Pepperdine’s main campus is completely empty after classes switched to online classes in March. Photo by Kayiu Wong
Story updated May 22 to include Seaver College updates.
President Gash announced this afternoon that Pepperdine plans to resume in-person instruction early August on Malibu campus and international campuses.
The announcement came a little after 2 p.m., through a University email that detailed the tentative plans for classes, residential living, athletics, artistic performances, events and more:
- All on-campus and international campus housing will be provided in a manner consistent to the health and safety recommendations
- Seaver College is exploring starting the fall semester two weeks early on August 17 — enabling the completion of the fall semester before Thanksgiving break
- Officials are monitoring the situation in each international program and said they hope to proceed with the programs
- Each graduate school is proceeding with its previously announced schedule for the fall
- For Pepperdine Athletics, competitions for the fall will likely be limited to essential personnel only
- Large events including fine arts performances and other academic events will not be held until it’s safe under the Los Angeles County public health guidance
- Commencement ceremonies will not be held until after the completion of the fall semester
- Classrooms configurations will be modified to reduce the capacity of each classroom for appropriate social distancing
- Appropriate safety precaution will be taken in large common spaces including libraries, dining halls, lounge spaces and work areas
- Pepperdine’s face coverings policy will remain in place under the Los Angeles County public health guidance
- The key elements of the health and safety protocols for all campuses are outlined in Pepperdine’s Restoration Plan which includes testing, treating, tracing, separating, operating and cleaning
“Resuming in-person instruction this fall across our five schools and numerous campuses will undoubtedly be complex,” Gash wrote in the email. “I am convinced our community is fully capable of providing the flexibility, patience, creativity, and resilience necessary to meet this challenge, as has been the case on countless occasions in Pepperdine’s storied history.”
Although many details remain uncertain, Gash wrote that much remains dependent on California state and national law, but Pepperdine will move forward with its Restoration Plan and provide final decisions no later than early July.
“Like all of you, I eagerly anticipate our return to campus,” Gash said.
Seaver Dean Micheal Feltner confirmed changes to the Seaver academic calendar in an email sent 5 p.m., Friday, May 22. Fall semester 2020 begins Aug. 17 and will conclude Nov. 24, two weeks earlier than normal.
“Based on our current analysis, we are confident in the college’s ability to deliver its fall semester classes in-person with the adjusted academic calendar,” Feltner wrote.
In the first email detailing the Pepperdine Restoration Plan, sent May 15, President Gash wrote that the administration was considering starting classes earlier in the fall and finishing before the Thanksgiving holiday to avoid community members being on campus during the predicted second wave of COVID-19.
The dates for spring semester 2021 are still under consideration, though Feltner wrote that tentative dates are from Feb. 8, 2021 to May 27, 2021, and commencement for the class of 2021 would be May 29, 2021. No tentative dates were provided for 2021 summer sessions.
Class sizes are being decreased and most classes will be 30 students or under, according to the email. The majority of Pepperdine’s classes are this number, Feltner wrote, but this will cause changes in the academic catalog for several courses.
Further updates are to be expected within the coming weeks as the University learns more and public health guidelines change, Feltner wrote. Pepperdine has not confirmed on-campus courses for the fall semester, but the administration remains hopeful for this plan.
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