Message to Faculty and Staff: Information About Fall Semester 2020
April 28, 2020
Dear Faculty and Staff:
As the semester comes to a close, I am nostalgic for our gatherings, festivities, and awards ceremonies that mark the season with joy, friendship, and celebration of our academic achievements. I miss seeing you on campus, but have enjoyed Zooming with you and navigating our virtual spaces together. Nevertheless, for the fall 2020 semester, our goal is to return to our campuses, noting the clarifications and guidance below. Whatever circumstances exist this fall, instruction will continue so students can make progress toward their degree programs and pursue their academic ambitions.
Fall 2020 Semester
- We look forward to welcoming students back to our campuses for in-person instruction, provided it is safe and aligns with guidance from public health authorities. While we are preparing contingency plans with appropriate protocols to protect the health and well-being of our community members, we are optimistic about what we can accomplish with prudent precautions in place.
- For students impacted by travel restrictions or health concerns, we will provide accommodations so that disruptions to their educational experience are minimized.
- We are modeling scenarios that are responsive to social distancing, sanitization requirements, and other conditions. Should circumstances require, we are considering a broad range of alternatives, such as adjusting the academic calendar, utilizing unconventional spaces and complementing classroom instruction with hybrid methodologies.
- We will continue communicating with students and families regularly throughout the summer with further information. You can expect an update by May 27, 2020.
- Please visit LMU’s Coronavirus Website for the latest updates.
Fall 2020 Student Housing
We currently anticipate opening residence halls and apartments for occupancy in the fall if it is safe and aligns with guidance from public health authorities. We will adhere to social distancing and other protocols. We are making every effort to accommodate returning students who’ve opted to live on campus and will continue to provide students with housing updates as public health authorities clarify guidelines.
We recommend that students living off campus review their lease terms with care. Many off-campus leases may not provide prorated refunds if terminated early. Alternatively, students might consider a month-to-month rental agreement rather than an annual lease. We encourage students to engage their landlords related to COVID-19 circumstances.
Preserving Our Strength and Proactive Modeling
Last week, President Snyder announced interim measures the university has enacted to offset known revenue shortfalls in his Preserving Our Strength message. LMU’s senior leadership are proactively modeling a variety of scenarios that include potential budget savings and reductions to position the university optimally and to increase financial aid support for our students and families. We are and will continue considering various contingencies to ensure that the university remains strong, thriving, and responsive to quickly changing circumstances. Further information will be shared as appropriate.
Our recovery and planning teams, in collaboration with our Emergency Operations Center, are actively considering solutions and approaches with creativity and comprehensivity, including groups focused on student support; continuity of operations, instruction, work, and community; conferences, events, and athletics; economic recovery; enrollment; and communications. Additional planning efforts are evaluating and offering options for commencement, summer instruction, essential staffing, summer auxiliaries, business contracts and process improvements, internal and external initiatives, and other essential topics. I am grateful to our colleagues for undertaking these critical planning efforts amid this transition and during the busiest time in our academic calendar so that we are prepared and equipped to address eventualities as effectively as possible.
CARES Act Relief Aid In Progress
The U.S. Department of Education confirmed that the university will receive COVID-19 aid and relief funding from the CARES Act, including emergency grants for students. More information will be forthcoming after funds are received from the federal government.
Deadline for Withdrawals and Credit/No Credit Extended to May 11
We have extended the deadline for withdrawals and to opt for credit/no credit grading to May 11, 2020, to provide students with flexibility as they manage this semester’s extenuating circumstances. To change to this option, students should complete the form designated for their college or school for dean’s office approval.
I am grateful to you for your devotion to safeguarding our students’ success, our academic excellence, and our daily operations throughout these challenging and unpredictable times. Thank you for caring for one another and standing together, and for ensuring that we fulfill our LMU promise for our students. I am proud to serve with each of you and hopeful for what tomorrow brings.
I look forward to seeing you in the fall and hope you and your families stay healthy and safe.
Thomas Poon, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President and Provost