At Virginia Commonwealth University, which starts classes Aug. 17, nearly 100 faculty members called last week for a completely virtual fall semester.
VCU President Michael Rao said Monday in a message to the VCU community: “We have chosen to come back as scheduled for an in-person fall semester because we have a community with varying needs. We have created different models of working and learning to accommodate those needs.”
Rao said the school has invested in “the COVID-19 testing capacity necessary for the safety of our community and the ability to carry out that testing.” He said VCU has “the expertise of a nationally premier health system,” and “most importantly, we have trust in each other, recognizing that fostering a safe return to campus depends on our shared commitments.”
As of last week, VCU said 47.3% of its 8,291 courses will be taught face-to-face, while 34.7% will be completely online. The remaining courses will be taught in blended and hybrid formats, with some in-person learning and some virtual.
Schools across the state are counting on community buy-in to combat COVID-19. James Madison University says in a video that its students are known for holding doors for one another and “wearing masks is the new holding doors.”
In his message Tech’s Sands acknowledged some qualms in the school community about a return to campus amid COVID-19.