Looking ahead: Fall 2021
UD President Assanis has announced that University operations will support a campus experience more similar to what Blue Hens were familiar with before the pandemic, including in-person class instruction, full campus residence occupancy and activities. UD will continue working with state officials on guidance and public health considerations as the semester draws closer. The decision will ensure students have the greatest opportunity possible to experience the best of the University of Delaware.
How are decisions about 2021 being made?
The UD Campus Reopening Task Force are recommending guidelines, procedures and protocols to achieve the safest and most efficient pathway for resuming operations at UD.
- Caring for Our People: We prioritize the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff, as well as the greater Delaware community. The welfare of our people remains vital to our success, and we will do everything possible to support the wellbeing of our inclusive community and maintain workforce continuity through this unprecedented public health emergency.
- Cultivating Academic Excellence and Enrichment: As a world-class institution, we continue to ensure that teaching, research, scholarship and service thrive as cornerstones of human and intellectual development, today and in the future. As student success is our priority, we will maintain academic continuity, even during crisis, via alternative course delivery formats as necessary. We are committed to resuming campus life and normal operations as soon as it is safe to do so.
- Invigorating Our Mission for Positive Change: We continue to fulfill our mission and create value-driven opportunities to make a positive impact on society through scholarly endeavors, innovative research, creative learning, community engagement, and operational excellence. As a community of idea giants, our faculty, students and staff are bold and resilient, and will always seek ways to remain agile and persevere through challenge with efficiency and innovation.
Reminder: Travel is not advised
The UD community is reminded that travel increases your chances of spreading and getting COVID-19. Please delay travel and stay where you are to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, even if you are vaccinated. If you must travel, take steps to protect yourself and others:
- If you are eligible, get fully vaccinated.
- Before you travel, get tested with a viral test one to three days before your trip.
- Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when in public.
- Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about two arm lengths) from anyone who did not travel with you.
- Get tested three to five days after your trip, stay home and self-quarantine for a full seven days after travel, even if your test is negative. If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
For additional information, visit this Centers for Disease Control site.
Protect the Flock
Protect the Flock: youtube.com/watch?v=7S_wkWvEStI
It's up to all of us to #ProtectTheFlock. Whether you'll be in Newark or at home, be sure to follow all guidelines to keep your community healthy and safe. Wear a face covering, monitor your symptoms, and maintain physical distancing of at least six feet apart. We'll get through this together.
Do your part by wearing a face covering on campus
If you have forgotten yours, disposable masks are available for free at the information desks in: Perkins Student Center, Trabant University Center, Morris Library, Carpenter Sports Building, STAR Tower.
The vast majority of our students, faculty and staff have embraced the “Protect the Flock” mindset to keep themselves and each other safe. UD is ramping up its surveillance testing program from 1,000 tests per week to about 4,000 tests per week to be able to quickly identify COVID-positive individuals and support them appropriately. Additional measures are being developed, and information will be communicated as it becomes available.
Do your part by:
- Staying home when you’re feeling sick.
- Participating in daily health screenings at covidcheck.udel.edu if you will be on campus.
- Keeping at least 6 feet away from others, both indoors and outdoors.
- Wearing 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.
- Washing/sanitizing your hands frequently, covering your cough and practicing good personal hygiene.
Support for student wellbeing is available no matter where students are as they attend UD this academic year. Student Health Services, Student Wellness and Health Promotion and the Center for Counseling and Student Development continue to provide HIPAA and FERPA compliant telehealth services, and the Office of the Dean of Students is open to support students who need assistance with navigating complex issues. Disability Support Services remains available to assist any student who has a mental or physical diagnosis which may impact their ability to access classes, services or programs either online or in person.
The University has created a comprehensive program of testing, screening and contact tracing for those in Newark.
In the spring, UD will offer far more face-to-face academic experiences than have been available in the fall semester while continuing to fine tune the mix of face-to-face and online courses. Because of physical distancing guidelines, spring classes with 50 or more students will be online, though smaller in-person breakout sessions will be offered where possible. The typical Monday/Wednesday/Friday and Tuesday/Thursday weekly schedule will continue. All instructors teaching face-to-face courses will continue to be prepared to go online, if necessary.
The spring semester will start on February 15, one week later than originally scheduled. This will reduce campus activities during the flu season, provide more time for a longer move-in process and allow more campus activities to take place in warmer weather. To help minimize off-campus travel on and off campus as a precautionary health measure, there will be no spring break, though UD will provide wellbeing programming for students, faculty and staff. The last day of classes will be May 18, and the final examination period will end May 27. Commencement is planned for May 29, subject to public health guidelines and requirements.
