Dear OSU parents and families,

I am writing to share that we plan in late summer and fall term to gradually resume onsite instruction and in-person activity within OSU’s campuses and facilities for faculty, staff and students.

We believe that taking slow steps towards resuming onsite activity while following state and health authority guidance is critical to supporting student success while serving the university’s land grant mission.

This will require a commitment from each member of our community to embrace OSU’s Comprehensive Public Health Strategy as we continue to address risks presented by the pandemic. Taking steps to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infections (or any other spread of disease) is a shared responsibility. This means adhering to OSU measures that are in keeping with national, state, and local health guidelines and requirements.

We will continue to emphasize a Culture of Care approach to respond to – and acknowledge – the many impacts that the pandemic is having on the lives of students, faculty and staff. Many in our community are physically disconnected from their family, friends and support networks and resources.  Moreover, COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted those who are most at risk, including those with underlying medical conditions or other risk factors. Due to historic and systemic health disparities, communities of color are facing even greater impacts from the pandemic locally and across the nation.

At times such as these, it is critical that we continue our institutional efforts to create safer, healthier and supportive living, learning and working environments, while individually committing to the respect, care and protection of those around us.

OSU's Resumption Plan (PDF) provides guidance on how OSU onsite and in-person functions and activities will be phased beginning June 14, 2020, once Gov. Kate Brown’s Executive Order regarding the operation of higher education institutions expires. We will continue to update the Resumption Plan throughout the summer, and adjust how and when we resume onsite activities as necessary, incorporating updated guidance from health authorities. In many cases, OSU’s standards may exceed statewide guidelines for colleges and universities.

Below are several highlights of the resumption plan (PDF), which can be found on the OSU COVID-19 Resumption website

Information and Reminders as we resume onsite activities:

  1. The health and safety of the university community remain our top priority. With your student’s participation, we will collectively use a variety of measures to help protect students, faculty and staff.  Measures include testing for the prevalence of the disease on campus, creating greater physical distance in classrooms and other university environments, isolation and quarantine protocols, and responding quickly to contact tracing requests. 
  2. Until there is a vaccine or reliable treatment, OSU will utilize low-density and mixed-modality approaches on campus. This means OSU will provide in-person instruction, activities and engagement where it has highest impact, and use technology as a complement and/or alternative. 
  3. Beginning June 14, OSU's policy on face coverings in public and common settings will take effect. This policy requires faculty, staff, students and visitors across all OSU locations to use masks or cloth face coverings, or an appropriate alternative, when in enclosed public and common areas, unless an exception is met. Face coverings will be provided to the OSU community as a supplement to each individual’s personal supply.
  4. On June 2, OSU held a student forum on our resumption plan.  Additional forums were held for the general community.   We encourage you to watch the recording videos, available on the OSU COVID-19 Resumption website.  We will hold parent and family forums throughout the summer as well, so please look for upcoming notices.
  5. Finally, we must remain flexible and adaptive.  Our path to resume onsite and in-person activity will be altered if there are changes in local public health conditions and will remain in alignment with state and health authority guidance.

Phased Resumption:

OSU is planning to resume onsite activity over three phases, with phase one called “Restricted Return.”  The subsequent phases are called “Modified Operations” (July 14 to August 31) and “Fall Operations” (beginning Sept. 1). During Restricted Return, the following guidelines apply:

  1. Please be aware that while we anticipate beginning resumption as of June 14, that does not mean the university will resume “normal” operations. OSU will slowly resume onsite activity over the summer, as conditions allow.
  2. Service units whose operations require on-site administration – such as Dixon Recreation Center, childcare centers and extension offices – may begin to resume onsite delivery of services in alignment with the OSU Resumption Plan. Visit respective program websites for information on expected date of resumption.
  3. Most university facilities and offices will remain closed during the ‘Restricted Return’ phase until mid-July, except where onsite and in-person services have resumed.

In keeping with OSU’s Culture of Care commitment, we will encourage that all members of the university community see their behaviors and commitment to public health in the context of the greater good. We are in this together. A person’s commitment to follow good public health measures will protect them and others.

We recognize that resuming on-campus learning and engagement will bring some risk, just as will the reopening of the communities in which all of us live and work. We have the tools, knowledge and ability to mitigate risk if we do so together. Collaboration -- as has always been the OSU way.


Dan Larson
Coronavirus Response Coordinator
Vice Provost for Student Affairs

June 8, 2020