Ohio State released annual campus climate survey in conjunction with 32 other universities. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo Editor

Ohio State’s state of emergency is extended to May 1 and faculty and staff could begin returning to campus in the coming weeks. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Former Photo Editor

Ohio State’s state of emergency was extended to May 1, according to a Saturday universitywide email.

University President Michael V. Drake said in the email that the university will extend the state of emergency to May 1 due to COVID-19. The state of emergency, which was originally announced March 22 and is reviewed on a weekly basis, allows leaders at Ohio State to use Disaster Leave (Policy 6.28) and gives the university “flexibility in making a variety of financial decisions over an extended period if necessary,” the email said.

Colleges at the university are also modeling a 5-, 10- and a 20-percent reduction in their budgets for the fiscal year 2021 in response to Gov. Mike DeWine’s instruction to state agencies, according to the email.

A post-pandemic operations task force will plan the return of campus operations and faculty, staff and students will be represented in the planning process, an April 17 Ohio State news release said. The task force is chaired by Gail Marsh, senior vice president and chief strategy officer for the university and Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State. Drake told The Lantern that faculty and staff could likely begin returning to campus in the coming weeks.

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