Originally Posted: April 30, 2020
Dear SMU Community,
It’s time to look to the future.
I am pleased to announce that SMU intends to safely open our University for on-campus teaching, learning and student living for the fall semester. We are looking forward to delivering the unique academic experience that defines SMU, and to rekindling the energy our students bring to campus.
Clearly, we will work within the boundaries of governmental guidelines as we plan for the beginning of fall classes. Be assured, every phase of our return to campus will launch with the health and safety of our campus population in mind. Your University is committed to managing this process aggressively and efficiently, using data and verifiable research to make good decisions.
It is important that we move toward the goal of an open campus with confidence, understanding that the path forward will take creativity and patience as the pandemic and our response to it continue to evolve. If you could see, as I have, the extraordinary work and innovation that have carried our University through the past few months, you would understand the source of my confidence.
Our most obvious challenges in preparing for the return of students to campus are physical. We are examining how we will safely gather and learn together in the age of social distancing. The President’s Task Force for a Healthy Opening Fall 2020 is mapping out plans for managing the density of our campus population, from the classrooms to the residence halls.
I would encourage all of you – our current SMU family and those of you we look forward to welcoming in the fall – to embrace the pragmatic optimism that is fueling SMU’s plans for fall 2020. The start of this new academic year will be different in some ways, but what makes us SMU will stay the same. We will learn from each other, and we will take care of each other. It is what Mustangs do.
R. Gerald Turner