May 22, 2020 - Planning for Our Return to Campus

Friday, June 5, 2020

Rockhurst Students and Families, 

Now that finals are complete and the spring semester is behind us, I hope you will be able to enjoy some rest and relaxation as summer approaches. Even though I’m sure you are looking forward to some much-needed downtime, I also imagine that you are looking toward the fall semester and your return to campus and wondering what it will be like as a result of the pandemic. I want to provide some information about planning processes that are underway. 

The Pathway Planning Task Force, comprising faculty and staff from nearly every administrative unit of the University, is working on a plan for an in-person fall semester that takes the health and safety of our entire campus community into account, as well as contingency plans should conditions change before or during the semester. Whatever measures we implement, the success of this semester and our ability to remain together in person will depend on each of us complying with guidelines and working to safeguard the health of ourselves and others. Details will be released no later than mid-July. 

The task force is looking at: 

  • The academic calendar to determine if adjustments are needed; 
  • Methods for implementing social distancing protocols in classrooms, public areas and residential facilities; 
  • Dining facilities procedures that provide a variety of food options in a healthful environment; 
  • Increased cleaning and sanitizing of campus facilities;  
  • Policies for appropriately monitoring the health of those in our campus community;  
  • Accommodations for those who are advised to avoid gatherings due to health conditions; and  
  • Engagement with external partners who have expertise in public health to guide decision-making.  

As we have all seen during the past two months, pandemic conditions continue to change, as do local, state and federal directives for returning to a sense of normalcy. This uncertainty makes it difficult to plan ahead and make decisions. I know that early summer is when students and families begin to make plans for expenses, travel arrangements, accommodations and all other necessities for the coming academic year. We want to help you prepare as soon as we can share more information. Because the student voice is important to our decision-making, a survey has been sent to students this week, which will help inform our plans for fall.  Please anticipate additional communications from us in the coming weeks. 

I can, however, share with you one certainty. We are 100 percent focused on welcoming you this fall and offering you the transformative Jesuit educational experience for which Rockhurst University is known. Until then, may your summer be filled with good health and time for renewal. 

Sincerely, 

Matthew D. Quick, Ph.D. 

Vice President for Student Development and Athletics 
Dean of Students