Please see below for a note that was sent to our students today.
In the midst of reflecting on this past weekend’s first-ever virtual graduation ceremony, recognizing the many end-of-year program celebrations, and viewing today’s University Commencement, I want to address a separate topic that many of you have asked about: Fall Semester. Please know that both leaders of this School and the University have been focused on Fall, and this email will serve as a status update on our ongoing planning.
Similar to how we moved all programs to online learning this Summer, any decision(s) we make on the Fall term will be in accordance with the direction we receive from the University, who, in turn, follows the advice provided by both public health authorities and the government.
Although the details for Fall are not yet determined, President Bollinger announced last month that there will be instruction in the 2020-2021 academic year and Columbia University will be “open, but we will be open in new ways, including those we have not yet discovered.” Following that April 9 message, the Provost established University working groups on public health, education, facilities, campus life, and laboratory research to inform University decision making and ensure our community’s health and safety.
Here at SPS, we are proactively planning for several possible scenarios, including:
* In-person classes on campus (including any new social distancing protocols);
* A continuation of online instruction; or
* A combination of in-person and online instruction for some or all of the semester.
Regardless of the instructional modality, our students attending class in the Fall will encounter a robust curriculum, instruction from world-class faculty, and access to a roster of professional resources, ranging from insightful events to career enhancement services through our Career Design Lab.
With the assistance of our Senior Vice Dean, Dr. Steven Cohen, and the rest of our Executive Committee, we will continue to keep you apprised of developments as additional information about Fall becomes available. Additionally, the Division of Student Affairs is a resource you should continue to leverage.
Whether engaging in ongoing conversations with our student government leaders, reviewing the inbound queries on the ShareWithSPS [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu alias, or updating the student FAQ on our COVID-19 Insights & Information page, we will continue to review your Fall-related questions and look to respond in an efficient and effective manner. In the meantime, I wish you good health and success in your continuing academic and professional pursuits.
Please continue to take care of yourselves.
Jason Wingard, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor