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UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee roll out fall semester plans amid COVID-19 pandemic

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MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) – The University of Wisconsin System’s two largest campuses will welcome back students and faculty for the fall semester with a variety of measures in place to avoid and minimize the spread of COVID-19.

UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee released their plans Wednesday, days after the UW System confirmed all 13 of its universities would bring students and faculty back for limited in-person classes.

“Our top priorities are keeping our community healthy while continuing to provide a world-class educational experience,” UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank told reporters in a web briefing.

The sentiment is echoed by UW-Milwaukee campus leaders.

“We’re going to be in a real good spot by fall setting up people to be safe and still get the experiences that they’re looking for,” Kay Eilers, the Director of Student Success at UW-Milwaukee told CBS 58. “Following all the safety and protocol that need to be in place given the circumstances.”

Both campuses will offer a mix of online and in-person course instruction, with face-to-face classes limited to 50 students or fewer. The Madison and Milwaukee campuses will also require face coverings indoors and strongly encourage their use outside of facilities. Campus buildings are being modified in order to minimize potential spread of the virus and maximize social distancing.

Campus leaders acknowledge the change in campus culture will require a learning curve but they are confident the community will join the effort.

“We really think folks will embrace wearing the masks that we need to do to make sure that we’re all staying safe,” Eilers said.

Chancellor Blank said professors and faculty will have a lot of flexibility in maintaining safety protocols in their classrooms to assure students are complying.

“If you are not willing to wear a mask when you come to class, there will be a whole variety of non-in-person classes that you can participate in instead,” Blank said.

There are some differences in the announced plans of the two campuses.

UW-Milwaukee will hold its semester schedule consistent throughout with its mix of online and in-person classes. UW-Madison will switch to an all online format after the Thanksgiving break for the final stretch of the semester.

On top of that, UW-Madison is offering virtually unlimited, on-campus COVID-19 testing for its students and faculty. UW-Milwaukee is instructing its campus to reach out to their personal healthcare providers as well as using public testing sites.

More information on each campus’s plan is available below.

University of Wisconsin-Madison plan HERE 

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee plan HERE 

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