In a letter from President Burns Hargis Wednesday afternoon, Oklahoma State will close down in-person classes and move strictly to online classes for the remainder of the semester, in an effort to prevent COVID-19 outbreak.
The announcement falls in line with what other institutions and entities -- ranging from churches to sports leagues to restaurants -- are doing in the wake of the pandemic.
"We continue to work together during this challenging time to make informed decisions to protect our entire campus and do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19," Hargis wrote in the letter sent out via OSU channels. "It can't be said enough: nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our OSU family. Even though we have already taken extraordinary precautions and measures, we must do more as the situation continues to evolve.
"The most recent White House and CDC guidelines for social distancing have made it apparent we must now take additional steps to do our part to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 outbreak."
All classes at the Stillwater and Tulsa campuses will be delivered online for the remainder of the spring semester. Students who may be concerned about taking online classes can go to a link inside the email to learn more about the process or to find guidance as to how to continue to stay successful for their spring semester classes.
"Let me assure our students," Hargis wrote, "we are working together with our faculty and staff to make sure you can complete and pursue your academic goals."
As for on-campus housing, OSU is “strongly encouraging” a reduced occupancy for housing to protect the health of everybody on campus. Specific information will be emailed to residents soon.
"This is a difficult decision," Hargis said, "but necessary to protect the health of our entire campus community – students, faculty and staff. Specific information for on-campus housing residents is being emailed directly to the resident. We understand some students must maintain a physical presence on the Stillwater campus and we are committed to assisting them in every way possible."
As for spring graduation, OSU officials are working for alternatives to the traditional ceremony and will announce a plan as soon as one is set.
Hargis closed with words of encouragement:
"As always, I am proud to see the Cowboy Family pulling together at this critical juncture to support and encourage one another through the uncertainty. I also encourage each of you to take care of your health as we weather unprecedented times."