Quinnipiac’s tentative plan for the 2020-2021 school year


Quinnipiac University has released an internal statement about their plan to have employees and students eventually return to campus.

This plan will be carried out in a series of phases, with employees returning to campus as early as June 15 and the return of students on August 24, at the earliest. 

In a video posted on Friday, Quinnipiac President Judy Olian explained in detail how the fall semester will look and she addressed that the plans would change if need be.

“I can tell you now, that we all recognize any plan we make may still need to be modified as health guidelines continue to evolve over the summer months,” Olian said. 

In their plan posted online, Elicia Spearman, the General Counsel and VP of Human Resources, wrote that Quinnipiac is gradually working towards a 50% on-campus workforce capacity on a daily basis for “the foreseeable future,” saying that “as we anticipate inviting all students to return this fall, lowering our on-campus workforce capacity also will help reduce density in our university community.”

The school still encourages employees to work from home whenever possible to achieve the 50% on-campus workforce.

Phase 1: June 15

This return date will only include employees that directly support graduate students, summer research, student orientation planning, and essential administrative duties while “working from home is still largely preferred.”

Phase 2: July 13

All departments essential to the preparations for students’ return in the fall are expected to be allowed back on campus, but not without restrictions and adaptations. In the “de-densifying” effort, these departments will be alternating between on-site and at-home work schedules.

Phase 3: August 10

Quinnipiac University hopes all departments will return by this date, but working from home will still be encouraged as much as possible. 

In Quinnipiac’s statement, they listed a number of preventative measures that they will be enforcing throughout each phase, including the reduced on-campus workforce capacity, social distancing protections, face coverings, staggering work times, and on-site versus remote scheduling. The facilities team is also working to review all workspaces for the installation of plastic shields, work station spacing, and other adjustments. 

Quinnipiac has not made a statement about their own expected date for the start of the fall semester, but they recognized that Connecticut has set August 24 as the earliest possible return of residential students. 

In her video, Olian listed three things that are important when planning for the fall semester.

Top priority: safety and health

“We’ll actively monitor for COVID-19 with universal testing, rapid contact tracing, and containment through quarantining,” Olian said. 

All members of the Quinnipiac community will be educated and have the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) required. 

On-ground classes, with online classes

Courtesy: Zoom.us

“We are planning for on-ground classes that will be held alongside parallel online delivery,” Olian said. 

This could help create flexibility if the Quinnipiac community is not on campus.

The Quinnipiac administration is still examining what the fall academic calendar will look like. 

Campus experience, residential life

Photo courtesy: Quinnipiac University Residential Life

With physical distancing in place, this will make many things different for residential life.

“Physical distancing guidelines will require us to adjust some of the features of living with classmates but, you’ll still be able to do that and flourish in leadership assignments,” Olian said. 

According to Olian, the Quinnipiac community can expect more details regarding the fall semester after Memorial Day weekend. 

The University of New Haven recently announced that they “plan on welcoming [students] back to campus on August 24th,” and the rest of their phased re-opening largely aligns with Quinnipiac’s plan. Yale University’s administration has said that their fall semester will begin on August 31st, but they have not decided whether classes will be remote or on campus for the semester.