Updated July 16 at 3:40 p.m.

The University of Nevada, Reno said in a student announcement on Thursday, July 16, they will go forward with reopening campus this fall, rather than adopting fully remote learning.

The University remains committed to reopening and welcoming students back for the fall semester with the release of this plan, Reopening Plan – Fall 2020,” the announcement read.

The university’s reopening plan “anticipated a broad reopening of campus for the fall semester” and covers on and off campus operations. Additionally, the plan notes that plans are adaptable and were made with guidance from the Nevada System of Higher Education, medical and health experts, Governor Steve Sisolak and the State of Nevada.

CLASSES AND INSTRUCTION

According to the plan, under Phase 2, classes will either be fully remote or part of a HyFlex system. 

Classes and lectures of 35 or more students will be offered fully remote. Classes with 34 or fewer students enrolled will partake in classes delivered in the HyFlex model. According to the plan, this would leave approximately 1,100 classes fully remote and 3,000 in the HyFlex model.

The HyFlex model allows for students to participate in in-person classes half the time.

“Students are divided into two equal groups,” Executive Vice President and Provost Kevin Carman said in an interview with the Nevada Sagebrush. “One group attends lecture in person while the other participates remotely via Zoom. The groups alternate days [to] be in class vs remote [participation].”

According to the plan, colleges, departments and instructors can recommend courses with more than 34 students enrolled be taught in the HyFlex model, as long as they can ensure they do not exceed 13-33 percent capacity of a given room.

Courses taught in the HyFlex model can be adapted to include more or less in-person instruction if guidelines change.

“Courses developed in mixed modality mode can more easily transition to fully online (if the Governor mandates a return to Phase 1 Recovery policies) or adapted for more in-person if we are able to reach Phase 3 Recovery policies,” the plan said.

According to an email from Thursday afternoon, students will be able to check MyNevada in early August to see whether their classes will be conducted in-person, fully online or in the HyFlex model.

What happens to classes if guidelines move to Phase 3?

While Nevada is not in Phase 3 currently—and has not declared when they will move to Phase 3—the university will adopt more relaxed guidelines when this phase is reached. Under Phase 3, lectures of 200 or more students will be fully online. 

Classes of 200 or less will be taught in a HyFlex mode that will limit the number of students to no more than 50 percent of the room capacity.

What happens to classes if guidelines move back to Phase 1?

In the plan, the university notes that the campus could revert back to Phase 1 guidelines if another significant outbreak of the virus occurs, causing delivery of all instruction and work from remote locations.

“While completely remote instruction is not desirable, University faculty will be much better prepared to provide quality education should this become necessary,” the plan said. “Faculty now have much better familiarity with Zoom technology and the pedagogy that works best with this technology.”

FACIAL COVERINGS AND FACE MASKS

Students will be required to wear face masks and face coverings when attending classes. Training and educational campaigns will be created to help students and faculty understand the “importance of these policies”.

“Training for faculty will include effective strategies for encouraging compliance and responding to forgetfulness and/or willful non-compliance of facial covering and/or social distancing in the classroom, including training in de-escalation techniques,” the document reads.

According to the plan, students who “cannot or will not wear a facial covering or social distance will not be allowed to attend class.” The student will be encouraged to explore taking the class fully online. 

Faculty met with a student refusing to wear a facial covering to comply with safety guidelines or leave class can ask Police Services to remove the noncompliant student from the room. 

Center for Disease Control’s laboratory test kit for coronavirus.

Photo / Center for Disease Control
Center for Disease Control’s laboratory test kit for coronavirus. These kits are being shipped out to designated labs across the country.

BUILDINGS AND DEPARTMENTS

The Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center’s five floors will be open and services and assistance will continue through email, phone, Zoom and in-person. Group study and conference rooms will be available with limitations on group sizes. Public computers will be wiped down twice a day. 

The DeLaMare Science and Engineering Library will follow the same rules and Makerspace will be open but with restricted access. 

The Office of Information Technology will be available by phone and online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Staff will be available in OIT offices Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but the Computing Help Desk will not be staffed.

The Child and Family Research Center reopened on June 8 and regular program hours will continue, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Parents and visitors will not be able to enter the building and staff will take children’s temperatures before entering their classroom. 

The Graduate School will require that all staff and anyone in the office must wear a face covering. 75 percent of the staff will return in person, and the remaining workers will telework. 

The Pennington Student Achievement Center will have normal operating hours but masks will be required in the building. Computers will be socially distanced. The collaboration rooms’ use will be determined by which phase of recovery the university is in. Campus dining will be available. 

The Pennington Student Achievement Center stands unfinished on Monday, Jan. 18, 2016. It is the building that incorporates the most universal design on campus.

The Lilley Art Museum’s staff will be working full-time on campus. Guests to the museum will be required to wear masks at all times. The museum will continue to offer virtual programs.

Extended Studies will offer remote work for those who “self-identify as vulnerable.” Plexiglas barriers will be in place and the kitchen space will be closed. Cleanings will be conducted twice a day.

The Redfield Campus staff returned on July 1 and has been working in staggered shifts between two groups of staff members. No more than 50 percent of staff will be allowed on campus at a time. 

Northern Nevada International Center and Nevada Humanities will continue working remotely. Osher Lifelong Learning Institute will remain closed for indoor classes and some outdoor activities will resume with guidelines. 

The Fleischmann Planetarium will reopen in the fall and social distancing will be encouraged.

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s offices and properties will be open to the public and the State 4-H Camp facility will be open, but on a limited basis. 

The Student Health Center will not be accepting walk-in visits and patients will be required to wear a mask to their appointment. Patients will be asked to check-in on their phones upon arrival to their appointment. According to the plan, there will be a waiting room area for sick patients that is separated from well patients. 

