Skip to main content

Expectations for fall 2020 semester


May 29, 2020

Dear University of Maryland community, 

 
Yesterday, the Prince George’s County Executive announced that the county’s stay-at-home order will be lifted on June 1st, and the county will begin gradual re-opening plans. Today, Chancellor Jay Perman announced an overview of ways that University System of Maryland (USM) institutions might re-open, recognizing that there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
 
I’m writing to share preliminary information on what students, faculty, and staff at the University of Maryland can expect this fall semester.
 
For several weeks, dozens of faculty and staff divided into seven work-groups – Safety and Health; Education; Research; Student Life; Human Resources; Fiscal Planning; and Intercollegiate Athletics – have been planning a phased re-opening of on-campus activities this fall. The details of their respective plans will be released in the next several weeks.
 
Our priority remains the health and well-being of our entire campus community. The plans of the Safety and Health work-group, co-led by Dean Boris Lushniak of the School of Public Health and General Counsel Mike Poterala, informs the planning of all the work-groups. They include cleaning and disinfecting all buildings; environmental monitoring; protocols for testing, screening, and contact tracing; and abiding by CDC guidelines on physical distancing, face-coverings, and frequent hand washing. 
 
What Students Should Expect
For the safety of all, and pursuant to USM guidance, we will “de-densify” our campus. We will have to find ways to reduce the number of individuals who need to be physically present on the premises on any given day, which includes reducing the capacity of our residence and dining halls. 
 
Learning and teaching this fall semester will involve a mix of in-person, online, and blended education. However, students should expect that many of their classes will be virtual in the fall term. Classroom capacity has to be reduced, and on-campus instruction has to be limited, in order to allow for the requisite physical distancing. We are working to provide students with the option of taking classes exclusively online, if they so choose.
 
Provost Mary Ann Rankin who leads the education work-group, Vice President Patty Perillo who leads the student life work-group, and Athletic Director Damon Evans who leads the intercollegiate athletics work-group, are finalizing their respective plans.  
 
What Faculty Should Expect
With the lifting of Prince George’s County’s stay-at-home order, UMD can now begin the gradual re-opening of its research enterprise. 
 
The research work-group is led by Laurie Locascio, Vice President for Research for both UMD and the University of Maryland, Baltimore. This dual appointment facilitates research collaborations between the two institutions.  The research work-group developed a carefully planned schedule to resume laboratory activities prior to other University activities. Research experiments are in controlled spaces under controlled conditions where existing guidance on the use of personal protective equipment, and other protective measures already exist to reduce the risk level.
 
The education work-group is surveying faculty members about instruction. Its objective is to try to accommodate faculty who prefer to deliver instruction online this fall. It also aims to make sure that no student will be required to take an in-person class this fall. Online instruction helps to de-densify the campus next semester.  
 
I want to thank the scores of faculty members who are creatively re-imagining instruction, accessing new tools, and taking part in training sessions to enhance the remote learning and teaching experience.   
 
What Staff Should Expect
UMD is blessed with talented and dedicated staff. The overwhelming majority continues to work remotely, and a small number of staff comes to campus to support critical operations. I offer my appreciation to all of our staff.
 
The Human Resources work-group, led by Assistant Vice President Jewel Washington, is finalizing a phased approach for returning to work on campus. Some staff (and faculty) will continue to work from home as part of the strategy to de-densify the campus. 
 
For staff who return, it will be phased-in and coordinated. Those who are able to return should expect measures to reduce contact with others, including staggered arrival and departure times, alternating schedules, and physical distancing measures.
 
What Everyone Should Expect
UMD is working with USM and public health officials on having the appropriate protocols, equipment, and personnel on campus for diagnostic testing, screening, and contact tracing. These measures will be in place before the fall semester and announced in the next few weeks.
 
Everyone should also expect a different fiscal environment for the forthcoming year. The financial impact on our campus of the pandemic has been, and will continue to be, substantial. The Fiscal Planning work-group, led by Vice President for Administration and Finance Carlo Colella, is developing mitigation strategies to offset the loss of revenues and the increase in new expenses. As USM announced recently, it anticipates that budget cuts and furloughs will be required to cover annual shortfalls. The State has not yet released its final figures for USM’s budget next year.
 
We will provide additional details about the fall from all the aforementioned work-groups no later than June 15, 2020.  In the meantime, please send any questions, concerns or suggestions to president@umd.edu.
 
Everyone should understand that this is a fluid environment. The re-opening of the campus this fall is subject to changing conditions and must be in compliance with federal, state, county, and USM guidance. So long as the pandemic continues, there will be restrictions because your health and well-being are our top priority. 
 
