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Information for Faculty and Staff: Summer Courses

Dear Faculty and Staff Members:

Thank you for the opportunity to talk with all of you this past week. It is important that we do all we can to preserve and maintain our personal connections during these difficult times. As I said on our calls, the health and safety of each of you, along with our students, is our top priority, and it continues to guide our decision-making as the University works to navigate and respond to the implications and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In consultation with both faculty and administrative leadership, I have made several decisions regarding summer classes, alumni events, and other related issues.

Summer Classes. We will continue remote instruction and learning for all summer sessions. Many summer course offerings were previously scheduled to be online, and they will proceed as planned. All in-person and hybrid courses will move to the online format exclusively. We have extended the Summer 2019 tuition pricing to students taking courses this summer, including the 15 percent discount we have traditionally offered for undergraduate summer courses. Additionally, graduate students who were eligible for a graduate scholarship this past academic year will again be able to apply their scholarship to summer courses, provided they complete six credits over the five summer sessions. If the public health guidance changes, providing an opportunity to add some in-person courses later this summer, academic departments will be able to consider those additions. Due to the ongoing crisis presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Faculty Council has passed a resolution to extend the flexible grading policy through the Summer 2020 sessions.

Alumni Weekend. Each year, we look forward to celebrating our alumni and other special members of the University family, but out of health and safety concerns for our community, we have cancelled Alumni Weekend, originally scheduled for June 12-15. We are exploring the option of incorporating some elements of Alumni Weekend into Homecoming Weekend (October 23-25), if possible, and will share details as they become available.

Summer Programming and Events. We have already cancelled all in-person events and programs on campus through May 31. We will make a decision no later than May 1 on all other programs, events, and camps scheduled to start after June 1.

Thank you for all you are doing in the face of great adversity. Employees will continue to work remotely until further notice. While our conversion to remote work was abrupt, please know that we are mindful of the need for a planned transition for our return to campus when government and public health officials deem it is safe for us to do so. I continue to draw inspiration from your commitment to serving our students, and I am grateful for your dedication.

I hope that you and your families are well and continue to stay safe. If you have any questions, you are welcome to contact me directly at


Patrick F. Leahy