Faculty researchers with Research and Innovation Research Operations were allowed to continue research and laboratory operations as of July 1 for certain categories. Division Operations employees will return in the fall. 

Environmental Health and Safety has proposed a phased-in approach that plans to transition workers back into normal office operations. 

Enrollment Services will see its staff back in the office, but there will be staggered shifts to limit the number of people in high-traffic areas such as the hallways and parking garage. In-person services will be provided but supplemented through online services. 

The Disability Resource Center will have remote working accommodations for those who self-identify as vulnerable, but the rest of the remaining staff will be on site and the front desk will be open. 

The First-Generation Student Center will see its entire staff on site with safety precautions in place and the front counter open.

The Office of International Students will see its entire staff on site and will be available for meetings both in person and virtually. 

The Office of Prospective Students will be fully staffed and required to wear masks. They will attend career fairs and high school visits, either in person or virtually. Nevada Bound tours, Fall Previews and student ambassador tours will continue in person while following established safety protocols. Additionally, the office will offer a once weekly virtual tour of campus during the fall. 

Student Financial Aid will be fully staffed and the front office will open for normal business hours with remote availability offered.

Veteran Services will see some staff working opposite days and four student staff members. Students will sign in verbally with staff and will be required to wear a mask, along with other service changes.

The Welcome Center will be fully staffed and recruitment staff will attend in-person and virtual college fairs and high school visits, as available. Office functions will be fully open and in-person visits will take place outside as much as possible. 

The E.L. Wiegand Fitness Center will return its staff levels to normal but masks will still be required. The gym will be fogged daily at closing.

Residence Life, Housing and Food Service personnel will be working in person and fall training will have less than 50 staff members in a room at a time. Dining staff members will be required to have their temperature taken prior to checking in for work. 

The Joe Crowley Student Union staff will have normal work schedules and staff meetings will be held in rooms where social distancing can occur. Staff must wear masks at all times unless working alone in an office. Hand sanitizer will be available near entrances and masks will be required inside.

ASUN and the Center for Student Engagement will allow full-time staff and student employees in the office but will be required to follow all safety protocols. 

The Center: Every Student, Every Story staff will be working in their offices and all office spaces will be open for general operations. The front desk will log any staff or visitors for contract tracing purposes. Full time staff offices will have a UV light used on them once a week. 

Counseling Services will have its licensed staff and trainees on site, but the number of trainees in the grad room will be limited to allow for social distancing. Staff meetings will continue through Zoom or Teams. Paperwork completed by students prior to their appointments will be turned in online. 

DOS/NSI/FSL/OSC/Persistence Research departments will be open Monday through Friday and meetings will be held by appointment. Access will be through a single outside door. Conference table area is closed to groups and the Lake Level kitchen will remain closed. 

The Career Studio will be open Monday through Friday and meetings will be held by appointment. 

The Faculty Senate will continue to have meetings via zoom and provide services to the campus community remotely. 

The Office of General Counsel will have attorneys and secretaries work in the office daily. Meetings will be limited to no more than three individuals in the conference room. If a meeting requires more it will be held via ZOOM. 

Administration and Finance

75 percent of all administrative staff will return to in-person work with limited in-person meetings on a rotating weekly schedule. 

Parking services will continue to enforce parking protocols on campus. The office will remain open and fully functional. 

Police Services will begin bringing back administrative staff in Phase 3. Lobby and common areas will have limited entry. A decontamination station has been set up in the parking garage motor pool in the event an officer has been exposed. 

Individuals requesting WolfCards are to submit photos online and will be sent an appointment time to pick up their card. 

Custodial staff will be limited to no more than 25 employees per shift and work on a full time schedule. The university has also sought out help from Olympous, a  custodial contractor, to employ 55 staff members to clean touching points nightly. 

Construction and project management staff will continue to work remotely and only report to project sites to talk with contractors or perform administrative duties. 

Marketing and Communications

In the event all staff is required to be on campus employees will follow an alternating week protocol. 50 percent of staff will be in the building at a time and alternate weeks. 

Staff is to receive written approval from their direct supervisor if they choose to work in the office. No in-person meetings will be held. 

Development and Alumni Relations

Approximately 50 percent of staff will return to in-person-work as of July and following in August staff will begin on a monthly rotation cycle. 

In the event the Washoe County School District does not return to a normal school schedule or a second wave of Covid-19 hits, staff will return to remote work. 

Image courtesy of Nevada Athletics.
Baseball pitcher, Owen Sharts

Student Athletes 

Student athletes at the university will be required to quarantine for seven to ten days, take a COVID-19 test and take a pre-participation exam prior to participating in any athletic activities. Additionally, only approved NCAA approved sports will be allowed for voluntary participation before campus reopens. 

“Student-athletes will be allowed to participate in voluntary activities in small groups with strength & conditioning staff for a minimum of two weeks,” the announcement read. “All activities must comply with NCAA rules related to voluntary activities and are by appointment only (no walk-ins or unscheduled activities). Groups include 10 student-athletes or less unless with proper social distancing can be implemented.”

Sports currently approved to return on campus are football, mens and women’s basketball. Football will begin practices July 18. Mens and women’s basketball will begin July 25. 

Soccer, volleyball and cross country have not yet determined when they will return on campus. 

Athletes and coaches will have a daily Covid-19 screening. If anyone exhibits a temperature of over 100.4 degrees they will be asked to self quarantine. All coaching staff is required to wear personal protective equipment.

The Nevada Sagebrush News Desk can be reached at oali@sagebrush.unr.edu or on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.