Reactivating campus for fall semester instruction

A message from Dean Lynden Archer, July 2, 2020:

Dear Members of the Cornell Engineering Community,

First, I trust that you are well and making an effort to enjoy the remaining days of summer, even in these challenging times.

I am writing to provide a brief update about our plans for fall semester instruction in the College of Engineering.

The university has released an overarching plan for reactivating campus for a residential fall. This plan will guide all activities in the College of Engineering. I request that you read it carefully and pay particular attention to the guidelines provided for responsible behaviors designed to keep us all safe.

The health and wellbeing of Cornell Engineering students, staff, and faculty remains our highest priority. As we begin the first steps towards restoring some semblance of normalcy in our campus community, I’ll be providing periodic updates to facilitate your return for a safe and productive fall. These updates are intended to provide guidance in the following five specific areas:

  • Student participation in undergraduate research
  • Student project teams
  • Guidelines for responsible behaviors in engineering common areas such as the Duffield Hall Atrium and the Carpenter Hall Engineering Library
  • Accessing college buildings outside of normal class meeting times
  • Additional resources and protocols for faculty, students, and staff, including course rosters, course registrations, and support for teaching

While you’ll find answers to many of your questions on the university’s reactivation website, the college has launched its own Cornell Engineering Reopening Resource website that will be updated with information and answers to frequently asked questions that are unique to our college.

I understand that some of these operational changes will be inconvenient, others will be challenging, but they are necessary to ensure a safe campus for everyone. I’d like to thank the faculty and staff who have worked tirelessly this summer to help develop the university guidelines, prepare our curriculum and programs, conceive new teaching methods, and keep our buildings clean and operational.

I also want to reiterate President Pollack’s call to establish a culture of shared responsibility, and that our ability to succeed during these difficult times depends on our commitment to caring for each other. We’re all in this together, and when engineers work together, there’s no limit to what we can achieve.


Lynden Archer
Joseph Silbert Dean of Engineering

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