Return Roadmap & Fall 2020 Planning
UMBC is beginning to transition from fully remote operations toward limited on-campus activity. More than 150 faculty, staff, and students are planning this transition through thoughtful, deliberate planning and flexible implementation strategies responsive to changing conditions.
During the fall semester, a limited number of undergraduate and graduate courses will be offered with either full or partial in-person delivery. In-person, graduate-level thesis research will be re-launched in stages, beginning this summer. Courses planned to be offered in person must meet specified instructional criteria that are based on the overarching principle of supporting student success, student progression, and timely degree completion. Remaining instruction/courses will be delivered virtually, with enhanced pedagogy through faculty support, expanded use of available technology and best practices, and additional support for students to assist with new ways of learning.
In mid-June, we began a phased reopening of research labs and facilities to support key research and creative achievement activities and graduate thesis research. Priority is given to RCA activities that cannot be conducted remotely, provided reasonable safety controls can be put in place and as near-term conditions dictate.
UMBC’s plan to gradually re-open the campus is grounded in the best current scientific information available about the COVID-19 pandemic and necessary public health precautions. Protocols for transmission prevention, symptom monitoring, and management of the inevitable COVID-19 cases that will occur in any public environment are prerequisites to implementing any level of fall return to the campus.
While our work through the pandemic takes place in varying modes and spaces, we are determined to deepen our culture of inclusive excellence and provide supportive communities for teaching and learning, student life, research and creative achievement, and community engagement. Working groups are giving special attention to diversity, equity, and inclusion goals, with the understanding that the particular access and support required for one person or group may be different from that needed by others. And we will be requiring all students, faculty, and staff to take shared responsibility for protecting the health in our community.
It is important to note that the specific fall plans below are based on current knowledge and key assumptions about what is possible. We must all be prepared for plans to evolve if the environment changes.
Staff and faculty who can work remotely—likely the majority of employees—will continue to do so in keeping with the goal of reducing risk of transmission.
Campus Status: The University is open, with employees working remotely. UMBC’s physical campus remains closed. Maryland is currently under a Safer at Home order.The latest campus updates are posted on the Retrievers Return website. If you have questions or concerns, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student Services and Support
- Information about UMBC’s COVID-19 symptom tracking and testing pilot program for students, faculty, and staff who have been approved to be on campus this summer is available on the program FAQ page.
- See UMBC’s campus response to recent immigration policy changes impacting international students.
- Take a virtual tour of Baltimore’s farmer’s markets with Dr. Kate Drabinski and learn how they increase food access on Monday, July 13.
- Learn the latest ways to stay connected with Student Affairs.
- Students who are interested in living on campus during the fall 2020 semester should contact Residential Life at (410) 455-2591. Leave a message and someone will return your call shortly.
- The Career Center continues to offer career and employment support to students this summer. Schedule an appointment today by going to the Center’s website and clicking on “schedule an appointment.”
Business Continuity and Staff Support
- Effective July 1, UMBC moved from a hiring pause to a hiring freeze for all vacant regular and contingent I and II exempt and non-exempt staff positions. Departments with a critical staffing need may continue to submit a hiring exception request. Further details on the University’s hiring exception process can be found here.
- UMBC’s physical campus remains closed and employees continue to work remotely. Only employees with permission from their supervisor, approved researchers, and/or approved students should be on campus.
- If you have a one-time emergency need to visit campus, call UMBC Police Deputy Chief Bruce Perry at (443) 677-2195 or Lieutenant Derrick Johns at (410) 207-0850.
- Visit the UMBC Together myUMBC group for a weekly events spotlight.