Update - Preparing for Fall Semester

July 8, 2020 - 10:53am

Humboldt State University would like to share a few important updates and reminders as the campus prepares to welcome back students, faculty, and staff for the Fall semester.  

As always, the progression of students toward their degree and the health and safety of our campus community are paramount and drive key decisions that are being made in conjunction with state and local partners. 

Among those decisions is limiting the number of people who can be on campus at the same time -- about 30 percent of our normal capacity. With this threshold and safety in mind, teams of faculty, staff, and administrators who represent departments across campus have been charged with planning for a hybrid virtual and face-to-face approach for the Fall semester. 

  • President’s Administrative Team (PAT) includes the President, divisional Vice Presidents, Chief of Staff, and Athletic Director. The group is responsible for overall leadership for the University, including setting overall priorities for the Fall semester.

  • Emergency Operation Center (EOC) is organized into a legally mandated structure used by government organizations nationwide. It is responsible for immediate and ongoing campus response to emergencies and crises.

  • Advanced Planning Team is developing operations plans, policies, and strategies for reopening campus. The team takes into consideration needs related to instruction, staffing, logistics, planning for an outbreak and other emergency scenarios, and communications.

  • Fall Instructional Transition Team (FITT) creates a bridge between the EOC/Advanced Planning groups and Academic Affairs to address the logistical realities of delivering face-to-face instruction during the pandemic. FITT will address the intricacies of how the campus will support our academic programs, special accreditation requirements, labs, and courses through assessing student, faculty, space, facilities, environmental health and safety, and ITS support needs.

They’re working closely together to assess and coordinate everything from the academic experience and residence life to health guidelines. Here are highlights of what’s happened so far and works in progress:

  • HSU recently announced it will offer limited face-to-face instruction. While most courses will be taught virtually, HSU is offering 311 course sections of 151 distinct courses with an in-person component. The fall class schedule, which will be updated throughout the summer, can be found here.

  • We’re developing broad health and safety standards that outline safe distancing, cleanliness, facial coverings, self-monitoring, self-isolating, and quarantining if necessary.

  • A repopulation plan is being refined and, once approved, will be implemented in the coming weeks. This plan takes a phased approach for the safe return of students, faculty, and staff. It outlines the process of bringing back essential employees and prioritizes the reopening of services. More information on the process will be provided in future communications.

  • Housing & Residence Life and Dining Services announced details of housing assignments, room accommodations, residence life and housing operations. Residence halls will house up to 1,000 students—about half of capacity—in single-occupancy rooms.  All courses with a face-to-face component will incorporate virtual teaching and learning in the first two weeks of the semester to allow for quarantine of those traveling to campus if necessary. HSU will also develop an “HSU Standards of Social Responsibility,” a set of safety and health standards primarily designed for students coming to Humboldt County from other regions. 

  •  Information related to most aspects of the reopening campus will be centrally housed on a website, which will be launched in the coming weeks. 

This has been a highly collaborative effort that draws on the expertise and feedback of on- and off-campus stakeholders. While we’ve made significant progress, we know there’s much more to be done. 

Over the next several weeks, as we continue to prepare for the Fall, there will be increased activity on campus. However, please remember that HSU is operating virtually and still closed to the general public. Most employees should continue telecommuting and not return to their offices unless approval has been received by their appropriate administrator. In addition to state and county protocols, it’s also important the campus community adheres to policies issued by the University, no matter what stage the county is in.

We recognize the uncertainty the pandemic has caused and that you may have more questions. More details will be coming in future communications throughout the summer as we continue to make several important decisions in the coming weeks.


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