WEST LAFAYETTE — The Purdue University Board of Trustees Thursday approved an initial plan to bring students back to the West Lafayette campus for the fall semester.
Purdue moved to virtual learning in March when COVID-19 became a major concern. In recent weeks, university President Mitch Daniels has been pushing an aggressive plan to return to on-campus learning.
Trustees acted on measures recommended by the Safe Campus Task Force. “We are extremely grateful to the entire Purdue community, especially the Safe Campus Task Force, for its response thus far to this unprecedented challenge we are facing,” said Michael Berghoff, chair of the Board of Trustees.
Trustees approved a resolution authorizing the university’s leadership to take action:
- To provide for an academic calendar for the fall 2020 semester that allows on-campus classroom instruction to start in August and finish by Thanksgiving break, with the balance of the semester to be completed thereafter by remote means and methods, and with the elimination of customary fall breaks and other adjustments necessary to accomplish this schedule.
- To de-densify on-campus work spaces significantly, with a target of reducing the number of administrative employees working on campus by at least one-third through the encouragement and enabling of telework and other remote work considerations.
- To establish and implement a systematic testing regime, both for those with COVID-19 symptoms and those without, together with a mechanism for actively and accurately tracing contacts of those who test positive for the virus.
- To add the annual influenza vaccination to the immunization requirements for enrolled students, faculty and staff as a condition to being on campus.
- To order, acquire and maintain at least a 90-day supply of critical equipment and supplies for reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 on campus.
- To identify and set aside a substantial number of rooms for the quarantining of those who may test positive for COVID-19 while on campus, the precise number to be determined based on student enrollment and medical developments.
The board set a meeting for May 26 where it will consider an additional set of actions to ensure the school can continue to function in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the directives approved by trustees Thursday, campus leaders now will work on an aggressive timeline for implementation and will provide updated announcements as decisions are made.
Updates also will continue to be posted to the COVID-19 response website [coronavirus.purdue.edu].