November 6, 2020
As we draw near the end of instruction this Fall, we write again to thank everyone for all their efforts to make this semester as rich and rewarding as possible. In addition, we write to inform the campus community of an additional decision for the Spring semester. Students, faculty, and staff recently completed surveys of their experiences so far this Fall. Both students and faculty expressed a desire for more in-person class opportunities. Thankfully, our experience this fall, including vigorous testing, compliance with wearing of PPE, and contact tracing, indicates that we have no evidence of COVID transmission within the classroom. As a result, the ARC has recommended to the administration that the maximum in-person class meeting size for the Spring increase from 25 to 40, and the administration has accepted this recommendation. We will continue to schedule courses in the largest available classrooms in order to maintain the greatest possible physical distancing in the classroom and in any case at least six feet. Mask wearing will continue to be required as per our current mask policy. In addition, instructors and students will still have the choices they currently have related to how they teach and attend their classes. This change is intended simply to allow more flexibility to our faculty and to enable the possibility of more in-person classroom experiences.
Again, we thank you for all you are doing for Rice University and we sincerely hope everyone remains safe and healthy.
Reginald DesRoches, Provost
Christopher Johns-Krull, ARC Chair