MADISON, NJ - Fairleigh Dickinson University President Christopher Capuano announced that the university is carefully preparing for the Fall 2020 semester. The university is developing multiple plans that will enable the campus to open safely while "operating consistently with public health and governmental guidelines."
"First and foremost, please understand that while it is our intent to open our campuses as soon as possible," wrote Capuano. "We will do so only when we believe it is safe for our students, faculty, and staff. Therefore, our return to campus will depend on the guidance provided by public health and government officials".
Capuano announced that both New Jersey campuses will start Monday, August 17 and end Tuesday, November 24. The start of the school year is a week earlier than planned. The first three weeks of the semester will be taught online with face-to-face instruction set to begin September 8, he said. Students who intent to live on campus will be allowed to return beginning August 17, if they wish. The university will be updating plans and guidelines are they are issued.
"We will eliminate the October break and one of the two reading days to condense the semester into this new schedule", Capuano wrote. "This will help community members avoid the need to travel back and forth for breaks and will reduce the time that community members need to be on campus during the colder months that may bring a potential risk of resurgence in COVID-19 cases."
"We will have protocols in place for testing, contact tracing, and isolation if necessary", he continued. "Residence life and campus activities will be guided by public health requirements, such as physical distancing and reduced density if warranted. We will modify campus environments like dining halls as needed. While it is too early to know the particular details for many of these operations, we will update everyone as we learn more information and tailor our programs and environments to these requirements accordingly".
"I know there are many questions remaining but, with still months to go before the semester begins, we cannot predict yet the complete landscape for our campuses in the fall", concluded Capuano. "We are operating in uncharted waters and so we will have to be prepared to adjust as time goes on. Again, though, we will be ready to adjust, and we will do whatever is possible to provide our students not just a transformative education but a transformative experience that will prepare them well for careers and lifetimes of success. Please stay safe and well, and stay tuned for more updates as the fall semester takes shape".
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