Interim Senior Vice President and Provost Jill Irvine updated OU’s faculty and staff Friday about class accommodation requests for the fall semester amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the release, the university received 304 requests from instructors and teaching assistants requesting flexibility for 624 sections. The university approved and responded favorably to 97 percent of the requests.
Category A requests mean the accommodation was for an individual who has a medical condition that could put them at an elevated risk for serious complications from COVID-19. Category B requests were for an individual who lives with or cares for someone with a medical condition, and Category C requests were for reasons not included in the other two categories.
The update said all requests from Categories A and B were approved, and in a small number of Category C requests for classes that had a high impact on a large number of students, the university denied those requests to move the courses online. In these cases, the university has asked instructors to continue working with their department chairs to find a solution.
A petition circulated through the OU community in early July asking for the university to adjust its reopening policies to allow students, faculty and staff to choose whether to work and study in person or remotely. In a town hall meeting on Monday, OU President Joseph Harroz also acknowledged the possibility of a completely online semester, although his goal is for students to return to campus in August.
“I have heard the trepidation and concern that many of you have expressed about the upcoming fall semester,” Irvine said in the email. “Our office is working hard to address these concerns and will continue to listen to you and support you in every way we can in the coming weeks and months.”
Irvine said in the update to reach out to her and her team with ideas and concerns. Friday evening, the university will announce the Norman campus Phase III Return to Campus Plan.