Titans Return – Fall 2020 Recovery Plan

Maintaining a primary focus on student and employee health, UW Oshkosh will return to a mixture of in-person and remote instruction for the fall 2020 semester. Student housing options will be offered in a safe and responsible manner, and Titans will have the opportunity to learn and work remotely to the extent practicable.

The Titans Return recovery plan will enhance campus safety by following best practices recommended by local, state and national health officials.

Frequently Asked Questions

We will continue to update this page as we are able to share more information. Please check back often.

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What is the plan for the fall 2020 semester?

Maintaining a primary focus on student and employee health, UW Oshkosh will return to a mixture of in-person and remote instruction for the fall 2020 semester. Student housing options will be offered in a safe and responsible manner, and Titans will have the opportunity to learn and work remotely to the extent practicable.

How was the plan determined?

The Titans Return recovery plan was written by the Recovery Task Force (RTF), a committee including representatives from UW Oshkosh administration, faculty, staff and students. The RTF was formed as an extension of the work of the Emergency Operations Committee (EOC), which made recommendations concerning campus safety during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the Recovery Task Force here.

How can the campus community give feedback on the plan?

Input from the University community about how Titans will return to campus is extremely important. For this reason, a survey will be sent to employees and students to solicit feedback on this recovery plan. This survey will focus on major aspects of the plan and give an opportunity for community response. This recovery effort will require our entire community to buy-in and embrace an empathetic and accountable culture to stay healthy while upholding our collective values as a community. The results of the survey will be assessed by the Recovery Task Force and/or Implementation Team.

Who will put this plan into action?

The purpose of the Recovery Task Force was to research the best and most cost-effective strategy for bringing students and employees back to the University safely. The next stage is to put this high-level plan into action. The Implementation Team will consist of members from the Emergency Operations Center, Recovery Task Force, Instruction, and others from the University to write procedures and develop processes around the Titans Return recovery plan. A core Implementation Team will be developed with larger subgroups in specified areas to update protocols and tailor plans to needs of specific areas.

Spring Semester: The University will continue to evaluate delivery and timing for Spring Semester. Decisions will be made based on the current activity of the virus and operations at the University.

How will this plan be communicated?

Communications and marketing are necessary components of the Titans Return plan. How we communicate the importance of our actions and how our actions affect our community will be the bedrock of our success. These communications will be developed by University Marketing and Communications in line with UW System communications and local, state and national health guidelines, with an emphasis on health and safety; information; recruitment/enrollment needs; visual appeal; and the idea that we are “all in this together” when it comes to keeping each other safe. These communications will include a dedicated website, social media updates, printed collateral and training.

How will this plan be evaluated?

The Titans Return plan is fluid, based on the current behavior of COVID-19, federal, state and local guidance, financial viability, and employee capacity to implement and maintain this plan. We will continue to evaluate procedures, financial impact and capacity as this plan is implemented. It is likely that the Implementation Team and subgroups will continually need to pivot and re-evaluate strategies and decisions made and be prepared to move entirely remote if health and safety conditions require it.

Keeping Us Safe

How is UW Oshkosh keeping its community safe?

In order to keep our University safe and open and to cultivate a strong and inclusive learning environment, all students, faculty and staff will need to contribute. Embracing awareness and considering how our decisions and actions affect our community will be pivotal in the success of our “new normal”. We should strive to foster a culture of accountability so that we are all protecting one another.

What actions are required of the UW Oshkosh community?
  1. All faculty, staff, students and guests of the University are required to wear a face covering while inside University buildings, including classrooms. Residential areas of residence halls, i.e., dorm rooms, are exempted from this requirement. Private offices and other spaces may be exempted when occupied by only one person.
  2. All faculty, staff and students are required to participate in COVID-related safety training.
  3. All faculty, staff and students are required to take the “Titan Pledge” for behavior designed to keep our Titan community safe.
  4. All faculty, staff and students will be required to physically distance when possible.
How will UWO protect the mental health of its community?
  1. Evaluate how to reduce stigma of positive cases and promote health and wellness.
  2. Identify safe spaces on campuses for students to be able to relax and take off masks.
  3. Determine how to accommodate the increased mental health needs of students and employees related to COVID-19.
How will UWO promote proper hygiene?
  1. Provide sanitizer refills and disinfecting wipes in all common areas.
  2. Develop a communication campaign about hygiene best practices, i.e., hand washing, face touching.
  3. Provide a basic hygiene kit to all employees and students at the start of the Fall semester.

