DuBois Library at UMass Amherst. Photo:

Source: UMass News and Media

The University of Massachusetts Amherst released on Monday a detailed Preliminary Planning Report as it moves to finalize plans to reopen campus in the fall. Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy will announce final plans by June 30th.

In May, Subbaswamy charged six administrative working groups, under the direction of Provost John McCarthy, with developing a set of recommendations for the fall 2020 reopening process.  On Monday, he shared with the campus community their Preliminary Planning Report, drawn from the extensive research and engagement of approximately 100 faculty, staff and students who served on the groups, as well as the Chancellor’s Preliminary Assessment of the university’s path forward.

UMass has been conducting a series of Virtual Campus Forums to answer questions on fall preparations and has been taking feedback from the public through Friday June 12.

The preliminary report is posted here.

The proposed opening plan features the following.

  • A proposal to bring 9400 students to campus for in-person instruction.  This includes all 5000 incoming freshmen and 4000 undergraduates and 400 graduate students who have required instruction that cannot be fulfilled remotely
  • Removing excess seating from classrooms when possible and ensuring the preferred distancing of six feet within classrooms  
  • Reducing class sizes by extending the school day into the evening and the weekend
  • Reducing the number of residential students by 50% and housing all students in residence halls in single rooms
  • Installing barriers in dining halls, extending grab and go options, and bringing all dining into compliance with state dining directives
  • Adopting accountability measures that include limiting off campus travel, adherence to social distancing and the wearing of masks. (note: it was not apparent how such measures would be enforced).

Details can be found in the full report here.

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