ASU Reopening Guide
A Message from the President
In March, the COVID-19 crisis disrupted the normal operation of Alabama State University. In the wake of this pandemic, consultation with the Board of Trustees and collaboration between the President’s Administrative Cabinet and a special Task Force, including federal and state health officials, led to the decision to allow students to return home and to close ASU’s campus prior to the end of spring semester. Because of the challenges and uncertainty of COVID-19, this decision was made to preserve the health and safety of our faculty, staff and students.
Our academic leaders worked efficiently to move instruction to online and other alternative delivery platforms for the completion of the spring semester and for the summer session. Our professors and students are to be applauded for adapting to the challenges that were before them. The University’s staff swiftly transitioned to flexible schedules, alternating between teleworking and on-campus work schedules, while continuing to provide services to our students.
As we have arrived at a pivotal point of planning for the fall semester and the reopening of our campus, including the opportunity to welcome our students back to Alabama State University, the health and safety of the faculty, staff and student body continue to be our top priority. With this in mind, we have developed the ASU 2020 Reopening Guide, which is a culmination of weeks of consultation with health officials, participation in national webinars and research of best practices by cabinet members, academic deans, department heads and other relevant areas of the campus. Feedback from University stakeholders was obtained through the ASU COVID-19 survey administered by the Office of Institutional Research and has been utilized to assist in the development of the strategies to maintain a safe campus environment.
Furthermore, the Guide is a phased approach intended to inform the campus community about access to the campus, as well as health and safety priorities. It further articulates the responsibility of each person on campus to help maintain a healthy environment and prevent the spread of COVID-19. It also contains critical information relative to each division’s operations.
While we are excited about returning to campus, the re-entry must be done under the auspices of a new normal; therefore, we are committed to taking extreme measures to ensure that we provide a safe environment for all of our ASU family and the community at large. The contents of this document provide guidelines under which we will operate beginning this fall. Notably, this “new normal” will involve behavioral changes for the campus community, which will be critical to our safe reopening, as well as modifications to student interactions and the student experience. To that end, ASU will be a Mask Mandatory campus in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Wearing masks (or face coverings) aligns with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).
Finally, I would like to thank all of those who worked so diligently on the development of this Guide as a working document. As we continue to move forward, the institution will rely on the latest guidance from the CDC, ADPH and health experts to adjust and modify our guided approach. To ensure that you are keeping up with relevant University communications, you are welcome to visit our ASU COVID-19 web page for updates as they become available (https://www.alasu.edu/coronavirus-covid-19-updates). Updates related to the reopening of the campus may be found at www.alasu.edu/asureopening.
I am confident that our continued work will lead us to our goal of keeping our campus community healthy and safe. We will remain focused on moving ASU forward, and we will emerge from this time of crisis as a stronger Hornet Nation.
Stay Aware, Stay Safe and Stay Hornet Strong!
President Quinton T. Ross, Jr.