WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - *A press release from Midwestern State University*
Officials build on success of face-to-face instruction since Fall 2020
The can-do spirit of MSU Mustangs guided Midwestern State University through a successful academic year, and officials are filled with optimism for a return to mostly normal operations in Fall 2021. “Between the state’s decreasing positivity rate and the increased COVID-19 vaccine availability, we are working toward increased capacity in both our classrooms and events to provide a more complete university experience for our students,” said President Suzanne Shipley.
Throughout the 2020-21 academic year, the University implemented a number of enhanced health and safety protocols to safely allow increased physical presence in as many courses as possible. The campus’ commitment to these guidelines were critical to the University’s ability to deliver and sustain face-to-face instruction for more than 75% of course offerings in the fall and spring semesters.
While the University’s primary academic format will continue to focus on increased in-person instruction, a mix of course options will be available for online and virtual learning environments to provide flexibility.
Increased presence on campus was not limited to the classroom. This spring the University was able to successfully offer increased activities for students through athletic events, enrichment programming, and the weeklong Stangfest celebration complete with food, music, games and fireworks.
“This increased activity was a direct result of the determination and dedication of students, faculty, and staff,” said Keith Lamb, Vice President for Student Affairs and co-chair for the University’s Return to Campus Task Force. “We are grateful for their actions to make these events possible.”
A number of events were also made available in a fully virtual environment while other events utilized a blended approach of in-person and livestream. Those events included multiple livestream musical events, as well as several speaker series.
The University’s work in combatting COVID-19 has not been confined to campus, as officials have worked with city, county and state leaders to mitigate this risk for all in the immediate communities. In April, the MSU Texas Vinson Health Center partnered with the Texas Department of Emergency
Management and the Texas Military Department to offer vaccination clinics for both the campus and surrounding communities.
“One of the keys to our way back to normal is through a vaccinated population,” said Dr. Keith Williamson, MSU Texas Medical Director. “We encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”
The outlook for Fall 2021 is promising as the University works through final details this summer to be ready for a flurry of activities commonly associated with back-to-school.
“All of this progress supports and informs our decisions for Fall 2021,” said James Johnston, MSU Texas Provost and co-chair for the University’s Return to Campus Task Force. “Our university will likely continue to follow some health and safety precautions as we monitor the state of COVID-19 and the vaccination rate in our communities. The pandemic is still with us and likely will be for some time, and we will be prepared to make adjustments as needed to keep our campus safe.”