MSU Denver

In preparation for MSU Denver’s full fall 2021 return to campus, the following guiding principles, assumptions, phases and planning tools have been provided.

Safe Return Guiding Principles

Grounded in MSU Denver’s mission and values, the following principles were developed to improve decision-making and consistency.

  • Our top priority is the continued health and safety of our students, staff and faculty, which will continue to be informed by public health guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, State of Colorado, the City of Denver and our on-campus health professionals at the Health Center at Auraria.
  • We will continue our mission to provide a high-quality, accessible college experience that meets the needs of our students through a reimagined in-person experience for fall semester 2021.
  • MSU Denver serves a diverse student population requiring a full return plan that is reflective of our principles and commitment to equity and inclusion.

Fall Return Assumptions

The following assumptions are based on feedback, perspectives, opinions and ideas gleaned from numerous efforts to engage all members of our campus community. Additionally, while Covid-19 health and safety protocols continue to evolve, MSU Denver is confident that our vaccination requirement and Covid-19-related policies will create a safe environment for all members of the campus community.


Physical Environment

  • Students are coming to campus to learn and engage
  • Faculty are coming to campus to teach and engage
  • Staff are coming to campus to work and engage
  • No social distancing exists in classrooms, offices, restaurants, common areas, etc.
  • The majority of the campus will be accessible during normal business hours Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and to accommodate class schedules beyond those hours
  • In-person/hybrid events and meetings are held on campus
  • People are commuting to and from campus

Service Level

  • On-campus services are desired and are therefore available in a variety of in-person, hybrid and remote formats
  • All University services are functioning at maximum efficiency/availability
  • Service excellence is provided, and services are in alignment with health and safety protocols

Work Environment

  • Supervisors have assessed the service and business needs of their unit
  • Alternative work arrangement discussions have taken place with individuals to meet the service, business and the individual’s needs
  • Teams experiment with different arrangements, work hours, etc. to find the maximum state of service operations
  • Teams may experiment with workspaces becoming more fluid and shared.

MSU Denver Phased Return Approach

Within the phases listed above, Vice Presidents and Associate Vice Presidents are empowered to determine their return plans. Departments are to submit their high-level return plans to their Vice President/Associate Vice President and Edward Brown: [email protected] by May 26.

Phase 1: May – June 2021 “Plan ahead with a gradual return to work out the kinks”

  • Departments are developing and implementing a plan for their return.
  • Departments are providing on-campus services to meet the needs of their on-campus customers.
  • Departments are cycling through their staff returning to campus over the summer, while maintaining capacity limits to test out their return, technology and cleaning protocols and/or needs.

Phase 2: July 6 – August 23, 2021 “Fully returned and running smoothly”

  • Departments have all staff members that are returning to campus, with alternative work schedules in mind, back full-time by July 6, assuming capacity limits have increased, and 6’ social distancing requirement has been eliminated.
  • In preparation for the start of the Fall 2021 semester on August 23rd, we request all staff that are returning to campus, be up and running, at their optimal capacity and productivity, no later than July 6.

Unit/Department Return Guiding Principles

  • Start with the customer experience and create a plan to address those needs.
  • Work with your employees to be equitable and fair, recognizing that everyone’s circumstances are different.
  • Acknowledge the difficulty of the last year and the associated impact of the return.
  • Plans developed by units will inform the transition of employees back to their worksites. Operating procedures will be evaluated during the month of July, once staff have resumed their on-campus presence. These plans will be based on science and public health guidance, and we will communicate regularly as guidelines may change.