In an email Monday morning, Manfred van Dulmen, interim associate provost for academic affairs, announced the stages of a four-phase plan for students, faculty and staff to safely return to campus. 

Kent State plans to resume residential living and a number of in-person classes in August. Although in returning to campus, there will be notable differences during the fall semester. Students will likely enroll in a combination of face-to-face and remotely taught courses.

Fall break will also be eliminated and the university will move to fully remote instruction for the two remaining weeks in the semester after Thanksgiving. This is to reduce the amount of travel to and from campuses, which reduces the potential spread of the virus. Other fall 2020 academic calendar changes are under review. If the pandemic worsens at any time during the semester, the university will be prepared to move all instruction to remote learning. 

The email noted that while there will not be a fall break this semester, the university understands the importance of student mental health and will continue to enhance student mental health services. 

The phases are as follows: 

Phase 1: June 8 to July 3

  • Students: Summer I and Summer II will continue through remote instruction. Select student workers work on campus. 

  • Employees: Employees needed to maintain current campus operations and to prepare for an increase in operations. Employees are to check with their supervisors. Faculty can be on campus with department chair or dean approval. Select student workers on campus. 

  • Research and Creative Activities: Researchers and artists whose request to return to research form has been approved by the Division of Research and Sponsored Programs. 

  • Athletics: Designated staff and student athletes. 

  • Events/student activities: No in-person events. Check the event calendar for virtual events.

  • Visitors: Must follow state guidelines, wear a cloth facial covering and maintain physical distance. Those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should not visit campus. 

Phase 2: July 6 to August 14

  • Students: Summer I and Summer II continue through remote instruction. A few courses, as approved by the Office of the Provost, will be delivered in person in Summer III. Select student workers on campus. 

  • Employees: Employees needed to maintain current campus operations and to prepare for an increase in operations. Employees are to check with their supervisors. Staggered return of faculty and staff whose work directly supports the return of students. Select student workers on campus. 

  • Research and creative activities: Researchers and artists whose request to return to research form has been approved by the Division of Research and Sponsored Programs. 

  • Athletics: Continued staggered return of staff and student athletes. 

  • Events/student activities: No in-person events. Check the event calendar for virtual events.

  • Visitors: Must follow state guidelines, wear a cloth facial covering and maintain physical distance. Those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should not visit campus. Begin scheduled campus tours and virtual tours will remain available. 

Phase 3: August 17 to 26

  • Students: Begin staggered return of students to residence halls. Select student workers on campus. 

  • Employees: Employees needed to maintain current campus operations and to prepare for an increase in operations. Employees are to check with their supervisors. Staggered return of faculty and staff whose work directly supports the return of students. Select student workers on campus.

  • Research and creative activities: Researchers and artists whose request to return to research form has been approved by the Division of Research and Sponsored Programs. 

  • Athletics: Continued staggered return of staff and student athletes. 

  • Events/student activities: Select events in accordance with state guidelines and the Flashes Safe Seven principles. Virtual events continue. 

  • Visitors: Must follow state guidelines, wear a cloth facial covering and maintain physical distance. Those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should not visit campus. Begin scheduled campus tours and virtual tours will remain available. 

Phase 4: August 27 to December 20

  • Students: Students will be on campus for fall semester classes. In-person and remote instruction through Nov. 20. Fall break will be eliminated. No classes will be held Nov. 23 through Nov. 27. Classes will resume on Nov. 30 and will be held via remote instruction only. Information about moving out of residence halls will be forthcoming. 

  • Employees: Employees needed to maintain campus operations. Faculty and staff necessary for on-campus operations and student support. Student workers on campus. 

  • Research and creative activities: Researchers and artists whose request to return to research form has been approved by the Division of Research and Sponsored Programs. 

  • Athletics: Continue phased return to athletic activities. 

  • Events/student activities: Select events in accordance with state guidelines and the Flashes Safe Seven principles. Virtual events continue. 

  • Visitors: Must follow state guidelines, wear a cloth facial covering and maintain physical distance. Those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should not visit campus. Scheduled campus tours.

These plans are subject to change as the university continues to monitor the virus. Additional details will be forthcoming including information about contact tracing, virus testing and quarantine and isolation protocols. 

Employees currently working remotely should continue to do so until additional guidance is provided by their supervisor. Staff members will return to campus at different times, depending on their roles and responsibilities. Some employees may continue to work remotely as their role allows, possibly beyond the beginning of fall semester. Supervisors will receive additional information shortly.

Contact Maria McGinnis at mmcginn9@kent.edu.

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