Looking forward:
Fall 2020


- Majority of classes fully online

- Limited number of courses that require in-person instruction will be offered in hybrid format

- Limited on-campus housing

Read 7/22 Letter from President Assanis

Six reasons why UD's Fall 2020 semester will be better than you think: youtube.com/watch?v=E0Seek7De7w

fall 2020 semester PLANS



How are decisions about Fall 2020 being made? 

The UD Campus Reopening and Fall Planning Task Force are recommending 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. 

COVID-19 developments in our community

  • Studies are revealing pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic cases as a major source of the spread of COVID-19.

  • National trends of positive COVID-19 cases are currently exceeding 9% in the general population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  

  • According to the Delaware Division of Public Health, the age group with the highest incidence of COVID-19 in the state of Delaware is now 18-34-year-olds at the rate of approximately 200 per 10,000 people. Although serious adverse outcomes for younger people are less common than in the older population, many of the risks are the same as increasingly reported for this age group, including fatalities.  

  • Within the US, commercial test results can currently take up to a week to be reported to the patient and ordering medical practitioner. This presents a challenge to appropriately supporting rapid reliable testing and contact tracing.

  • The state of Delaware has delayed the progression from Phase 2 to Phase 3 of reopening due to fluctuations in new cases and lack of compliance in following public health orders. Also, as our students originate from 49 states, we note that 22 states are halting or rolling back reopening plans, as of this week.

  • The University of Delaware has decided to suspend all sports competitions this fall, consistent with the decision of several college athletic conferences.

Guiding Principles:


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.



Health and Safety

The University has posted Return to Campus Health Guidelines for Employees. Variations on this will be announced for those students who will be on campus 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.

Support for student wellbeing is available no matter where students are as they attend UD this fall. 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.




Classes will begin on Tuesday, September 1 with the bulk of our academic courses delivered in an online modality; this will continue until improvement of conditions enables us to revert to a more blended format, as was previously communicated.

Classes will return to the original Monday/Wednesday/Friday and Tuesday/Thursday weekly schedule; classes will be held at our regular daily scheduled times. The majority of classes will be online and conducted either synchronously or asynchronously.

Course schedules for continuing students who have already registered will remain unchanged; most or all courses will be online. Select courses that academic departments have designated as requiring an in-person component will go fully online after the Thanksgiving break, with the last day for any class to meet in-person being Friday, November 20th. All final exams will be online and are scheduled for Saturday, December 12th through Friday, December 18th.

The Registrar’s Office expects that fall open enrollment will begin on August 10th.  Students will be notified that their schedules are available for review in early August, prior to the beginning of open enrollment. Student enrollment information will be updated to reflect the most current plan for open enrollment.

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 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, with Phase 1 initiated in early June. Based on the research community’s successful adherence to health and safety protocols, UD opened Phase 2 in late June and continues to assess conditions and research operations in preparation for future phases. 

Most undergraduate research will continue to be conducted remotely. On-campus research by undergraduates will be permitted on a limited basis only 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



Campus Life

On-Campus Living

Housing in UD’s residence halls will be limited. Priority will be provided to students who are participating in a face-to-face course or have some other academic requirement necessitating they be physically present on the Newark campus, including student teaching and clinicals. Only those students who had a guaranteed housing contract for the fall semester will be eligible for accommodation. 

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. 



UD and its dining services partner, Aramark, are committed to adapting our operations to ensure the safety of our campus community and will be offering 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 UD experience is not only academic but social. While the many of our students may not be physically located in Newark this fall, 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.




Athletics and Events 

The CAA Football Conference Board has suspended conference competition for the upcoming 2020 football season.

UD has also also made the difficult decision to postpone all fall sports in addition to football. We believe that the complexity of managing a complete competitive season (practice, home and away competitions, travel, etc.) was going to create significant risk to the health and safety of our people and to our campus. 



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 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 coronavirus@udel.edu

Links & Resources