Pittsburg State University has announced it intends to resume face-to-face classes, open residence halls, and resume student life — although likely with differences — this fall. To that end, three working groups have been formed to determine a path forward.

“There are still many unknowns,” PSU President Steve Scott said in a release. “Campus won’t be the same, but not all of the differences are defined. What we can say with certainty now is that health and safety remain our top priority.”

Scott said that since shelter-in-place orders began, the university’s commitment to students and the community to provide transformational experiences and live up to its principle, “by doing, learn,” has been at the forefront of the minds of members of the PSU Critical Response Management Team and Presidents Council. Those leaders have met virtually since early March to chart a path in the areas of online instruction, virtual ceremonies, virtual orientation for incoming freshmen, and more.

Bringing faculty, staff, and students back together this fall will require additional careful planning, close communication with public health officials, and well-coordinated decision-making across campus, Scott noted.

The three working groups tasked with guidance in those areas are an academics working group chaired by Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Howard Smith, a student life working group chaired by Vice President for Student Life Steve Erwin, and a budget and finance working group chaired by Chief Financial Officer Doug Ball.

The membership in these groups is broad to ensure representation of all interests in every area of the university.

“We know we can't eliminate all risk, but we can anticipate challenges and mitigate as much as possible to ensure we have options,” Scott said.