Editor’s Note: This article will continue to be updated with more information throughout the week.
Ohio University President Duane Nellis discussed the shortened football schedule and other COVID-19 football protocols Monday during Faculty Senate’s October meeting.
Nellis echoed plans from the Mid-American Conference, of which OU is a part, to have a shortened football season of only six games this year.
“This decision was made after a recommendation that came from the Medical Advisory Council of the Mid-American Conference,” Nellis said. “Our games will begin in November and we have a variety of safety protocols in place to keep our students athletes, coaches and trainers as safe as possible.”
Nellis said the university has implemented testing procedures for players, coaches and trainers, and no members of the general public will be permitted to attend the games.
OU’s preparation for Halloween at the end of this month was also discussed.
The city of Athens has officially canceled the annual Halloween block party.
Nellis said OU is working to ensure that outside partygoers do not come to Athens this year. The university is also working closely with the Athens Police Department regarding this issue.
Nellis also addressed OU’s efforts to promote social justice and anti-racism on its campuses.
“We will continue to focus our energies as one university community on how we can move forward while supporting these various issues,” Nellis said after expressing grief over the death of Breonna Taylor at the hands of law enforcement.
Nellis also introduced and welcomed volunteers to join the new Acknowledgement and Reconciliation Committee, which was created by the Division of Diversity and Inclusion.
The committee will conduct research on OU’s “historic relationship to slavery, racial oppression and native land dispossession,” Nellis said. The committee will also be tasked with developing processes for data collection and recommending how the OU can better reflect messages of diversity and inclusion.
Nellis also said OU was selected as one of four institutions to be a part of an “inclusive excellence pilot self study” conducted by the University of Maryland.
“The study will include a review of ethical practice accountability, mission driven imperatives, definition of diversity and operational activities,” Nellis said.
Nellis also congratulated Jason Pina, vice president of Student Affairs, on his upcoming position at New York University. He also welcomed current Associate Vice President and Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones to her new interim position as Pina’s replacement.