Welcome to Fall Semester 2020
Dear Kent State University Faculty, Staff and Students,
Welcome to fall semester! We are so happy to have everyone back on our campuses and I hope you are as excited as I am. In this message I want to share some information with you about our strategy for reducing campus operations if we must do so.
Many at the university have been working diligently for months to prepare for your safe return. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented numerous challenges, and we have met each one head-on while planning for future hurdles.
Be assured that we have developed a solid plan to guide us through fall semester as we manage positive and suspected cases of COVID-19 that emerge on our campuses. We know the everchanging nature of this pandemic means that we must remain flexible and react quickly in the event of new developments. We will monitor all state and federal guidelines and we will act quickly and accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our entire university community.
We have received questions whether there is specific number of positive cases that would lead us to change campus operations. There is not a magic number, but we have several indicators we evaluate and monitor closely, including the number of positive cases, availability of tests and PPE, availability of quarantine/isolation space, staff availability and absenteeism, as well as compliance with the Flashes Safe Seven principles. These factors all play a critical role in evaluating how we safely move through this semester and adjust as needed.
We are prepared for all situations, including the possibility that we must adjust our mix of in-person and remote courses (including the possibility that some courses currently taught in-person may move to remote delivery, while courses that cannot be delivered remotely continue to be delivered in-person), or once again convert to all remote instruction, whether it be for a few weeks or a longer duration. Circumstances and changes in operations may vary from campus to campus, and modifications in instruction delivery and operations will be made accordingly. Every situation is different, but I want you to know that we carefully evaluate all information daily and will make decisions that are in the best interest of the safety and health of our campus community.
I am asking you, also, to do your part to keep Kent State a safe place to live, work and learn. Pay close attention to university messages and follow the instructions. Read your emails from the university, and sign up for Flash Alerts to stay informed about what is happening on our campuses. You may always check our Coronavirus website for the latest updates.
Keeping Kent State safe and healthy will take a cooperative effort from all of us. Follow the Flashes Safe Seven principles – always wear a face covering, keep a safe distance from others, wash your hands frequently and monitor your health carefully each day.
We know many of you already have made a faithful habit of following the Flashes Safe Seven and practicing the kind of behavior that will ensure that we all get to remain on campuses for the entire semester. Thank you for these efforts and keep them up!
We're in this together and we can do this together because Flashes Take Care of Flashes.
Have a great semester and Go Flashes!
Manfred van Dulmen, Ph.D.
Interim Associate Provost for Academic Affairs
Interim Dean of Graduate Studies
Chair, Reopening Steering Committee