University President Jonathan Holloway released an announcement yesterday to the Rutgers community regarding its planning for the Spring 2021 semester in regards to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“Rutgers and New Jersey responded quickly and deliberately when the virus first presented in February,” he said, according to the email. “The steps that the University and the state took have helped make us a national model for acting responsibly in the face of the pandemic. Your willingness to embrace those steps has undoubtedly helped to 'flatten the curve' and save lives.”
Holloway said they plan to build off of the success of previous plans to safely repopulate each of the University’s campuses, as well as to increase in-person learning opportunities and on-campus housing.
“Each chancellor is developing tailored campus plans that will combine robust remote instruction with in-person instruction for the spring semester within the limits of responsible social distancing,” he said. “In parallel, each chancellor will carefully expand on-campus housing opportunities. Instructional and housing decisions will each be informed by and aligned with appropriate testing and safety protocols.”
Additionally, Holloway said they will continue to provide a safe and healthy work environment for the more than 20,000 faculty and staff at the University. Rutgers’ COVID-19 telecommuting policy was also extended through December and any future changes will be announced as they become necessary, he said.
Students, faculty and staff will receive more details about the University’s spring operating status in the upcoming weeks from their campus chancellor, Holloway said. These plans will remain flexible in order to respond to unforeseen circumstances that may be brought on by the pandemic, he said.
“The plans developed for each campus will reflect my commitment that Rutgers can and will set a standard for the way each member of our community is valued, respected and protected,” Holloway said.