Let me start by thanking you for your dedication to following the safety protocols laid out and for keeping our campus community safe during this challenging season. Over the past several weeks we have monitored our campus COVID-19 cases and have communicated regularly with our local health officials staying abreast of the cases in our county. Much work has been done to assess different scenarios for the spring semester. After much discussion and input from the COVID-19 Task Force and Cabinet, and in order to minimize the risk of the virus spreading due to extended travel, I have decided to adjust the Spring schedule as follows:
- In-person classes and those using the HyFlex model will resume on schedule on January 13, 2021. See the schedule below for details.
- For faculty and students, Spring Break will be modified into groupings of two, four-day weekends, along with a fifth day, on Wednesday, February 17, thereby limiting travel exposure and maintaining the integrity of the weekly class schedule.
- Spring break athletics, and other trips, will be removed from the calendar; however, alternate contests are possible within limits imposed by NCAA testing requirements. For context, eight of the ten HCAC schools, including AU, have canceled or modified their spring break schedule.
- All student housing, food services and ancillary services will operate under our current “safety first” model. Food services will be available for these additional days during our modified Spring Break with more details to come before the fall semester ends.
- The leader of COVID-19 Task Force, Dr. Sarah Neal, provided the context as follows: “We are carefully watching the public health projections for the spread of COVID over the coming weeks and months. Although the numbers for the nation and the State of Indiana are projected to remain high through winter, we at AU have demonstrated the capacity to function with a measure of safety on our campus through the embrace of masks, sanitation and social distancing. Because of this, there is no anticipated benefit to beginning courses a week later than currently scheduled. Instead, short breaks spread across the semester will serve to support the mental health and general well-being of campus constituents, while discouraging travel to areas far-removed from campus.”