To plan for the fall 2020 semester, Temple convened a Return Team, which is made up of representatives from every area of our campus. This group meets daily to build out scenarios and plan for what campus life could look like over the next several months. The team is committed to maximizing safety while ensuring that quality teaching, education and research continues to take place.

Transition to Online Learning

On Sept. 3, President Englert and Provost Epps announced that all classes will pivot to online learning. All in-person courses, except for essentials-only courses, have been suspended for the fall semester. 

We will continue to follow the guidelines and restrictions put in place through local, state and federal governments, as well as guidance issued by public health organizations, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Returning to Work on Campus

A Q&A with Human Resources has helpful information for faculty who may have questions about what to expect and how they can prepare themselves for work on campus.

  • Flexible work arrangements: If you need accommodations or other arrangements for health reasons, full- and part-time employees can put in a request through TUportal (check the Return to Campus tab to access Temple’s flexible work arrangements guidelines) or speak to your manager or supervisor.
  • Employee safety protocols: Make sure that you have familiarized yourself with all of the safety protocols before you return. They are available and updated regularly on TUportal and the return site, and information is also sent out in emails from university leadership.

If you encounter someone who is not practicing the health pillars, we encourage you to follow the Five Rs: remind, request, refuse, reschedule and refer. Remember, we are all in this together so that we can be together.

Required Online Training

Temple’s Office of Human Resources developed an online Learning and Development training module for employees to complete prior to returning to campus. The required training emphasizes the university’s four public health pillars, what is expected of employees when they return, what measures to take if employees are sick and need to report symptoms, and more. To access the training, select "Human Resources Training" from the TUapplications channel in TUportal.

Campus Protocols

Faculty members may have concerns about engagement with students throughout the semester and that is understandable. While we have all been working hard to ensure that this academic year’s experience will be safe, that goal cannot be fully achieved without the cooperation of our students. Temple’s administration has outlined protocols for the student body to follow when on campus, including the following.

  • Students are encouraged to avoid high-risk situations, practice healthy behaviors and to continue to do so whenever they are on campus.
  • A team of student public health ambassadors has been assembled to support students in their efforts to follow the four pillars of public health. A social contract app will also send reminders to students through TUportal and the TUmobile app.
  • Both asymptomatic and symptomatic COVID-19 testing will be available for faculty, students and staff at the new testing center in Morgan Hall.

These protocols can also be found in TUportal. For more information on the changes we’ve made around campus, watch the video below.

Fall Scenarios and Return Phases

Temple employed a phased return approach for the semester. Each phase allowed additional people on campus in strictly regulated fashion. To ensure a healthy environment for our students, faculty and staff, measures aimed at protecting public health—centered around four pillars of use of face coverings, physical distancing, hand hygiene and personal health monitoring—are in place. 

When employed, a phased approach allows us to assess our protocols and ensure that they produce the best possible results through each of the phases of reopening. All planning efforts and continued support of state and local authorities allow for a highly fluid situation. The university was ready to pivot to primarily online instruction at any point.

Scenarios considered explored a range of possibilities, from a slightly modified traditional semester, to a blend of smaller classes, continued online teaching and gatherings that are limited in size, or anticipate greater use of online options. The four scenarios are reasonably normal, restricted semester, essentials only and comprehensive remote. All plans have included contingencies for changing conditions over time. The university consistently monitors and responds to new information about COVID-19 and its impacts, and are prepared to deviate from outlined plans in order to take swift actions to keep our community safe. The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff are always our top priority.