Today's Update: Wednesday, March 3

March 3, 2021

Dear Student Life Team, We’ve just turned the calendar to March, but summer and fall are not far away.  

As we heard from President Johnson last week, preparations are underway for a plan that will allow more teaching, learning and student activities to take place in person. What we experienced and learned this academic year will put us in a good position for what the president calls a “reactivation of campuses.” 

As I mentioned in the All Team meeting this week, President Johnson has asked me to co-chair the university’s Reactivation Task Force with Provost Bruce McPheron and Paul Patton, the interim Senior Vice President for Human Resources, Talent and Culture.  

Obviously, Student Life has a huge role in planning and operationalizing this endeavor. It is never easy to plan for a future we cannot truly foresee or predict, but our experiences over the past year give us an excellent roadmap for how we can “reactivate” while at the same time promote the safety and health of our community. 

I want to reiterate that all plans will be informed by the latest scientific evidence, public health recommendations and the latest COVID-19 infection data. 

The planning process that Student Life will use will look very similar to how we approached fall semester. We’ve set up several teams to discuss key questions, considerations and interdependencies. These groups will ultimately make recommendations that I will share with the president and other senior leaders as we craft a cohesive plan for all aspects of campus life.  

Subject to change as we get rolling, groups looking at the following areas: 

  • Housing/Residence Life/Quarantine and Isolation housing 

  • Facilities 

  • COVID-19 testing 

  • Inclusive considerations 

  • Programs and activities  

  • Community engagement and safety 

  • Student support 

  • Central Student Life support (marketing, communications, finance, staffing, etc.) 


These categories are intentionally broad, and there will likely be subgroups that delve into specific aspects of planning. This gives us a framework to discuss the thousands of considerations that come with every decision we need to make. In addition to these areas, each department is also engaged in planning for its specific needs.   

Even if you are not on one of these committees right now, your input and perspectives will be extremely valuable as we move forward. I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas, so feel free to email me.  

We have a great deal of work ahead of us, but the task is not insurmountable. I know our Scarlet and Great Student Life team can handle it.