Colleges changing for coronavirus: What’s changing at Miami, other schools?

Universities and colleges across Ohio continue to limit their learning and residential options for students in the face of the coronavirus.

Tuesday saw Ohio State University announce it will not hold its traditional spring graduation ceremony.

All southwest Ohio colleges recommend students, faculty and staffers regularly check their school’s websites for details on the rapidly changing and sweeping changes caused by COVID-19 prevention measures.

Ohio State President Michael Drake issued a statement saying the school is “following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation that no large events be scheduled over the next eight weeks (so) we have postponed our spring commencement.”

“Our preference is to reschedule for later this spring, but it is premature to select a new date at this time,” said Drake.

Butler County’s largest university – the nearly 20,000-student Miami University – has ordered its students living in residence halls on the main Oxford campus to return to their homes.

Students are departing the main campus on their own, said Carole Johnson, spokeswoman for Miami, which is the also largest employer in Butler County.

“Our (on-campus student) numbers are going down continuously. We have reduced the numbers remaining significantly and we are strongly urging all students, who are able to do so, to depart as soon as possible,” said Johnson.

“We will close the residence halls on Saturday, March 21, except for those students with an approved exemption,” she said.

And dining halls are open for students on a take-out basis only.

Jason Osborne, Miami provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, posted an announcement saying “we appear to be at least partially successful in emptying campus of students. We anticipate around 1,800 students in the residence halls by the end of the day (Tuesday), down from over 7,000 on campus.”

“Of course, we cannot control off-campus housing and hope that students have taken this opportunity to go home where possible,” said Osborne.

The University of Cincinnati, Ohio’s second-largest enrollment school, is also shifting its resources to remote learning.

Tuesday saw UC officials announce, “the university will transition to remote operations for faculty and staff, starting … remaining in effect until further notice.”

“University housing and dining facilities will close for the remainder of the semester. Students must check out of university housing by day’s end on March 25,” said officials.

UC officials said “although there have been no documented cases of COVID-19 within our campus community, we are making needed preparations to be able to quickly respond if COVID-19 is detected.”

Xavier University officials announced it is extending spring break by one week, and the spring semester will also be extended by one week. Remote learning will begin on March 23. Live classroom instruction is tentatively scheduled to resume at Xavier on April 14.

By end of school day Tuesday, Xavier students had to move out of residence halls but officials said students have until March 23 at 9 p.m. to remove all belongings from campus housing.

The Middletown campus of Cincinnati State announced its shift to learning will run through the end of the community college’s spring semester May 4.

“The college has not yet made a decision regarding its commencement ceremony scheduled for May 3.

About the Author