Underlying the university's reopening plans is a science-based approach to mitigation of infection.
Some of the key principles considered include:
- Reducing the risk of infection for members of our community while maintaining the core mission of the university;
- Following applicable guidance and implement best practices recommended by government and health authorities and respond with agility to new circumstances;
- Encouraging and supporting individual and shared responsibility within our community in minimizing infection and risk;
- Returning responsibly and in stages, while providing flexibility for employees and students where possible;
- Communicating transparently and frequently with all members of the Stevens community
Alignment with State and Health Agencies
We have been guided in our planning by recommendations from the American College Health Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, among other respected organizations.
The May 2020 Emergency Operations Plan, approved by the Board of Trustees in June 2020, added a new annex on “Infectious Disease Outbreak” which has been reviewed and approved by the State of New Jersey. All aspects of our plans will be subject to guidance from New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and coordinated, where appropriate, with the City of Hoboken.
We can only do this together.
Stevens' reopening guidelines have been collectively formulated, with considerable collaborative input from new and returning undergraduate and graduate students, parents, colleagues throughout the university, as well as from alumni, health experts, advisors and government officials.
Meetings have also taken place with groups of students, faculty and staff, including the Faculty Senate, the Stevens Board of Trustees, the President’s Leadership Council, the Academic Council, the Student Government Association and the Graduate Student Council.
After careful consultation with the entire campus community, and in accordance with State of Jersey requirements, Stevens has made the difficult decision to limit the number of on-campus students for the fall 2020 semester to first-year Stevens students, new transfer students and new graduate students.
We have approached this challenge in a consultative, collegial and objective manner, with the best interests of the university community in mind. A range of options and variations on those options were considered when arriving at this approach. In addition to considering and respecting the concerns and sentiments of our faculty and staff, the wishes of our students to return to campus, and evolving health conditions and new guidance, our priority has been the health and well-being of all members of our university community.
This decision is effective for the fall 2020 semester only. We will revisit this decision for the Winter Intersession and the spring 2021 semester later this fall.
We will continue to monitor this health situation closely, obtaining new information and adapting our plans as changing circumstances, evolving health conditions and state executive orders warrant while continuing to consult with Stevens' working groups on health and safety; student affairs and academics teams; the Trustees; and representatives of our students, faculty and staff.
Efforts to re-open for on-campus teaching, learning, living and business operations in a safe and healthy environment will require the conscientious and diligent cooperation of each and every one of us.
Stevens will provide personal protective equipment; create social distancing mechanisms and policies to reduce density in classrooms and other gathering spaces; augment sanitation protocols and provide items for general use; and implement many other protocols.
The community will also be informed and trained using a variety of methods including web-based tools, in-person training and written protocols.
However, it is the individual responsibility of each of us to maintain safe and healthy practices for the benefit of the entire Stevens community.
Each member of the Stevens community will be required to abide by a Health Honor Code.
We should all keep in mind daily that these important health and safety precautions for our own benefit, for those around us, and for a Stronger. Safer. Stevens.