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Loyola shares plans to reopen campuses in time for fall 2020 semester

| By Rita Buettner
Quad on campus
Loyola University Maryland is actively planning toward the reopening of its campuses in time for the fall 2020 semester. The semester is scheduled to begin on Aug. 31, and Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., president, told the Loyola community that the University will resume normal operations to the greatest extent possible as the public health situation permits.

“Over the next few months, we will be implementing plans to help ensure a safe return to campus for our community and continue to provide a high-quality education for those who are not able to be physically present,” Fr. Linnane said in an email sent to faculty, staff, administrators, students, and families on May 14. “We hope and intend to offer a residential experience for the full semester, but we will be fully prepared to transition to online-only instruction at any time if there is a resurgence of COVID-19.”

The University has launched a Plans for Reopening Campuses webpage, which will share continuous progress and planning through the summer. Planning is underway across the University, and three interdepartmental working groups have been formed: Academic Continuity/Modified Course Delivery, Residential/Student Contingency, and Health Care/COVID-19 Management.

“Although we have months of planning ahead before we can welcome students back to campus, we know already that our residential and educational experience will look different,” Fr. Linnane said. “Any steps we take to return to full operations will be made cautiously, as we consider available research, constantly updated best practices from government and health officials, and guidance from the State of Maryland and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We will fully assess the risks involved and always keep in mind that the health and safety of our community is paramount.”

In March, the University sent students home, advised employees to work remotely, and moved all instruction online.

“As we mark the close of a historic semester at Loyola University Maryland, I want to express how proud I am of all we have accomplished as a community. St. Ignatius of Loyola is often depicted with one foot slightly ahead of the other, showing that he has one foot rooted in the values and tradition of the Society of Jesus and one poised to move forward into whatever will come next,” Fr. Linnane said. “As we look ahead to the fall as a university community, may we find inspiration in Ignatius and consider that we are called to stay true to who we are and step forward with faith, hope, and courage.”
 
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