Lock Haven University announced Monday, plans for reopening and a “Return to The Haven”
for the campus community. The university is preparing to resume a more normal, but
very modified, campus experience, that will include a mix of in-person, face-to-face
and remote instruction for the fall semester. University activities also will resume,
with limitations, restrictions and safety protocols in place.
“This will indeed be a different experience than we are used to as we institute necessary safety precautions to provide for the health and well-being of all members of our community,” said LHU President Robert Pignatello. “This will also require all of us to take personal responsibility to protect ourselves and each other.”
Over the past few months, university officials have been in regular consultation with the Office of the Chancellor, other State System institutions, numerous state and local healthcare officials, the university’s bargaining units, various state and local officials and have reviewed CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Education guidelines. LHU also convened seven working groups to help guide decisions regarding the fall semester. Their final reports were disseminated to the campus community last week.
These preliminary plans are based upon the most current and best information available and with the health and safety of the campus community as the highest priority and guidepost. They are subject to modification as conditions evolve and change or new information becomes available.
Next, as a campus community, LHU will formulate more exact details of the final reopening plan, which, as required by the Commonwealth, will be distributed and posted to the university’s website.
The next several weeks will be spent soliciting additional input from LHU faculty, staff, coaches and students throughout the remainder of the planning and implementation process. The university expects to distribute a survey to faculty, coaches and staff to help further inform and determine the university’s “Return to The Haven,” strategy.
LHU intends to end face-to-face instruction and activities following Thanksgiving. The university will spend the next few weeks determining how to implement this with input from the campus community and will update the campus community soon regarding these details, as well as the official start date for the fall term.
COVID-19 remains a risk and LHU recognizes the need to continue to be vigilant to maintain social distancing, practice known personal hygiene, cleaning and public health protocols and follow recommended guidance in order to mitigate its spread. A variety of actions are being considered to ensure a teaching, learning and living environment that is as safe and engaging as possible. As part of this process, the university is working to meet PASSHE and PDE guidelines for reopening and CDC guidelines for overall safety.
The university is investigating actions across several critical areas including:
Safety and hygiene measures
- Protocols for regular self-administered temperature checks.
- Testing protocols for symptomatic individuals to be quickly tested through the University Health Center and then working with campus and local agencies to institute quarantine and contact tracing, as appropriate.
- Providing the campus community with PPE kits for all employees and students.
- Installing plexiglass shields between instructors and students in classrooms, between service desks and customers, offices, work spaces where needed and in bathrooms.
- Engaging in more frequent cleaning of common spaces and providing disinfectant sprays and wipes (as appropriate) in classrooms, dorms, restrooms, etc.
- Deploying hand sanitizing stations generously around campus.
- Ramping up the campus flu vaccine program.
Learning, residential and social environments
- Minimizing population density on campus by limiting the number of students in a classroom
at any given time. This may be achieved by:
- Flattening the curve of the teaching schedule away from the high-traffic times.
- High-flex instruction modalities.
- Flipped classes with limited, phased face-to-face sessions, online/remote teaching or a combination of all.
- Preparing for supplemental virtual instruction through summer Distance Education Workshops.
- Upgrading 32 additional classrooms with remote learning technology.
- Extending the breaks between classes.
- Residence halls will be open with adjustments to occupancy levels and other restrictions.
- Dining halls will be available but precise operational policies are still under development.
- Indoor and outdoor signage in buildings, appropriate classrooms and designated entrances and exits to facilitate and promote appropriate distancing and greater attention to personal hygiene and health conditions.
- Educational/awareness advertisements on TV monitors and flyers across campus, the LHU website and social media.
- Requiring students to sign a COVID-19 social contract and modifications to the student code of conduct.
- Requiring all students, faculty and staff to wear facial coverings while on campus and in class. Requiring personnel to wear facial coverings when social distancing is not possible.
- Over the next several weeks, employees will be notified by their supervisor about plans for their return to work on campus.
The plans assume that Clinton County will remain in the “green” phase of the governor’s
Phased Reopening and Recovery Plan at the start of the fall 2020 semester. Should
the situation change, and the virus resurge, provisions will be in place to adjust
accordingly for in-person and remote learning.
The university will continue to investigate and, as appropriate, implement steps to provide for the health and safety of the campus community. More information will be released throughout the summer as the university works to finalize its plans.
“We are encouraged by our positive enrollment and retention numbers for this fall,” Pignatello said. “The latest fall 2020 headcount enrollment projection represents a slight increase from the official fall 2019 enrollment. This is the first time in seven years that LHU is showing a projected fall enrollment increase. In addition, first time freshman deposits are up 15 percent from this time last year. As of this week, retention is 72.9 percent, which is 7.1 percent ahead of last year on the same date. We look forward to welcoming a new class of students to The Haven Family as we soar higher together through these challenging times.”
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Lock Haven University’s main campus is located on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River in the scenic mountains of Pennsylvania. The university offers 49 undergraduate majors and certifications with 47 minors and five graduate programs.
LHU is a member of Pennsylvania’s State System, the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 2,300 degree and certificate programs in more than 530 academic areas of study. Nearly 520,000 system alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.
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