Jim Clements, president of Clemson University, provided details on the university’s three-phase process for returning to full operations in fall 2020 in an email on Thursday, May 21. The plan establishes guidelines for Clemson in response to the pandemic that are in line with federal and state authorities.
The university plans to begin the 2020-2021 academic year as planned. Clemson moved all spring 2020 classes online in March.
The underlying framework of the plan will rely on medical indicators focusing on the spread and presence of COVID-19, Clements said. Operations will continue to expand per each phase.
The first phase of the process will start on June 1. That phase will allow faculty and staff to return to on-campus operations who cannot complete their work remotely. Those notified to return will work under appropriate safety precautions. Phase II will increase the number of employees coming back to campus. Those who are “medically vulnerable” will continue to be able to work remotely. Phase III of the plan will see on-campus teaching return as well as on-campus activities. Safety guidelines will continue to be emphasized and “aggressively communicated.”
Clements said the university is planning for the first two phases to take at least 14 days each.
“We are keenly aware of the strong desire of our students and other members of the Clemson family to return to some semblance of normal, and I can assure you that is our goal,” Clements said. “At the same time, we intend to take the time we need to be as thoughtful and comprehensive as possible in our decision-making. The overarching priority of the University is the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and the community.”