members wearing face coverings, practicing physical distancing, following cleaning protocols, and staying away should they feel ill.
Dr. Joanna Mott, provost of Oregon Tech, said that the plan recognizes that the hands-on, campus experience is vital for most students, not just for academics, but also for access to healthcare, support and stability. Many students need access to labs and specialized equipment in order to gain necessary knowledge and experience in their field of study. If conditions are such that a more hybrid approach with remote learning is warranted, Oregon Tech will try to continue in-person labs, using necessary precautions, in allied health care, engineering areas and other relevant degree programs.
Trustees asked questions about components of the plan, after which they voted unanimously to approve Oregon Tech’s COVID-19 Reopening and Resumption of Activities Plan.
The Board thanked Dr. Foley and the planning group for their extensive work on the plan, which leads with student and campus community health and safety at the forefront, and with the recognition of fulfilling Oregon Tech’s unique polytechnic mission.