The Florida State University Board of Trustees unanimously approved the university’s plan for Fall 2020 during a special meeting Thursday.
Next, FSU administrators will present the plan to the Florida Board of Governors for approval during an in-person meeting on June 23 at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.
“The health and safety of the university community is our top priority as we look toward repopulating campus,” said President John Thrasher. “While many aspects of university life will be different, FSU’s commitment to providing a world-class education to our students is unwavering.”
Ed Burr, chairman of the FSU Board of Trustees, applauded the administration for its hard work in designing a plan that can evolve as the pandemic does.
“I commend the administration for their dedication in creating a detailed but flexible plan that allows the university to adjust its strategy if the situation in the community, state or nation improves or worsens,” he said.
FSU faculty, staff and administrators consulted with state and local authorities and health experts to develop the plan for Fall 2020. The plan follows the guidelines set forth in the State University System of Florida’s blueprint for reopening campuses.
“This plan encompasses all aspects of campus life, and I’m grateful for the contributions of the many task forces and committees representing all facets of the university,” said Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Sally McRorie. “FSU’s mission is driven by student success, and we’ll continue to offer well–planned and engaging courses, research opportunities and student activities of many kinds.”
The plan outlines new policies, procedures and oversight for teaching, learning and working, including strategies to protect individuals at a higher risk for developing adverse outcomes for COVID-19.
“We’re confident that if each individual does their part and complies with these new guidelines, it will create a safer and healthier campus environment,” Thrasher said. “At the same time, we all must be flexible and respond accordingly if we discover that circumstances are changing.”
Some of the key points of FSU’s Fall 2020 plan are:
- The Fall 2020 semester will begin Aug. 24, 2020, and end Dec. 11, 2020, as previously scheduled; however, no face-to face classes will be held after the Thanksgiving break.
- FSU will offer face-to-face classes for selected lab, experiential and other courses; both synchronous and asynchronous distance learning courses; and hybrid classes that are a mix of both face-to-face instruction and remote learning.
- FSU is working to offer as many face-to-face classes as are possible to offer safely, following CDC guidelines.
- The university will follow social distancing guidelines, and face masks will be required for all members of the university community, as well as visitors.
- Noncompliance of requirements to wear face masks and practice social distancing may result in employee disciplinary action or a referral to student behavior and/or academic review boards.
- All employees are encouraged to be tested before they return to campus; employees will be offered a test at an FSU drive-through facility beginning June 24.
- All individuals who intend to be physically present on campus will be strongly encouraged to undergo clinical testing for COVID-19 through a recognized testing procedure of their choice before returning to campus.
- FSU is partnering with the Florida Department of Health to establish the FSU Contact Tracing Initiative. Students, faculty or staff who are identified through contact tracing will be notified and required to isolate for 14 days.
- An 80-bed, on-campus residence hall (Rogers Hall) and several other smaller facilities will be used for quarantining residential students who test positive with COVID-19. Off-campus students will isolate in their off-campus apartments/houses.
- Classroom capacity will be limited to 25 to 50 percent of students, faculty and assistants at any given time.
- All FSU buildings will be cleaned, sanitized and disinfected according to CDC recommendations using EPA-registered cleaning agents.
- University Athletics will adhere to guidance provided by the NCAA and ACC. All student-athletes will be tested for COVID-19 before returning to Athletics facilities and daily screenings will take place at specific entrances.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced FSU to deliver classes remotely after spring break in March.
For the full plan, visit fall2020.fsu.edu.