Though these are uncertain and trying circumstances, we are committed to providing a world-class education and to safeguarding our research mission. We must persevere together with grit and innovation. This is how the University of Maryland will emerge from this crisis, even stronger than before. 
 
May you and your loved ones stay safe and be well.
 
In solidarity,

Wallace D. Loh Signature
Wallace D. Loh
President, University of Maryland
 
Additional Languages
Spanish
Creole

About

The University of Maryland, College Park is the state's flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, the university is home to more than 41,000 students, 14,000 faculty and staff, and 388,000 alumni all dedicated to the pursuit of Fearless Ideas. Located just outside Washington, D.C., we discover and share new knowledge every day through our renowned research enterprise and programs in academics, the arts and athletics. And we are committed to social entrepreneurship as the nation’s first “Do Good” campus.

DO GOOD 

Introducing The Nation's First Do Good Campus Transforming Idealism into Impact 

Academics

Spanning 12 schools and colleges, Maryland offers more than 200 degree-granting programs, many of them ranked among the best in the country. Our faculty includes three Nobel laureates, two Pulitzer Prize winners, 60 members of the national academies and scores of Fulbright scholars. And our students, who include the highest achievers in the state and nation, enjoy experiences unique to our location just outside the nation’s capital, including internships, research, and leadership and service opportunities.

Research and Innovation

The University of Maryland is one of the world’s premier research institutions. With our strategic location and scores of partnerships with government and businesses, UMD conducts groundbreaking research on some of the biggest challenges facing our global community, including cybersecurity and terrorism, bioengineering, public health equity, food safety and climate change. We strive to discover new knowledge and put it to work through innovation and entrepreneurship, advancing economic development and transforming lives. 


The newly launched Innovation Gateway will guide you to the resources, programs, partners, and spaces you need to activate and scale your fearless ideas into innovations that launch new ventures, catalyze growth, and advance economic development.

Arts

At the University of Maryland, the arts, the humanities and the sciences intersect to address important societal issues and shed new light on the human experience. Our vibrant campus arts community collaborates with local and national cultural organizations such as the Phillips Collection, Kennedy Center and Folger Shakespeare Library. Student and faculty artists, designers, historians, writers and performers are exploring new media, presenting new perspectives, investigating new techniques and engaging new audiences.

Events

October 23
12:00am (All day)
October 26
12:00am - 12:00am (All day)
October 26
12:00am - 12:00am (All day)

Athletics

Home of the Terrapins, the University of Maryland has one of the nation’s most recognizable and successful athletics programs. More than 550 student-athletes compete each year in 20 intercollegiate sports—12 for women and eight for men. Since 2005 alone, Maryland has won 19 national championships, including NCAA titles in women’s basketball, men’s soccer, men's lacrosse, women’s lacrosse, and field hockey. Since joining the Big Ten Conference in 2014, UMD has won a combined 32 regular season and tournament championships. Fear the Turtle!

Our Commitment to Student-Athletes

At the University of Maryland, our commitment to the safety and well-being of our students is paramount and resolute. For our student-athletes, that means both on and off the field.
The University of Maryland is committed to accountability, transparency, and fairness and is working to ensure our program upholds the values of our University.
Learn more about our commitment.

Student Life

The Terp experience extends beyond classrooms, labs and studios. It encompasses residence halls and dining halls, clubs and sports, fraternities and sororities, campus events and performances, and countless off-campus destinations. Maryland touts 800-plus student organizations, dozens of prestigious living and learning communities, and countless other ways to get involved. Students here can create a unique identity and grow as individuals, even as they’re part of a close-knit and diverse community. 

Latest information on Coronavirus

News

Latest news at Maryland Today

For media releases visit UMD Right Now


Coronavirus Updates:
We have worked diligently to develop and enhance plans for reopening our campus while prioritizing the health and safety of our community members. Hundreds of faculty, staff and students have collaborated in work-groups and teams to create and maintain a physically distant, yet academically and socially rich environment for the fall semester. Our plans continue to be coordinated with state and county health officials, with additional guidance provided by the University System of Maryland. Latest 4 Maryland Updates

Terps are bold, smart, curious and proud. We do good, in our communities and out in the world. We are fearless. And we are always looking to expand our ranks. Interested in becoming a University of Maryland student? This is where to start.

 

Terps Need Your Help

Brick MHelp Terps in Need. Your gift to the UMD Student Crisis Fund provides critical funds to students who need immediate assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Give Now