Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has ordered all public colleges and universities to move to online learning through April 28.
In a late-night executive order, Brown prohibited in-class interactions but allowed schools to keep open “critical functions,” such as dining services and dormitories.
That allows students with nowhere else to go to stay at school, while attempting to limit their interactions with students, faculty and campus workers. She told schools to implement social distancing practices on campus facilities that stay open.
The mandate is consistent with the direction that University of Oregon and Oregon State University – the state’s largest residential universities – had been taking, but backs them with the governor’s authority. Those public universities have been administering final exams this week, and taking steps to maintain the key priority of “social distancing” to limit coronavirus contagion.
UO had already instructed faculty in a recent advisory that “No final exams will be offered in-person for winter term.” The new executive order pushes Oregon State to tighten restrictions. OSU had mandated that “all in-person winter term final exams will be scheduled in locations ensuring that no more than 25 students taking the exam are gathered.”
This story will be updated.