Purdue President Mitch Daniels announced the creation of a “Safe Campus Task Force” Tuesday, charged with rethinking how the school might function as COVID-19 continues its spread.
“This fall, as always, there will be a flu season,” Daniels said in a statement. “But this fall, the COVID-19 strain will be a part of that season. Most faculty, students, and staff will not have acquired a natural immunity to it, and there will not yet be a vaccine.”
A group of Purdue faculty and staff will “propose every change they can conceive” to how campus life could be restructured to protect people from illness.
“The way we teach, learn, house, perform research, congregate, and do the work necessary to support those core activities are all open to reexamination and new, safer approaches,” Daniels said.
The school has responded to the COVID-19 outbreak with a series of measures since the beginning of February, including remote student learning, the cancellation of university-sponsored events and travel, and the creation of a virtual commencement ceremony.
“This fall semester, and perhaps every one that follows it, will be different because of the COVID-19 experience,” Daniels said.