University making plans to return to campus, post green phase

From the Office of the President
Distributed: 5/14/2020
Posted: 05/18/2020

Dear Carlow University Faculty and Staff,

I want to share with you an update on our plans for the fall 2020 semester considering the current global pandemic. As you may be aware, Governor Wolf has approved the transition of Allegheny County into “yellow” phase on May 15, allowing our region to take small steps toward reopening. As we understand, university face-to-face instruction will be permitted once Allegheny County is moved to “green”. We are seeing hopeful signs.

To be clear, we are actively making plans to return to campus in the fall in anticipation that Allegheny County will move to “green” phase sometime this summer. The decision to return will be based upon guidelines from the CDC, State Health Department and Governor Wolf’s office. Details of our re-population planning will be communicated in June as details are confirmed.

The pandemic continues to be an evolving situation. Since March, our COVID-19 Rapid Response Team has been working to monitor the situation. Senior leadership, faculty and staff across the University are diligently working to evaluate all viable options for fall 2020 course delivery. We are working in close collaboration with State officials, universities in the region, public health officers and experts in the field.

Our decisions will be guided by five key principles:

  1. The health and well-being of our community will remain priority one
  2. Plans will mirror all official public health guidelines (e.g., the CDC, Governor Wolf’s Office, State Department of Health)
  3. All decisions will be data driven, based on science and will be flexible and measured
  4. Technology will be used as available to inform initiatives
  5. The University standards of quality and care will not waiver

These principles will permeate operations throughout the university, including but not limited to, course delivery models, residence life, athletics, academic coaching and student tutoring support. This pandemic has shown it can both evolve quickly and be disruptive, creating an unprecedented time of uncertainty. Recognizing that this potential may exist for the foreseeable future, we will remain flexible, responsive, and calculated in how we approach the upcoming fall. We are working around the clock to facilitate small classroom interaction, faculty collaboration, peer engagement, and purposeful experiential learning opportunities.

We will continue to provide you with updates and encourage you to continue reading emails over the summer months given the fact that many things are rapidly changing. True to our mission of mercy, we remain committed to supporting the well-being and vitality of all our students, and the entire campus community.


Suzanne K. Mellon PhD