Published on April 30, 2020 at 11:30 a.m.  
IMPORTANT: This communication outlines the framework of a multi-phase plan for the return to campus. You will soon receive additional information that will answer many of your questions.

Fellow Employees… I hope this message finds you doing well, weary perhaps, but well.  As COVID-19 begins to (hopefully) play out, we have been planning for a gradual reopening of campus.

With the release of Governor Ivey’s “safer at home” guidelines, we are pleased to announce that Samford will allow a limited number of employees and contractors to resume work on campus beginning Monday, May 18.  The number of personnel permitted to return on that date will still be relatively low - approximately 170 people.  We anticipate additional employees will return to campus in the second phase of the campus reopening, now projected to begin on Monday, June 15.  In the coming weeks, we will be communicating decisions on which personnel will return to campus in that second phase.

Our Vice Presidents and Deans are developing a list of the employees expected to return to campus on May 18.  Those individuals will soon receive instructions from their supervisors regarding the health and safety standards that will be in place during this initial phase.  Entry to and exit from the campus will be gained through the use of employee identification cards at the west gate only.  The campus will otherwise remain closed.

Before employees can begin moving back to campus, we first must coordinate the move-out by students of all personal items left in residence hall rooms.  This process begins today and will continue through May 17 with strict instructions and safety guidelines in place.  Once the last student has moved out, the residence halls will be closed pursuant to CDC guidelines.

As previously communicated, summer term classes will be taught online and Bulldog Days orientation sessions for entering freshmen, transfer students, and their families will be delivered virtually.

We will carefully monitor national, regional and local trends and public health mandates related to COVID-19 in the weeks to come.  Unless governmental regulations make it impossible or imprudent, we are planning for the general reopening of the campus for classes and residence halls in August.  Even then, heightened health and safety monitoring will likely be the norm in all aspects of campus life.  Limiting individual and campus exposure to the virus now and in the weeks ahead will enhance the likelihood of a safe resumption of operations in August.  Social distancing, hand washing, face coverings and limited travel should continue to be practiced faithfully.

Additional details regarding the phased reopening of campus will be communicated as our plans are developed.  In the meantime, please direct questions to your immediate supervisor.

We are grateful to now be contemplating the first steps in returning to the routine but cherished elements of our lives.  Thank you all for what you are doing and especially for the ways you are doing it.  It is what makes Samford, Samford.  The stories that filter out from students, parents, faculty and staff are, well, simply Samford.  Thank you and take care… Buck

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