Fall Reopening Plan

The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma is preparing for an early opening and in-person semester in fall 2020.

Keep always in mind, preparations and plans for our August 17, 2020 fall start date reflect an evolving process with a continuous eye to how campus security may be influenced by the course and direction of the external social environment in which the college operates.

We will continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Considerations for Institutions of Higher Education. The University must continue to prepare for multiple scenarios and we must be ready to make any necessary adjustments should the need arise. If you have specific questions about what this current plan means for you, please contact:

University administrative departments will reopen for regular hours of operation on August 3, 2020. Regular hours of operation are Monday  Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Offices are expected to be open to provide services both by appointment and walk in. Offices will be open for walk-ins Monday  Friday 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1 – 3 p.m. Appointments are encouraged.

Departments that primarily house academic programs will reopen August 14, 2020.

Virtual meetings are strongly encouraged where possible.

Additional guidance for office reopening will be released before August 3, 2020.

To ensure social distancing, academic classroom usage has been adjusted for reduced capacity. There will be an increase in hybrid courses, online courses and other innovations to accommodate the reduced on-campus classroom capacity. Students can check August 3 for any changes to their class schedule. 

Seating plans for classrooms, labs and conference rooms are being developed to provide de-densification and social distancing.

The University will provide increased cleaning and sanitizing of frequently used facilities and common areas, including elevators, restrooms, classrooms and other high-traffic spaces with the use of approved cleaners that meet CDC guidelines for disinfecting COVID-19. Additionally, all HVAC systems on campus are having UV filtration systems installed. 

Plexiglass guards will be placed or installed in offices where individuals interact with the public, students, and employees.

Nash Library

The library will be available by appointment. Curbside and/or delivery for materials is available. The 24-hour lab will still be accessible to students and the lower level of the library will remain open. The commuter lounge will remain open and can be accessed by students who live off campus.

Registrar’s Office

Requests for changes to students’ schedules, major/minor changes and enrollment verification requests can be sent to the Registrar's Office. Unofficial transcripts can be downloaded on and official transcripts can be requested on our website. Appointments for other inquiries and assistance needs can be scheduled by emailing the Registrar.

Student Success Center

Tutoring will be available through the Student Success Center primarily virtually with some in-person tutoring via advanced scheduling.

Workout Facilities

Occupancy in the workout facilities will be reduced. Social distancing must be observed at all times. Hands must be sanitized upon entering and exiting the workout facility. Face coverings must be worn unless the activity being performed will be limited with a face covering. Patrons must disinfect equipment before and after use. Everyone who enters the workout facility will have their temperature taken. Advanced reservation may be required.

Pay attention to COVID signage posted on campus outlining protocols on social distancing, physical contact, wearing of masks and other requirements.

Separate and specific entrances and exits will be indicated by signage for all campus buildings where possible.

Stairwells will be marked with signage for single use (up stairwells and down stairwells) to ensure distance, when possible.

Elevators will be marked with signage to indicate recommended reduced capacity limits.

Housing Plans for Move-In

Student move-in has been extended over multiple days and time slots will be assigned. Assignment times will be sent to students who have completed their housing contracts and accepted their placement by July 31, 2020. We will offer plastic/vinyl barriers for use in rooms to further support social distancing efforts to residents who are interested in them.


Students will have to sign the COVID-19 Housing Addendum that outlines expectations of them throughout their time in housing. This was sent to students in their housing letter in mid-July.

Move-In Dates

Resident Assistants – August 2

Soccer – August 5

Volleyball – August 6

Orientation Leaders – August 9

New Student Move In – August 12 & 13

New Student Orientation – August 14-16

Returners Move In – August 15 & 16

Students unable to return to campus for the updated early opening due to unavoidable and/unforeseen circumstances should contact to discuss available options.

New Student Orientation will begin on August 14, 2020 for residential and commuter students who are registered to attend.

Classes start on August 17. 

Convocation details for faculty and staff will be announced. Please reserve August 13, 2020 for virtual meetings/gatherings.

Staff – August 3, 2020.

Faculty – Convocation TBD. Report to offices August 14, 2020.

For Students

A student who is experiencing symptoms described by the CDC should not report to class and risk exposure. They should contact the Dean of Students at and their instructor if they become ill and need to explore contingency plans.

