The Montana University System is getting a start on the new school year by putting together an impressive group of leaders and administrators as part of the ‘Health Fall 2020 Task Force’. Deputy Commissioner with the Montana University System, Brock Tessman, provides the background for creating the task force.

“The fall isn’t too far down the road and we have always maintained that we will adapt and adjust our planning as the situation evolves,” Tessman said. “Right now, we feel like our communication with statewide health authorities and our understanding of statewide trends, allow us to look forward and think about what a healthy fall looks like for the students and employees of the Montana University System.”

Tessman asks the most important question facing the task force.

“How do we make sure that we can bring students and employees back to our campuses this fall for a really high quality, effective, in person instructional experience, and student life experience that is also safe?” Tessman asked.

Tessman said there are many facets of university life that must be addressed before students can successfully return to their campuses.

“What does like look like in residence halls and how do we organize our classroom instruction?” Tessman asked. “I think the university system prides itself on developing innovations and creative solutions for Montana in normal times and right now we are charged with doing that same kind of thing for our own operations. We will always adjust as conditions require, but our plan is to be back for a great on campus experience this fall. We need our students to know that is our plan. We will do if safely and effectively.”

Two of the task force members are from UM, they are Provost Jon Harbor and Director of Campus Recreation Steve Thompson.