COVID-19 Updates and Guidance > Updates > Faculty and staff update to DePaul's fall planning-8/12/2020

Faculty and staff update to DePaul's fall planning

​August 12, 2020 

Key takeaways:​
  • DePaul plans to reduce students’ on-campus presence by shifting more classes online and limiting residence hall occupancy.
  • Staff and faculty members will hear from their units in the coming days about the revised plans.
  • The financial ramifications of these measures will not be known until later in the fall.

Dear faculty and staff, 

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced DePaul to move almost all university operations online in March, we told you that your health and safety come first. With a fundamental understanding of who we are as a DePaul community, and in light of the consistently worsening national and local public health outlook, DePaul has decided to further reduce student on-campus presence in the fall. With few exceptions for pedagogical reasons, the vast majority of courses will now be delivered online in the fall term and residence hall occupancy will be limited for the time being. We are committed to providing our students the best uninterrupted fall experience.

External factors that are beyond DePaul’s control have changed the environment in which we hoped to return. We have spent recent days analyzing data, consulting with medical and public health experts and analyzing the best way to proceed.  Given our Vincentian values to take care of one another and our community, we do not believe that currently there is a reasonable way to open the campus to the full extent we originally had planned and continue to effectively manage the potential health risks to the university and local community.

In the coming days, colleges will revise the list of courses to be offered on campus. If you are a faculty member who had planned to teach on campus, you will hear from your unit with instructions. Managers will share with employees any change in on-campus staffing requirements.

To reduce the density of people on campus, DePaul residence halls will not be available for most students who planned to live there. Residential students will receive a message from Housing later today with more information about refunds and an online form to apply for an exception.

At the same time, the campus will be a bit more open than it was in spring quarter. Most DePaul buildings will be accessible, including faculty offices. Library services will still be available. Some computer labs will be open. 

The financial ramifications of these measures will not be fully known until we complete the fall enrollment census in late September or early October. We should expect—like most peer institutions—that some degree of financial shortfall will result from this over the entire fiscal year. The Strategic Resource Allocation Committee will reconvene in the fall to discuss steps for mitigating any resulting budget shortfalls. DePaul is not alone in facing formidable financial challenges stemming from the pandemic; we promise to face these challenges with our mission and care for our community in mind.

We know you will have questions about what fall will bring and the future of DePaul. A faculty and staff town hall with university leadership is planned for next week. More details will be shared in Newsline. You also can find answers to your questions on the Fall 2020 website.

Many of you have been working tirelessly to prepare campus for our students’ return. The limited number of students who will learn and live on campus this fall will benefit from all you have done to enhance campus safety. And when more of our students return one day, they will see your work and appreciate it deeply—we know we already do. We will continue to follow public health guidelines regarding COVID-19, and are optimistic that as the COVID-19 risk diminishes, we can resurrect our plans after fall quarter and December intersession to offer a safe and vibrant on-campus experience.

These days, it may seem as if change and uncertainty are the only things you can count on. But we also know that we can count on the DePaul community to do its best to offer students our very best. We will remain committed to providing students top-rated instruction and preparing them for the next stage of their lives, just as our mission calls us to do.

Please continue to read Newsline Daily to learn the latest information about fall. We hope you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy.

A. Gabriel Esteban, Ph.D.

Salma Ghanem, Ph.D.
Interim Provost

Jeff Bethke
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer