Return to Campus - June 15, 2020

Dear Kean Community,
As New Jersey begins a phased reopening, the leaders of Kean University are working diligently to plan a smooth and safe return to campus in Fall 2020.

The President’s Task Force, which includes staff, faculty and students, is looking at all aspects of campus life – from classes to residence halls, athletics, offices and more – along with CDC and state guidelines to determine the safest path forward as we look to welcome students, faculty and administrators back to an on-campus living and learning environment.

Although plans are subject to change due to the unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to begin preparing all employees, faculty and students for their return to campus. Below you will find some general information on our current strategies.

Please visit the new Return to Campus page on the University website often for updates.

Return to In-Person Instruction

  • The University currently plans to begin classes on September 1 as scheduled.
  • Pending state guidelines, classes are expected to be conducted on campus and in hybrid formats with the exception of those courses previously designated to run solely online.
  • In-person classes will be run in accordance with social distancing guidelines. That means faculty and students will be required to wear face masks/face coverings and will be properly distanced within classrooms or labs.
  • Campus spaces, including classrooms and labs, are being evaluated to provide for proper social distancing.
  • Signage and markers will be placed throughout campus to remind the community of social distancing requirements.
  • A washable mask will be provided for each student who needs one prior to the start of classes. Details on how to receive your mask will be provided closer to opening day. Students may also use their own masks.
  •  All faculty members have been informed of the mandatory requirement to prepare for providing instruction remotely via Blackboard should it become necessary to shift to remote education because of changing health conditions.

Return to Work

  • Kean’s senior management team is planning to return to campus this month with other managers and staff expected to follow in a phased-in process beginning in July.
  • All employees will receive individual instructions on when they are expected to return to campus. Staggered arrival and departure times as well as staggered work schedules will be developed and implemented using both state and CDC guidance where available.
  • Kean employees and any vendors or contractors working on campus will be expected to wear face masks/face coverings when in the presence of others.
  • A washable face mask will be provided for each employee. Employees may also wear their own masks on campus.
  • Workspaces across the University may be rearranged, and/or new dividers and staging put in place, to provide for proper social distancing in accordance with state and CDC guidelines.

Campus Life

  • Residential housing will be available for students who wish to live on campus in the Fall. Capacity will be reduced to maintain social distancing so students who wish to secure housing should apply by July 1. Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, space permitting.
  • Some communal spaces within the residence halls may be closed to limit exposure.
  • Dining services will be available to students with enhanced mobile ordering and additional take-out options as well as social distancing in the dining facilities.
  • Student services and programming will be available to the extent that they can be safely conducted under state guidelines. More information will follow as the Fall approaches.

Health and Safety

  • The University’s top priority is to safeguard the health and safety of the campus community.
  • Everyone shares the responsibility to follow heath guidelines and protocols.
  • Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should seek immediate medical attention and not return to campus until they are cleared by a doctor.
  • There will be several noticeable physical changes to campus upon reopening, including plexiglass dividers and designated spots for distancing while waiting in lines.
  • Signage will be posted throughout the campus to remind the community of health protocols.
  • The University has also established enhanced cleaning, sanitation and disinfecting campuswide.
  • Student Health Services is working closely with local health officials to establish tracing protocols in the event of cases on campus.

Financial Support

  • The University recognizes that COVID-19 has placed tremendous financial strain on families and is offering no-fee payment plans, waiving late payment and registration fees and establishing flexible payment arrangements to help. Contact billing@kean.edu for assistance.
  • Financial Aid staff are also reviewing FAFSA submissions for any students who have experienced COVID-related job or income loss in their families. Contact finaid@kean.edu for assistance.
  • Students who were impacted by COVID-19 are also reminded that they can apply for a CARES Act grant. More information can be found here.

I am so proud of the way our community has responded to the COVID-19 crisis and I have no doubt that Kean will emerge even stronger once this chapter in our history is behind us.

As many of you know, after 17 years, I will be ending my service as president of Kean at the end of June. My successor, Lamont Repollet, Ed.D., currently the commissioner of the N.J. Department of Education, is both well prepared and well suited to carry this University forward with all the challenges that COVID-19 poses. He is fully committed to the mission of Kean University, as I have been. He will begin his presidency on July 1, 2020.

The University will continue to share more information on reopening as the work continues through the summer and beyond. Visit Kean’s Return to Campus website for more information.

Wishing you all good health and continued success,

Dawood Farahi, Ph.D.
President, Kean University