USNH Board of Trustees Affirms Support for Residential Campuses to Reopen for the Fall Semester

Aug. 5, 2020

Dear Members of the UNH Community –
The University System of New Hampshire Board of Trustees just voted to support our plans for the fall semester. Below you can find a statement from USNH.
I want to thank everyone who has been working tirelessly on our effort to welcome students, faculty and staff back to our campuses for the fall semester. It has been an enormous undertaking. 
We have a lot more work ahead of us in August and we will continue to share additional information as we fine tune our planning.
I look forward to the start of the academic year.
James W. Dean Jr.

The University System of New Hampshire Board of Trustees Affirms Support for Residential Campuses to Reopen for the Fall Semester

Tonight, at a specially called meeting, the USNH Board of Trustees voted 18 to 1 to support the presidents’ decisions to open their institutions to on-campus and in-person educational programming for the coming fall semester and will continue to monitor the evolving conditions and public health guidance. Robust and aggressive plans are in place to mitigate the risks to our communities and welcome students and employees back at the University of New Hampshire, Plymouth State University and Keene State College. 
“It’s been an extraordinary and thorough effort to prepare for the fall. The board deeply appreciates the fine work of our presidents and their teams, and the support and guidance of the governor and his team. We know this will be a journey and, in many ways, we’re just getting started. This vote today is an important milestone in our journey to continuously improve our plans and capabilities, track and adapt developments on and off campus, and, especially, monitor the course of the virus and respond rapidly to conditions as they evolve,” said Joe Morone, chair, USNH Board of Trustees.
The USNH leadership teams, task forces, students, employees, surrounding communities, law enforcement and state leaders have worked to build COVID-19 processes, practices and evaluation tools to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 with the goal of returning our campus communities for the fall 2020 semester.  Throughout the last several weeks, the USNH Board of Trustees has made clear that the decision to open residential campuses must not be driven by financial considerations. All plans had to be based on a careful balancing of our duty to fulfill our public education mission with our responsibility to preserve public health. Campus plans have been informed by state and national experts and guidance from among others, the CDC, WHO, state epidemiology, NH DHHS and higher education professional organizations.
“Our primary objectives are to return to our core mission of serving the post-secondary educational and economic needs of the State of New Hampshire,” said Todd Leach, chancellor, USNH. “Together with our returning students, faculty and local communities, we embrace the collaboration among all of us to keep each other safe with processes to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus.”

All residential campuses are planning to deliver blended (online and face-to-face) program delivery, ready to move to fully remote learning if conditions warrant that level of action. Granite State College will continue online learning through December 2020.