Reactivating Campus

Cornell's Guiding Principles

Our ability to welcome all faculty, staff, students and visitors back to campus must be informed by available public health data, guidance from New York state, and recommendations from Cornell’s reactivation planning committees. Because Cornell has campuses in both upstate and downstate New York, our approaches and reactivation timelines may vary by location.

On June 30, the university has announced plans for the fall semester, which includes a hybrid approach to a residential semester (with in-person, online and hybrid teaching modalities), robust virus testing, and modifications to the academic calendar that will allow students to begin classes on Sept. 2 and return home for Thanksgiving and finish the semester remotely. These plans apply to the Ithaca campus and Cornell Agritech in Geneva. Given the varying impacts and progression of the virus in New York City, Cornell Tech and Weill Cornell Medicine campuses have developed their own plans for the fall semester.

Cornell will follow these guiding principles, shaped by our core values, to help guide decision-making in the process of reopening on-campus spaces and activities:

  1. Caring for our students. We will do everything possible to enable all current and newly admitted students to succeed academically and personally. Family circumstances, financial resources and students’ lives will undoubtedly change in many ways, and working to see that all students have the financial resources they need is among our highest priorities.
  2. Safeguarding our future as a world-class academic institution. We believe deeply in the value of Cornell’s exceptional academic community and will strive always to ensure that our scholarly enterprise is supported and thriving. Cornell will continue to teach, continue to conduct world-class research, continue to engage and continue to adapt to a changing world.
  3. Maintaining our staffing. Cornell is Cornell because of our wonderful faculty and students, and because of our exceptional staff: our custodians, technicians, dining workers, office professionals and skilled trades and grounds staff, to name just a few. We are a community, and we will do everything we can to keep our community together.
  4. Seeking new knowledge. We are an educational institution, and as we navigate through this time, we will pay attention to what we can learn along the way. We may learn about new ways of working remotely, we may learn about new ways of delivering education and we will undoubtedly find new ways to develop resilience in the face of the unprecedented.