University Operational Status Scenarios
The framework and related factors that are being used to inform the status of university operations were derived from: state, local, and federal guidelines; a wide variety of resource materials and websites; and benchmarking with other institutions of higher education around the country. We have and will continue to use the best sources available to strengthen our standards for making decisions about university operations. We are constantly monitoring the COVID-19 situation and given its fluctuating nature, decisions to adjust the scope of operations and the degree to which the campuses are open are based on the following conceptual scenarios:
Vaccines and/or highly effective treatments are likely approved and widely available, and/or there is low circulation of the coronavirus. The university is operating within a high-density environment. Prevention practices are gradually lifted. It is likely that social interactions will remain changed and that reengineered processes and new technologies may persist for a duration of time so long as they are functional. For all intents and purposes, this is the highest level of opening – campuses are reopened without restriction.
The underlying threat of outbreak remains, but analysis of our factors suggest that certain policies may be relaxed. Some degree of density reductions is in place. Instructional options include online, hybrid, "flexible," and traditional face-to-face instruction. Some higher-risk students, faculty, and staff may require additional workplace and academic modifications.
Analysis of our factors suggest that additional controls be implemented to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. Significant prevention policies are in place, which may include limitations on meeting sizes, enforced PPE use, screening, contact tracing, selective quarantining/self-isolation, and continued elevated precautions for higher-risk individuals. Campuses are operating in a lower-density environment.
Flexibility in instructional delivery is a priority in this scenario. Students, faculty, and staff should be prepared to transition between instructional modalities based on local conditions. Also, based on local conditions, one campus may have more face-to-face offerings than the other.
Analysis of our factors, combined with government-issued stay at home orders and school and non-essential business closures, suggest that nearly all instruction and support services should take place remotely. Face-to-face housing is cancelled other than for hardship cases or those with extenuating circumstances. Campuses are operating in the lowest-density environment. Building access is limited and, in some cases, restricted. Telework is the preferred choice for as many employees as possible in accordance with state/local mandates.
Determination of the University Operational Status Scenarios
The determination of the current University Operational Status scenario and corresponding university operations are made by the President and President's Cabinet, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer and public health officials and is based on guidance from state and local government officials and a holistic analysis of a broad range of factors. Those factors include but are not limited to: tests administered, percent of positive tests, active cases, hospitalizations, recovered cases, fatalities, geographic concentration of cases, prevention methods, testing capacity, contact tracing capacity, treatments and treatment capacity, vaccine and vaccine availability, comparators, and the availability of isolation spaces.
*Information provided in the Roadmap may change or be updated as needed to respond to the evolving COVID-19 situation.
Ten COVID-19 Work Groups:
The work groups are comprised of more than 150 university leaders, charged with creating a university plan that protects the safety and wellbeing of students, faculty, and staff as they return to live, learn, and work on our campuses.
Explore the groups' membership, charges, and updates.