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April 30, 2020
Seattle University intends to reopen campus in the fall for the 2020-21 academic year, President Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J., announced today.
“The beginning of the academic year will not look like it has in the traditional sense,” he said in a message to the campus community. “There are complex issues to address.”
Planning and preparation have begun in parts of the university. Father Sundborg said that the health, safety and well-being of the campus community will remain the highest priority as Seattle U determines which option, or blend of options – in person classes or a hybrid model that includes remote learning – to pursue for the fall.
“As a mission-driven university, we are guided by a core set of values and an extraordinary commitment to serve our students with a high level of care and excellence regardless of modality,” Fr. Sundborg said. “We know that strict social distancing and enhanced safety measures, including a robust infrastructure for testing, tracing and isolation, will need to be in place for all areas and aspects of our campus for an extended period of time.”
The president appointed a nine-member task force to lead these efforts; more information on planning for a fall opening is expected later in May. All university undergraduate and almost all graduate programs operate on a quarter rather than semester system, providing the university an additional month of preparation time with a start date for fall classes of Sept. 23.
Seattle U was among the first institutions in the nation to quickly pivot to a fully online learning model shortly after the coronavirus pandemic hit the region.
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