Monday, Aug 3, 2020
Dear Rider University Community,
For the past several months we have been diligently monitoring the COVID-19 situation and adhering to all of the guidance provided to us by local, state and federal authorities.
As you know, we are governed by the guidelines established by the State of New Jersey regarding the reopening of our campus. As of today, New Jersey remains in Stage 2 of its multi-phase reopening plan, which mandates very limited in-person learning and working, with an emphasis on remote operations.
While we are all anxious to know when New Jersey will move to Stage 3, we unfortunately do not have that information available to us at this time. Please trust that I understand how difficult this makes it for you to plan for the fall semester. Not knowing when we’ll move to Stage 3 presents mounting challenges for students, faculty, staff and families alike.
What I can tell you right now is that until New Jersey moves to Stage 3, Rider must continue to adhere to state regulations and operate our courses in a remote capacity, just as we have done since the spring. Given this uncertainty, and given that time is of the essence for you to know how Rider will operate in the fall, we have decided that if the state has not announced its plans to move to Stage 3 by the end of the week of August 10, Rider will begin the academic year on August 31 with fully remote instruction. If this is the case, we will communicate plans to you by the end of that week. Should New Jersey move to Stage 3 at some point after that, we will assess the situation accordingly.
We understand that given this new information, some students may need to change their plans, particularly those students who are required to quarantine for 14 days in advance of the semester as per state regulations. For example, if you were planning to begin quarantining on campus on August 8, you may choose to still arrive on that date, or you may choose to postpone your quarantine until a later date. Students who must quarantine should plan for their first date of interaction with others on campus 14 days from the date of arrival.
Students who are impacted by New Jersey’s travel and quarantine restrictions will receive more detailed information directly today.
In the event of a transition to fully remote instruction for the fall semester, we will maintain housing for students on campus within the availability of our overall housing capacity guidelines. Changes may need to be made in room assignments to reduce overall occupancy on campus. If the University transitions to remote instruction, we will communicate next steps related to housing at that time.
Students who have applied for and been approved for housing for the fall semester will receive information this week from Residence Life on how to schedule a socially-distanced move-in appointment.
Bills for the fall semester will be issued later this week and will be due on August 26. Questions regarding fall bills, financial aid or related questions can be directed to One Stop Services at [email protected] or 609-896-5360.
Faculty and staff can expect to receive further information from Human Resources later this week regarding our campus staffing plans.
While I hope this information provides you some reassurance that more definitive information about our fall semester will be forthcoming soon, if this pandemic has taught us one thing, it is that flexibility and patience are keys to managing our day-to-day lives. I thank each of you for your continued patience and flexibility as we navigate the myriad of challenges posed by COVID-19.
Please direct any questions you may have to [email protected] and we will provide the best answers we can with the most current information available.
I wish you continued good health and I truly hope we can be together on campus again very soon.
Gregory G. Dell’Omo, Ph.D.