University of Minnesota leaders to recommend resumption of in-person classes and campus experiences this fall
What and when: University of Minnesota Board of Regents Meeting (Thursday, June 11, beginning at 8 a.m., and Friday, June 12, beginning at 8 a.m.)
Where: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this meeting will be conducted virtually with a livestream publicly available at youtube.com/UMNRegents
MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (06/05/2020) — Next Thursday, the University of Minnesota Board of Regents will discuss President Joan Gabel’s recommended framework to resume in-person instruction and re-open residence halls, dining facilities and other campus services for fall semester, in a manner consistent with public health guidance. The Board is expected to review and act on this planning framework during next week’s meetings.
Earlier this year, Gabel charged the Fall 2020 Scenarios Advisory Team to consider four key areas of the University’s academic life and how different public health scenarios would affect each of those areas. With broad input from the University community, including through shared governance groups, the team of public health, academic and administrative leaders examined: classrooms/study spaces/libraries; labs/studios; housing/dining/rec centers/student unions/events, and; outreach/engagement. The advisory team considered each of these areas in the context of four distinct public health scenarios, ranging from minimal physical distancing requirements to significant public health restrictions, such as a stay at home order affecting the entire state.
In concert with that working group, President Gabel will share with the Board her recommendations for fall semester. Generally, these recommendations include:
- In-person instruction, as well as residence halls living and dining facilities use, in a manner consistent with public health guidance. This will include adjusted capacities and multi-modal instruction—in other words, courses that can be delivered in-person, remotely or through other alternative formats and can transition between modalities as needed.
- Each system campus will examine and adjust its academic calendar in order to enable the conclusion of in-person instruction by Thanksgiving, or earlier if public health guidance indicates.
- Personal health monitoring, as well as a system of testing, isolation, contact tracing and quarantine that will be implemented on each campus.
- Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing practices throughout all University facilities.
As has been the case throughout the University’s response to COVID-19, flexibility is the backbone of this plan. Each of the University’s five campuses will be able to adapt the plan for individual students, faculty and staff to accommodate local and personal health concerns or other challenges. Adaptability will remain necessary as public health conditions will likely evolve in the coming months and during the fall semester. These recommendations were built to be agile enough to address these changes while minimizing disruption to learning, research and outreach.
Action on 2020-21 Fiscal Year (FY21) Annual Operating Budget
In May, the Board’s Finance & Operations Committee reviewed Gabel’s initial COVID-adjusted operating budget recommendations for FY21. The Board is expected to act on those recommendations next week.
The Board has been asked to approve a balanced FY21 budget predicated on the assumption that the University can generally return to regular operations by the start of the fall semester. Over the past five weeks, the Board welcomed online and written comments from the public and those have been incorporated into public docket materials for the June meetings.
As part of its June meetings, the Board is also expected to:
- Act on the systemwide strategic plan that was reviewed at the Board’s May meeting.
- Review potential governance decisions that will be required to adapt University policy to new federal Title IX guidelines.
- Act on the President's recommended FY21 capital improvement budget.
- Discuss University rankings, their methodologies, their influence and the University's strategy around them.
- Receive an annual update on systemwide undergraduate enrollment management.
- Act on the purchase of 1015 Essex Street SE in Minneapolis and sale of approximately 435 acres from UMore Park in Rosemount.
- Establish Board of Regents meeting dates for 2020-21.
For more information, including future meeting times, visit regents.umn.edu.