Colorado Mesa University has begun planning to offer in-person instruction for the fall semester.
CMU President Tim Foster said the Safe Together, Strong Together initiative will involve Mesa County
Public Health as well as Community Hospital and St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center.
“Combining their expertise with the knowledge base of our faculty experts should result in the best available science and data we need to protect the health and safety of the campus community as we return to campus,” Foster said.
Work on the plan is scheduled for completion by June and will take into account all programs and facilities at CMU.
The university moved spring semester instruction online in March in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Summer instruction will remain online.
Amy Bronson, director of the physicians assistant program at CMU, will lead the effort along with John Marshall, vice president for student services.
“The goal is to create a rigorous science- and health-focused plan that acknowledges the existence of COVID-19 in our community,” Bronson said. “The safer/stronger approach will help us re-envision what the campus community will look like and how we can build a safe campus community given that reality.”
The initiative begins as CMU announced the re-opening of the Hamilton Recreation Center, Maverick Store and several outdoor recreation facilities. The facilities were re-opened after a review from area medical experts and approval by Mesa County Public Health.
“The approach CMU has taken to ensure the health and safety of Mesa County while considering the needs of their campus community is appreciated,” said Jeff Kuhr, executive director of Mesa County Public Health. “Mesa County Public Health wanted to make sure their plan took into account all the unique circumstances this response demands. Their thoughtful, deliberate and collaborative approach is a model for others.”
Community Hospital consulted on the opening of the facilities and also will be involved in long-term planning. “We are committed to assisting Colorado Mesa University navigate the very complex and challenging aspects of COVID-19,” said Chris Thomas, president and chief executive officer of Community Hospital. “As CMU looks to bring back students to campus in the fall, we share their mission to keep our entire community as safe as possible.”