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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.