University of St. Francis (USF) President Arvid C. Johnson, Ph.D., announced on July 15, 2020, through an email to the school community details on USF’s plan for re-opening campus in August. The letter read as follows:
Dear Members – both NEW and RETURNING – of the University of St. Francis (USF) Community,
I hope this communication finds you enjoying a safe, healthy summer. As USF continues through its Summer semester and prepares for the Fall semester, I would like to share with you our official, approved plan for our Fall re-opening. This plan – and its supporting documents – are the result of the work of dozens of faculty, staff, administrators, and other members of the USF community over the past few months and for which we are extremely grateful.
- “Guidelines for the Fall 2020 Opening” booklet (available at stfrancis.edu/saints-united) – This eight-page booklet offers a quick review of the present status of the guidelines and changes in practices and procedures included in the University of St. Francis Preparedness Plan, which the USF community can anticipate with the opening of campus in August.
- “University of St. Francis Preparedness Plan” (available at stfrancis.edu/saints-united) – This document offers a comprehensive review of the details used as the basis of the “Guidelines for the Fall 2020 Opening” booklet. Important to note is that, while the plan has been approved by the Will County Health Department, it will continue to evolve and be revised as “best practices” change.
- stfrancis.edu/saints-united – This web page will offer updated, electronic versions of the content in the “Guidelines for the Fall 2020 Opening” and the “University of St. Francis Preparedness Plan” for the opening of campus in August. The page is currently under construction and will be up and running in the coming days.
In addition to these publications, I ask that you also note the following important items:
- On Monday, August 3rd, the offices of many of our office-based employees will re-open and resume their on-campus responsibilities. If you need to meet with any of these individuals, please be sure to contact them in advance via email or phone to arrange for an appointment. Please contact the office staff member with whom you wish to meet by phone or online. On-campus visits will require face masks and physical distancing.
- Everyone – students, faculty, administrators and staff – will have to sign an electronic “commitment to return to campus” indicating that you have read and understood our four “general practices” and are willing to live by them.
- Fall semester 2020 classes will begin on Monday, August 24th. If you have any questions about your schedule, please contact your academic advisor.
- When you return to campus, you will notice a variety of new directional and informational signage regarding the University’s ongoing efforts to maintain a healthy and safe environment for students, employees, alumni, and friends of USF. Please be mindful of these signs and adhere to the information that they are used to convey.
- USF’s Fall Break (originally scheduled for October 19th through 23rd) is being moved and shortened to Tuesday & Wednesday, October 6-7th. This means the semester will now end one week earlier on Friday, December 11th.
- All on-campus, face-to-face classes will move to an online format after Thanksgiving Break, which begins on November 26th. This change applies to the two final weeks of the semester (the last week of classes and finals week). Student athletes in fall sports will be able to stay on campus and participate in late-season games, as necessary and as scheduled.
- Shortening the semester in this way also allows us to move Commencement to Saturday, December 12th.
Our successful return to campus will require the continued, collective efforts of the entire USF community to protect ourselves and each other. We each have a part to play in keeping one another safe, and it is imperative our entire USF community understand and fulfill their role to help mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
As we continue in what has been an unprecedented Centennial year, know that our new, on-going Centennial goal is to have a 100%-safe fall semester.
Collectively, we can make our return to campus safe and successful!
Collectively, we are Saints United!
Welcome home, Saints!
Peace and all good things,
Arvid C. Johnson, Ph.D.