Signage: UWO will place signage in various locations around the University to remind everyone about physical distancing, hygiene, masks, and other enhanced health and safety measures.

How will UWO modify the use of on-campus spaces?

Communal Areas

  1. Ensure spaces are configured to facilitate physical distancing.
  2. Utilize non-traditional spaces as classrooms to allow for more classes to have face to face components.
  3. Evaluate limiting access to drinking fountains.
  4. Install Plexiglass barriers for service counters where possible.

Office Spaces

  1. Reduce the number of staff occupying office spaces by encouraging telecommuting to the extent possible and within guidance to be provided by UWO Human Resources.
  2. Employee workspaces should be reviewed and adjusted to maximize physical distancing.
  3. Employees are expected to practice physical distancing in office and shared workspace settings.
  4. Employees should not use one another’s office or related office furniture and equipment such as desk, phone, computer or chair.
  5. Employees should meet virtually whenever possible.


  1. Reduce student occupancy capacity in all classrooms.
  2. Adhere to current physical distancing guidelines.
  3. Provide disinfectant supplies (such as wipes) in classrooms.
  4. Establish a disinfection protocol between classes.

Residence Halls

  1. Ensure common areas in residence halls are disinfected, spaces are set up to allow for physical distancing and that residents and guests are following health and safety measures.
  2. Follow disinfection procedures developed by the University and informed by Federal, State and UW System guidance.
  3. Have available disinfection supplies for residents to use in high touch areas.
  4. Partner with third party owner and operator of student housing on Fox Cities and Fond du Lac campuses to ensure appropriate health/safety protocols are in place.
How will meetings and events be affected?

UWO will develop a multi-phased approach to scheduling and approving events based on health and safety guidelines. Initially events may be held virtually.

Institutional and instructional meetings should, to the extent feasible and practical, be held virtually until such time as there is additional health and safety guidance recommending otherwise.

How will campus dining continue?
  1. Increase physical distancing and self-hygiene opportunities in dining locations and where food is served and/or consumed.
  2. Establish heightened COVID-19 safety protocols in all food service areas for anyone who enters the facility.
  3. Offer dining options to accommodate ill and high-risk individuals.
How will athletics continue?
  1. Athletics will resume in some capacity for Fall 2020. Athletes will return to the University with the assumption that health and safety guidelines are followed through a phased approach of physical distancing and health monitoring. A robust testing protocol and high level of accountability will also be required to ensure minimal spread of COVID-19.
  2. Determine safety needs of various stakeholders (athletes, coaches, officials, trainers, support staff, spectators) and work collaboratively with conference staff to include screening, hygiene, and physical distancing.


How will UWO assess and test for illness?
  1. Use a personal assessment tree (series of questions and actions to daily monitor symptoms) for students, staff and faculty through UWO Mobile App.
  2. Student Health Center will coordinate testing efforts of symptomatic students at the Oshkosh campus. Fond du Lac and Fox Cities campus students will seek testing through their local public health department, health care provider, or community testing sites. Currently, there is no plan to conduct baseline testing or to test asymptomatic students.
  3. Symptomatic employees are to consult their healthcare provider.
  4. Follow CDC guidance at the time of a positive test for response and return to class or work.
How will symptomatic students be isolated?
  1. Isolate and manage symptomatic students on the Oshkosh campus. Symptomatic students at the Fox Cities and Fond du Lac campuses should consult their primary physicians and self-isolate if necessary.
  2. Some or all of a residence hall will be utilized for isolation purposes for COVID-19 positive Oshkosh campus student residents if needed.
  3. Develop a plan to staff this building if it’s used in this capacity (disinfection, food service, laundry service, and medical attention).
  4. Residents at the Fond du Lac and Fox Cities campuses will self-isolate in their third-party owned residence hall.
  5. Students living off-campus will be given guidance on how to best isolate and who to contact with questions or concerns.
What should students or employees do if they develop symptoms?
  1. If students, staff or faculty feel ill, they should stay home.
    1. Human Resources will work with employees regarding leave options.
    2. University should create an environment that encourages reporting illness and staying home as not punitive toward employees or students.
  2. Implement a mechanism to allow the University community to report behaviors by individuals that may not comply with expectations for health and safety.
How will UWO conduct contact tracing?
  1. Collaborate with local county health departments to develop a plan for contact tracing.
  2. Seek volunteer students and staff to assist with performing contact tracing and analysis of data.
  3. Ensure confidentiality requirements are maintained.
How will UWO develop COVID-19 management?
  1. Create a response team to oversee the COVID-19 pandemic during the 2020 Fall semester and beyond.
  2. Review and maintain COVID-19 related policies and procedures for instruction, employee, student life, campus activities and facilities.
  3. Assess compliance of newly created policies and procedures through audit or inspection.

