Millersville University’s president shed more light on the school's coronavirus response and efforts to reopen in the fall during a coronavirus webinar hosted Wednesday by the United Nations.
Daniel Wubah was joined by educators and medical experts from across the globe to discuss how universities adjusted to the virus. The webinar also featured a recorded presentation from Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
They discussed how the pandemic forced universities to quickly adapt to alternate modes of instruction in the spring and make tough decisions regarding a potential fall reopening.
The virus, Wubah said, made Millersville “adopt new ways of doing things overnight” as it shifted instruction online and sent the majority of students home in mid-March.
In the fall, Millersville plans to reopen under a hybrid model with at least 50% of classes online. Classrooms are being upgraded to support “multimodal” instruction, Wubah said, and enhanced cleaning will take place.
Everyone on campus will be required to wear masks, Wubah said.
The university is exploring a partnership with a private company to utilize an app that tracks individuals and monitors social density on campus. The app, called My Campus Pulse, is meant to supplement a contact tracing app being developed by the state Department of Health.
A university spokesperson said Wednesday My Campus Pulse is undergoing a legal review by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
“Throughout this process, our highest priority is and will continue to be the health and safety of our faculty, staff, students and our surrounding community,” Wubah said.
Wubah was joined by Christoph Meinel, president and CEO of Germany’s Hasso Plattner Institute for Digital Engineering; Dr. Lamiaa Mohsen, dean of the school of medicine at Egypt’s New Giza University; and Dr. Padmini Murthy, professor and global health director at New York Medical College.
In his recorded message, Fauci said the novel coronavirus is unique in both its transmissibility and wide spectrum of symptoms. He also expressed optimism for the creation of a vaccine by year’s end.
Murthy emphasized the importance of wearing masks to mitigate the spread of the virus.
“We need to respect each other, so wearing a mask, ladies and gentlemen, is displaying respect and solidarity,” she said.