Masked students walk near APSU’s Morgan University Center. T’YANA HUDSON | THE ALL STATE

Austin Peay students experienced abrupt changes to their instruction methods within the past two weeks.

The university’s website says that APSU is still operating under normal conditions, but professors in the communication department — among others — have since announced changes from in-person learning to a hybrid or virtual format.

According to the provost’s office, no classes have officially switched modalities. Campus spokesperson Bill Persinger told The All State that faculty is not allowed to change a course’s instruction method for an entire semester.

“However, there are cases where faculty may make temporary class modality changes,” Persinger said. “For example, if the faculty member is required to quarantine, they could switch to remote temporarily, with their chair’s approval. Some faculty may have other faculty step in to cover the class and maintain face-to-face teaching; others may switch to remote or hybrid temporarily.”

As of Thursday, Sept. 16, there were 90 self-reported positive coronavirus cases on campus and 140 quarantined. The Clarksville-Montgomery County COVID-19 dashboard hub shows a total of 2,443 active cases and 287 deaths in the area.

The state of Tennessee has experienced 1.14 million cases and 14,107 deaths since the virus began.

With cases continuing to climb, APSU President Michael Licari announced the reinstatement of a COVID-19 Task Force and is pushing an incentive program for vaccinations.

“Through this program, anyone who is fully vaccinated can enter a drawing for a variety of prizes,” Licari said in a campus-wide statement, Friday. “You are not required to show proof of vaccination, but if you do, you will increase your number of entries, and you will receive a ‘Govs Back the Vax’ shirt. Prizes include scholarships, premium reserved parking spaces, laptops, the latest iPhone and Galaxy mobile devices and AirPods. 

“The mask mandate will remain in effect for the foreseeable future. Masks must be worn, correctly over the nose and mouth, indoors at all times. Exceptions include private residence hall rooms, when actively eating or drinking — please put your mask back on between bites or sips — or when alone in a private office or study room. If others are present in your office, wear your masks.”

There are no plans for the university to go fully virtual or hybrid altogether.