It has been a long six weeks since we made the decision to move to virtual operations in response to the health risk posed by COVID-19. I have been so impressed by how you have adapted and thrived, albeit under less than ideal circumstances. While final exams are being completed, we are looking forward to celebrating and honoring the achievements of the Class of 2020 on May 9 – capping a year we will all certainly remember.
As we are supporting our students through graduation, we are also laser focused on meeting the needs and expectations of the Class of 2024 as well as our returning students. We are committed to safely providing you the rich, on-campus, highly (sometimes virtually) connected experience we are uniquely able to offer as a small, private institution. Our Campus Continuity Task Force is hard at work, developing a detailed roadmap for our fall opening with six workstreams, including Course Schedule, Course Delivery, Housing & Dining, Technology, Enhanced Health & Safety and Student Life & Athletics.
Our overarching goal is to “pandemic-proof” (as much as possible) that which is foundational to a TU experience – our academics, our residential life and our co-curricular experiences – while prioritizing the wellbeing of our students, faculty and staff. We expect our plans to be completed by May 20, and we will share those details with you shortly thereafter.
TU made the right preemptive decision about moving to remote operations out of concern for the health and safety of our entire community. This will remain the litmus test for our decisions going forward. Likewise, I believe the careful thought going into our planning for the fall semester will enable us to release important details ahead of other institutions.
To all of our students, I really want us to all be back on campus. Like you, I miss the interaction, the genuine joy of learning, the camaraderie and the excitement about what lies ahead in our educational and professional lives. For returning students, fall 2020 likely will not look the same as fall 2019. Campus life will be different, and the modes of teaching will be varied. But I am confident that TU will have a thoughtful, informed and detailed plan in place to allow you to continue to pursue your passions, dreams and educational or career goals.
I look forward to seeing you on campus soon.
Janet K. Levit