Assuming continued favorable trends in the coronavirus pandemic, Lawrence Technological University has announced to students, faculty and staff that it plans to bring students back to its campus for its Fall 2020 semester, which begins Aug. 24.
In emails to students, faculty and staff, LTU President Virinder Moudgil said all decisions will be “based on guidance from health care professionals, feedback from faculty, staff, and students, and LTU’s leadership, along with recommendations from our Safety Committee.”
While students will be back, Moudgil said, “We know that the campus and our activities will not look the same as they did last year. In-person classes will be augmented with online and more hybrid classes.”
Social distancing and hygiene measures will be put in place for all in-person classes. LTU already has a low 11:1 student-faculty ratio, and is known for its small class sizes.
Fall semester classes are scheduled to run through Dec. 11. But Moudgil said the University has decided that students won’t be returning to campus after Thanksgiving. At that point, he said, all courses will be taught online for the remaining three weeks of the semester. In addition, all graduate programs for the Fall 2020 semester will be entirely online, “except for courses that require laboratories.” Additionally, the Fall 2020 Commencement ceremony has been moved to Saturday, Nov. 21.
Moudgil also announced that aside from Commencement, all large gatherings on campus, whether sponsored by the University or other groups, would be cancelled for fall semester. Regarding athletic events, Moudgil said the University would follow the guidance of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, and the state of Michigan on how fall sports will be handled.
“We are working diligently to put all appropriate safety measures into place so that, by the time fall arrives, we will be able to begin our fall semester with students in the classroom, as well as virtually,” Moudgil said. “Our Safety Committee has met with all the Colleges to ensure that everyone's concerns are valued and addressed. Physical distancing, cleaning and disinfecting, the wearing of face masks on campus, and other safety measures will be essential components of this effort.”
Moudgil added: “While it is not possible to totally eliminate risk, with the brainpower that exists here on campus, and the teamwork of which we are so proud, we can navigate our ‘new normal.’ We can find ways to continue Lawrence Tech's long tradition of standing up when circumstances demand it.
My confidence in you has no bounds. Together, we can, and will, overcome the challenges ahead!”
LTU shifted to all-online instruction after its spring break in March, as the pandemic spread rapidly. Nearly 700 courses were shifted to an all-online format in a two-week period. Moudgil praised students, faculty and staff for their quick adaptation to the new format. LTU also postponed its Spring 2020 Commencement exercises due to the pandemic. Those graduates will be recognized at the ceremony Nov. 21.
Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, and Engineering. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 15 percent of universities for the salaries of its graduates, and U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.