Plan to return to normal operations

May 4, 2020

This message was sent to students, faculty and staff at the University of Nevada, Reno.

We live in a challenging time, bound by an abundance of caution and informed by the guidance of public health strategies in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The students, faculty and staff of our University have shown themselves to be extraordinarily resilient during this season of challenge and uncertainty. As we navigate this time, we must also be mindful of the timeless principles of our mission. This includes our commitment to an engaging learning, living and working campus environment. The people of our University — students, faculty and staff — share knowledge, experiences and ideas on a daily basis so that we can shape and embrace the future together. Over the past decade, this continuum of vital human interaction has become a transformative agent on our campus. It has enriched and amplified the many successes of our students and the achievements of our faculty and staff. It has made these triumphs all the more human. It is why we have become an institution of compassionately shared experience, always made stronger when we are together.

Although this is a challenging and uncertain time, and being mindful of the fact that public health circumstances are constantly evolving, we have begun the planning process of the return of our students, faculty and staff to campus. Our goal throughout will be to remain in alignment with Gov. Steve Sisolak’s plan for Nevada’s recovery. In a statement released today, Nevada System of Higher Education Chancellor Thom Reilly wrote that, “The Nevada System of Higher Education has begun planning to resume in-person classes for the 2020 fall semester and more limited in person class offerings later this summer (after July 1). NSHE and institution leaders are working closely with health and education experts on various reopening scenarios and phases, with the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff being at the forefront of our concern. These scenarios include resuming some form of in-person instruction, campus housing, and athletics events.”

It is our hope that this summer in preparation for the fall semester, we formulate a safe, sound and reasonable framework featuring a phased approach for returning to campus. This will include providing our students with the rich in-person learning experience that is our educational hallmark. We will strive to maintain the health, safety and well-being of our people as we thoughtfully seek the best ways to conduct normal teaching, research and athletic operations for the fall semester. Working together, we will do all we can to make a safe return campus.


Marc A. Johnson