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Most Oakland University classes going remote at beginning of coming semester

Vandenberg Hall at Oakland University
Courtesy of Oakland University
Vandenberg Hall at Oakland University

Oakland University will hold almost all classes online for the first two weeks of the upcoming 2022 winter semester.

Oakland University President Dr. Ora Hirsch Pescovitz said the decision comes in the face of rapidly rising COVID cases and the highly contagious Omicron variant.

She said the measure is prudent with many students and employees traveling over the holidays. The two week break from in-person classes will allow quarantine time for students who might be exposed to COVID-19 during the holidays.

"We want to encourage everyone to use that time to get their boosters and to come back safely," said Pescovitz.

"We anticipate that there will be strong support for the decision because we know that the community welcomes every measure we have taken thus far to promote their health and safety," Pescovitz said.

She said the University's top priority is the health and safety of the campus community.

Oakland University has mask and COVID-vaccination mandates. Pescovitz said compliance with both has been high.

The University has not yet mandated a COVID booster.

Pescovitz said she did not expect the two weeks of largely online classes to have a major impact on learning.

"It's important to note that we did the same thing at the start of the 2021 winter semester," said Pescovitz. "And so fortunately both our students and our faculty and staff have a lot of experience with remote learning."

The plan is for classes to return to their previously scheduled mix of in-person and online instruction Jan. 18 unless the surging pandemic requires a longer response.

A small group of winter 2022 courses, such as labs and field experiences, may meet in person starting Jan. 5th.

Virginia Gordan has been a part-time reporter at Michigan Radio since fall 2013. She has a general beat covering news topics from across the state.