Message from President Worthen
This past March we saw an incredible effort take place on our campus as we moved to remote coursework. I am thankful for the work of our faculty and staff, who through innovation and determination, made sure our students continued to receive a superb education. I am also grateful to our students, who adapted almost overnight to a new and different way of learning. The swift action helped slow the pandemic's immediate impact on our campus community and allowed us to move forward as a university.
With fall semester now approaching, safely returning to campus will be just as important and just as challenging. Thanks to the dedicated work of many BYU faculty, administrators and staff, we are now announcing plans for an in-person fall semester. This decision is subject to change depending on trends in disease prevalence and guidance from state and local governments.
Fall semester 2020 will begin, and perhaps remain, unlike any other semester at BYU. The return to campus will involve a wide range of adjustments including:
- Phased return of students to BYU on-campus housing
- Hybrid classes that combine in-person and remote learning
- Expanded number of BYU Online courses
- COVID-19 testing for sick individuals and some testing of asymptomatic individuals
- Contact tracing in partnership with the Utah County Health Department
- Phased approach for reintroducing activities and events
- Required use of masks by students, faculty, staff and visitors
- A shift to remote instruction and exams after Thanksgiving
We're sharing the general plans with you today and will keep detailed updates coming as fall semester draws near.
For this to succeed, we all have to play our part. The BYU mission statement says that all relationships within the BYU community should reflect "a loving, genuine concern for the welfare of our neighbor." Certainly that can be our motivation for wearing a mask, washing our hands often, and staying home when we're sick. We can react with empathy when someone we know tests positive for COVID-19. We can fight the virus of contempt with kindness even as we debate how to best respond as a society to the pandemic.
That genuine love for each other is what will make this year's BYU experience a remarkable period of growth for each one of us. We look forward to safely gathering soon.
Kevin J Worthen