Fall Planning Committee Charge

Guided by our principles, informed by science, and aligned with our public health officials, we will advise the President regarding fall planning in terms of continuation of undergraduate and graduate instruction, research, and administrative functions to support these efforts while adjusting these efforts to minimize disruption even during COVID. The Budget and Planning committee will focus specifically on identifying and mitigating financial impact of COVID in the near and longer term with the goals to align enrollment, HR and budget strategies to optimize revenue to support institutional goals, maintaining flexibility to enhance responsiveness to changing parameters of engagement. Although focused on Fall planning, this committee will identify opportunities to emerge stronger from this crisis, and use the stress test enabled by the COVID crisis response to realign processes and procedures, redefine institutional priorities within administrative units, and begin to identify opportunities for revenue generation. Although capital projects have been expected to optimize footprint, reimagine departmental borders to optimize new synergies, and efficiently use space to generate research and deliver instruction, we will expand our review to include identifying what instruction needs to be done in person versus virtual, and what administrative operations may continue remotely freeing up space that could be utilized more effectively in this new environment.

Principles:

1. Caring for our People

  • Prioritizing the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and greater Delaware community

2. Cultivating Academic Excellence and Enrichment

  • Ensuring that teaching, research, scholarship and service thrive as cornerstones of human and intellectual development.

3. Invigorating our Mission for Positive Change

  • Creating value-driven opportunities to make a positive impact on society through scholarly endeavors, innovative research, creative learning, community engagement and operational excellence.

Goals:

  1. Provide updated and accurate financial impact of COVID to FY20, and project impact of multiple possible revenue scenarios for FY21.
  2. Provide projections of financial impact of multiple institutional re-opening scenarios in Fall 2020, including, but not limited to:
    • August 28 start date of the Fall semester, including reduced density scenarios to align with public health guidance regarding social distancing
      1. Include residential experience
        • Quarantine space required
        • Increased sanitation
      2. October 1 start date of the Fall semester, including reduced density scenarios to align with public health guidance regarding social distancing
        • Include residential experience
          1. Quarantine space required
          2. Increased sanitation
        • August 28 start date of the Fall semester, with no residential experience
        • Transition plan, should one scenario convert to another after the semester begins, due to external guidance, or due to on campus events
      3. Work to cost potential strategies identified in the other committees, ensuring consistency and synergies across functions (academic, research, facilities, athletics and student life)
      4. Identify additional costs of COVID, startup/near term and recurring:
        • PPE
        • Sanitation stations
        • Testing/contact tracing
      5. Recommend enrollment, financial aid and tuition and fee strategies in the near term to optimize net tuition revenue across multiple populations (in state, out of state, international) understanding multiyear consequences of decisions
      6. Recommend cost mitigation strategies to preserve core functions while accelerating efforts to realize administrative and instructional efficiencies
        • Hiring freeze mitigated by implementation of shared services
        • Align unit and institutional priorities
      7. Work to identify and realize opportunities for costs to be funded externally
        • Effective application for government dollars (federal, state, county)
        • Expand existing and launch new UG and graduate level top-ranked academic program(s) including online programs
        • Maximize philanthropic support
      8. Work with communications to continue to articulate the value of the university as a workforce generator, economic development engine.
        • Continue to optimize base state support
        • Mitigate transparency/FOIA concerns

Principles of Engagement/Criteria for Decision-Making:

  • Maintain core faculty and staff to the degree possible.
  • Prioritize student success, including:
    • Access need based financial aid
    • Student support advising, tutoring, wellness
    • Curriculum needed to graduate on time prioritize access over multiple choices
  • Prioritize campus space to accomplish things that cannot be done remotely; assume     administrative continues remotely except for functions that cannot be done remotely at least through Fall 2020
  • Plan on all courses offered remotely as option or requirement
  • The effectiveness of the committee depends upon frank discussion of multiple sensitive topics, and consideration of various and potentially extreme scenarios most of which will never be implemented. It is critical that all discussions remain confidential.

Deliverables:

  • Costing of all strategies, including transition plan, should one scenario convert to another after the semester begins, due to external guidance, or due to on campus events.
  • View of spring 2021 as best this can be provided.
  • Recommendation of ultimate strategy, including rationale that identifies short and long term cost and net return.
  • Identification of longer term strategies for change (organization, process, other) that will positively position the institution for long term success.

Timeline:

June 1, 2020 – Initial report to steering committee

  • Identify criteria that will be necessary to inform messaging for each scenario

June 15, 2020 – Mid Term report to steering committee

  • Refine criteria and explore content generation considerations with hopeful sense of direction that University is moving towards

No later than June 30, 2020 – Preliminary recommendations to President

  • Provide communication plan and key messaging in line with recommendations from other task force committees.