May 31, 2020

Dear UD Community,

As the state of Delaware prepares to begin Phase 1 of its economic reopening on Monday, June 1, 2020, I would like to provide you with an update on operating plans at the University of Delaware.

Under the state’s Phase 1 plan, schools remain closed, strict physical distancing is required, non-essential travel is restricted, and working remotely is encouraged. In alignment with state guidance, please be advised that UD is extending its remote work plan for most employees through July 15.

Recognizing that some employees may be returning to their campus workplace, as discussed below, the University is implementing UD COVID-19 Return to Campus Guidelines, which apply to all UD employees (faculty, staff and student employees) when working on campus. Employees may not return to campus unless specifically directed to do so by their supervisor or another authorized department, and guidance may change at any time as conditions and/or circumstances warrant.

More information pertaining to guidance for specific segments of the University community is listed below.

Academic Units

While all faculty and staff members in academic units will continue to work remotely, we are working toward the following phased re-openings during the summer, guided by a focus on the safety of our community and with a commitment to ensuring academic continuity and quality.

  • Physical Therapy and Nurse Managed Primary Care Clinics are currently offering telehealth appointments and planning for in-person patient care for early June.
  • Early Learning Center (ELC) is planned to reopen July 1 with more information to come as July approaches.
  • Summer instruction will continue online.
  • Virtual services for the Library will continue until further notice.
  • Virtual visits for the Visitor Center will also continue until further notice, as other decisions around campus reopening are made.
  • The UDairy Creamery is currently only open for online orders for mail delivery or pickup by appointment. We anticipate more service to be available later in the summer.

Faculty and staff who need one-time access to their offices will be allowed to do so for 30 minutes by appointment. Requests should be submitted to their Dean or Vice President, who will submit them to the Provost’s Office for review.


Reactivation of research on campus begins during the first half of June, with Phase 1. It is directed to time-sensitive research, where further disruption would cause catastrophic data loss or delays, with examples including seasonal fieldwork and long-term longitudinal studies. Decisions for advancing to additional phases of research will be based on the status of the COVID-19 situation, state guidance and the success of the present phase. Additional communications will be issued to the research community in advance of each phase as it prepares to open. All research that can be performed remotely should continue remotely. Only 10%-15% of UD’s research community — several hundred researchers at most — is anticipated to return to research labs on campus, at partner facilities or field sites during the first phase of research reactivation. Guidelines and resources for the research community are posted online.

Campus Operations

As research activities gradually resume operations on campus, staff providing support for laboratories from Environmental Health and Safety, Custodial Services, Maintenance and Operations, and Information Technology will begin to return to campus as directed by their supervisors.

Student Life and Athletics

As previously communicated, move-out for students in residence halls will continue. Also, Student Health Services will continue to be available to students during daytime hours.

Within the past week, the NCAA approved a return-to-campus date of June 1 for all student-athletes. Athletics is currently working with University partners to coordinate and plan for the safe return of UD student-athletes to campus this summer. More information will be forthcoming.

We will continue to keep you apprised of further developments as we move through our phased approach to reopening the campus over the next several months in alignment with guidance from public health and state/federal authorities. As recently communicated, our Campus Reopening and Fall Planning Task Force will maintain a disciplined approach to determine the best path forward for the safe and healthy resumption of UD operations. Once again, thank you all for your patience and flexibility.


signature of President Dennis Assanis

Dennis Assanis

University of Delaware   •   Newark, DE   •