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Fairfield University
    Office of the President    
Dear Members of the Fairfield University Community –

I hope this note finds you and your loved ones well. While current circumstances might seem all-consuming, as a modern, Jesuit Catholic university, we at Fairfield never lose sight of our core purpose of educating and forming young men and women of integrity. Thus, I am writing today to give you an update on the University’s plans for a return to on-campus teaching and learning in the fall, and our plans for instruction during this summer.

A cross-functional University task force has been in operation since February, planning for all contingencies required for a successful and safe reopening. Fairfield also continues to work closely with the State of Connecticut, adhering to and complying with all guidelines set forth during this time. Our task force has thought carefully about how and when to return to campus-based teaching, learning, and operations, with the safety and wellbeing of our entire community as a top priority.

A Return Campus: Fall 2020
As we approach the fall semester, Fairfield will resume classes on September 1, with students moving into residence halls beginning August 24. We are working with the state to ensure we are meeting all guidelines in this process. Specific details regarding the move-in process, including actual dates and class-year particulars, will be communicated later this month. The semester will conclude on Tuesday December 21, consistent with the current academic calendar.

To maximize the time and opportunity for engaged learning in the classroom, and to eliminate the need to leave and then return to campus, we will not have a fall semester break over Columbus Day weekend. After Thanksgiving, students will be able to finish the fall semester either on-campus or from home. This schedule allows for the utmost flexibility.

Recognizing the fluidity of the current situation, plans for the spring semester will be communicated in the fall, but it is Fairfield’s intent to be on-campus for the majority of the spring 2021 semester.

Summer At Fairfield
Summer Session I, already underway, is being conducted entirely online. The majority of Summer Session II will also be remote, with the exception of a small cohort of on-campus classes, to allow us the opportunity to continue to fine-tune our approach to social distancing measures, dining processes, classroom set-up, and dormitory protocols, among many other areas of operation. Graduate classes will likewise be conducted primarily online, with some in-person pilot programs throughout the summer.

In keeping with state recommendations, our faculty and staff, with the exception of essential employees, will continue to work from home for the immediate future to ensure we keep the on-campus density low. Fairfield will allow day-camps to continue in accordance with guidelines put forward by the state. Overnight camps will not be held this summer.

We will continue to monitor the rapidly evolving guidelines over the summer and adjust as needed.

Ongoing Planning
I know that we have all been affected by this pandemic, in ways great and small, and I am mindful that all have been asked to make adjustments, adaptations, and sacrifices. While we must continue to accept a degree of uncertainty, it is of paramount importance that we stay focused on our mission – the vitally important and essential mission of preparing men and women to embrace the world as it is, to find their place in it, and to transform it for the better.

As I said at the outset of this message, our mission at this time of uncertainty could not be more essential to our world, and our efforts together — as a community — to form men and women of character, compassion, and resilience is as critical at this period as it has ever been.

Thank you for your all your work, and for your essential contributions to our common mission.

Mark R. Nemec
Mark R. Nemec, PhD
Professor of Politics
Fairfield University
1073 North Benson Road, Fairfield, Connecticut 06824
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