Rural location, small class size, enhanced cleaning protocols and robust local medical community are principal factors in the decision


PEORIA, ILLINOIS (May 11, 2020) — Bradley University announced its commitment to resume on-campus classes for the fall 2020 semester while keeping the health and safety of all students, faculty, and staff as its top priority. The university is working through several plans of action for reinstating campus operations with the final determination of how and when to be based on federal, state, and local health guidelines.

"Bradley is eager to return to normal and welcome home our students, faculty and staff," said Stephen Standifird, the institution’s incoming 12th president. "We are taking every possible health precaution and preparing for all scenarios. So while normal may look a little different in the fall, we are excited to reunite safely with our Bradley family."

The Return to Campus team is looking at various areas of the campus and to determine the safest and most-efficient means of operation in accordance with governmental guidelines. Subcommittees are currently considering how to modify classroom setups, laboratory access, common-area access, residential living, and event-protocols in an effort to incorporate social-distancing. Other plans may include hybrid learning, with some instructional elements continuing online while others resume on campus and in smaller class sizes. Bradley has already implemented enhanced cleaning protocols — including the use of disinfectants, specialized equipment, and adjusting when and how commonly-used surfaces are sterilized in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

These measures, coupled with Bradley's unique location and size, have given university leaders confidence that regular operations can resume in a safe environment. These plans are preliminary and subject to change based on the fluidity of the situation.  

A recent article in the National Review calls attention to how urbanization has a significant bearing on the spread of infectious disease because high-density population areas warrant close physical contact, increasing the likelihood of germs spreading. Bradley University is situated in Peoria, Illinois, a Midwestern community with a population of 111,000. The institution is home to approximately 5,000 on-campus students and the average class size is 21 students. The mid-size of Bradley and the small-city setting of Peoria make it easier for students to maintain safe distances and avoid unnecessary exposure to potentially dangerous germs.

"The size and location of Bradley have been a boasting point for many years," Standifird said. "Now, at a time when crowding and bigger cities pose a real health threat, these unique characteristics make Bradley a safer choice than schools in larger urban areas."

Bradley has a fully-operational physician’s office and health-services unit on campus. The university also partners with OSF Healthcare System — St Francis Medical Center, one of the state’s premier medical centers located within a few miles of the learning institution. The region’s medical community is regarded as one of the best in the state. The Peoria area has the only Level I trauma center and children’s hospital in downstate Illinois.

Bradley University is scheduled to reopen residence halls Saturday, August  22, with on-campus classes resuming Wednesday, August 26. The university will continue to update students and their families as the new school year approaches.

Bradley University is a top-ranked, private university in Peoria, Illinois, offering 5,400 undergraduate and graduate students the opportunities, choices, and resources of a larger university and the personal attention and exceptional learning experience of a smaller university.  Bradley offers a comprehensive array of undergraduate and graduate academic programs in business, communications, education, engineering, fine arts, health sciences, liberal arts and sciences, and technology. The University is located on an 85-acre campus in the largest metropolitan area in central Illinois.

Support the River Cities' Reader

Get 12 Reader issues mailed monthly for $48/year.

Old School Subscription for Your Support

Get the printed Reader edition mailed to you (or anyone you want) first-class for 12 months for $48.
$24 goes to postage and handling, $24 goes to keeping the doors open!

Click this link to Old School Subscribe now.

Help Keep the Reader Alive and Free Since '93!


"We're the River Cities' Reader, and we've kept the Quad Cities' only independently owned newspaper alive and free since 1993.

So please help the Reader keep going with your one-time, monthly, or annual support. With your financial support the Reader can continue providing uncensored, non-scripted, and independent journalism alongside the Quad Cities' area's most comprehensive cultural coverage." - Todd McGreevy, Publisher