COVID-19 contingency planning and next steps
Learn more about continuing efforts to maintain learning and campus operations while protecting Roadrunners’ health and safety.
April 23, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has required the collaborative efforts of a number of offices and departments across the Metropolitan State University of Denver campus.
As we approach week six of the campus closure, Larry Sampler, vice president of Administration and chief operating officer, spoke to the Early Bird about the contingency-planning process and potential next steps for a tiered reintroduction of University facilities and services.
“Since we don’t know the trajectory of the virus, or the subsequent political guidance, our presence on campus will have to be flexible,” Sampler said. “Safety is paramount, and all planning activities and decisions will be made inclusively and in strict accordance with state and local health and safety recommendations.”
Sampler added that MSU Denver remains focused on serving students and continuing its mission of providing high-quality, accessible and enriching education. Given the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the return-to-campus scenarios below vary significantly.
“The University is not able to anticipate conditions in a way that allows us to predetermine what the operating conditions will be,” Sampler said.
With evolving conditions and guidelines in mind, Sampler and campus partners have drafted the following COVID-19 contingency levels to guide decision-making while also protecting Roadrunners and continuing to flatten the curve. Sampler notes the levels remain fluid, and decisions may continue to shift as the COVID-19 situation and governmental guidance changes.
- Level One: All courses will continue to be taught online, and no faculty or staff will be allowed to routinely access the campus.
- Level Two: Only classes that are (a) required to be taught in a face-to-face setting and (b) are required by seniors to graduate will be taught on campus, in accordance with appropriate safety instructions from city, state and medical professionals. Some access for faculty and staff may be allowed, but not routinely and with strict administrative instructions about maintaining proper hygiene while in the buildings.
- Level Three: Only classes that are required to be taught in a face-to-face setting will be taught on campus, in accordance with appropriate safety instructions from city, state and medical professionals. Campus access for faculty and staff will still be restricted and not routine but perhaps with more flexibility than in Level Two.
- Level Four: Limited classes will be taught face-to-face, in accordance with appropriate safety instructions from city, state and medical professionals. Some faculty and staff will be allowed to begin working on-campus as the situation dictates and as necessary.
- Level Five: The full schedule of classes will be taught face-to-face, and nonacademic functions will return to campus, in accordance with appropriate safety instructions from city, state and medical professionals. Faculty and staff will be allowed to work from campus while still adhering to appropriate levels of physical and social distancing.
Sampler invites faculty and staff to stay informed as the process evolves and to participate in the planning process through their Faculty Senate or Staff Senate representatives. Ideas or suggestions can also be submitted directly to the Administration Branch.
Any progress toward a gradual reopening will be communicated directly to the campus community via email by President Janine Davidson, Ph.D., and the Auraria Higher Education Center. Please continue to stay tuned for more information.
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