UNC releases ‘roadmap’ for fall semester; classes to start early, end before Thanksgiving

Orange County News

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz released a “roadmap” to the fall 2020 semester on Thursday.

In his announcement, Guskiewicz noted that the university will soon be launching a website with details on the reopening, but he did provide some highlights of the plan.

First of all, the plan will include several “off ramps” in the event that the conditions around COVID-19 change.

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The chancellor announced that classes will begin on Aug. 10 and final exams will be finished – at the latest – two days before the Thanksgiving holiday “in order to finish before a potential second wave.” UNC will observe Labor Day and University Day, but fall break will be eliminated.

Students who will live on campus are scheduled to start moving in Aug. 3. The university plans to stagger move-ins over a seven day process.

Class sizes will be scaled down and time between classes will be extended. In addition, entrances and exits will be converted to one-way traffic and some classes may not meet on campus at all and could be taught remotely.

The entire campus will be asked to follow public health guidelines for stopping the spread of COVID-19, “including physical distancing, wearing face coverings, increased handwashing, and frequent cleaning of campus spaces and surfaces.”

According to the announcement, UNC will observe a “phased return for faculty and staff.” Guskiewicz said that employees at the university “should initially expect staggered work schedules, alternating schedules, reconfigured workstations, remote work, and other accommodations to limit density on campus and maximize safety.”

UNC will also be launching a new initiative called Carolina Away, which, according to Guskiewicz, “will allow up to 1,000 undergraduate students to learn together in high-quality, digital sections of key courses in our general education curriculum, participate in small group experiences and engage in learning communities that focus on the impact of COVID-19.”

North Carolina State University also released their plans for the fall semester on Thursday. They will be starting and ending on the same dates as UNC-Chapel Hill.

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