Lee University will continue its gradual reopening by offering a third session of summer school in a “hybrid format” in which all classes will be offered both in-person and via online Zoom teaching.
Lee president Dr. Paul Conn has earlier announced that the university plans to welcome students back to campus in mid-August. He said that the “gameplan for our fall semester reopening” will be announced to the public the week of June 15-19.
Lee’s July session will begin July 6 and include four weeks of classes, according to an announcement by Dr. Debbie Murray, provost. Classes will be adapted to meet safety standards in accordance with newly revised Tennessee guidelines, Murray said.
“Our first priority is the safety and health of our students and faculty,” Murray said. “As we plan for a full reopening in August, we will use the small enrollments and limited number of classes in the July session to move gradually toward the fall.”
“We believe we can make our classrooms into safe environments, but during the July session, we also will provide each class through Zoom for students who prefer not to come physically to the campus.”
Murray is chair of a Coronavirus Task Force which has been working since March to plan and execute Lee’s institutional response to the virus crisis. Conn is a member of the task force, along with president-elect Dr. Mark Walker, all the school’s vice presidents, and numerous other campus leaders.
Murray said safety measures will be in place for the July session, including reduced class sizes to provide social distancing, the use of face coverings, a screening application for all students coming to class each day, and daily temperature checks. In addition, the school has implemented an enhanced program of extra cleaning, disinfectant, and sanitizing for each classroom.
Graduate classes in education, nursing, and business are already being offered in this “hybrid format” for the June summer school session, according to Murray.
In a related development, Dr. Mike Hayes, vice president for student development, announced that the school’s Recreation Center reopened June 8 on a limited, reservation-only basis, in compliance with the latest Tennessee Governor’s Order and CDC guidelines.
According to Murray, many Lee employees continue to work from home during June, and others are returning to campus, most on staggered shifts. The university’s admissions staff has resumed in-person campus tours, on a reservation basis, and a few “day camps” will resume this month as well.
The university’s popular Summer Honors Semester, which is led by Hayes, was postponed from early June, but will operate with smaller numbers in late July. Hayes said the Summer Honors Semester will be Lee’s first experience with reopening its dormitories and dining venues since the coronavirus lockdown began in March.
Murray encouraged anyone seeking more information about the July session to call her office directly at 423-614-8118.