University of Akron plans return to campus in fall


Today, President Gary Miller issued a letter to The University of Akron (UA) community regarding the University’s intention to welcome students to campus in the fall of 2020. 

Since late April, Dr. Joe Urgo, former interim executive vice president and provost, has led a team of more than 60 individuals from across the University in planning for various scenarios to enable us to return to campus for the fall 2020 semester. In doing so, they have incorporated advice from various health officials and other expert resources. Additionally, a group of leaders from Ohio’s public universities, including Urgo, has worked to develop protocols to guide our decisions regarding the entire range of operational aspects of the University. 

The UA group examined campus operations from many different perspectives, including:

  • Classroom Scheduling and Course Delivery
  • Classroom Maintenance and Physical Space Preparation
  • Laboratory and Studio Classes
  • Student Well-Being and Support
  • International Education
  • Residence Halls and Dining
  • Campus Functioning and Safety
  • Finance
  • Health
  • Athletics and Recreation

Additional detailed planning will be necessary between now and the beginning of classes in the fall; however, these initial determinations will help the entire campus community – especially students – with their own planning and decisions.

The University of Akron will welcome students to return to campus in the fall of 2020, unless circumstances change significantly, and under the conditions listed below. 

The following principles and practices will guide UA campus activities:

  • The safety of students, faculty, contract professionals and staff is the most important goal.
  • Currently existing physical distancing rules and personal protection strategies will apply to all campus activities, including in the classroom.
  • Residence halls will be open and operate within physical distancing guidelines.
  • Face-to-face instruction will occur, and students should expect a mix of face-to-face, hybrid, and online classes. Many courses will be offered through dual delivery, which will give students the option to take the class in person or online.
  • High levels of personal health monitoring, consideration of others and adherence to regulations will be expected of everyone.
  • Staffing in University offices will be kept at minimum levels, where possible, while continuing to meet the needs of those UA serves.
  • The full range of student services will be offered.
  • To the extent possible, the classroom schedules now in place for returning students will be retained.  

There are still many unknowns. For example, it is not yet clear how high-density activities – such as marching band, athletics, intramurals, etc. – will be managed. The University will continue to review those areas of university life.

UA will continue to seek to establish the best ways to operate in this changed world. Students are encouraged to make plans to join UA s this fall and be part of the great adventure before us.

Media contact: Cristine Boyd, 330-972-6476 or