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ENMU-R opens in ‘minimal’ way Monday

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The president of Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell has provided additional information about campus plans to return to “minimal operations” and offer some in-person instruction starting Monday.

During an online forum Friday morning, Dr. Shawn Powell reiterated that most courses and instruction for college students, Early College High School students and dual-credit students will be offered online or some other remote instruction process starting Monday through the end of the spring semester, or May.

The New Mexico Public Education Department announced Friday the extended closure of public K-12 schools and the online delivery of instruction for the remainder of the academic year, noting that most colleges and universities also intended to rely on online instruction for that time period. The New Mexico Military Institute Board of Regents voted Wednesday to suspend on-campus classes through May.

Powell said that some courses in career preparation, technical education and health science fields that require hands-on instruction will be offered in-person. He noted that faculty and students will obey mandates regarding social distancing and limited gatherings of five or fewer people as required by the state public health orders and Executive Orders intended to stop the spread of the new coronavirus strain.

“We know this is a stressful time,” he said. “We know this is difficult for many of you, going to an online format, if that is the way your classes are going to be formatted for the rest of the semester.”

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He assured students that financial aid would not be negatively affected, as confirmed by state and national education departments. He also encouraged students to talk with the faculty and instructors leading the courses and to make appointments with the Learning Resource Center or the Student Success Center for assistance or additional information.

Work-study students also will continue to be paid, with their supervisors determining schedules and work locations.

Students also are being updated by email and an online instructional bulletin board, Blackboard, and ENMU-R is posting updates on its website, www.roswell.enmu.edu.

Powell said that the school is “keeping health and safety at the forefront” of its decisions and following all required and recommended safety protocols. Faculty and staff on campus will only be those considered necessary to providing essential services, with the remainder working at home. Staff and students coming to campus will be asked to file a “travel form” if they have been out of state within 14 days or in proximity to someone believed to have COVID-19.

Campus buildings will remain closed to the general public. He said the public still can call campus offices for assistance.