I’m sure many of you are aware that the State University System of Florida Board of Governors (BOG) recently announced that universities are preparing for the fall semester. Guidelines from the BOG and individual university plans will be established as we move into June.
As everyone embraces the “new normal” resulting from COVID-19, it remains FAU’s goal to resume face-to-face courses, student activities, and campus events in a manner appropriate to the current situation, and at the appropriate time. The health and safety of FAU’s students, faculty and staff remains the top priority of this university, and all decisions will be governed by the latest health recommendations from the state of Florida and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
I know there are many questions about what our fall semester will look like and what modifications and precautions will be in place to ensure a safe and healthy campus environment. We will make announcements in the coming weeks, but for now, I wanted to update you on how the university has addressed the many issues associated with the current environment.
As the COVID-19 pandemic developed, the university’s Emergency Operations Team (EOT), which consists of nearly 70 FAU employees representing numerous areas of the university, was activated and has formulated options regarding a phased approach to re-opening our campuses.
Several working groups and task forces stemming from the EOT meet regularly to develop plans and to determine how we will increase operations. Focus areas include health and safety, academic continuity, facilities, residential housing, campus recreation, student activities, and athletics.
Next week, we expect to present our fall plans to the FAU Board of Trustees and we’ll do the same with the BOG June 23. Of course, this situation is constantly changing and everyone should expect modifications and adjustments to any initial guidelines. We’re constantly monitoring local, state and federal guidelines, and I encourage you to do the same.
In the meantime, full remote learning will continue through the Summer III session, which runs from June 27 through Aug. 7. Remote working continues until further notice.
Our dedicated COVID-19 website remains the best source of FAU-specific information. The Campus Safety page of the site has detailed information about current policies and protocols, health and coronavirus prevention practices, self-quarantine procedures, university travel, and more. The Guidance and Services page features an “A-Z” listing of items from around the university. New information is added to the pages as we confirm changes in our operations and services.
For our professional staff, the Department of Human Resources recently launched a Talent Share Program that is designed to assist the FAU community in connecting eligible and available FAU employees affected by a reduction in work with FAU colleges and units that have temporary projects or assignments. Faculty are encouraged to avail themselves of the resources on the Keep Teaching website, while students should visit the Keep Learning website if they are struggling with remote learning challenges.
For those who need to visit our campuses, either regularly or periodically, please wear face coverings in public areas when social distancing is not possible. Face coverings are required when in close proximity to others, in restrooms and elevators, and when using FAU transportation. Do not overcrowd any of these spaces. Face coverings, which should be kept with you at all times, can be handmade, such as those fashioned from a scarf, bandana or handkerchief, or tee-shirt.
Remember, if you are feeling unwell, stay home! And if you are experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, please seek medical attention immediately.
Students receiving a positive test result for COVID-19 must notify Student Health Services as soon as possible. The number is 561-297-3512 (after hours, please select option 3). All faculty and staff must notify Human Resources. The department can be reached by calling 561-297-3076 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your supervisor also should be notified.
I look forward to seeing everyone back on our campuses as soon as possible.