Letter from President Paxson: Healthy Fall 2020 Task Force

Brown President Christina H. Paxson charged a committee of faculty, staff and students with developing a public health plan for the University that charts a path to the safe reopening of campus in Fall 2020.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Even the most optimistic projections on the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on daily life in the United States acknowledge that until a vaccine is available, the virus will continue to threaten the health of some Americans.

In recognition of that fact — yet with cautious optimism that social distancing and other public health measures will mitigate the pandemic to the point where students can return to Brown’s campus in Fall 2020 — University President Christina H. Paxson has created a task force to chart a path toward a safe reopening.

Paxson outlined her charge to the group and its members in an April 13 letter to students, faculty and staff.

“The foundational principles that will guide the work of the task force are that the health and safety of our students and employees come first, and that we ensure that Brown provides a high-quality learning and social experience for our students,” she wrote. “The task force will develop a plan based on well-understood public health protocols for managing infectious diseases, adapting those protocols to the operations of the Brown University campus community.”

The full text of Paxson’s letter is included below and on Brown’s comprehensive COVID-19 response website.

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Healthy Fall 2020 Task Force

Dear Members of the Brown Community,

I am writing to announce the creation of the Healthy Fall 2020 Task Force. This group is charged with developing an effective public health plan for Brown University that charts a path to the safe reopening of the campus in fall 2020. The work of this task force will complement planning to restart research operations at Brown, led by Provost Richard M. Locke and Vice President for Research Jill Pipher.

In the coming months, experts predict that social distancing and other public health measures will make significant contributions to the containment and mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am cautiously optimistic that with careful planning, we will be able to welcome all of you back to campus in the fall. However, until a vaccine is developed, it is likely that the virus will continue to be a threat to health. The foundational principles that will guide the work of the task force are that the health and safety of our students and employees come first, and that we ensure that Brown provides a high-quality learning and social experience for our students.

The task force will develop a plan based on well-understood public health protocols for managing infectious diseases, adapting those protocols to the operations of the Brown University campus community. The group will also consider how to collaborate and coordinate plans across the Brown and RISD campuses due to our close proximity as well as joint academic and campus programs. I am grateful to Eric Estes, Vice President for Campus Life, and Emily Oster, Professor of Economics and Public Policy, for agreeing to co-chair this important committee.

The task force will report to me and provide regular updates to the Brown community. The group will begin its work this month and continue into the fall semester as plans are developed and implemented.

Membership

  • Eris Estes, Vice President for Campus Life (Co-Chair)
  • Emily Oster, Professor of Economics and Public Policy (Co-Chair)
  • Vanessa Britto, Associate Vice President for Campus Life and Executive Director of Health Services
  • Russell Carey, Executive Vice President of Policy and Planning
  • Shontay Delalue, Vice President for Institutional Equity and Diversity
  • Elizabeth Doherty, Deputy Provost for Academic Affairs
  • Michael Grabo, Associate General Counsel
  • Michael Guglielmo, Vice President for Facilities Management
  • Jen Howley, Director, Risk, Emergency Management and RISD Property Holdings
  • Kathleen Kuesters, Graduate Student
  • Adam Levine, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Director of the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies
  • Maria Guerrero Martinez, Undergraduate Student
  • Amy Nunn, Associate Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Associate Professor of Medicine
  • Kathy Tameo, Associate Vice President for Campus Life and Director of Finance and Administration

The Office of the Vice President for Campus Life will provide administrative support for the task force.

I am deeply appreciative of the members of the task force for their willingness to devote their time and attention to this important and timely undertaking. During this uncertain and difficult time, it is more important than ever that we work together as a community.

Sincerely,

Christina H. Paxson
President

Tags COVID-19