Update on July; Fall Courses and Calendar

Dear Purdue Faculty and Staff,

With our spring semester now complete, I will take one final opportunity to express my gratitude for all each of you did to make the abrupt transition to remote learning possible. While no one wanted to finish the semester this way, your efforts made all the difference, allowing our students to continue to make academic progress despite the COVID-19 pandemic. As we now turn our attention to summer and fall, I wanted to share some important information with you.

July Events: All July events on campus will be canceled, including conferences, camps, summer programs, etc. All summer course modules scheduled to begin in July will be conducted online. Summer College for High School Students will also be conducted online. As was the case in May and June, limited exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for small-scale experiential learning following a public health review and approval (contact Jenna Rickus, interim vice provost for teaching and learning, for details on exception policy). The other exceptions here are our Summer Start and Early Start programs, which begin July 10. These programs will move ahead as planned, with the health recommendations of the Safe Campus Task Force implemented. Please note that some on-campus student activities and programs will restart in July, and additional information on these will be shared when available. Campus faculty with Extension appointments and Extension educators will follow Purdue Extension event guidance. Athletics will continue to follow conference and NCAA guidance. Information on fall events will be shared in the coming weeks.

Fall Course Development: We will use the summer to work with faculty on course development for fall. Jenna Rickus is working with a team of 20+ faculty on the course development program. More information will be forthcoming very soon, but more than 250 courses have already been through the IMPACT-X program over the past several weeks in preparation for summer instruction. We will be working with faculty on about 500 additional courses this summer – both fully online courses for our students who cannot come to campus and hybrid courses that embed what we are calling resilient pedagogy for our students on campus.

Fall Academic Calendar: As you know, our Board of Trustees passed a resolution last week that required a fall calendar without the typical Labor Day holiday and October break, and finished face-to-face instruction (but not the semester) prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. This was done to minimize the mass exit and return of students these breaks created. After consulting with University Senate leadership and Educational Policy Committee, and student leadership (PSG and PGSG), our fall calendar will be as follows:

  • Aug. 24 – Classes Begin
  • Nov. 24 – Face-to-face Instruction Ends
  • Nov. 25-28 – Thanksgiving Break
  • Dec. 5 – Classes End
  • Dec. 7-12 – Final Exams
  • Dec. 13 – Commencement
  • Dec. 15 – Grades Due

This calendar allows for “dead” week (something I want to get renamed) and final exams after Thanksgiving. Please note that the campus will not close after Thanksgiving break, the residence halls will be open, etc. — we simply will not have face-to-face instruction after Thanksgiving. The modified calendar will not impact pay or the number of holidays for faculty and staff. Look for additional details next week in Purdue Today. 

Campus Preparations: We continue to work through the list of recommendations made by the Safe Campus Task Force. We are working diligently to provide guidance to the campus on items such as PPE requirements, classroom occupancy, protocols for high-risk students/staff/faculty, and many, many more items. To that end, I would ask that you check your email regularly over the summer, even if you are not on a summer contract. There will be important information shared during the summer as our plans for a return to residential instruction move ahead.

Again, my thanks for your heroic efforts this spring. I wish you a productive and enjoyable summer and look forward to staying in touch as we continue developing our plans for Fall 2020.

Best regards,

Jay T. Akridge
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Diversity