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University, college committee prepares for fall semester

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(WSIL) -- The Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) has created a committee to determine how campuses across the state can reopen safely this fall. 

Dr. Dan Mahony moved to southern Illinois to start his new leadership role as SIU System President not too long ago.

He could have been the big man on campus, but the pandemic derailed his plans to engage with the community.

Dr. Mahony says, "That's been one of the bigger challenges for me. I'm used to be being out meeting with people and I was really excited about being able to do that this semester, but unfortunately that all went away very quickly."

He says there has been progress from the system-wide task force to find the best plans for reopening SIU campuses in Carbondale and Edwardsville.

Dr. Mahony explains, "Everything from offering classes to student activities to house and feed students all those things we need to consider."

Rend Lake College President Terry Wilkerson joins the committee as a representative of Illinois’ community colleges.

“I am honored to have been asked to contribute and provide input from our region into the guidance of reopening the higher education sector across the state."

Dr. Mahony says he and his staff will continue to follow guidelines and directives set forth by the governor and health officials.

He adds, "Just in the brief time I've been able to interact with some of the faculty, I've been amazed at their creativity and innovation in all the different ways in thinking about doing things for the fall."

Dr. Mahony says he hopes to continue his plans with teaching a class in the fall at SIUC and one class at SIUE in March 2021.

He hopes to announce the university's plans for the fall semester sometime in June. 

Fahima Paghmani

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