Return to Campus

Latest Update:

Fall 2020 classes will begin on Sept. 1, 2020. After Thanksgiving, the semester will transition online for the remainder of the fall semester. An announcement about course schedules and delivery options will be made prior to fall course registration, which reopens in early August. Additional details will be posted on this webpage as they are announced.

Message from President Assanis

fall 2020 semester PLANS



Fall return FAQs >

Recent Updates >

How are decisions about Fall 2020 being made? 

The UD Campus Reopening and Fall Planning Task Force will recommend guidelines, procedures and protocols to achieve the safest and most efficient pathway for resuming operations at UD through the summer and leading into the Fall 2020 semester. It will also undertake necessary planning efforts to welcome students back to campus in the fall, according to the “new normal,” as well as develop contingency plans to be considered, depending on the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic, with guidance provided by our State government and public health authorities.


Guiding Principles:

  1. The safety and wellbeing of the UD community shall remain paramount.

  2. We will continue to cultivate an environment where the academic mission of the University, which revolves around learning, scholarly activities, and public engagement, will thrive and strengthen our position as a leading research institution.

  3. The University will remain compliant with guidance and recommendations provided by relevant state, federal and public health authorities.

  4. In the spirit of progress and innovation, the University will establish and implement new and improved best practices to promote a safe campus environment and enhanced culture of individual responsibility and accountability.



Health and Safety

The University has posted Return to Campus Health Guidelines for Employees. Variations on this will be announced for students as we approach the start of the fall 2020 semester.

In general:

  1. Stay home when you’re feeling sick.
  2. Participate honestly in daily health screenings.
  3. Keep at least 6 feet away from others, both indoors and outdoors.
  4. Wear masks or cloth face coverings in classrooms, laboratories and all common areas; masks should be worn outdoors when a 6-foot separation may not be possible, such as walking on The Green or riding public transportation.
  5. Wash/sanitize your hands frequently, cover your cough and practice good personal hygiene.

Classrooms, laboratories, residence/dining halls and other common areas will be cleaned multiple times per day.

If you feel sick, please self-quarantine. Students should call Student Health Services at 302-831-2226 before visiting in person; faculty and staff should call their healthcare provider.

Get a flu shot. The vaccine remains one of the best protections against influenza, and health protocols are designed to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission.



Academics and
Class Flexibility

UD is planning to welcome all students on campus this fall with the first day of classes being Sept. 1 as originally scheduled. As of now, there are no changes to the dates indicated in the formal academic calendar for fall 2020, except that the start date of the Thanksgiving break will be changed.  There are changes to the course delivery mode after the Thanksgiving break (see FAQs), and the University is poised to convert to fully online learning at any time if COVID-19 circumstances dictate.

Classes will be offered in a blended format (online and face-to-face instruction). Courses are being designed to enable reduced class sizes and optimize our learning environments, taking health and safety considerations into account in all instances.

An announcement about course schedules and delivery options will be made prior to fall 2020 open enrollment when registration resumes in early August. Additional details will be posted on this webpage as they are announced.

In all instances, the University will incorporate contingency planning for online classes so that all students from around the world are able to attend UD. Regardless of the delivery mode - online or in-person -- our courses will meet the rigorous standards that UD is known for and will be taught by our outstanding faculty.

Whether teaching online or designing an online course, UD’s Faculty Commons is available to connect faculty members to resources and information.




The University’s research community continues critical work, on campus and remotely, on a broad array of issues, including efforts to thwart COVID-19. UD has activated a phased-in return to campus research operations. In early June, the first wave of researchers in Phase 1 began returning to campus laboratories, partner facilities and field sites. UD opened the application process for Phase 2 on June 23. Detailed guidelines and resources, including links to required safety training and the research ramp-up checklist, are available on this Research website page.



Campus Life

UD’s picturesque campus and the vibrant campus life offerings are elemental to the Blue Hen experience. The University is working diligently to create a residential environment this fall that allows students to live on campus in reduced-density scenarios and enjoy programming and recreational activities safely. 

On-Campus Living

Students’ residence hall assignments are being made with a focus on reduced density and decreasing contagion opportunities. Protocols such as designated interior traffic flow patterns and guidelines on use of shared spaces such as bathrooms and lounges will be enacted to support these efforts. UD has hired additional custodial staff members to allow for multiple daily cleanings in each hall. And, move-in will be staggered over a series of days in late August.

UD will maintain a block of vacant residence hall rooms for quarantine and isolation spaces, if needed. 

Detailed expectations for residence hall occupants are under development and will be shared with students and their families soon. 


