Return to Campus-Based Operations Plan

June 30, 2020
Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D., President, Professor of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy, Professor of Engineering Sciences

The Startup Task Force, chaired by Prabhat Hajela, Provost, and Curtis Powell, Vice President of Human Resources, has finalized the Return to Campus-Based Operations Plan, which we will implement, if and when we are permitted to do so by New York State. The Task Force collaborated with people from across the university and received input from many colleagues - faculty, students, staff, community members, and public health officials - to understand the issues and challenges we face here on the Troy campus, and across the Capital Region. 

Our plan provides protocols for fully reactivating the university, with a particular focus on health and safety, pedagogical innovation, operational effectiveness, limiting risk, and managing consequences. The plan is based on New York State guidance, and our assessment of what we can and must do to enhance the safety of all members of the Rensselaer community. We also have established contingencies in order to be flexible enough to adapt should circumstances change. 

As COVID-19 is highly contagious and continues to spread across the globe, we cannot make campus operations entirely risk-free. The pandemic will still be underway in the fall, and the situation could therefore change rapidly, causing us not to return to campus-based operations, based on New York State prohibition and/or our own judgment about the overall public health situation, as it affects Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Accordingly, our plan and associated protocols are subject to change. 

I look forward to discussing details related to the Return to Campus-Based Operations plan, and will host a virtual Town Meeting this Wednesday, July 1, 2020, at 12:00 p.m. The Town Meeting will be recorded and posted to the COVID-19 website.

Thank you for your continued patience and perseverance. 

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