Kent State Approaches Phase 2 for Returning to Campuses

Dear Kent State University Faculty and Staff,

The university has begun a gradual return to campuses, and July 6 marks the beginning of Phase 2 of our reopening plan. I know there are still many unanswered questions, and our reopening committees are doing all they can to provide answers to those questions as quickly as possible. Thanks for your patience and commitment to helping us safely resume on-campus operations as we carry out the mission of our great university.

Our students, faculty and staff together make our vibrant and thriving Kent State community a special one. When we come together, we do so as family, and I am greatly anticipating the day we are all together on our campuses again. In a safe manner, we will soon feel the unmistakable energy of Golden Flashes on all of our campuses.

Approaching Phase 2 of Reopening Plans

During Phase 2, Summer I and Summer II classes will continue through remote instruction. The large majority of Summer III classes, which begin July 9, will be delivered through remote instruction, although a few classes will be offered in person, as approved by the Office of the Provost. Employees needed to maintain current campus operations will be on our campuses, and we’ll start the staggered return of faculty and staff whose work directly supports the return of students. Discuss the need for working on campus with your supervisor. It is preferred that those who can work from home continue to do so. Select student workers may also be on campus.

We’ll have more researchers and artists on our campuses for those whose Request to Return to Research form was approved by the Division of Research and Sponsored Programs. Our Kent State University Libraries begin curbside pickup service on Monday, July 6. Our students-athletes and athletics staff will continue their phased return to safe activities. Also, during this time, we’ll continue to assess spaces in preparation for the fall semester. We expect the final fall course schedule to be released Tuesday, June 30.

To keep our community healthy, we have enhanced our cleaning efforts across the university. Restrooms and classrooms will be deep cleaned twice daily by custodial staff using Environmental Protection Agency-approved disinfectants for killing the COVID-19 virus. Custodians will also clean touch points frequently throughout their shifts. In addition, during the month of July, signage will appear in buildings across campus to remind members of the university community to adhere to the Flashes Safe Seven principles, including wearing facial coverings and physical distancing.

Ensuring a Healthy Community

We realize that, even with our most diligent adherence to public health guidance, cases of COVID-19 likely will occur within the Kent State community. Be assured, the university is coordinating with local health officials and is prepared to respond with contact tracing, testing and quarantine/isolation plans. In fact, an entire residence hall on the perimeter of campus will be reserved only for use by students who are living on campus and may require isolation or quarantine. We have established a COVID-19 Response Team to manage and trace the effects of the virus on all Kent State campuses. This team is coordinating with local authorities and developing a system for students, faculty and staff to report cases of the virus or potential exposure, and a strategy to inform the university community.

In addition, we are investing in renovations to our University Health Services building so that we have on-campus COVID-19 testing capacity. We will have self-test kits available for members of the university community who want to be tested for COVID-19 from their home through a virtual appointment with a medical provider. We have a multitude of resources available for health and wellness, and we encourage you to reach out, not just for COVID-19 concerns but for any physical or mental wellness issues as well.

Please remember to review the Return to On-Campus Work Guidelines for Employees that have been developed to guide your preparation for returning to campus. All employees are required to follow the safety measures outlined in the guidelines, including the Flashes Safe Seven, and must submit a signed document acknowledging they have read, understand and agree to the guidelines before returning to campus. Supervisors are also required to complete the Return to On-Campus Work Guidelines for Managers and Supervisors to determine if modifications to workspaces are necessary to create a safe work environment. Students will sign a student pledge to follow the Flashes Safe Seven and other safety practices. If you would like to request an accommodation or adjustment due to COVID-19, please complete and submit the Accommodations Request Form.

We are looking forward to a great fall semester. We’re in this together! And together, we’ll be a stronger, more resilient Kent State community. Go Flashes!

Sincerely,

Manfred van Dulmen, Ph.D.
Interim Associate Provost for Academic Affairs
Chair, Reopening Steering Committee

POSTED: Monday, June 29, 2020 - 10:00am
UPDATED: Friday, July 10, 2020 - 5:56pm