Update - May 28, 2020
Fall Semester – Welcome Back
Dear Campus Community,
We are delighted to announce that we will be welcoming students back to campus this fall for in-person instruction, no later than August 26. This return to campus for in-person instruction is a monumental task, but one for which we have been preparing since mid- March. Feedback from across campus, including faculty, staff, and students, strongly favors in-person instruction, and we have been working toward that goal.
While we are announcing that in-person instruction will begin no later than August 26, there is the possibility of beginning the semester earlier. The University has requested a waiver by the United States Department of Education that would allow an earlier start date. The waiver is required based on the end date of our summer semester with an expected response in a few weeks. We will provide details on the start and end date of the Fall semester following guidance from the Department of Education.
Throughout this pandemic, our guiding principles have included supporting the safety and well-being of our entire campus community, continuing to provide a transformative educational experience, and considering the public health implications of our actions. Based on these principles, the University has been very proactive and intentional in its response to the pandemic. Our University’s Coronavirus Healthcare Taskforce, consisting of faculty, staff, administrators, and public health experts, has developed robust plans and made recommendations regarding all aspects of our response.
On March 11, the University became one of the first universities in our region to announce that students would not return from Spring Break and would transition to online learning, providing room and board refunds to our students. We also worked quickly with students and administration at Harlaxton College to bring those students home before travel restrictions were put in place, providing room and board refunds and financial support to help with unanticipated travel expenses. The transition to online learning has also been a challenge that our faculty members have navigated to the great benefit of our students’ experiences. These decisions have been difficult and have presented challenges, but we have made them secure in the knowledge that we are doing what is right for our students and their families.
As we look to reopening campus for the fall, we know things will look quite a bit different. We also know the high-quality experience our students expect and deserve is our priority.
Instruction in the fall will be designed for in-person experiences and will include hybrid and online classes to maintain the recommended social distancing and ensure public health protocols are met while providing a high-quality learning experience for students. Other preparations include adjustments in classroom spaces, residence halls, dining facilities, and healthcare protocols regarding testing, masks, temperature checks, and other safety measures.
We will continue to monitor the health of our community closely and provide updates frequently. We look forward to welcoming our students back to campus and extending a warm welcome – at a safe social distance – to the new members of our UE family.
Christopher M. Pietruszkiewicz
University of Evansville