Message Sent To:All Faculty, All Staff, All Students
Message From:Message from the Office of the President
Date Sent:Monday, July 13, 2020 11:45 AM CDT

Fall 2020 plans

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, our Loyola University Chicago community has shown strength and mutual support. As we announce our Fall 2020 plans, we want to thank you—for your ideas, challenges, creativity, faith, and resilience.

Over the past few weeks, we have solicited feedback on the fall semester from thousands of our community members. We got feedback through faculty and staff surveys, calls and emails, the faculty advisory group, and deans and chairs. Moreover, the students, faculty, and staff serving on our Management, Policy, and Command team under Loyola’s Emergency Response Plan discussed the fall semester thoroughly. All this input and many discussions enabled us to make the best decision for our community for the upcoming fall semester. Our priority remains the health, safety, and well-being of our Loyola community. This priority is important as we welcome new Ramblers and provide a vibrant academic experience for all students.

As COVID-19 infection rates and deaths continue to increase across numerous states, we share the concerns of our faculty, staff, and broader community. Therefore, we have decided that the best plan for the upcoming fall semester is to shift most of our class offerings online. In addition, we have decided to limit in-person courses to those requiring face-to-face interaction. These courses may include labs, experiential learning classes, and research.

We will also provide necessary in-person, on-campus instruction and research opportunities to both domestic and international students. These opportunities will enable them to meet the requirements of their respective degree programs. Our faculty, advisors, and staff will work directly with students to address their academic needs and course schedules.

In the coming days we will provide detail on the specifics of the fall schedule. In particular, deans and chairs will be working this week to complete the schedule of courses.

We expect that many students will join us in the residence halls, using the single-occupancy plan announced previously. We also have begun planning for additional robust, low-density, socially distant programs for our students. These programs will support a different but rich campus experience. We have been planning for this scenario as one option and remain committed to providing a first-class Jesuit, Catholic education and experience to all our students.

As mentioned above, our decisions are guided by input from our community. Furthermore, our decisions use all available data, recommendations by the scientific community, and the directives by city and state officials. With these decisions, we have been diligently planning our return to campus for the upcoming school year. Today, we are launching our Return to Campus website with guidelines and protocol to protect our community now and into the future.

Loyola will implement a wide range of precautions to protect our community that include the following: We will conduct frequent testing for COVID-19 and use extensive contact tracing. Faculty and staff will always maintain a minimum of six feet social distancing, and will wear masks covering mouth and nose. Use of gathering spaces such as conference rooms, kitchens, and eating areas will be restricted, and employees are encouraged to use personal coolers. We will implement staggered work schedules, including different shifts within workdays, to maintain healthy work practices. Class sizes will be reduced to ensure that students, who must also wear masks, maintain social distancing at all times in the classroom, with markers being placed on the floor to indicate the location of assigned seats. We have extended the times between classes to 30 minutes to allow for reduced crowding when entering and leaving classrooms and buildings. There will be frequent cleaning of high-touch and common areas. Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes will be widely available. Return-to-work training will also be made available.

Our reopening will be limited and phased consistent with Chicago directives and the governor's Restore Illinois plan. We will continue to provide regular communications, and will update our Return to Campus website, COVID-19 website, and FAQs. Please watch for our emails and check our websites regularly, and continue to send us feedback and questions at covid-19support@LUC.edu.

As every corner of the world continues to be challenged by the pandemic, we are called to reimagine and innovate. Foresight and transformation are born within reimagination. We must therefore reimagine how we study, educate, interact, gather, work, and live. And we must reimagine these things together, always with a foundation in our mission of serving humanity through learning, justice, and faith.

Together in Loyola,

Jo Ann Rooney JD, LLM, EdD

Norberto M. Grzywacz, PhD
Provost and Chief Academic Officer

NOTE: This message was also shared with undergraduate students' parents. Click here to view the message.