Update on fall 2020 planning

May 28, 2020

Dear Cornell Students:

With the spring 2020 semester now complete, we write today to engage you in planning for the future. Most importantly, you should know that it is our goal and hope to have an in-person residential experience this fall. Having said that, we are sure that you can imagine the many logistical issues that must be considered before we will know whether this is possible. In addition to health and safety considerations, which are paramount, we will need to ensure that any plan for the fall is consistent with the latest guidance from New York state. As we work toward our goal of announcing a plan for the fall by the end of June, your input is important as we consider the likely conditions to resuming a safe, in-person Cornell experience.

Should we be able to resume in-person instruction this fall, we are likely to operate on a modified academic calendar (see this link for options under consideration) with blended instructional modes and the potential for a partial or full campus residential experience. Courses are likely to be 1) in-person with remote accessibility; 2) online by design; or 3) a hybrid of both.

Assuming we successfully devise a plan to welcome you to campus this fall, we do not anticipate that we will be ready to “return to normal”; rather, we will all have to live under a new framework of behavioral expectations to protect the safety of our community. Tomorrow, you will receive a brief survey that outlines some of the potential conditions being considered and asks how they might influence your own planning. The survey will take just a few minutes of your time. Thank you in advance for your feedback.

We want to restate our sincere hope that we will be able to see you on campus this fall, and we acknowledge that your own plans and decisions will depend on the decisions that we make over the coming weeks about what is safe and practical. Your survey responses will be key to our being able to frame that direction.

With all of our best wishes from Ithaca,

Ryan Lombardi
Vice President for Student and Campus Life

Lisa Nishii
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education