From the DOU - Fall semester updates

From the DOU - Fall semester updates

Friday, June 19, 2020 4:27 p.m.

Dear Students -

Because of the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, I am sure you have many questions about fall semester at Rice. Please know that everyone at Rice is working diligently on details of the precautions we will take on campus this fall. I am writing today to highlight some recent decisions and to update you on other information that is still to come.

Yesterday, Rice’s Academic Restart Committee issued decisions regarding our fall academic calendar, final exams and class scheduling. I would encourage you to read the full message (available here), but the highlights include ending fall semester classes the Friday before Thanksgiving and moving all classes with more than 100 students to fully remote learning. As additional decisions regarding fall semester classes are made, we will share those with you in a timely manner.

If you aren't already, I would also encourage you to regularly check for updates on our COVID alerts page, located here. Every Monday, our VP for Administration Kevin Kirby has been sending a weekly update to our campus about Rice’s planning and policies in response to COVID-19. We post these updates to our alerts page because they include information you should know about. Here is the list of the messages sent so far:

  • May 25 update: We announced a mandatory face mask policy, which will remain in effect throughout the fall semester
  • June 1 update: We announced physical distancing requirements
  • June 8 update: We discussed physical distancing and its impact on campus physical spaces
  • June 15 update: We announced modifications to the university-built environment

We are continuing to work out other details about the fall semester, including issues surrounding housing and residential life, Orientation Week, campus programming and activities and our campus plan for health and wellness. On July 1, all students (new and returning) and their families will receive a detailed message addressing all of these topics. In addition, this message will include a link to a mandatory survey, due July 6, where we will ask you to tell us your enrollment intentions for fall semester -- in other words, whether you intend to be enrolled and on campus (residential or living off campus), enrolled and attending remotely or not enrolled at all.

I hope you and your families are doing well. Despite the uncertainties of this moment, we are looking forward to fall semester and the start of what will certainly be a memorable year.

Best wishes,
Bridget Gorman, Dean of Undergraduates