UVM announces plan for a safe return to on-campus operations in Fall 2020


Screenshot of email from Surseh Garimella

UVM is making preparations for a full return to campus for the fall 2020 semester despite the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. 

The UVM Board of Trustees has approved recommended strategies made by the UVMStrong Fall 2020 Advisory Committee, a committee working towards a safe return to campus in August, according to a June 15 email sent by UVM president Suresh Garimella. 

The UVMStrong Committee is guided by three principles: “protecting the safety and wellbeing of all members of the UVM community”, “preserving the quality of the academic experience” and providing a high-quality student experience”, Garimella stated in the email. 

Current strategies for the fall semester include: 

  • Health screenings, testing and contact tracing for the UVM community, implementing an app being developed by UVM’s Enterprise Technology Services
  • Reduction of people in residence halls and identifying quarantine and isolation space for up to 50 students
  • Required face coverings when outside of a personal living space or office
  • Creation of the “Green and Golden Rule”, a UVM pledge related to health and safety requirements, being developed by the UVMStrong Student Experience planning team with input from the Student Government Association, Graduate Student Senate and all staff
  • Modification of the fall 2020 academic calendar to end in-person instruction by the Tuesday before Thanksgiving so the last week of classes and finals are held remotely
  • Social distancing in classrooms, including a combination of remote learning and small-group in-person meetings for large classes
  • Strategies and policies to protect faculty, staff and students who have underlying health issues
  • The suspension of university-sponsored travel except under special circumstances
  • Providing safety kits for the UVM community, which includes face masks and hand sanitizer
  • Transition to remote or virtual formats for large events attracting visitors from out-of-state such Reunion and Alumni weekend.

The Committee and other faculty members, staff and students have been working hard to develop these strategies, Garimella stated. “I’m looking forward to our shared success as we rally together to reopen our beautiful campus,” he stated. 

More information can be found on the Fall 2020 Return to Campus site.