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Purdue Trustees Address Fall 2020; Call For In-Person Class Until Thanksgiving


Today an email was sent to students, parents and other members of the Purdue University community outlining further plans for a return to campus for in-person classes in August. The plan calls for eliminating any breaks during the semester and once students go home for Thanksgiving, having them stay at home. The remainder of the semester would then be completed remotely. 

(The full text of the letter is below.)

Purdue University’s Board of Trustees on Thursday (May 7) approved an initial set of what will be several measures designed to prepare the university to return to on-campus instruction for the fall 2020 semester while placing protection of the people of Purdue at the highest priority.

Trustees acted on measures recommended by the Safe Campus Task Force. The board also has set a meeting for May 26 when it will consider an additional set of actions to ensure the West Lafayette campus can continue its vital learning, research and engagement missions in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are extremely grateful to the entire Purdue community, especially the Safe Campus Task Force, for its response thus far to this unprecedented challenge we are facing,” said Michael Berghoff, chair of the Board of Trustees.

Trustees on Thursday approved a resolution authorizing the university’s leadership to take action:

  • To provide for an academic calendar for the fall 2020 semester that allows on-campus classroom instruction to start in August and finish by Thanksgiving break, with the balance of the semester to be completed thereafter by remote means and methods, and with the elimination of customary fall breaks and other adjustments necessary to accomplish this schedule.
  • To de-densify on-campus work spaces significantly, with a target of reducing the number of administrative employees working on campus by at least one-third through the encouragement and enabling of telework and other remote work considerations.
  • To establish and implement a systematic testing regime, both for those with COVID-19 symptoms and those without, together with a mechanism for actively and accurately tracing contacts of those who test positive for the virus.To add the annual influenza vaccination to the immunization requirements for enrolled students, faculty and staff as a condition to being on campus.
  • To order, acquire and maintain at least a 90-day supply of critical equipment and supplies for reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 on campus.
  • To identify and set aside a substantial number of rooms for the quarantining of those who may test positive for COVID-19 while on campus, the precise number to be determined based on student enrollment and medical developments.

With the directives approved by trustees, campus leaders now will work on an aggressive timeline for implementation and will provide updated announcements to the campus community as decisions are made. Updates also will continue to be posted to the COVID-19 response website.

In support of preparations to open campus this fall, the university has launched the Safe Campus Initiative Fund at Gifts to the fund will go toward areas of greatest need across campus, enabling campus leaders to move nimbly to address a range of anticipated and unanticipated needs.

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