On the 1st of May, the ANU announced its plan for the return to campus. Vice-Chancellor Brian Schmidt announced that despite the current success of the restrictions, it is unlikely that the ANU will return to normal anytime soon.
The areas of campus that have been heavily impacted by the current restrictions will likely be the focus for when the University is capable of being reopened. These include researchers and research students who rely on university facilities to undertake their work. Schmidt said that in order to maintain proper social distancing and adhere to current rules, access to labs may be granted in ‘shifts’ or some safe, alternative measure.
The University is aiming to re-open the campus to staff on the 2nd of June, however those on campus will continue to adhere to strict social distancing requirements. Schmidt said that the University “will continue to encourage people to work from home where they can … and we will continue to be flexible in our work arrangements to support vulnerable members of our community.”
In planning for next semester, Schmidt says he is ‘optimistic’ about campus reopening to students, however states that large classes will not be running. Furthermore, considerations surrounding capabilities for in-person learning must be taken into account in planning the semester. He says that remote participation will continue for those that are unable to access campus next semester.
Schmidt has called for community input whilst making these decisions, claiming that “[t]he enormous challenges of these past few weeks have re-enforced for me how much your voice matters in helping us get this right.”