28 Jul CHANCELLOR BLANK: SUMMER UPDATE ON SMART RESTART PLANS
To our UW employees,
I hope you’ve managed to find ways to enjoy the nice weather and to take a break from your usual activities during this most unusual and difficult summer. It’s been more than a month since we launched our Smart Restart initiative, with plans to bring our students back to campus for hybrid instruction, beginning on Sept. 2.
During that time, neither the pandemic nor our institution have stood still. Today, I wanted to update you on our preparations and some recent developments that shape our planning.
We are committed to our mission as a world-class education and research institution. As a premier residential university, we believe deeply in the value of face-to-face instruction. This is particularly true for students who do not have access to first-rate technology, reliable internet, or a residential environment conducive to effective learning. For these reasons, we feel it is critical to return instructional activities back to campus where we can do so safely. Similarly, there is important research work that can only be done on campus.
We are doing everything we can to reduce health risks for students, staff and faculty. Our plans are informed by the latest science and public health information. They include a robust testing regime, contact tracing, symptom monitoring, enhanced cleaning protocols, mandatory wearing of face coverings in university buildings and public spaces where physical distancing isn’t possible, and physical distancing in all classrooms. These steps, along with our plans for a mixture of face-to-face and remote instruction, makes us optimistic about our ability to reopen some on-campus activities this fall.