Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

The events of 2020 have been nothing like we have experienced in our lifetimes. Since sending our students, faculty and staff home in mid-March, we have been singularly focused on developing the safest ways to return everyone to our beloved campus. This has admittedly been a challenging task, since the trajectory of the virus and its impact on us remain unpredictable. I am so grateful for the tireless work that has been accomplished thus far by the University's COVID-19 Task Force and for the care you have all shown for your colleagues, peers and our community.
As expressed in our previous messages, evidence overwhelmingly suggests that wearing masks, keeping a reasonable distance among ourselves and others and practicing good hygiene are the best ways to prevent COVID-19, while monitoring and contact tracing are required to mitigate its spread. With these principles top of mind, and with a continued commitment to being as adaptive as possible, I am pleased to share with you the details of our fall return. 

The development of this plan was guided by the latest scientific and medical information, and under the recommendations of national, state and regional health agencies. At times, that guidance has rapidly shifted and we anticipate it will continue to do so. Task force members will monitor the latest recommendations and provide new or revised information throughout the academic year.
We know you may have questions about returning this fall. You are invited to join University leaders and me for virtual town hall meetings, during which we will outline our fall return and address your questions. Registration is required via the links below. Registered attendees will receive a Zoom video conferencing invitation shortly before their chosen meeting time.

Town Hall Sessions for Students and Families

  • 12 noon on Monday, Aug. 3; or
  • 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 4

Town Hall Sessions for Faculty and Staff

  • 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 4; or
  • 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 5

In advance of these sessions, I encourage you to review our fall reopening plan. If you have specific questions you would like us to address, please include them when submitting your registration form. You will also have the ability to ask questions during the live sessions.

I want to thank each and every one of you. These are not easy decisions and the circumstances of the pandemic are difficult to navigate. But I am so proud of your patience, and of the thoughtful ways you contribute to our decision-making process with your questions, concerns or ideas. As I have stated before, this semester will feel differently than past ones and we may be forced to adjust our plans quickly. But we will do so together as one family of Colonels while prioritizing our collective health and safety.
I hope you will join me online next week. Be well.


Dr. Greg Cant