August 24, 2020: Video Message About Reactivating Campus

Dear campus community,

We are beginning to welcome new and returning students to campus—an event I am both excited for and nervous about. Our abiding concern is for health and safety as we enter this unprecedented semester, and it is critically important that we all do our part to keep one another safe.

Please take a moment to watch this short video, on our Reactivating Campus website, that reiterates some of our safety measures. I also encourage you to review the Code of Conduct for students, and the Community Agreement for employees. Each details the University’s policies and expectations for members of the Wesleyan community that must be adhered to as conditions of being on campus.

August 10, 2020: Important Information for Fall Semester

Dear students,

As our staff makes final preparations for students’ arrival to campus only two weeks from now, we look forward to the start of the semester with a mix of excitement and anxiety. Most of us have longed for the day when we can be together again on campus since we were abruptly forced apart by the pandemic last spring, yet the worsening public health conditions in much of the country are deeply troubling. Thankfully, Connecticut continues to fare well with decreasing COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths—largely thanks to the continued diligence of our state’s residents in following the rules meant to keep the public safe.

Like the state, Wesleyan has its own set of rules and expectations that all students, faculty, and staff will be required to follow. We write today to remind you of these policies and practices, as well as to drive home how serious we will be about enforcing them.

July 8, 2020: Reactivating Campus in Fall

Dear friends,

As promised in my June message, I am writing now with more specificity concerning our plans to reactivate campus in late August. Since our first priority is the health and safety of our community members, these plans may have to be adjusted in response to changing public health conditions. Whatever these challenging conditions may be, we intend to provide an excellent educational experience (on campus or remotely). We have developed a robust set of resources on our website about our campus reactivation, including information on instruction and campus life, health and safety, and returning to work on campus.

June 15, 2020: Reactivating Campus (Faculty/Staff)

Dear friends,

What a spring it has been! The specter of bigotry has been viciously apparent in the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, and the energy of anti-racism has swept across the nation in demonstrations in large cities and small towns. At the same time, much uncertainty remains as the pandemic continues to increase in intensity in several states. Amidst all the pain, anger and anxiety, we have continued to plan, and I write now with an update on our thinking thus far. Given the current public health trajectory for Connecticut, we are hoping to welcome most students, faculty and staff back to Middletown in safe conditions in late August…

June 15, 2020: Reactivating Campus (Students)

Dear friends,

What a spring it has been! The specter of bigotry has been viciously apparent in the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, and the energy of anti-racism has swept across the nation in demonstrations in large cities and small towns. At the same time, much uncertainty remains as the pandemic continues to increase in intensity in several states. Amidst all the pain, anger and anxiety, we have continued to plan, and I write now with an update on our thinking thus far. Given the current public health trajectory for Connecticut, we are hoping to welcome most students, faculty and staff back to Middletown in safe conditions in late August…

May 26, 2020: Update on Financial Impact of COVID-19

Dear Friends,

Following an initial April message, we held a virtual forum to elaborate on and discuss the financial impact of COVID-19 on our University. While we could not answer every question as specifically as we might have liked given the uncertainties of the unfolding situation, your questions have been—and continue to be—invaluable in helping us maintain and advance our important work. Please keep them coming!

We write to you today with an update on several areas…

May 19, 2020: Governor’s Report on Reopening Colleges and Universities

From: Michael S. Roth and Nicole Stanton

Subject: Governor’s Report on Reopening Colleges and Universities

To the Wesleyan community,

As you may know, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont has announced a plan for a phased reopening of some Connecticut businesses and offices, which would include some university research labs, for Wednesday, May 20.

Wesleyan is making plans for faculty and staff to return to work including reopening research labs in accordance with state guidelines. We expect this to occur in phases, beginning with a resumption of research activities by some faculty and graduate students, followed later by a return to campus of undergraduate student researchers living in Connecticut who don’t require University housing. Undergraduates already remaining in campus housing are also permitted to participate in the first phase of research activities. The precise dates of these phases have not yet been determined. Detailed information regarding research labs reopening is forthcoming from Joe Knee, dean of Division III.

Faculty and staff who are currently working from home should continue to do so. Access to some buildings remain restricted until the University can ensure compliance with the State’s guidelines including cleaning, signage and furniture spacing. Additional information about offices and departments is forthcoming…

May 6, 2020: Commencement Update

From: Michael S. Roth
Subject: Commencement Update

Dear friends,

I begin by saying (again) how impressed I am, though not surprised, by how Wesleyan has stepped up in the face of current challenges. Ours is a strong and caring community indeed. 

Every year we celebrate Wesleyan as an empowering community when we confer degrees upon graduating seniors. This year, at noon onSunday, May 24, the Commencement ceremony will be (as it must) virtual. We have arranged for the honorary degree recipients and our student speaker to deliver their remarks in a series of pre-recorded videos. My remarks and the conferral of degrees will be live…

May 1, 2020: Campus Update

From: Michael S. Roth
Subject: Campus Update

Dear students,

I hope that you are staying safe and healthy in these challenging times. I write today to share our current thinking on the fall semester and our response to COVID-19.

I want you to know that while we are planning for a number of different scenarios, we remain hopeful that we will return to the full residential experience that we treasure so much this fall. Of course, the welfare of our students, faculty and staff is paramount, and Wesleyan will not resume normal operations until all proper public health precautions have been taken. These include building capacity to test people who study or work on campus, provide supportive isolation to those who fall ill, and minimize opportunities for the spread of any illnesses. 

We are working hard on this now and, rest assured, we will do our utmost to make our campus safe. That said, there are many uncertainties, some of which should be resolved in the next two months or so. For this reason, we will update you all in early June and expect to make a decision about a residential fall term in early July. We hope it will be a traditional semester, but we also expect to offer robust remote alternatives, should they be helpful for some students. When we announce our decision about fall offerings, it will be crucial for our planning to hear quickly from you—within two weeks of our announcement—if  you intend to ask for a leave for any part of the academic year…