Memorial Tower

The LSU Memorial Tower stands Tuesday, Mar. 3, 2020 on Tower Drive, Baton Rouge.

Interim President Tom Galligan said the University hopes to begin a "phased approach" to returning to campus starting around May 15 in an email sent to LSU faculty and staff Wednesday morning.

Galligan's announcement comes days after Gov. Edwards extended Louisiana's stay-at-home order, which was originally set to expire on May 1, to May 15.

"This process could take weeks or even months, but it will be thoughtful," Galligan said in the email.

LSU Interim President Galligan: 'We are absolutely planning on being open in the fall'

He said the process will be deliberate and the University will ensure that all state and federal guidelines are being followed. Galligan said more information will be provided about the plan in the upcoming days.

Galligan said during the phased return to campus the University will be monitoring the public health of the community. He said if there is a resurgence of the virus or other setbacks, the timeline for returning to campus could be impacted.

Because the Governor's order relaxed some restrictions, the University was able to allow research initiatives to continue or restart. Galligan said this will bring some faculty and staff back to campus now.

In a Baton Rouge Press Club conference call on Monday, Galligan said the University "absolutely" plans on opening again by the fall, but the focus is on safety.

University administration is considering several options to make the return to campus as safe as possible, including delaying the semester start date, starting classes remotely and later transitioning to in-person classes and offering some larger classes in online formats. 

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