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COVID-19 Recovery: Northwest's Intent to Resume On-Ground Operations in the Fall

As Northwest continues to develop plans, protocols and procedures for the resumption of campus operations, the University also acknowledges a return to normal operations in the near future is unlikely, and a transition to a “new normal” is more likely. While the intent is to resume on-ground operations and delivery of services, there is an increased likelihood that many operations and services will be performed in an alternative way as compared to Northwest’s pre-COVID environment.

Early mitigation measures prevented the initial spread of COVID-19 on the Northwest campus and in the Maryville community, but the likelihood of community spread increases as local businesses resume operations and social distancing measures are relaxed, not enforced or not adhered.

While mitigation measures will decrease the likelihood of transmission among individuals on campus, factors outside the University’s control could impact campus operations. As students and employees return, individual interactions and local community spread are likely to impact the campus population.

The University is planning for multiple contingencies throughout the recovery process and requests flexibility of the campus community. Timelines and phases may need to be adjusted to maneuver through evolving circumstances.

Northwest’s guiding philosophy and framework for its phased return to campus and starting the semester Aug. 19 consists of four themes.

  • Learning and success: We will deliver curricular and co-curricular learning in a flexible manner with a continued focus on profession-based principles and a keen eye on student success. Further, as an organization, Northwest will continue enacting an uninterrupted learning cycle as it addresses health and safety, agility, and viability. Just as our mission is to focus on student success – every student, every day – we are focused on the success of our employees and the institution.
  • Health and safety: Northwest will prioritize student and employee health and safety and that of the varying stakeholders we serve. Our adoption of a phased recovery strategy is critical to our success.
  • Agility: Northwest will be flexible and adapt, with the goal of staying open and operational, even as conditions change rapidly. We will remain attuned to local and regional conditions, and these will help inform and shape our actions.
  • Viability: Northwest will address longer-term implications of learning programming and delivery, changing workforce needs and overall institutional health and competitive advantage as we continue our journey on a strategic and growth mindset.