- Florida Gulf Coast University in Ft. Myers remains closed through Oct. 10 due to storm damage following the landfall of Hurricane Ian
- To make up lost time, university officials seek to hold classes on weekends to avoid pushing the final weeks of the semester into the new year
- All other state universities have resumed classes as of Wednesday
Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) remains the only major state university to continue to cancel classes as the Ft. Myers region recovers from catastrophic damage at the hands of Hurricane Ian.
As of Wednesday, FGCU plans to resume classes on Oct. 10, but that date could be subject to change based on a multitude of storm-related factors.
“To say we have been through a historic natural disaster may be an understatement. Everyone in Southwest Florida, indeed most of Florida, have felt significant effects. And these effects will be felt for a long time,” said university President Mike Martin. “In important ways, we continue to educate economic and community leaders. and so, FGCU is moving as fast as possible to restart while being sensitive to the unique challenges facing our students, faculty, and staff”
To make up the ten operational days the school was forced to shutter, university leaders are planning to hold weekend classes to avoid extending the semester.
An alternative recuperation proposal levied by Martin is to complete the end of the fall 2022 academic semester, which would presumably include final exams, in January 2023.
Martin continues by stating that the plan involving weekend classes would compound any scheduling issues and could allow for the semester to be completed with no impact on graduation dates or end-of-semester breaks.
“As we move forward, flexibility is key,” the FGCU said on social media. “We recognize there is no ideal solution to meet the needs of every student and faculty member on campus, but we believe this is the best guarantee for student success while emphasizing flexibility. We have all been affected in some way by Hurricane Ian.”
When Hurricane Irma hit Ft. Myers as a Category 5 storm in 2017, FGCU was closed for several weeks as damage to the campus was assessed and facilities were made operational once more.
To make up lost time from Irma, the university added the instructional days to the end of the Fall 2017 semester, extending courses to run through the third week of December, and shortening the winter break period.
The remaining state public universities including the University of Florida and Florida State University resumed classes last Friday and this past Monday, respectively, while the University of Central Florida and the University of South Florida both resumed classes and other campus activities this week.