Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - 12:00
A message from President Dell’Omo and Dean Bidle to the campus community
Dear Rider Community,
We are pleased to announce Resolved and Ready, Rider’s plan for a safe, enriching and adaptive academic year. We thank our Fall 2020 Planning Task Force for their tireless efforts during the past few weeks to create a comprehensive plan that balances our primary concern for the safety of all campus constituents with our mission of providing a vibrant living and learning on-campus experience for the students we serve.
Though New Jersey is currently in Stage 2 of Gov. Murphy’s “The Road Back” plan for reopening the state, Rider's Resolved and Ready plan was developed based on the assumption the state will move to Stage 3 prior to the start of the fall semester. As the nature of the coronavirus is ever-changing, the plan is an evolving framework of ideas and recommendations that may be adapted as required.
The task force consisted of over 70 administrators, faculty, staff and students, serving on five working groups (Academics, Safe Return to Work, Student Experience, Legal Considerations and Finance & Enrollment). A number of key considerations have guided the task force’s planning. First and foremost, the plan will adhere to all federal, state and local guidelines.
Resolved and Ready addresses a number of areas critical for a safe on-campus experience including social distancing, face covering requirements, frequent cleaning and sanitizing, adequate supplies of personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies, and protocols for reporting, isolating and quarantining those positive for or exposed to COVID-19, among others.
Two of the most notable changes to academics will be an adjustment to the academic calendar and a variety of delivery methods for academic instruction. To allow more instructional time during the warmer months, prior to the start of the anticipated flu season in the colder months, the semester will begin one week earlier than originally scheduled on August 31 and end with a week of remote instruction the week after Thanksgiving.
At the discretion of faculty, classes will be delivered fully online, via a hybrid model of some in-person and some online classes, or fully in-person to assure a safe and gradual return to the classroom. A remote option will be available for those with individual circumstances and concerns.
In consultation with our healthcare partners, we are currently developing plans regarding testing and contact tracing. Further information can be found in the plan. We will communicate additional details as they are finalized.
The past few months have presented an array of challenges and created a climate of uncertainty in each of our daily lives. Resolved and Ready speaks to the agility we all must embrace in order to maintain a safe and vibrant learning environment for the fall. As the semester grows closer, all updates will be communicated to the Rider community and available on the website at rider.edu/resolved-and-ready.
We will provide additional information in the coming weeks.
Gregory G. Dell’Omo, Ph.D.
Kelly Bidle, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Chair, Fall 2020 Planning Task Force