By Philip DiStefano

This year has been one of the most difficult in the University of Colorado Boulder history. Students not only had to say goodbye to in-person experiences with classmates, friends, campus activities and student groups, they also had to navigate new ways of learning and new ways of carrying out timeless rituals.

Faculty and staff were called upon to work in completely new ways and the community felt the economic impact of cancelled events, students leaving town and social disruption caused by some students who remained in Boulder with too much unstructured time.

While our students continue their academic journeys from home, we have been working tirelessly to develop a plan for the near- and long-term future of the university. Our guiding principles for all of our decisions begin with the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and everyone in the community, while upholding our university mission.

As we focus on health and safety, we are working with experts and making the most informed, empathetic decisions we can with the best health information available.

During these trying times, we have to continue serving the public good while ensuring the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and community.

In service of that call to action, this week I announced our plan for a return to CU Boulder campus this fall, called our “Road Map to Fall 2020.”

As with all of our COVID-19 decisions, we sought input from experts and collaborated with leaders. The plan was developed in consultation with CU Boulder faculty, staff and community epidemiology and public health experts. It was informed by more than 1,500 points of input from students, faculty, staff, parents and community members.

We discussed the proposed plan with the mayor, city manager, Boulder Police Department, county commissioners and representatives of surrounding cities where many of our students, faculty and staff live. We also discussed it with representatives of other…

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