TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - In just over a month, UT Tyler students will return to campus – and it’s going to look a lot different than the last time most of them were here.
Laura Jackson is the chair of the Reboot task force – the group that was responsible for coming up with the new plan.
“It was very important for us to have that engagement opportunity and so yes it will look a little bit different. We will be a little more spaced, we will be in smaller groups but at the same time we heard loud and clear from our students, from our parents. from our faculty and staff, you know, being back together, having that human interaction, although it will be different, and it will be following those safety protocols is important for our campus and for our campus culture,” Jackson said.
Jackson says the majority of the classes this fall will be hybrid classes – that’s a mix of both online and in person courses.
“If it’s a Tuesday/Thursday class, for example, maybe 30 students come on Tuesday in person and the other 30 are online and then the following Thursday you have the other 30 come while the other 30 who were there on Tuesday watch the class and participate in the class online,” Jackson said.
Something that will be happening more often on campus – cleaning.
“We’re going to be taking additional cleaning measures and so regularly disinfecting not only the classrooms and the desks and things like that, but the doorknobs, the elevator buttons, all of that are gonna be on a heavy cleaning rotation,” Jackson said.
Food service at the university will operate in a limited capacity. Instead of the traditional dining hall experience, grab and go options will be available.
“We’ll have appropriately spaced tables and chairs outside so students can pick up their meals, take them outside if they wish,” Jackson said.
Through all the changes, Jackson says both tuition and room and board costs will remain the same.
“We’re anticipating its not going to look exactly the same, but students will be back on campus and have access to all the amenities that they have in the past, and so it just looks a little different,” Jackson said.
Jackson says some obstacles still lie ahead, but they’re feeling confident.
“We have so many experts right here in our campus in Tyler, Texas who are helping to advise us and help us as we move forward. Obviously, there is a lot of unknown and we’re all traversing through that through the best of our abilities, but we feel very confident in this plan. We’re gonna do everything in our power to be as safe as possible at UT Tyler while also carrying our our mission and our vision,” Jackson said.