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A Return to campus? Transylvania, Cumberlands planning for every scenario

Posted at 2:06 PM, May 12, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Not even a class valedictorian could predict what will happen three months from now, but administrators at Transylvania University are planning for just about every scenario when it comes to the 2020-2021 school year.

“We are considering doing a hybrid-type delivery of course,” said Dr. Michael Cairo, an academic dean at Transy. “Some of the courses are remote, some are perhaps on campus."

The University of the Cumberlands is, as of now, planning to be back on campus, but leaving themselves the wiggle room needed to adjust if necessary. Their plan includes using eight-week semesters, to lighten the course load, which would also reduce the number of students per classroom.

A short walk on the Transy campus was about as depressing as it gets. In mid-May the academic quad should be bustling with students bouncing from building to building for final exams. Seniors should’ve been taking one of their final strolls on this campus before graduating later in the month. But today (and everyday since March), campus has resembled a ghost town. And it’s been just as upsetting to faculty and staff members.

“It’s a time we should be celebrating their accomplishments, and what they’ve done,” Cairo said, while adding that the faculty members enjoy this time of year because it gives a chance to meet their students’ parents and their other family members.

“Absolutely,” Cairo said when asked if he’s ready to see the students back on campus.

While that isn’t an option now the school is planning for that scenario as well, if it’s safe to do so in August.

“The beauty of what we’re moving to is that we give ourselves the flexibility, so that even (as late as) in August we can make a decision related to what’s going on,” Cairo said of their three-pronged plan. One of those options is to remain in full on-line teaching mode, but that would be a worst case scenario.

Cairo said the on-line teaching process has gone about as well as could be expected, but as everyone knows, there are no substitutes for the classroom dynamic, and teacher/student interaction.

*Transylvania Univeristy is planning to honor its Class of 2020 with a virtual graduation ceremony scheduled for Saturday May 23, beginning at 9:30 am.