West Virginia University currently plans to open for the 2020 fall semester, according to a letter from President E. Gordon Gee.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, university campuses across the nation have closed, including WVU’s. Gee’s announcement states that all WVU campuses — Morgantown, Beckley and Keyser — are expected to open come this fall, with special safety precautions to be taken.
“Today we feel confident there is enough information to announce our plans that we expect to be on campus for the fall. There are teams across the University developing the new measures, guidelines and precautions we will need to implement to inhibit the spread of COVID-19,” Gee stated in a letter to the Mountaineer Parents Club. “We are considering processes for testing, tracing and isolating should another outbreak occur. And as we continue to explore ideas, this I know for certain: It will take all of us – working together – to create and maintain a safe campus environment this fall.”
This is significant news for fans of Mountaineer sports. As sporting events have been canceled since the beginning of March — and remain so, in many cases, through the summer — Gee noted that one of the biggest prerequisites for the return of sports would be the return of students to campus.
In addition, Gee noted that tuition would not be raised in the coming academic year, citing the newfound economic hardships for many families during the pandemic.
“As a land-grant institution, strengthening our responsibility to accessible and affordable higher education is critically important,” Gee said. “My hope is this action will demonstrate the commitment, as well as allow our students and families to plan financially for the future with a deeper sense of security.”
While the current plan is to resume in the fall, however, Gee did note that the University’s plan is dynamic pending further developments in the pandemic.
“So, today we move forward with a firm resolve while creating plans for any developments that may arise,” he said. “As more information becomes available, we will be communicating with you – early and often. I ask for your patience as these decisions require astute consideration and meticulous execution. We want to deliver the academic and student life experience you have come to love and expect – but safely in our new reality.”