For Employees

An employee who is experiencing symptoms described by the CDC should not report to work on-site and risk potential exposure, but should contact their supervisor to report the symptoms, advise their supervisor of the need to stay home from work and seek medical attention based upon the symptoms.

Return to Campus

All members of the USAO Campus Community should follow CDC guidelines related to return to campus after being symptomatic, being exposed to COVID-19, or testing positive for COVID 19.

USAO will be following federal guidelines for reasonable accommodations. 

The University’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is designed to sustain our important mission of education and research while maintaining the health and safety of our faculty, students and staff.

Faculty or staff who have been asked to return to work on campus and who: 1) have a serious health condition that falls within one or more of the CDC High-Risk Categories; or 2) have other special circumstances; may seek a workplace accommodation by completing the Request for Reasonable Accommodation form. 



Student seeking alternate learning accommodations should contact Student Services.  

Mode of delivery for the majority of courses should be made available by July 31, 2020. Students should check for any changes to their class schedule. USAO is providing a variety of opportunities for students to take their courses through a combination of offering hybrid, full in person with social distancing, and online courses.

Students should contact the Dean of Students and their instructor if they become ill and need to explore contingency plans. Faculty will be maintaining regular office hours either in person or virtually. This will be outlined in your syllabus. Seating for in-person classes will be arranged so that adequate social distancing can be maintained.

USAO has implemented and will enforce a policy mandating that masks be worn by employees, students and visitors (1) when they are inside University facilities and vehicles and (2) when they are outdoors on campus and social distancing of at least six feet is not possible. This policy will remain in effect until further notice. Read the USAO Mandatory Masking Policy.

Campus buildings remain closed to the public through the fall semester. For fall 2020, use of space is dedicated to core mission activities – teaching, learning, research, student groups and activities – and restricted to the campus community. Exceptions may be approved by the president. Members of the public needing to conduct business with the various university offices should contact the office to schedule a meeting. 

Campus facility rentals/reservations for on campus constituents and sponsored activities use is limited and will adhere to social distancing and masking policies. For information on what this means for your event capacity and availability email These requests will not be processed via telephone.


The University will provide increased cleaning and sanitizing of frequently used facilities and common areas, including elevators, restrooms, classrooms and other high-traffic spaces with the use of approved cleaners that meet CDC guidelines for disinfecting COVID-19. Additionally, all HVAC systems on campus are having UV filtration systems installed. 

Daily Symptom Check

As part of our comprehensive strategy for controlling the spread of COVID-19 and assisting with contact tracing on campus, we are deploying #CampusClear, a daily self-screening app”

  • To get started, download the FREE app. 
  • Make sure you enable notifications from the app. There will only be 1 notification each day to prompt you to take the self-screening survey.
  • Once you’ve downloaded #CampusClear, log in by entering your email address. You’ll receive an email confirmation, and after clicking the confirmation link, you’ll have access to the app. Visitors will need to enter a phone number to receive the confirmation link.
  • It only takes a few seconds to self-screen, and your participation helps to keep our campus safe for everyone. Likewise, please be sure to self-screen daily, even if you have no symptoms.


Anyone wishing to be tested prior to returning to campus may contact their local health department or health care provider for any testing needs.

COVID-19 Communication

To ensure continued communication between the University and local public and private health entities, Nancy Hughes, Dean of Students has been designated as the primary contact person in regards to issues related to COVID-19 and the university community. She is the university liaison with the Grady County Health Department. Email the Dean of Students.

Social Distancing

All students, faculty and staff are to observe the social distancing standard of at least 6 feet apart from another person and also wear a face covering.


All students, faculty and staff are highly encouraged to wash their hands frequently throughout the day. If unable to do so, they may use the hand sanitizer dispensers that are available in campus buildings.

Water Fountains

Water fountains will be disabled to prevent the spread of COVID-19; please bring or purchase your own drinks during the day or use the bottle refilling stations.

USAO Athletics is following the guidelines from the NAIA, CDC, state and healthcare professionals to ensure the appropriate safeguards are in place for athletic competition.

For the fall, spectators will not be permitted at athletic events. Games will be livestreamed for viewing. Visit for game times and to watch.

Sodexo is taking a cautious, measured approach that gives students the confidence to enjoy meals on campus, as well as the flexibility to choose the dining options that make them feel most comfortable.

Learn More


The cafeteria will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.


Breakfast: 7:30 – 9 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Dinner: 5 – 7 p.m. 

