A Message from Chancellor Lowe:
Resumption of Campus Instruction, Fall 2020
May 28, 2020
This week, President Michael McRobbie has provided us all with details about Indiana University’s plan for reopening all campuses for instruction in Fall Semester 2020. As he has consistently emphasized, “the safety and well-being of all IU students, faculty and staff is our highest priority. We have followed a methodical and deliberate approach in developing our plans for the new academic year and are relying on the best health and safety guidance available”. This level of care extends to virtual COVID-19 symptom checking and healthcare consultations, as well as on-campus testing, when needed.
In anticipation of the University decision about Fall Semester 2020, a large number of IU Northwest colleagues have been hard at work to plan a versatile approach that balances the advantages of the on-campus educational and co-curricular experience with the need to be very adaptable, perhaps at short notice, in response to changes in the public health environment. Our campus efforts complement the plan that President McRobbie has outlined very well.
All members of the IU Northwest campus community are eager to know the calendar for the 2020-21 academic year, which will begin, as originally scheduled, on Monday, 24 August 2020.
- Fall Semester 2020 will run from 24 August 2020 through 20 December 2020, but all on-campus, in-person instruction will end the week prior to Thanksgiving week (Friday, 20 November 2020). Any instructional programming that takes place after Thanksgiving will be online. There will not be a Fall break.
- What is called a Winter Session will run from 21 December 2020, to 7 February 2021 and will be entirely on-line. Each campus can use this period to schedule flexible on-line instruction that best fits the needs of students and programs.
- Spring Semester 2021 will begin online on 19 January 2021 and on-campus, in-person instruction resumes on 8 February 2021, running till 9 May 2021, without a Spring break.
Members of the IU Northwest campus community can be assured that, before students or employees are asked to return to campus, IU policies and protocols for health, safety and facilities readiness are being carefully followed. The campus has been maintained continuously since March, will be cleaned daily, will be provided with cleaning supplies and safety equipment by IU and arrangements will be in place for appropriate social distancing in classrooms, laboratories and offices. Accommodations will also be made for those who find themselves at higher risk in this health emergency. Indiana University is committed to fully supporting our health and safety, as well as the behavioral changes that COVID-19 requires of us all.
President McRobbie’s message to the University community of 21 May 2020 referred to the resumption of on-campus research. IU Vice President for Research Fred Cate has followed-up with a message to faculty members that should be read by all active researchers. The protocol to resume research refers only to campus-based laboratory research (distinct from activities that take place in individual offices) and states that “Research that can be conducted remotely, should continue to be for the foreseeable future”. Those who wish to return to IU Northwest laboratories are required to have the permission of the college/school dean and the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and must complete the form that accompanies the research restart plan. “The requirement for permission is . . . to ensure that . . . local and campus leaders are aware of which activities are resuming, cleaning services and other operations in buildings in which on-campus research is resuming are prepared, and that the university has accurate information about on-campus research activities that have resumed.”
Thank you, as always, for your good work and continuing flexibility, in the face of a dynamic and highly-changeable environment. Please watch for more messages about the beginning of the 2020-21 academic year. Stay safe and stay well.