Partial Resumption of Campus Operations and Workplace

July 06, 2020


All DOF Appointees


Sanjeev Kulkarni, Dean of the Faculty


Partial Resumption of Campus Operations and Workplace


July 6, 2020

In a message to our University community sent earlier today, President Christopher Eisgruber announced plans to resume Princeton’s residential program on a limited basis this fall, following the phased resumption of research this summer. These plans include welcoming back all graduate students and roughly half of Princeton’s undergraduates to campus in each semester: incoming first-years and rising juniors in the fall, and sophomores and seniors in the spring. As President Eisgruber noted, the return of undergraduates, like all in-person campus activities, will continue to be governed by restrictions that “are essential to protect the health of the Princeton community and to comply with New Jersey law.”  He also announced a plan to change the academic calendar for the 2020-21 academic year.

We know that you are eager to return to normal operations.  However, until the pandemic is contained to the satisfaction of state and federal public health authorities, we must continue to act with caution.  The protection of the health and safety of our campus community is our top priority and will continue to be the cornerstone of our decision-making process.

Accordingly, we are continuing to implement operational measures to limit viral exposure and protect the health of our campus population as much as possible, while we fulfill our teaching and research mission. Meanwhile, as departments determine operational and staffing needs for the fall semester, you should continue to follow the guidance you have received previously.

The measures we are taking, like those already in place, are grounded in several core expectations, and we would like to share these expectations with you now to enable you to plan appropriately.

  • In order to limit the spread of and/or exposure to COVID-19, those individuals who are able to work remotely must continue to work remotely until further notice. 
  • Regular on-campus work, including use of offices, laboratories, classrooms, and department spaces, is permitted only in the following cases:
    • Faculty members whose courses have been approved by their department and the Office of the Dean of the College for in-person, residential teaching.
    • Individuals engaged in research that has been approved by the Office of the Dean for Research for on-campus resumption.
    • Other individuals who must seek approval for on-campus work by their academic department chair or director, who in turn will seek approval from the appropriate cabinet officer.
  • For circumstances that require your presence on campus occasionally or intermittently, including use of faculty offices or other department workspaces, you must also obtain approval from the chair or director of your academic department.  For instance, if you need to be on campus to complete a specific task or project, you will need prior approval for the days and times that you plan to be on campus and the spaces that you will use.  At all other times, you are expected to work remotely.
  • Anyone whose job requires physical presence on campus, either on a regular, occasional, or intermittent basis, must comply with all related policies and procedures that the University has issued or will issue over the coming weeks. These individuals must be fully familiar with the most up-to-date policies and procedures and must consistently act on directives including, but not limited to, social distancing, face coverings, and handwashing.
  • All individuals approved to work on campus regularly, occasionally, or intermittently must complete mandatory online COVID-19 General Awareness training before returning to campus.
  • Departments that anticipate resuming some on-campus activities must plan carefully and follow the guidance, policies, and protocols issued this summer that are available on the Office of Environment and Safety’s (EHS) website. This information will be updated for the fall semester.
  • These policies include, but are not limited to, practicing social distancing, wearing face coverings indoors, wearing face coverings when congregating outdoors, and frequently washing your hands.

We expect all members of our community to adhere to these directives.  For additional information, refer to the University’s website, HR’s website, and the EHS website.  If you have any questions or concerns, please continue to be in touch with your department chair or director, or feel free to reach out to Oliver Avens (faculty) or Karen Haskin (academic professionals).  Also, please keep in mind that as the situation continues to evolve, we may be required to change our plans and policies. 

Details of how this plan will impact faculty will vary by individual and department, so please continue to work with your department chair or director on fall plans.  We will continue to be in touch in the coming weeks with more details about the fall, including those related to classroom and remote instruction.  We thank you for your continued partnership, contributions, and commitment to Princeton’s educational and research mission as we together navigate these challenging times.