Regardless of the delivery mode – online or in-person – our courses will continue to 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 UD research community is a dynamo for innovation and problem-solving. Our faculty, staff and students are advancing critical work on a broad array of issues, including efforts to thwart COVID-19.
UD activated a phased-in return to campus research operations in early June. Based on the research community’s vigilance with health and safety protocols, we launched Phase 2 in late June 2020 and Phase 3 in early August 2020. More than two-thirds of research operations are now back online.
Graduate students continue their research, whether working remotely, on campus, or at off-campus partner facilities and field sites. Undergraduate research on campus is permitted on a limited basis and must be supported by the student’s adviser through a formal application process. Detailed guidelines and resources are available on this Research website page.
For the spring, we have increased the number of students living on campus to about 4,000 - or about 60% capacity. In Fall 2020, we limited the number of students living in residence halls to about 1,300, or about 20% of capacity.
Students’ residence hall assignments are 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.
UD will maintain a block of vacant residence hall rooms for quarantine and isolation spaces, if needed.
UD and its dining services partner, Aramark, are committed to adapting our operations to ensure the safety of our campus community and will continue to offer a wide range of options to decrease density. Key initiatives include to-go and express dining options, additional off-campus dining partnerships, expanding mobile ordering, physical distancing practices, occupancy monitoring, additional service hours, expanding seating and modifications to dining menus with key safety practices.
The Caesar Rodney Fresh Food Company and Pencader Dining Hall will be open for spring semester, along with the Trabant Food Court in Trabant University Center, Dunkin’ in Perkins Student Center, The Nest’s Marketplace in Morris Library and both P.O.D. Markets. The hours for these dining locations are available on Dining Services’ website at www.udel.edu/dining.
Both the Caesar Rodney Fresh Food Company and Pencader Dining Hall will provide the option to dine in or take food to go. To manage the flow and critical check points, guests will be asked to use designated entrances – the Academy St. Entrance at Caesar Rodney and the Main Entrance at Pencader for dining in and the South Green Entrance and Terrace Entrance, respectively, for to go. To help facilitate contactless service, the required method of dining from the restaurants in the Trabant Food Court and Dunkin’ will be mobile-only ordering and contactless pickup using campus dining in the Grubhub app.
Dining Services has partnered with Density, a real-time people counting solution, to provide occupancy information online and near the main entrance.
The UD experience is not only academic but social. We plan to increase in-person student engagement opportunities in the spring, as the trajectory of the coronavirus will allow. While many of our students may not be physically located in Newark this academic year, the University is committed to ensuring dynamic student experiences so all Blue Hens thrive throughout their lives. Whether students are residing in Newark or continuing with their coursework remotely, resources that have always been available to students will continue to be available, along with brand new virtual services. The Student Life Virtual Hub serves as a source of information for student support, career advice, wellbeing information, engagement opportunities and other resources. University Student Centers will be open with spaces available for studying and meals and they will host virtual performances, guest speakers, trivia, bingo, game shows, and leadership workshops. Fraternity and Sorority Leadership and Learning will continue to support fraternities and sororities in achieving their purpose and will work with organizations to transition to virtual recruitment and intake/new member education processes.
The Center for Black Culture will operate in a primarily virtual environment. Student Diversity and Inclusion staff will continue to advise student organizations, facilitate workshops and conversations, and provide support to all of our students on an ongoing basis.
The UD Career Center, Lerner Career Services and Graduate Professional Development will operate in a primarily virtual environment this fall to best facilitate employment engagement and career advancement for UD students and alumni.
Sports postponed from this past fall, including football, have shifted to spring, beginning January 23. Spring sports are currently planned during their customary season. However, all regular competition schedules are likely to be shortened and modified to avoid air travel and overnight stays.
We continue to prioritize the return to campus of employees who directly engage with students face-to-face. This includes faculty, instructional support services, student life, athletic and recreation services, and laboratory research personnel and campus operations personnel support services. While a majority of our administrative operations will continue remotely for the spring semester, we will continue to evaluate this.
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 pre-arrival COVID-19 testing
- 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.
The UD Campus Reopening Task Forcee is overseen by the Task Force Steering Committee, chaired by President Assanis. Members of the committee include the leaders of colleges, 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
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 email@example.com.