Academics and Student Learning

How will courses be offered?

Courses will be offered in a flexible learning format, depending on class size, course characteristics and timing in the semester. There is an expectation that a majority of classes will have a meaningful face-to-face (FTF) component. Larger classes where physical distancing is not possible due to facility constraints are delivered entirely online/remotely or with the Modified Tutorial model, while smaller classes where physical distancing is possible are delivered using the HyFlex model. Below are descriptions of these instructional modalities. The intent is to offer flexibility to students and instructors and to allow for modifying course delivery as the circumstances warrant.

    1. HyFlex: Course delivery is both FTF and online, but students can choose to participate in person or remotely.
      1. Instructors record and post class lectures or make substitute video content available simultaneously or following FTF delivery.
      2. The degree to which the online delivery option is synchronous with FTF is at the discretion of the instructor.
    2. Modified Tutorial delivery: Each student would have both online and FTF interaction each week.
      1. Some class sessions (e.g., lectures) are entirely remote.
      2. Lectures are recorded and/or livestreamed, with no FTF attendance.
      3. Other class sessions (e.g., discussions, performances, activities, labs, etc.) are held FTF in smaller groups.
    3. Online/Remote: All course content and delivery are fully online.
What criteria will be evaluated when determining course delivery methods?
  1. Larger density classes are delivered fully online.
  2. Lower density classes are delivered as HyFlex and/or Modified Tutorial depending on the course disposition and if classroom capacity allows.
  3. Attendance Modulation. Some modules may have attendance modulation, where an instructor institutes an alternate day/week FTF and remote participation, depending on enrollment caps and physical distancing occupancy standards for the classroom.
How will the academic calendar change?
  1. Regular Start Date: Classes will resume as planned Wednesday September 9th.
  2. Reduced in-person offerings after Thanksgiving: The remainder of the semester after Thanksgiving moves to a fully online course modality. Labs or smaller courses may continue with their HyFlex/Modified Tutorial delivery.
  3. The University will remain open throughout the 2020-2021 academic year.
  4. Fall Interim: Will run as originally scheduled from Jan. 4 to 22. Classes will be largely remote with few exceptions.

Student Life

How will residence halls change?

Residence halls will be open and filled in accordance with normal procedure, with first year students assigned double occupancy rooms and upper level students assigned to the rooms they chose during the housing selection process (single, double or triple rooms, or Horizon Village suites). Once the semester has started, it is possible there will be additional rooms available that could be assigned to students who are currently assigned a room other than single occupancy but would prefer that option. Residence Life will develop a process to assign extra rooms if demand for single occupancy rooms exceeds available supply. There will be additional health and safety measures in place as set forth in “Keeping Us Safe” above, and as further determined by the Implementation Team.

How will dining change?

University Dining will offer various dining experiences to include catering, open style seating, delivery and carry-out options for locations offering food. There will be additional health and safety measures in place as set forth in “Keeping Us Safe”, above and as further determined by the Implementation Team.

How will student events change?

Student events, as with other events on campus, will resume in a phased approach in accordance with UWO health and safety guidelines. There will be additional health and safety measures in place as set forth in “Keeping Us Safe” above, and further determined by the Implementation Team.

How will athletics and recreation change?

Athletics will resume Fall 2020 in accordance with guidance from the NCAA, WIAC and health and safety recommendations from local, state and federal health officials. Recreational activities will resume Fall 2020. There will be additional health and safety measures in place as set forth in “Keeping Us Safe” above, and as further determined by the Implementation Team.