Purdue President Mitch Daniels says the university is planning for all the ways future life on campus could change as the novel coronavirus outbreak continues to spread.
“We will be dealing with a different environment, and with different ground rules, even in the circumstance we’re all hoping for -- which is that we do get life re-started again, and fairly soon,” Daniels says.
Daniels says he’s commissioning a group to examine how teaching, lab research, sanitary practices and more might be altered in response to COVID-19 into the next school year. He also says the school is preparing for how employees might be impacted in the coming months.
“We’re going to have to plan for a variety of futures, including some that are very, very difficult,” Daniels says. “And I wouldn’t want anybody to misunderstand that we’re just leaving that to chance, or that we are not -- while hoping for the best, preparing for the worst.”
Purdue announced last week that school faculty, staff, graduate students and post-doc staff would be paid through June 30. The university is operating under the stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Eric Holcomb, currently set to end on April 6. Last week, Holcomb said he would extend that deadline if necessary.
Meanwhile, students are headed into week two of remote learning.
“Essentially, everyone is participating,” Daniels says. “And I know there'll be problems cropping up, and I know there'll be a lot more to learn, but enormous compliments to both faculty and student body for taking these steps necessary to deal with an admittedly second-best situation.”
Purdue’s spring semester ends May 9.