The Plan to Repopulate Campus

Below is an over-view of The Plan to Repopulate Campus report for the Fall 2020 Semester. At the end you will find a link to the detailed report that will serve as the University’s guidepost as we begin the 2020-21 academic year.

Summary of University’s Plan

  • Ozarks will continue to adhere to the core principle of focusing on the health and well-being of students, faculty, staff, vendors and visitors throughout the reopening process. 
  • The University is committed to maintaining its standard of excellence in all forms of academic instruction and activities.
  • Ozarks plans re-opening campus for the Fall 2020 Semester with a combination of in-person classes, virtual classes and a hybrid of both.
  • Reopening will respond to federal, state and local government guidance in place at the time of the University’s reopening and will continue to be guided by health and medical professionals and the best available data and scientific information.
  • The University will be flexible and innovative in the face of evolving circumstances.
  • Face coverings (masks) will be required while on campus in all public settings.
  • Social distancing protocols and hand-washing/sanitizing hygiene will be emphasized.
  • Building and classroom capacity parameters have been adjusted to accommodate social distancing guidelines.
  • With the return of students, faculty, and staff, enhanced cleaning and disinfection will occur across campus with increased cleaning frequency in common areas and high-touch point areas consistent with CDC guidance to institutions of higher education.
  • The University will begin repopulating campus with faculty and staff in three phases, beginning Monday, July 20.
  • Managers and supervisors may be flexible and allow employees to continue remote work to address at-risk needs or where productivity can be maintained from home.
  • Large in-person gatherings, meetings and events have been cancelled or converted to a virtual format for the fall semester, including Homecoming, the Walton Arts & Ideas Series, speaker events and theatre and concert performances.
  • Only essential visitors and guests will be allowed on campus and they must be pre-authorized to visit.
  • University students, faculty and staff are recommended to limit their travel during the semester to essential travel only. This includes traveling home for the weekend.   
  • The online version of The Plan for Repopulating Campus will be updated periodically and the version posted on the University’s website ( supersedes any printed version.
  • The University will provide regular updates to the campus community through emails and the University website.

2020 Fall Semester Calendar

New student move-in will be held over a three-day period, from Aug. 19-21, and returning students will be scheduled for Aug. 22-24. Classes will begin on Tuesday, Aug. 25. There will be no fall break, classes will be held on Labor Day (Sept. 7) and the final day of in-person classes will be Friday, Nov. 20. All classes will transition to 100 percent virtual beginning Monday, Nov. 23, and classes will continue in a virtual format through finals.

Here are some key dates for the 2020 Fall Semester:

  • Faculty & Staff Opening Workshop: Aug. 19
  • New student move-in: Aug. 19-21
  • Orientation and Ozarks Experience: Aug. 19-23
  • Returning student move-in: Aug. 22-24
  • Classes begin: Aug. 25
  • Labor Day (Classes WILL BE in session/Offices open): Sept. 7
  • Last day of in-person classes: Nov. 20
  • Classes resume 100 percent virtual: Nov. 23-24
  • Thanksgiving Break (No classes, offices closed): Nov. 25-27
  • Final day of classes: Dec. 4
  • Final exams (virtual): Dec. 7-10
  • Commencement (To Be Determined)

Symptom Monitoring and Self-Assessment

Per current guidance from the CDC, the current reopening plan does not require testing of all individuals returning to campus for the fall semester. All students are required to complete a self-report screening form prior to traveling to campus. Self-report forms will be available digitally or through other means as needed, and students must submit forms for review 48-72 hours prior to scheduled travel to campus. Students without a form on file will not be permitted to check into their housing assignment on move-in day. In addition, U of O employees planning to work on campus are required on a daily basis to complete a certification assessing that they are not exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms prior to coming to campus. A certification process for students is being developed and will be communicated prior to the start of the semester.


Throughout the semester, testing will be arranged in coordination with the Johnson Regional Medical Center (JRMC) for students who self-report symptoms or contact with individuals who have presented with symptoms in the last 14 days. Students requiring testing as a result of the risk assessment will be required to self-isolate until test results are available. Residential Life will identify living spaces on- and/or off-campus to be used for quarantine and isolation purposes, based on availability. Testing protocols are evolving rapidly. The task force will continue to work with JRMC and ADH on a testing protocol.


For the majority of classes, courses will be delivered in a hybrid format with blended face-to-face instruction as well as online. Classrooms have been outfitted with a video capture technology to allow students to watch the class from a remote location. Multiple strategies have been considered and could be implemented or modified as necessary as health conditions change, including the possibility of transitioning from one method of lecture delivery to another at any point in the semester. All faculty members have designed their courses so that they can transition to 100 percent remote delivery at any time should circumstances change. Fall Break has been cancelled to reduce the risk of the virus spread by students who travel, and the University will transition to 100 percent remote online instruction on Monday, Nov. 23. The final seven days of classes (Nov. 23-24 and Nov. 30-Dec. 4) as well as finals (Dec. 7-10) will be given 100 percent online.

Housing, Dining and Campus Life

On-campus residential housing and dining represent a critical component of the student experience and Ozarks is committed to providing an opportunity for students to reside on campus in an environment guided by health and well-being measures. Dining hall hours will be adjusted throughout the semester to help with continued service and cleaning. Additional plexi-glass protection and sanitizing stations have been implemented and grab-and-go options will be available to ensure proper social distancing. Fall residential housing and dining plans were developed considering recommendations from the Arkansas Department of Health, the CDC and the World Health Organization. Campus recreation will present lower-risk activities and events throughout the semester.


Conference and NCAA rules will govern participation in intercollegiate athletic events. Each sport may have different guidelines for competition.