Moving Forward Together: Our Campus Restart Planning

Photo of student studying on campus

President Capilouto sent the following message to campus on May 29, 2020.

Dear Campus Community,

I am pleased to provide you with our second status report, describing our progress toward reopening this fall.

Our goal is to return to a safe and healthy campus as quickly as possible that sets the institution on a transition course to thrive.

It’s what we must accomplish together. And, once again, we need your assistance to make this effort as strong and comprehensive as possible. Here’s the latest:

This report – Status Report No. 2 – describes more fully our plans and operational details for reinvented safe and normal operations. 

We ask that you review the updated report and complete the survey, which you can access here, or at the end of the report. The survey will be available until noon on Monday, allowing us to compile the results and incorporate your feedback into the final plan. Our goal remains to complete a final report by the week of June 8.

Important operational details must still be developed, such as the specifics around when faculty, staff and students will return to campus for the fall. We will work with the University Senate Council over the next several days regarding the fall academic calendar, with proposals centering on when students, faculty and staff return and when the semester closes. 

With respect to the calendar, I want to reinforce an important point about work schedules: we are moving quickly – but methodically – to finalize our plan for this fall. But if you are currently working remotely, you should continue to do so. A decision to change that status will be made by our executive team working in conjunction with supervisors. We are not there yet.

Work also remains – although a great deal has been done – with respect to the health and safety plan for those who do return to campus. This is being developed by our START Team (Screening, Testing and Tracing to Accelerate Restart), and we will have much more detail on those efforts in June.

I am appreciative of the thoughtful efforts underway to reopen and re-energize the state’s economy in a manner that protects the health gains we have made in recent weeks. We want to proceed carefully, too. 

At this point in the year, we can continue to manage the institution as we have the last few months. For the majority of our campus community, that means working remotely for the time being. Health care, research and athletics are in different phases of their restart efforts. Ultimately, we will have one plan that incorporates all areas of our campus. We will continue to proceed deliberately with broad input from the campus.

When we released our last status report, we received more than 4,600 responses from the campus community and beyond. That volume – and the depth of feedback – reflects the sense of commitment and care people have for this special place and each other. There is a saying: plan the work; work the plan. That is what we are doing here – planning for how we reopen, and how we position UK to thrive for our Commonwealth and for our future. To do so, we must – and we will – keep the success and health of everyone in our community as our continued priority. Thank you for all you are doing to make our progress and our sense of promise possible.

Eli Capilouto