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March 18, 2020 LA GRANDE, Ore. – A long-time leader in distance learning, Eastern Oregon University will move all on-campus classes to remote-access for spring term.
The move comes out of an abundance of caution regarding the spread of COVID-19 in Oregon and around the world.
“We are taking these actions for the spring term out of concern for the health of our students, faculty and staff,” EOU President Tom Insko said. “Fortunately, EOU is experienced in delivering excellence in education through remote-access platforms.”
Students and faculty will meet in digital classrooms starting March 30. Digital classes will continue through the end of term in June. Employees will also begin the transition to work from home wherever possible as part of these expanded social distancing efforts.
Many tenured and tenure-track EOU professors already lead remote instruction, and 67% of EOU students already take at least one class online. Nearly half of the university’s student body is already enrolled in distance learning.
“This was a difficult decision because there is great value in having a physical center of academic excellence through a university campus, but our priority is to deliver the highest quality education while protecting our community’s health and well-being,” Insko said. “This is an unprecedented time that demands that we temporarily do things differently so that every student, regardless of circumstance, continues to have access to higher education and can continue their progress toward a degree.”
Residence halls and dining services will remain open next week during spring break and throughout spring term. EOU’s Student Health and Counseling Center will close for spring break and reopen in spring term. Resources will be available for students who may need support or assistance with physical or mental health during spring break.
Advising sessions via phone or video conference, tutorials for students who are new to distance learning platforms, digital library resources, and expanded e-tutoring services from the Learning Center will help ensure student success during this period of remote-access learning.
Insko said he expects all students scheduled to graduate at the end of this term to do so, and that all students will be able to complete their full course loads as planned.
“We know this is a difficult time for everyone — our students, faculty, staff and community,” Insko said. “Be assured EOU will be ready for spring term and prepared to support our students in their academic pursuits, even as the path may be a bit different than anticipated.”
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