The start of a new academic year is always an exciting time, full of energy and anticipation. As the 2020-21 year begins, we at Chapman have never been better prepared nor more eager to welcome our students back into our classrooms and teaching labs. We just aren’t sure to what extent in-person classes and research will be possible as we start the fall semester.
Countless hours of hard work by hundreds of Chapman people as well as a huge investment in new technology ensure that we will deliver an education of distinction, whether classes happen on campus, via remote learning or a hybrid of both. We anticipate that we will start the semester with remote learning, given the number of coronavirus cases in California and Orange County. We will follow all public health guidelines and only return to campus if we have the support of health authorities as well as approval for our plans and protocols.
Throughout the late spring and summer, 18 dedicated task forces of Chapman faculty, staff and administrators worked tirelessly to develop an adaptive and comprehensive plan we call CU Safely Back. The task forces reach into every area of campus life, and their recommendations deeply inform the university’s re-opening plans, as well as a full range of contingency plans.
Whenever we are able to return to campus, we will implement a vast array of health and safety steps, from physical distancing to symptoms monitoring, from personal protection equipment to sanitation, all designed to help keep our communities healthy.
A key consideration is student housing, which we have worked hard to adapt for this semester. To support the health of residential students, the local community, and to meet what we expect will be the public health expectations for student housing, we have developed a plan to house students in private bedrooms with private bathrooms for the fall semester. To do so, we must further reduce our housing density across all building areas. As a result, we are encouraging all students to thoughtfully consider whether they need to live in Chapman housing or in the local community for the fall semester.
During the spring and summer, when the vast majority of our faculty, staff and students have been studying and working from home, we have made numerous improvements to our campus, which we are eager for you to see. Unfortunately, we have to ask for your patience. To maximize health and safety, the campus is closed to all visitors until further notice. We will eagerly invite you back to stroll the grounds, view the art, attend events and generally enjoy the campus when circumstances allow.
As new developments unfold, the best sources for information are our website, cusafelyback.chapman.edu, and our Community Relations Office, which you can contact on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ChapmanUCommunity.
For now, please know that even when we are away, our hearts are in Old Towne Orange. We can’t wait to return to our campus home.