May 7, 2020

Update: Resuming Operations

Dear Students and Families,

First and foremost, thank you for your continuing commitment to academic success and learning, and your ability to adapt over the past two months. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology students have faced this historic challenge head-on. During this time, each of you have stepped up to meet this challenge.  I know that for many of you and our faculty, your patience has been severely tested this quarter.  I thank you for your efforts and continued faith in yourselves, the learning process, and Rose-Hulman.

Despite the challenging environment we find ourselves in, I hope a part of what you’ve experienced this quarter is a renewed sense of appreciation for the personalized attention and support provided by our faculty and staff in all of its forms, whether remotely or in person.  That’s why I’m so pleased to report that our current plans are for Rose-Hulman’s campus to be open in the fall.  We will be taking steps towards resuming campus operations in the most cautious and careful ways possible, keeping in mind the core principles we established early on in this crisis to guide our work which include:

  • Maximizing student, faculty and staff health and safety
  • Maximizing student learning

At this time for planning purposes, we are assuming that conditions will allow us to welcome first fall sport student-athletes and then all other students that are able to return to campus in August.  We recognize that is optimistic and that there is a possibility that we may need to adjust. If mitigating factors outside of our control impact our plans, we intend to determine and communicate that by mid-summer.  In the meantime, we will continue to take steps to prepare for the full range of reasonably foreseeable scenarios. 

To ensure a safe and healthy reopening, we are restarting basic operations over the summer. As we navigate this transition, we will be leveraging the five-stage strategy announced last week by Governor Holcomb to gradually ramp back up towards the fall, from a staff and then faculty perspective.  The overarching goal here is to have staff employees who can return to work on campus be back by Monday, July 6th, with faculty returning later in August.  

Rest assured that with staff and eventually faculty and students returning to campus, we will be taking all necessary steps to protect all members of the campus community.  This will most likely include the following, the details of which are currently being developed:

  • A requirement that all students, faculty and staff will be asked to wear face coverings (indoors and outdoors) when they are in common areas on campus.
  • The continued enforcement of CDC safe social distancing guidelines
  • Pre-screening returning students and employees and requiring a complete, 14-day isolation period for anyone with risk factors
  • Daily temperature monitoring
  • A plan for testing students, faculty, and staff for COVID-19 (SARS-COV-2)

By June 1, we will make low-density housing available to eligible Rose-Hulman and/or Rose-Hulman Ventures students or interns with summer assignments. We continue to have discussions in planning for fall housing and will have more details to share soon.

We will provide further updates throughout the late spring and summer on these critical processes as they develop…however I wanted you to have the benefit of our thinking now, based upon the best information we have to date.

Throughout this crisis, I have been so grateful for the tenacity, determination, and dedication of each of our students, faculty and staff.  We remain committed to the health, safety and well-being of each member of our campus community.  I look forward to navigating these next few months successfully with you and hopefully seeing you again in person this fall!


President Coons

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