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Return to Campus update

Learn about winter study abroad, research, class schedules and more

Editor’s note: This weekly article is designed to keep all members of the University of Delaware community informed about recent decisions and plans being made as the University gears up for the fall semester and the return to campus. 

Decisions are being made continuously as the University responds to this ever-changing situation. For the most current and complete information, visit www.udel.edu/return, which highlights information on health and safety, academics, research, campus life, athletics and events, and working at UD, as well as Fall Return FAQs.

Winter Study Abroad

The University has decided to cancel all winter 2021 (21W) travel study programs, both domestic and international.  This decision was informed by discussions with representatives from the Office of the Provost, Office of Risk Management, Student Health Services and others. Even as the University, state and nation carefully prepare to reopen, safe worldwide travel has not yet become feasible, and international cross-border mobility remains limited. The U.S. State Department’s Global Health Advisory site and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), both currently recommend against all non-essential international travel. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic poses significant challenges to securing safe housing, meals, transportation, classroom space and more for short-term programs. The decision to cancel 21W programs was made now to give students and faculty ample time to plan their academic year. No decision has been made at this time about non-study-abroad Winter Session courses.

Academic Affairs Town Halls

Faculty and staff are invited to register for the next Academic Affairs Town Hall, scheduled from 1-2 p.m., Friday, July 10. Visit https://sites.udel.edu/provost/continuity/ for more information.

Opening Phase 2 Research

Phase 2, which officially opened June 23, will expand UD research operations to one-third of campus capacity, with the addition of all field-based work, increased laboratory research, studio activities, limited human subjects research and the opening of instructional labs and studios for facilitating the preparation of fall courses. 

Principal investigators who believe their teams are eligible for Phase 2 should fill out the PI Request to Return to Campus form and complete required safety training and checklists — all available from this webpage. Researchers already approved for previous phases should apply for Phase 2 only if they are bringing additional coworkers on site or accessing additional spaces.

Research town halls, led by Charlie Riordan, vice president for research, scholarship and innovation, continue every Monday, 1-2 p.m. Register online. For more information, contact UDResearch@udel.edu.

Faculty textbook orders

Faculty members are asked to submit book orders as soon as possible to allow time to fulfill orders and ship materials to students in advance, reducing foot traffic to the UD Bookstore at the start of the semester. In addition to book orders, if you are having custom lab manuals or course packs printed for your class, please submit the necessary materials to your desired printer as soon as possible to allow for the materials to be made and delivered prior to the start of classes.

Class schedules

The University is moving to the following class schedule structure to facilitate social distancing while enabling face to face instruction where possible. All undergraduate classes with 50 or more students will be fully online; graduate classes with 25 or more students will be online. Undergraduate classes with less than 50 students and graduate classes with less than 25 students will be either online or hybrid classes. Hybrid classes will rotate on an A/B schedule, meaning that for one week a course will be held face-to-face, and the next week the class will be held online. Classes will be held twice a week for 75 minutes each and will be scheduled on Monday/Thursday, Tuesday/Friday or Wednesday/Saturday. Regular classes will be held between the hours of 8 a.m. and 7:15 p.m., and 25 minutes will be alloted between classes. We are doing our best to limit the number of courses that would need to meet on Saturdays. We won’t be able to eliminate them completely; however, classes on Saturdays will be very few in number compared to other days of the week. The Saturday class schedule also ends earlier in the day than weekday classes. The Registrar’s Office is working with departments to schedule courses that meet in non-standard time blocks to minimize conflicts to students’ schedules.

The revised course schedule will be available in early August prior to fall 2020 open enrollment. Students who already started the early registration process in the spring will not have to start from scratch. They remain registered in the courses they selected during early registration. Open enrollment will allow the opportunity to add and drop courses.

Working at UD

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

Children’s Campus

UD’s Early Learning Center is opening today, July 1. The College School and Lab School are planning to open in September.

Support resources

Students in need of counseling and support may call UD’s Center for Counseling and Student Development at 302-831-2141 or the UD Helpline, which is available at any time, day or night, for students feeling anxious, overwhelmed, depressed or otherwise in need of counseling. Students can call 302-831-1001 to get live counseling assistance 24/7. Additional information may be found at the center’s website. All UD employees, their spouses, dependents, parents and in-laws may access the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) by calling 800-343-2186 or visiting the program’s website. If using the website, UD employees should enter "State of Delaware" as the password.

Questions about the Return to Campus? Send an email to coronavirus@udel.edu.

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