Guidelines for a productive return to VCU
Once we return, the campus experience will be different than it was before the COVID-19 crisis. We all — the university, the students and the faculty and staff — have a role to play in fostering a safe return. It will be a phased return. Many details have been worked out, and many are still to come. This website will serve as your hub for information and resources.
Planning for fall 2020
Latest news and updates
- Campus preparations: What to expect (Video and VCU News story)
- July 31, 2020: Message to students: Town halls, study abroad, VCU Rec Sports, testing and more
- July 31, 2020: Message to faculty and staff: Town halls, study abroad, K-12 resources, VCU Rec Sports and more
- View recording of the town hall for students held on July 21
- View recording of the town hall for faculty held on July 20
- July 24, 2020 - Reminder about entry testing for move-in
VCU Return to Campus plan
See additional details about VCU's strategy for reopening in our Return to Campus plan. This plan has been reviewed by the State Council of Higher Education and has been found to be compliant in containing the required components of the "Higher Education Reopening Guidance," which was developed in consultation with the Virginia Department of Health.
Our priority is the safety of our students, faculty and staff while executing VCU’s mission. These principles have helped to shape our planning. Our guiding principles include:
- We will follow applicable Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state and VCU Health guidance.
- We will evaluate and implement health and safety supplies and measures to support the phased return.
- We will encourage flexibility in addressing the needs of vulnerable members of the VCU and Richmond community.
- We will monitor the health of our community and respond promptly to any increase in infection rates consistent with the advice of medical and science professionals.
- We will be flexible to address new situations, including anticipated waves of COVID-19 and changes in requirements, guidelines and best practices.
We will have a phased, on-campus re-opening. The first phase begins in June, with subsequent phases to follow in two-week increments. The first phase of students and employees to return will be primarily those in health sciences programs and research. We will start the fall semester on Aug. 17 with a portion of employees continuing to telework.
The following timeline provides a high-level overview of VCU's plans for returning to campus. Additional information and details will be coming from your deans and/or supervisors as additional decisions are made.
- Phase II (June 15) Research begins a phased return with researchers returning to campus at no greater than 25% occupancy capacity; employees supporting clinical rotations return to campus; a limited number of students return for clinical placements; a limited number of student-athletes return
- Phase III (July 1-15)
Approximately 25% of non-designated employees that cannot work well remotely return to campus; researchers return at no greater than 50% occupancy capacity
- Phase III (July 16-31) Approximately 50% of non-designated employees that cannot work well remotely return to campus; researchers return at no greater than 85% occupancy capacity; a limited number of students return for clinical placements and a limited number of student-athletes return throughout month
- Approximately 75% of non-designated employees that cannot work well remotely return to campus; 100% of researchers who cannot work remotely return; students begin returning to campus
- Classes begin (MCV Campus students — follow departmental schedule)
- Approximately 100% of non-designated employees that cannot work well remotely return to campus; all positions needed to support the in-person student experience return to campus; all others continue teleworking.
End of the semester
The last day of classes for both campuses will be Nov. 24. Final exams will take place after the Thanksgiving holiday, running from Nov. 30-Dec. 4 for the MCV Campus, and from Nov. 30-Dec. 7 for the Monroe Park Campus.
Health sciences and other students may be returning after Thanksgiving to resume their clinical placements and similar activities to which they are committed.
VCU is committed to providing a safe, equitable and inclusive environment for all its employees, patients and students. Discrimination or discriminatory harassment is not only unlawful, it is harmful to the well-being of our university community. Our university’s core values, specifically those related to diversity and inclusion, have withstood many difficult situations and trying times, and they will not falter now.
Reports of discrimination, bullying, harassment and/or stereotyping of persons of color or those impacted by COVID-19 or otherwise, will not be tolerated. Be assured that VCU will make every effort to address and prevent the occurrence of unlawful discrimination and, if necessary, take prompt and appropriate action to remedy and prevent its reoccurrence. Every member of our community is asked to:
- Become familiar with the university’s policies on Preventing and Responding to Discrimination and Duty to Report and Protection from Retaliation in the VCU Policy Library.
- Consult with Equity and Access Services or VCU Human Resources for additional guidance on how to file a report of discrimination.
- Contact the Office of Institutional Equity, Effectiveness and Success (IES) on how to address and maintain a culture of inclusion.
- Encourage individuals who may need an ADA accommodation for a known or newly acquired disability, to contact the ADA/504 Coordinator in ADA Services.
- Bookmark and share information on university or community agencies that offer support or services, such as VCU’s Counseling Services or Ombudsperson.
- Explore training and educational opportunities on diversity and inclusion at IExcel Education and through the Office of Institutional Equity, Effectiveness and Success.
- Offer nonjudgmental support and empathy to those affected by current events and this health crisis.
The One VCU: Responsible Together plan outlines a phased approach to our return. VCU’s Task Force groups have been working together around the clock to develop plans and guidelines for a productive return. As guidance, best practices and circumstances change, changes in operations, modes of instruction and services at the university may be required. This site will be updated to reflect those changes.