UD and its dining services partner, Aramark, are committed to adapting our operations to ensure students have safe access to the widest possible variety of dining options. Our robust re-open strategy spans a wide-range of solutions to support our return to campus this fall.  Key initiatives include to go and express dining options, additional off-campus dining partnerships, expanding mobile ordering, physical distancing practices, occupancy alerts and monitoring, changes to service hours, expanding seating and modifications to dining menus with key safety practices.  Stay up to date on dining information by visiting



Athletics and Events 

The NCAA has issued guidelines on how to safely resume athletic activities for the fall.  The Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) has adopted an “Extreme Flexibility Model” for this upcoming academic year.  The EFM will be used in the sports of baseball, field hockey, men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's soccer, softball and volleyball. Football will begin its competitions as scheduled on the road on Saturday, September 5. Campuswide health and physical distancing guidelines will be announced later this summer and will be used for fans during home athletic events. 


The first wave of student-athletes returned to UD’s athletic facilities to begin voluntary training in mid-June. This small group was selected because they live in close proximity to campus and are not residing in on-campus housing during this time. This group is being thoroughly monitored, while also adhering to the strict guidelines laid out by University health officials during any activity within our facilities. We hope to bring a second wave of student athletes to campus within a few weeks.  

Details and guidelines for all non-athletic events are under development and will be posted when available.



Working at UD

Due to the unique and unprecedented challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, UD is implementing this interim guidance, which applies to all UD employees (faculty, staff and student employees). As our knowledge of COVID-19 and related guidance from state and public health authorities continue to evolve, this guidance may change at any time as conditions and/or circumstances may warrant.

Employees may not return to campus unless specifically directed to do so by their supervisor or another authorized department. All campus operations that employees can carry out remotely should continue remotely for the foreseeable future. Exceptions will be made for essential employees who must be on campus to provide critical work functions.

Prior to any faculty or staff member returning to campus, approval from the unit’s most senior leader (president, provost, executive vice president or vice president for research) must be granted. Faculty courses and schedules should dictate if/when faculty return to campus. Those who need to conduct onsite research should review the Return to Research Guidelines and submit the required forms.

All UD employees working on campus are expected to comply with the UD COVID-19 Return to Campus Guidelines, which includes:

  • conducting a home health screening
  • wearing a cloth face covering
  • minimizing building and office occupancy and maintaining physical distancing
  • hand washing
  • personal space cleaning

In addition, all employees returning to campus are required to take UD’s online safety training.

Failure to comply with these guidelines may result in corrective action. Any employees with concerns about compliance should consult the Office of Human Resources or report such concerns to the UD Compliance Hotline.

Planning Task Force


The Campus Reopening and Fall Planning Task Force is overseen by the Task Force Steering Committee, chaired by President Assanis. Members of the committee include the leaders of the seven committee, as well as other University administrators, faculty members and undergraduate and graduate students.

Chair: Dennis Assanis, President

  • Robin Morgan, Provost
  • John Long, Executive Vice President and COO
  • Mary Remmler, Vice President of Strategic Planning and Analysis
  • Charlie Riordan, Vice President of Research, Scholarship and Innovation
  • Laure Ergin, Vice President and General Counsel
  • Jose Riera, Vice President of Student Life
  • Glenn Carter, Vice President of Communications and Marketing
  • Chrissi Rawak, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreational Services
  • Michael Vaughan, Interim Vice Provost of Diversity
  • Jim Dicker, Vice President University Development & Alumni Relations
  • Rhett Ruggerio,  Interim Director of Government Relations
  • Beth Brand, Vice President and University Secretary
  • Sylvester Johnson, Director, Custodial and University Services
  • Debbie H. Norris, Chair and Professor of Photograph Conservation, Art Conservation Department; Unidel Henry Francis du Pont Chair; Director, Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation, College of Arts and Sciences, Trustee
  • Alan Fox, Professor of Philosophy; Acting Director of Islamic Studies
  • Matthew Robinson, Professor of Hospitality Business Management; Faculty Senate Past President
  • Carlos Asarta, Director for the Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship; Professor of Economics; President, Delaware Council on Economic Education
  • Cathy Wu, Unidel Edward Jefferson Chair, Computer & Info Sciences; Director, Institute for Data Science Institute; Professor of Biological Sciences
  • Jennifer Buckley, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering; Associate Professor School of Education
  • Timothy Dowling, Director Student Health Services
  • Samantha Bingaman, President, Graduate Student Organization
  • Mia Carbone, President, Student Government Association
  • Stephanie Boateng, Student Government Association Executive Council
  • Sienna Ferrick, President, Student Athlete Advisory Committee

View All Task Force Committees >


For more information about the UD's response to COVID-19, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

The University is continually updating the FAQs as new guidance and information is shared. If you have a question that is not addressed in the FAQs, please email

Links & Resources