COVID-19 Updates and Guidance > Updates > Winter planning update for faculty and staff

Faculty and staff update to DePaul's winter planning

October 5, 2020

Key takeaways: 
  • DePaul’s winter term will look similar to fall with the majority of courses and student services being offered online.
  • Residence hall occupancy will be slightly expanded from its current level. Students will continue to live in single-occupancy rooms.
  • On-campus staffing likely will not change significantly.

Dear faculty and staff,

This fall, DePaul reduced its on-campus footprint to promote the health and safety of our faculty, staff and students—as well as the communities in which we live. We are grateful that we have had very few COVID-19 cases on campus so far and that we are providing our students uninterrupted educational experiences. Thank you for doing your part to keep yourself and those around you safe.

As you know, COVID-19 remains a serious threat in the Chicago area. Public health experts expect winter—with flu season and fewer opportunities to socialize outdoors—to pose a challenge. In light of this, we are planning for the winter term at DePaul to look very similar to fall.

Currently, about 2 percent of courses are on campus. For winter, we are planning for approximately 4.2 percent of courses to be on-campus courses, though our plans could change depending on state, local and public health recommendations. Faculty who are scheduled to teach online synchronous or online hybrid classes may request to teach in a Zoom enabled or Trimodal room through the 25Live Pro site. Instructions for submitting a request can be found here.

Because the changes to our operations are not extensive, we do not envision major adjustments to employees’ work modes. Managers will share with employees any change in on-campus staffing requirements.

We are currently reviewing residence hall occupancy levels and considering a modest expansion of the number of students living on campus during the winter term. As in the fall term, residential students will be provided with single-occupancy rooms and dedicated washrooms. Students who already live in residence halls will be automatically approved for winter. Next steps for applying for winter residency will be shared with students soon.

We encourage everyone to continue following the tenets of the Health and Safety Pledge. The safety of everyone and the safety of the communities in which we learn and live depend on it. Wearing a face covering or mask, physical distancing and practicing good personal hygiene and personal care are proven ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Remember you must use the #CampusClear app any time you prepare to visit campus and complete DePaul’s required Health and Safety Guidelines for Returning to Campus training.

In addition, keep in mind that each time you travel to a state affected by Chicago’s travel order, you will need to follow the city’s quarantine guidelines before you can come to campus. After the holidays, if you will be returning from a state affected by the travel order, you must follow the city’s quarantine guidelines and stay away from campus until your quarantine period has ended. Be particularly mindful of this if you are scheduled to teach any on-campus courses in winter term. Please visit the city’s Emergency Travel Order website, which is updated weekly, for more information.

We will continue to follow our planning principles to keep our community safe. We will keep paying close attention to COVID-19 data and listening to medical and public health experts, and we will bring more students and employees back to campus when we believe we can do so while continuing to effectively manage the potential health risks to the university and local community.

More information about fall enrollment will be shared after census data is compiled. Early indications are very positive. The hard work you have done over these past months has gone a long way in keeping our students engaged and remaining a part of our university community. Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do for DePaul.

We appreciate your dedication to our university community.

A. Gabriel Esteban, Ph.D.

Salma Ghanem, Ph.D.
Interim Provost

Jeff Bethke
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer