Dear Students and Families,
Over the past several weeks, Adelphi’s leadership, faculty and staff have been actively preparing for our Fall 2020 semester. We are anxious to welcome you back but are mindful that we must do so in a safe and healthy way.
We continue to monitor and abide by New York state and public health guidance to develop our plans for a phased return to campus over the next several months. I want to share with you some updates on our progress and fall semester intentions.
Dedication to the Mission and Values of Adelphi
- We assure you that no emergency will prevent us from being Adelphi. We affirm, embrace and commit to the values that have been sustained at Adelphi for nearly 125 years. We are inspired and motivated to continue the tradition of academic excellence and our dedication to student success, despite modifications required for health and safety. We will adapt, even in the face of considerable uncertainty and constantly changing challenges.
- As we work through the unpredictable course of the next several months and the 2020-2021 academic year, our primary goal is to minimize situations that increase the risk of person-to-person transmission and protect the more vulnerable within our community while providing the atmosphere for an outstanding educational experience.
Working With the State and Public Health Guidance
As regions across New York state begin to cautiously reopen according to the governor’s plans laid out in NY Forward, our community continues to work quickly and smartly in planning our restart and fall plans.
Adelphi’s goal is to reopen—following state and public health requirements, focused on our community’s safety and health, and fully guided by our mission to continue offering a world-class academic experience that is dedicated to student support.
Our fall plans will allow for:
- An evolving public health situation and related expert guidance
- New state and public health mandates, as they become available
- Individual needs of community members, especially those who are vulnerable or cannot travel
Over the past several months, we have learned a great deal from the progression and effects of COVID-19. We’ve learned that its dangerous impact is felt most deeply among the elderly and those with preexisting conditions, including diabetes, hypertension or other cardiovascular illnesses.
Similarly, as we’ve learned from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), our students –the majority of whom are between the ages of 18 and 29 (86 percent as of Fall 2019)–are among the most resilient to this illness; 99.99 percent of diagnoses among those aged 20 to 29 survive and fully recover.
We are committed to minimizing the disruption to your education while accommodating our students, faculty and staff who may be vulnerable and at greater risk.
As we know, the virus will remain present in our lives throughout the coming academic year. Our fall plans will reflect responsible and flexible options that allow us to prioritize your safety while remaining committed to our academic mission.
Planning Operational Changes for Safety
To safely reopen this fall, we will implement changes to nearly all operations, including:
- How we provide housing and dining services
- How we provide advising and mentoring
- How we deliver learning in and outside of the classroom
- How we provide a robust cocurricular experience
- How we provide a safe and flexible working environment for all, including our student employees
- How we educate our community on public health and smart, safe behavior
- How we offer accommodations to community members who need them
- How we deliver services both remotely and on-site
These changes will require difficult but necessary adjustments in personal behavior and responsibility. Requirements at all Adelphi locations to wear masks indoors and in close quarters will help reduce viral transmissions drastically. Combined with social distancing, thorough disinfecting and cleaning procedures, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) improvements, and other planned measures, we will ensure our community practices social responsibility for the greater good.
Learning This Fall
As we are modeling fall learning scenarios, we will ensure our options maximize flexibility and still deliver a world-class education. Some of our initial plans include:
- Multiple options and modalities. Many of our academic programs are rethinking class formats to include in-person, hybrid and fully online deliveries.
- Remote options for in-person classes. All in-person classes will provide remote options for faculty and students who become sick, are vulnerable or are unable to travel.
- Modified classroom layouts. We will modify our available spaces and classrooms to provide for social distancing and reduced density per state guidelines.
In the coming weeks, as our restart plan is finalized to meet New York state requirements, pending their release in June, I will look forward to sharing updates with you on:
- Public health and safety—including plans for a new on-site Adelphi public health and wellness office
- Academic experience—including plans for our academic calendar
- Student experience—including plans for residential life and dining services
- Athletics and recreation—including guidance from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) once available
- Infrastructure support and operations—including plans for transportation and common spaces throughout campus
- Procedures for accommodations—including processes for those who identify as vulnerable
On behalf of Adelphi’s leadership, faculty and staff, I want to share that we miss you all and what you bring to our campuses and community. We also value your feedback and thank you in advance for your patience, support and spirit as part of the Panther family.
I promise to continue sharing our plans as they unfold.
All the best,
Christine M. Riordan, PhD