Dear ASU Community:
I am writing today to reaffirm our plans for the fall semester at Arizona State University.
We announced on June 5 that we planned to begin classes on August 20, offering courses in a variety of learning environments – including in-person and via ASU-Sync – to accommodate students’ needs depending on location or circumstance as a result of COVID-19. Our plan remains as such today.
Although Arizona has recently seen a reduction of positive COVID-19 cases, especially when one looks at the seven-day moving average, we know that the situation is fluid and we must remain vigilant in doing all that we can to continue to slow the spread. That includes wearing a face covering in public, washing your hands regularly, practicing physical distancing, monitoring your health and staying home when sick, avoiding others that are sick and getting tested if you are experiencing symptoms or think you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Please remember that all students and employees have access to testing at no charge.
In the last several months, we have learned a great deal about the virus and I am confident in the systems and protocols we have put in place at ASU to allow students to continue their academic studies and for employees to support our mission, while managing the complexities that COVID-19 can present. This includes teaching in a variety of formats, welcoming students to campus and supporting the on-campus experience, continuing our research mission and operating the university overall in a manner that allows us to fulfill our charter and back our community under current health conditions.
Leadership teams have been working around the clock to prepare our campuses to support students and employees as we move into the new academic year. Classrooms have received significant technology upgrades to accommodate learning through ASU Sync; faculty are being trained on best practices to support hybrid learning environments; appropriate distancing in classrooms and office spaces has been implemented; enhanced cleaning protocols will be adhered to; PPE, cleaning supplies and COVID-19 testing have been and will continue to be available for students and employees at no charge; and all students and employees are required to participate in and adhere to the protocols set forth in our Community of Care training designed to support a healthy learning and working environment for everyone.
While we hope to not have to alter plans in the future, it is important to remind everyone that dramatic shifts with the virus could force operational changes. We will be prepared to adapt and pivot as needed. Everyone should also continue to monitor official university communication channels for continued updates about protocols related to COVID-19.
As we move forward with our plans to welcome everyone back to our campuses for the start of the semester on August 20 it is important to remember that campus life will look different in many ways and we will all need to make adjustments. But with the cooperation and care of every member of the ASU community, I am confident that we will have a successful fall semester.
Michael M. Crow
Arizona State University