Bradley University to Resume On-Campus Classes for Fall 2020

May 11, 2020

Bradley University announced its commitment to resume on-campus classes for the fall 2020 semester while keeping the health and safety of all students, faculty and staff as its top priority. The university is working through several plans of action for reinstating campus operations with the final determination of how and when to be based on federal, state and local health guidelines.

"Bradley is eager to return to normal and welcome home our students, faculty and staff," said Stephen Standifird, the institution’s incoming 12th president. "We are taking every possible health precaution and preparing for all scenarios. So while normal may look a little different in the fall, we are excited to reunite safely with our Bradley family."

The Return to Campus team is looking at various areas of the campus and to determine the safest and most efficient means of operation in accordance with governmental guidelines. Subcommittees are currently considering how to modify classroom setups, laboratory access, common area access, residential living and event protocols in an effort to incorporate social distancing. Other plans may include hybrid learning, with some instructional elements continuing online while others resume on campus and in smaller class sizes. Bradley has already implemented enhanced cleaning protocols — including the use of disinfectants, specialized equipment and adjusting when and how commonly used surfaces are sterilized in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

These measures, coupled with Bradley's unique location and size, have given university leaders confidence that regular operations can resume in a safe environment. These plans are preliminary and subject to change based on the fluidity of the situation.

A recent article in the National Review calls attention to how urbanization has a significant bearing on the spread of infectious disease because high-density population areas warrant close physical contact, increasing the likelihood of germs spreading. Bradley University is situated in Peoria, Illinois, a Midwestern community with a population of 111,000. The institution is home to approximately 5,000 on-campus students and the average class size is 21 students. The mid-size of Bradley and the small-city setting of Peoria make it easier for students to maintain safe distances and avoid unnecessary exposure to potentially dangerous germs.

"The size and location of Bradley have been a boasting point for many years," Standifird said. "Now, at a time when crowding and bigger cities pose a real health threat, these unique characteristics make Bradley a safer choice than schools in larger urban areas."

Bradley has a fully operational physician’s office and health services unit on campus. The university also partners with OSF Healthcare System - St. Francis Medical Center, one of the state’s premier medical centers located within a few miles of the learning institution. The region’s medical community is regarded as one of the best in the state. The Peoria area has the only Level I trauma center and children’s hospital in downstate Illinois.

Bradley University is scheduled to reopen residence halls Saturday, August 22, with on-campus classes resuming Wednesday, August 26. The university will continue to update students and their families as the new school year approaches.