Most OSU Corvallis campus fall instruction to be offered remotely and online

Aug. 11, 2020

Dear OSU Corvallis students,

We write to announce important decisions regarding instruction for the fall term.

Based on careful monitoring of the status of the COVID-19 locally, throughout Oregon and nationally, we have decided that OSU’s Corvallis campus will deliver approximately 90% of courses remotely in the fall, making it possible for you to live and study from home if that is the best option for you.

This approach will contribute to student wellness and educational success, help limit the density of activity on-campus and in the Corvallis community, and help minimize the possible spread of COVID-19. The university’s COVID-19 Safety and Success website and this video offer details on what OSU will look like this fall. The following provides an outline of fall term.

Choice: To the greatest extent practicable, we are providing you with the ability to decide the location that works best for you to pursue your studies. If you feel safest living at home and taking OSU courses remotely and online, almost all of our instruction will support that choice. If you choose to live on campus while you pursue your studies (mostly remotely or online), you are welcome at OSU.

Courses offered on-site will primarily be those that have a heavy experiential learning component, such as labs and field courses. Therefore, some students—especially advanced undergraduates and graduate students—may need to return to Corvallis to order to take those courses and continue progressing in their degree programs. The OSU Schedule of Classes lists the instructional modality or format for each course: on-site/in-person, remote, a blend of on-site/in-person and remote, and online through Ecampus. Regardless of instructional mode, courses will be compelling and engaging, supporting you in achieving your academic goals.

Living on campus: Residence halls will be open for students who decide that living on campus is their best and safest option. We will offer only single and double occupancy rooms and create space for use in isolating and quarantining, should it be needed. We have adjusted our First Year Experience Live-on policy so that all first-year students otherwise subject to this policy may make the choice to remain at home. If students elect to stay at home and attend OSU remotely, no exemption request is required. Students with a current UHDS contract who decide to stay home must cancel their contract by emailing [email protected].

Buildings with classrooms and teaching laboratories for in-person instruction and applied learning will be open during fall term, along with the Memorial Union, Dixon Recreation Center, Valley Library, buildings that provide students with student services and study spaces, child care, health and wellness, food services and emergency assistance. Student advising will be provided mostly remotely.

Financial assistance and student fees: The OSU Board of Trustees froze tuition rates for the 2020-21 academic year for continuing undergraduates enrolled at Corvallis, Bend, Portland and at Eastern Oregon University and we are increasing need-based financial aid assistance for eligible students. As well, fees associated with Student Fee-funded programs are now under review by student leaders. Information on any student fee reductions will be provided after student fee committees complete their review.

Living near campus. We know that many students remain in and around Corvallis during the summer months while others will return in fall in order to utilize the university’s facilities, information technology infrastructure, and support programs while taking remote or online courses. Therefore, the campus will be open under modified conditions to support those students, and we will have public health measures and COVID-19 testing protocols in place.

We ask all students and living in the Corvallis community to become a public health champion and vigilantly follow university and state guidelines indoors and outdoors regarding face coveringssocial and physical distancing and indoor and outdoor social gatherings. In addition, we ask students this fall to conduct daily health screenings and stay home if they are experiencing symptoms of illness or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

Public health measures: In addition to face covering and physical distancing requirements, this fall OSU will provide enhanced cleaning protocols within university buildings; isolation and quarantine rooms in residence halls; improved HVAC filtration, where possible; expanded availability of hand sanitizer; and other public health measures recommended by local and state health officials. These measures are working well and have helped OSU to keep selected programs and services on-site and in-person over the summer.

On campus testing: We will test continuously for the prevalence of the virus that causes COVID-19 on the Corvallis and OSU-Cascades campuses and at the Hatfield Marine Science Center with the expert guidance of OSU researchers leading the TRACE-COVID-19 project. In addition to prevalence testing, we will monitor wastewater on our campuses and at HMSC for the presence of the virus. We are also exploring providing an initial test to students who choose to live on campus in Corvallis and students arriving from out-of-state hotspot communities.

We certainly had hoped that we would be at a different place in the national battle with COVID-19 by this point in the summer, such that we would be able to return to a significant complement of on-site and in-person instruction for fall term. However, we believe that in shifting to a primarily virtual instructional format, while also offering a limited mix of on-site teaching that facilitates students’ continued progress toward their degree, we will maintain a low density of activity on campus and help minimize the spread of COVID-19. Of course, we are prepared to pivot to fully remote operations if public health considerations dictate such a decision.

We sincerely appreciate your patience and understanding as we adjust to ever-changing pandemic conditions and public health circumstances. Thank you in advance for remaining flexible and adaptable as we continue to prioritize your health and educational success.

As resilient members of Beaver Nation, we will continue to respond, adapt and recover from these challenging times and become an even stronger community and better university for our students and all we serve.


F. King Alexander

Edward Feser
Provost and Executive Vice President