May 6, 2020
Dear Members of the Yale Community,
This afternoon, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont held a press conference to announce the release of a report containing recommendations for a phased reopening of Connecticut’s colleges and universities. Rick Levin, former president of Yale University, and Linda Lorimer, former vice president for global and strategic initiatives at Yale, chair the Education Committee of the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group and prepared the report in consultation with other committee members.
As I mentioned in April, Provost Scott Strobel and I are working with faculty and staff across Yale to plan for the reactivation of various aspects of campus life. Our planning process will be informed by the recommendations of the report and will continue to involve the input of Yale’s faculty and other experts.
Of the recommendations mentioned in the press conference today, the most immediate one deals with the possible reactivation of research programs with the first wave of limited reopening of businesses in the state, on or after May 20. Social distancing standards and other state-mandated preventive measures will need to be in effect. Provost Strobel will be in touch with you next week about Yale’s timeline and strategy for reactivating laboratories and libraries for non-COVID-19 research. As with all our actions to date, our decisions are being guided by considerations for the health and safety of Yale’s faculty, staff, students, and neighbors.
Other recommendations of the report focused on the reopening of non-residential educational programs, graduate programs, non-essential business operations, and undergraduate education in residential settings. We are all eager to finalize plans in these areas. However, as noted in the governor’s press conference, these decisions depend on public health conditions, the implementation of social distancing and other state public health guidelines on campus, and expanded capacity for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing. Members of Yale’s COVID-19 contingency planning committees are monitoring these factors as they consider options for the coming months and the next academic year. In the meantime, Provost Strobel and I will stay in contact with you about the latest developments, and I will be announcing decisions about the fall no later than early July.
Your ability to maintain the continuity of Yale’s mission and to care for one another in the midst of uncertainty is one of the greatest strengths of our community. I look forward to thanking you in person as soon as we can be together again on campus. Until then, please continue to take good care and be safe.
Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology