May 7, 2020

Purdue trustees address pandemic response measures

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University’s Board of Trustees on Thursday (May 7) approved an initial set of what will be several measures designed to prepare the university to return to on-campus instruction for the fall 2020 semester while placing protection of the people of Purdue at the highest priority.

Trustees acted on measures recommended by the Safe Campus Task Force. The board also has set a meeting for May 26 when it will consider an additional set of actions to ensure the West Lafayette campus can continue its vital learning, research and engagement missions in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are extremely grateful to the entire Purdue community, especially the Safe Campus Task Force, for its response thus far to this unprecedented challenge we are facing,” said Michael Berghoff, chair of the Board of Trustees.

Trustees on Thursday approved a resolution authorizing the university’s leadership to take action:

  • To provide for an academic calendar for the fall 2020 semester that allows on-campus classroom instruction to start in August and finish by Thanksgiving break, with the balance of the semester to be completed thereafter by remote means and methods, and with the elimination of customary fall breaks and other adjustments necessary to accomplish this schedule.
  • To de-densify on-campus work spaces significantly, with a target of reducing the number of administrative employees working on campus by at least one-third through the encouragement and enabling of telework and other remote work considerations.
  • To establish and implement a systematic testing regime, both for those with COVID-19 symptoms and those without, together with a mechanism for actively and accurately tracing contacts of those who test positive for the virus.
  • To add the annual influenza vaccination to the immunization requirements for enrolled students, faculty and staff as a condition to being on campus.
  • To order, acquire and maintain at least a 90-day supply of critical equipment and supplies for reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 on campus.
  • To identify and set aside a substantial number of rooms for the quarantining of those who may test positive for COVID-19 while on campus, the precise number to be determined based on student enrollment and medical developments.

With the directives approved by trustees, campus leaders now will work on an aggressive timeline for implementation and will provide updated announcements to the campus community as decisions are made. Updates also will continue to be posted to the COVID-19 response website.

In support of preparations to open campus this fall, the university has launched the Safe Campus Initiative Fund at crowdfunding.purdue.edu/safecampus. Gifts to the fund will go toward areas of greatest need across campus, enabling campus leaders to move nimbly to address a range of anticipated and unanticipated needs.

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: Tim Doty, doty2@purdue.edu

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