Dear Research and Creative Work Community,
I am pleased to report that CU Boulder is beginning the process of returning to research and creative work operations on campus starting with a soft launch May 26.
Our plans prioritize the safety and wellbeing of our students, faculty, researchers, staff and community—and we ask you to do the same. Please be patient as we gradually support more research and creative work on campus. NOTE: Any work that can be done remotely should continue to be done off-campus.
A phased approach
Our return will take place in phases. The current status of remote work has been in place since March. We are making plans to transition to Phase 1 (limited work on campus) on May 26. Phase 1 (limited work on campus) will incrementally increase on-campus research and creative work while introducing safety and monitoring processes that can evolve as we transition to less restrictive phases over the coming year.
Planning for Phase 2 (expanded work on campus) and Phase 3 (full operations) is already well underway. A committee led by Waleed Abdalati has developed general guidance and criteria for selecting what research and creative work and field work will resume through these phases. See Return to Research & Creative Work Guidance.
As we return to campus, we will integrate guidance shown to manage the spread of the virus. These guidelines will be reinforced through a Skillsoft training that will be required of everyone returning to work on campus. This training highlights the following:
Approval process to resume work on campus
Requests to return to on-campus research and creative work or fieldwork will be initiated by the Principal Investigator completing the Request to Return form. Criteria to be considered include: criticality of the research; implications of further delay; the full range of risks associated with returning to the activities; and target occupancy densities at a range of levels (room, floor, building, campus, etc). This form will be forwarded to your chair/institute director who will evaluate the request based on the above criteria.
Requests approved by the chair/institute director will be reviewed by the deans/associate deans and then by the vice chancellor for Research and Innovation. You will be notified by email with the decision. Requests will be reviewed on a weekly basis starting Wednesday, May 20 with decisions communicated by the following Monday. If the chair or institute director has questions about the request, it may result in a delay in completing the review. Please be patient as we work through this process.
Preparation for return to campus
I want to thank the team that helped develop this plan to return, which includes faculty, chairs, associate deans for research, deans, institute directors and other leaders from virtually every corner of campus. I am grateful for the considerable thought and expertise this team has contributed. This provides a starting point for returning to campus. Over the ensuing weeks and months, we will monitor containment of COVID-19 and communicate changes if needed.
Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation