Dear Shippensburg University Community,

I am pleased to announce that we will be reuniting on campus in August. I share with you today the process on how we plan to operate this fall. We continue to work as a community to develop and modify this process, which is guided by data and policies from national and state health experts.

The fall 2020 semester will begin on August 17, and will conclude in-person instruction on November 20. We’ll take a study break November 23 and 24 and have virtual exams the week of November 30 to December 4.

The classroom setting will provide in-person instruction while also meeting the needs of students and faculty who, according to State System guidelines, require accommodations for them to learn and teach remotely.

We are preparing to open our residence halls and dining halls to meet the needs of students. Plans for campus operations will adjust as local conditions change and are updated according to state (PA DOH, PDE, and PASSHE) and federal guidance (CDC). Additionally, we are making the investments needed to implement the appropriate health and mitigation protocols, technology, faculty and staff support, and student success and access.

In the coming weeks, we will communicate to employees and students the process for returning to campus.

The Navigating to Fall 2020 website will serve as an information hub on our plan to return. Check it often. While there are still many details to work out, we have begun to frame out how we will learn, work, and live on campus this fall, following the latest guidance. The plan is being designed for maximum flexibility in order to adapt with changes in conditions or policies. I know you will have questions, and we will continue to post information that reflects the latest changes and developments for fall.

I want to thank the many members of the campus community who have contributed to the preparation of a COVID-ready campus for fall 2020. From the six working groups who conceived so many of the ideas that are shaping this plan to everyone who has engaged in feedback meetings, answered surveys, or who, without being asked, volunteered to help us prepare, you all are important and appreciated.

Now, more than ever, we must rely on our priorities of student success, telling our story, engaging with the community, and quality. This guides how we respond to the work of teaching and learning in this next academic year. Much of what we must do in the coming months won’t be comfortable, because it will require change. But staying focused on our priorities gives us clear direction so that even in the midst of the turbulence of change, our path forward is clear. Our success depends on us all rowing in the same direction. Indeed, our Ship is Mighty.


Laurie A. Carter