Oregon's colleges and universities announced additional changes to operations on Wednesday as COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the state.
Oregon State University and University of Oregon will move to online classes for the entirety of the spring term. Oregon University has closed its campus to the public, and both universities are allowing students housed in the dorm to return home without being charged cancellation fees.
"These steps will prompt many questions and cause disruption for all. I ask everyone to do their best to accommodate them," OSU Provost and Executive Vice President Edward Feser said in a statement posted to the university's website.
Beginning March 30, all OSU classes will be conducted remotely though the campus will remain opened.
"At least through spring term, the university will continue critical activities of research, OSU Extension and engagement, student services, and general operations by adhering to social distancing and use of communications technology for meetings and conferencing," Feser said.
The university is also offering a scholarship, up to eight credit hours, for students who have been on an approved path to graduate in spring 2020 and now cannot due to COVID-19 related instructional changes.
The number of credits included in the scholarship may be expanded as resources allow.
University of Oregon and Pacific University announced on Wednesday that traditional in-person commencement ceremonies in May have been cancelled.
"It would simply put too many people in close proximity to one another," Pacific University President Lesley Hallick said in a statement. "It is also possible that we will have to cancel our August Commencement, but more to come on that a little closer to the event."
Hallick said the university is looking into a virtual event while UO officials said alternative graduation plans would be released in the coming weeks.
Other changes include the closure of the Dixon Recreation Center at OSU for the spring term, an additional 80 hours of paid leave will be given to OSU employees, non-essential travel both domestically and internationally at UO has been suspended indefinitely and residence halls at the university will provide take-out service.
"Please continue to take appropriate personal and public health measures, and support other OSU community members, including the families of OSU employees affected by these measures and other measures required by the state of Oregon," Feser said.
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