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Update from Provost Rob Clark on Fall Planning Efforts

To the University of Rochester Community,

As I wrote in a message last week, many members of the University community have been devoting many hours to developing plans and processes for re-opening our campus. As a reminder, the primary focus in all of our planning remains the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff; and we will always adhere to the guidance set out by New York State and our local Monroe County leadership. However, in order to plan effectively for the re-opening of our Eastman and Arts, Sciences & Engineering campuses for undergraduates, the deans and I realized that we needed some target scheduling objectives to work from.

Understanding that any plan must be approved by the governor as he indicated earlier this month, I have suggested that we develop an academic plan that would have undergraduate students in Eastman and AS&E start in-person instruction in August as previously scheduled, with an option for mixed-mode (remote) instruction available as well, for those students who may not be able to travel to campus. In order to reduce the amount of travel to and from the campus, we would plan to omit the fall break in October and continue instruction through to the scheduled Thanksgiving break, with the expectation that students would return home at the Thanksgiving break, as they are able. Following Thanksgiving, instruction, including exams, would be completed online.

There are obviously many details to work out, and again, any of our plans must be approved by Governor Cuomo. But the framework I describe above will allow us to develop more concrete plans for housing, dining, student services, and so forth, with the health and safety of our community always front and center in our minds.

In unsure times like this, it is difficult to provide concrete answers. I hope that this proposed scheduling framework provides more certainty for those of you who may have questions about your own plans as we move forward. You have my thanks for your continued patience as we work through our current complexity.


Robert L. Clark, Provost

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