Everything will be served in disposable containers. Disposable cups and cutlery kits will provided. The seating capacity is in the cafeteria is 76 people. Seating will be reserved for students only in the cafeteria. All others will need to take their food to go.  


The Daily Grind will be open Aug. 13-14 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.


Beginning August 17:

Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m.  6 p.m.

Students will be able to order via text. Sign up sheets will be at the Daily Grind. When you sign up, will be sent the number to text your order. You must sign up to participate. 

Simply TO- GO will be available for all meal plans


Dusty’s will open Aug. 17. Students will receive a link to place their orders online. Meals will be available for pick up only. Please have lunch orders placed by 11 a.m. each day. Please have late night orders placed by 7:30 pm. each day. 


Monday through Friday

Lunch: 11:30 a.m.  1:30 p.m.

Late Night: 8 p.m. until last order is made and delivered.


The C-Store will open Aug. 17. Only 4 people will be allowed in the store at one time.


Monday – Thursday: 9 a.m.  8 p.m.

Friday: 9 a.m.  6 p.m.

Simply To- GO will be available for all meals plans.

University travel is not authorized at this time. Motor pool vehicles are not authorized for use at this time.

Personal travel should be carefully considered. Please follow CDC travel guidelines and state and local travel restrictions. Anyone who chooses to travel may be restricted from returning to campus depending on the specifics of their travel.


The Fall 2020 Operational Contingency Plan will go into effect in the event the university moves to alternative instructional delivery.


The USAO President and the COVID-19 Advisory Committee are continually monitoring conditions on campus, in the community and throughout the state. Decisions will be made after consideration of state and federal public health agency guidelines and recommendations and the level of community spread on the university campus and the surrounding areas. The University President will make the decision to enact the contingency plan.


  • For in-person classes, faculty will continue class via their identified plan for alternative synchronous instructional delivery until cleared to return to the classroom. Faculty may use classrooms to access technology to livestream lectures and other instruction.
  • Online classes will continue as planned.
  • Faculty will communicate with the students enrolled in their classes their plan for alternative synchronous delivery.
  • Students should follow the updated guidance for assignments and deadlines communicated by the professor.
  • Access to some areas and services on campus may be limited. Those accessing facilities must follow requirements for wearing face coverings and social distancing.
  • Services will continue with virtual and/or by-appointment delivery or with limited open hours. Departments and offices will provide updates for their specific services.
  • If during the semester classes must move online for a period, some employees may be permitted to transition to remote work and teleworking practices. In consultation with their supervisors, would continue teleworking arrangements to the fullest extent possible.
  • Campus facilities will remain closed to public, except for areas with published, limited hours of operation.
  • For those essential employees required to work on campus, the social distancing, hygiene and reporting would be applicable.
  • When transitioning from an online format back to face-to-face instruction, employees will be notified 5 days prior to the date they are to report to the office.
  • Housing will remain open to current residents.
  • Residents may be moved within the residence halls for physical distancing, self-quarantine, self-isolation or operational effectiveness
  • Dining services will remain open to current residential students with modified operating hours or staffing. Meals will be served to-go.
  • USAO-sponsored events scheduled to be held in any USAO-owned or operated facility may be cancelled or postponed.



Thurs, 13 - Convocation
Fri, 14-Sat, 16 - New Student Orientation
Mon, 17 - First Day of Classes
Tues, 18 - Fees for Late Registration Begin
Mon, 24 - Last Day to Add a Course
Fri, 28 - Last Day to Drop a Course
September  Mon, 7 - Labor Day Holiday, no classes/offices closed
Thurs, 17 - Teacher Education Oral English Screening 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
October Wed, 7 - Midterm Grades Due
Tues, 13 - Last Day to Apply for Fall Graduation
Tues, 13 - Last Day to Withdraw with Automatic "W"
Thurs, 22 - Teacher Education Oral English Screening 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Tues, 27 - Last Day to Withdraw from a Course
November Fri, 13 - Last Day of Classes
Mon, 16 - Study Day, no classes/no exams
Tues, 17-Fri, 20 - Final Exams
Sat, 21 - Commencement | We will celebrate the fall 2020 graduates during our April 24 commencement ceremony.
Mon, 23 - Grades Due
Wed, 25-Fri, 27 - Thanksgiving Holiday, offices closed
December Mon, 21-Fri, 25 - Winter Break, offices closed