July 31, 2020
Almost five months ago, in the midst of an emerging pandemic in the middle of our spring semester, we made the difficult decision to move to remote teaching and learning. We have since faced challenges that none of us could have imagined.
On May 26, I announced a return to campus this fall through our Road Map to Fall 2020 plan. The plan calls for classes to begin as scheduled on Aug. 24, finishing remotely after fall break.
We have made and continue to make substantial progress for our return to campus and remain committed to a combination of in-person, hybrid and remote learning. As a community, I am proud of how we are embodying our university vision to be a leader in addressing the humanitarian, social and technological challenges of the 21st century. Our world-class research and innovation expertise and our dynamic and dedicated faculty, staff and students are coming together for each other and the future of our university.
We have listened to our faculty, staff, students and key stakeholders and understand the concerns. No return to campus is without risk, but we have worked tirelessly with our own faculty experts in environmental engineering, epidemiology, public health and bioscience research to develop and implement countless strategies for the healthiest and safest return possible. And we will continue to monitor and adapt to changing circumstances.
We will meet this moment while protecting the health and safety of our campus and the surrounding community to the best of our ability. Our campus is part of the fabric of the Boulder community and our success is interwoven.
Here’s how we’re doing it:
A COVID-19-Ready Campus Experience
- Required COVID-19 tests of every student moving into a residence hall before move-in and other students in higher risk settings.
- Ongoing pooled and wastewater testing across campus to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
- Making COVID-19 rapid testing available for students, faculty and staff during the academic term.
- Required face coverings for everyone on campus.
- Updated student code of conduct with a variety of new measures for violations of public health orders.
- Academic cohorts within the residence halls for first-year students.
- Contact tracing led by our CU Boulder faculty experts.
- Campus-based rapid response teams to track and isolate infected people.
- Safety trainings for all faculty, staff and students.
- Residence hall spaces reserved for isolation and quarantine.
Protect Our Herd is the name of our public health awareness campaign, reminding our community of the basic daily actions we all must take.
When classes begin on Aug. 24, you’ll notice we’ve been hard at work making modifications. Here are highlights of what we will offer:
- Courses provided in a variety of in-person, distance and hybrid formats.
- Redesigned classrooms to support physical distancing and reduced density.
- Nontraditional spaces for teaching to support physical distancing requirements.
- Extended class scheduling to decrease student density.
- In-person classes held through Nov. 25; remote learning after fall break.
None of our in-person learning is possible without upgrades to our buildings and sanitation. We have spent millions of dollars investing in personal protective equipment, air filtration systems and enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols. More information is available on our Implementation Plan webpage.
This is just a fraction of the work we’ve done over the last few months. We are now at the culmination of our Road Map to Fall 2020 planning and implementation process. Going forward, we will continue to be flexible and adapt as new data, innovations and capabilities become available. Please continue to look for frequent updates on our COVID-19 webpage.
I said in the spring that our challenge as a campus community is to ensure our mission endures. Serving the public good is more vital now than ever. We're excited to come back, and we recognize that many of the challenges we face will continue. We will need to keep working hard to create an experience that is safe, delivers on our mission and ensures the success of our institution and community.
I have never been more proud of our community, and I know that our best days are still ahead of us. Stay healthy and safe and know that we support you. I’ll see you Aug. 24, on campus and online.
We are Buffs together.