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Statement of University of Utah Academic Senate Officers regarding the draft USHE “Phased Guidelines for USHE to Maximize Public Health and Welcome Students Back to Campus.”

May 14, 2020

 

We appreciate the proposed Guidelines prepared by the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget and recognize the wisdom of providing easy to understand guidance to help inform University and College administrators, faculty, students and staff on the challenges of safely resuming campus operations this coming Fall.  We write to simply note that while the Guidelines are understandably general in nature, each specific institution of higher education may have unique and individual circumstances that would legitimately warrant a modification or supplementation of the Guidelines.  Moreover, at a large, complex, multi-campus research institution like the University of Utah, there may be need for deviation from the Guidelines between different campuses or even between different colleges, departments or locations within a single campus.  We request that this needed flexibility be expressly and affirmatively reflected in the Guidelines.  Perhaps the Disclaimer language should be modified to expressly recognize that institutions have the authority to modify the recommended Guidelines to fit their circumstances.