North Texas College Students Will Head Back to Campus This Fall

Colleges and universities across North Texas began online classes earlier this year.EXPAND
Colleges and universities across North Texas began online classes earlier this year.
iStock / TheaDesign
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Students at colleges and universities across North Texas can expect to head back to campus at the beginning of the fall semester.

Officials at several universities across the Dallas-Fort Worth area announced Thursday that they expected to be able to reopen their campuses at the end of the summer. Colleges and universities across the country, including in Texas, have been shut down for more than a month in an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

On Thursday, Southern Methodist University President R. Gerald Turner announced the university will be open in the fall semester "for on-campus teaching, learning and student living." Turner said a task force is mapping out a plan that will allow the university to reopen while still managing campus density in a way that slows the spread of the disease.

Also on Thursday, University of North Texas President Neal Smatresk said in an email to faculty and staff that the university will resume limited in-person classes over the summer and fully reopen the campus at the beginning of the fall semester. Once the campus reopens, university officials will continue to take precautions to keep the disease from spreading, he said.

"We are assessing options and precautions for eventually returning to campus for all in-person activities and programs, ranging from lab-based research to general instruction and the undergraduate residential experience," Smatresk said. "Of course, these plans depend on continuing improvement in COVID-19 cases, and guidance from federal, state, and local health authorities to ensure your safety."
Those announcements came the same day that University of Texas System Chancellor James Milliken told the Texas Tribune that it was "pretty clear that we'll be open in the fall."

Likewise, the Tribune reported, Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp told presidents of all 11 campuses in the system that they will be ready to reopen their campuses and resume sports in the fall.

Baylor University officials announced last month that they intend to resume in-person classes at the beginning of the fall semester, as well.

Colleges and universities statewide have been shut down since mid-March, when the coronavirus pandemic reached Texas. Since then, colleges have moved their in-person course offerings online, encouraged students to stay off campus and canceled in-person commencement ceremonies. An executive order issued last month by Gov. Greg Abbott required all colleges, universities and schools in the state to remain closed through the end of the semester.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.