June 12, 2020

Protect Purdue Plan released to campus community

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University on Friday (June 12) released the Protect Purdue Plan, a comprehensive and scientifically-based strategy to prepare the campus and community for the fall 2020 semester.

Developed by the Protect Purdue Implementation Team in concert with the Medical Advisory Committee, Purdue administrators and cross-campus working groups of Purdue experts and Ph.D.’s from scientific disciplines, the Protect Purdue Plan lays out the extraordinary measures the university will take and decisions that must be made to continue to fulfill its land-grant missions of learning, discovery and engagement. Each of its elements has been presented in detail to the Board of Trustees for the board’s review and approval.

“Over the next two months, hundreds, if not thousands, of Purdue faculty and staff will continue to work tirelessly to prepare for the safest and best fall semester we can deliver,” said Willie Reed, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, co-chair of the Safe Campus Task Force and member of the medical advisory group. “This plan outlines the most vital measures as we know them right now and will continue to evolve as we follow the guidance and direction of our own medical experts, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and governmental and public health officials.”

The Protect Purdue Plan outlines specific and actionable steps to protect the health and safety of the Purdue community, including:

  • An extensive system of testing and tracing designed to protect the most vulnerable, care for symptomatic and sick individuals, and limit the spread of the virus.
  • A major redesign of nearly every physical space on campus, including installation of physical barriers, establishing new building and room occupation limits, changed traffic patterns, and physical reconfiguration of instructional labs, offices, classrooms and residential spaces.
  • De-densification of all offices, classrooms, instructional labs and residential spaces with classrooms reduced to no more than 50% capacity, transitioning at least 30% of staff to remote work, and requiring adequate space in research labs and residences for required social distancing of at least six feet.
  • Totally revised residential dining experience with a carry-out only model, no indoor seating, socially-distanced lines, and enhanced sanitizing.
  • Development of a resilient teaching model in which, for any contingency, students will be able to continue their academic progress.
  • An altered fall calendar eliminating customary fall breaks and holidays, with in-person instruction ending before Thanksgiving.
  • The option of a fully online semester for those students who cannot or choose not to come to campus for fall.

“We have every intention and expectation that we will safely and successfully resume campus operations this fall,” Reed said. “Our trustees and administration have made this our top priority and just yesterday (June 11) committed all necessary resources, which could range as high as $50 million, from the FY21 budget for the measures that include testing and tracing, instructional capacity, building and facility modifications, additional sanitizing and cleaning, personal protective equipment supplies and safety equipment, and quarantine rooms for students.”

The plan, which was sent to all faculty, staff and students, can be viewed here. The Protect Purdue website continues to provide comprehensive information about the Protect Purdue plan and answers to questions for faculty, staff, students and others

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 6 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at purdue.edu.

Media contact: Jim Bush, jsbush@purdue.edu

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