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Safe and Resilient Follow-Up

Dear Students,


First, on behalf of all the Deans and your faculty, I want to thank you for your resilience and grace in finishing last semester under trying circumstances. Campus isn’t the same without you, and we are as eager to return to face-to-face teaching and learning as you are. We are all living through a moment of great uncertainty. But know that we are taking every measure to return to campus and to do so safely.


I want to be candid: we are going to come back to the campus we love, but in order to do so, some things will be different as we return. It will be that way everywhere, at every university and in all domains of life, as our society adjusts to the new normal. Yet I am confident that we can succeed, and to do so, we are going to need your continued grace and resilience. Right now, we are hard at work on a plan that we call the Safe and Resilient Instructional Plan. The driving purpose of the plan is to put OU in the best position of any campus as we return to in-person learning, safely. 


All of the Deans, colleges, and faculty are hard at work on the details of the plan. At this moment, we know its basic outlines. Large courses – over 40 – are going to be impractical in the immediate COVID-19 future, so we are going to move them online (but note as detailed below that we are currently at work adding smaller in-person sections to increase the number of safe, face-to-face options). Congestion in buildings and classrooms will make it impossible to maintain safe distance. So, we are going to space out the schedule, stagger start times, and use only bigger classrooms. We are working to make sure that we can return to the libraries, labs, tutoring spaces, and other hands-on facilities that make OU special, all while protecting our students, faculty, and staff. These are real changes and adapting to them will require team spirit and flexibility. But we do it because we care for you, and because you care for each other’s health. We do it most of all because we want to be back together, teaching and learning, as soon as it is safe. We can meet these challenges, together.


Right now, we are working through these transitions. We are adding thousands of seats in new, smaller, in-person sections, and we are testing the classroom scheduling and room assignments in our software systems. I want to underscore that there will be a few weeks – starting now, as we make this transition, add face-to-face sections, and adjust as needed – during which your schedule, your mix of online/in-person courses, etc., may appear to change. Please note: your schedules as they are currently listed in One are not final. I am asking you to bear with us all as we use the early summer to get ready to return in the fall. For now, enjoy the start of summer, and let the hardworking teams at OU get ready to welcome you back. Once the schedule is in place, we will contact you, and you will have the chance to speak to your advisor if changes are needed. 


If you ever have questions, you are welcome to email me and my team at We will be in touch over the summer as the preparations continue. I look forward to seeing you, on campus, in the fall.



Kyle Harper

Senior Vice President and Provost