Les Guice: Louisiana Tech gears up for fall quarter

Dr. Les Guice

At Louisiana Tech University, we’re getting ready for the Fall 2020 Quarter and our Return to Campus. 

In Fall 2020, we will continue to focus on two objectives for our University – keeping our campus community healthy and safe, and ensuring our students meet their academic goals. Our protocols for community health and safety include a focus on: 

  • Wearing masks,
  • Maintaining appropriate physical distance,
  • Washing hands regularly,
  • Using safety shields in classrooms,
  • Helping maintain clean academic and office areas, and 
  • Monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19.

We will offer face-to-face classes where possible according to guidelines and restrictions issued by federal, state, and local authorities and health professionals. Classes that need to be larger than the state limits on gathering size, which is now 50 people, will be delivered in larger classrooms, online, or by breaking the class into smaller groups.

In addition to the face-to-face and online course delivery, Louisiana Tech will offer hybrid courses, where students will meet in person for some classes and online for others. Each of these options is designed to make the best use of the University’s classroom space and respond to the needs of each class, professor, and academic program. In addition, there may be times when an in-person class will have to pivot online, and we know from our work this spring that our Tech Family is ready to face that challenge.

Louisiana Tech is also modifying campus spaces to ensure our students, faculty, staff, and visitors are safe. 

Academic leaders in each college have defined safe ways to enter and exit – and safe occupancy levels – for each classroom, lab, and studio. Classrooms will be modified to accommodate for delivery methods as needed, and training will be provided for faculty to ensure quality courses are delivered no matter the way our students will learn.

If you visit campus, you’ll notice enhanced cleaning and sanitizing of academic and shared office spaces, conducted according to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control. We’ve placed plexiglass shields in areas where our staff interact with students and members of the public on a regular basis. Throughout campus, you’ll also see signage and visual cues to note room occupancy limits, to remind community members about physical distancing, and to encourage good hygiene practices. 

Face masks or coverings will be worn in public – both indoors and outdoors. They must be worn in classrooms and building hallways, as well as in shared office space. 

Students, faculty, and staff are being asked to clean shared spaces before and after use, and cleaning supplies will be available in those spaces for this purpose. This cleaning is in addition to the enhanced cleaning and sanitizing measures our essential workers engage in.

Occupancy in residence halls will maintain appropriate levels for physical distancing. In addition, a special section of housing will be used if students who live on campus need to be quarantined. 

Finally, we’ll ask each of our campus community members to monitor their health for symptoms of COVID-19 like cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever or chills, muscle pain, sore throat, or a new loss of taste or smell. Our faculty members will work with students to ensure they’re not penalized for prioritizing health and safety for themselves and our entire Tech Family.

Visit latech.edu/return-to-campus to learn more about our Return to Campus. 

Dr. Les Guide | President, Louisiana Tech University