Gilbert, Ralph speak with News Center Maine about return to campus

News Center Maine interviewed Faye Gilbert, interim executive vice president of academic affairs and provost at the University of Maine, about the university reopening campus for the fall 2020 semester. The university shifted to remote-learning in March in response to the coronavirus pandemic, but officials plan to bring back in-person instruction, complemented with options for remote and hybrid learning, for the upcoming semester. “(Our goal is) to make sure the community is safe and stays that way through our actions,” said Gilbert, who also serves as dean of the Undergraduate School of Business in the Maine Business School. The University of Maine System is partnering with The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) and ConvenientMD (CMD) to provide comprehensive COVID-19 testing across all campuses in preparation for the planned return of students. If a student tests positive for the virus, Gilbert said “We have blocks of rooms for quarantine or self-isolation purposes.” News Center Maine also interviewed Director of Athletics Ken Ralph. “Travel is going to be a concern, I mean you take a look at our schedule (and) we are all over the place for the first couple of weeks of the season,” he said. UMaine sports enthusiasts may question whether the university will allow spectators at matches. “Right now, we’re not worried about having fans in the stands, we’re worried about can we actually play,” Ralph said.