Coronavirus Campus Communication 6/23/2020 – Official Message from the Office of the President (message for students)
I hope this message finds you well and that your summer is proving to be significantly less eventful than your spring. On those days that I have been on campus these last few weeks for the residential student move out, it has been reassuring to see several of you again in-person. I greatly look forward to the time when we can all be back on campus and I write now to share with you a few updates about that eventual return.
State of NJ
Earlier this month, Governor Murphy lifted the stay-at-home order that had been in effect since the height of the COVID-19 outbreak and last week he released Executive Order 155 (EO155) which allows for limited in-person instruction at colleges and universities starting in July. Also last week, the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) released “restart guidelines” for colleges and universities. These guidelines will shape our planning for Fall 2020 and we will be required to submit a restart plan to OSHE before then.
Summer remote coursework delivery will continue as planned, and, despite EO155, no face-to-face classes are being held during the summer. In July, we will begin a phased and staggered return to campus for employees. Likely starting in July and expanding into the Fall, this phased return will include the student service professionals and others that you have come to rely on during your time as a Roadrunner. All offices will continue to operate remotely as we begin this phased return and specific information related to offices will be available via their websites as plans commence.
As the summer months ensue, I trust that there will be lessons learned and adjustments made to how we operate. We are all confident that, come Fall, the appropriate student-centered precautions and health and safety measures will be in place.
So, what does this mean for your Fall 2020 semester? By Wednesday, July 15, we will announce how the Fall 2020 semester will proceed. While we cannot make any promises about what the semester will look like, we can assure you that the staff and administration have a strong desire to be on campus with you.
COVID-19 has many of us, into the wee hours of the night, reimagining and testing ways in which the Ramapo student experience will be delivered. Whether it be grabbing a latte at Dunkin’, hosting a group study session in Linden, working out at Bradley, popping in on your advisor, arranging desks in class, or handling lab equipment—there are countless activities like these that, in the past, had the luxury of informality. Now, even these generally mundane activities are subject to formal consideration and precautions.
We know that circumstances will continue to change and that implementing even a modest return to campus in the Fall will require the flexibility and cooperation of all involved. So, allow me to thank you now for your patience and understanding.
I look forward to communicating with you again in mid-July. In the meantime, please take care of yourselves and one another.
Peter P. Mercer