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Return to Campus Plan

The University is currently in Phase I of Re-Opening


We are planning to return to face-to-face instruction while protecting the health of our students, faculty and staff. We recognize this means there will be considerable changes in day-to-day operations. We are, however, preparing for the full range of potential scenarios, all based on the latest scientific data along with state and national health guidance.

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As you are aware, we have a steering committee and multiple groups actively working on plans for our return to campus in the fall. In addition, there has been considerable guidance offered at the state and federal levels. Most recently, the State of Tennessee produced the Tennessee Pledge for Higher Education, “a plan to help Tennesseans get back to work in a safe environment, restore their livelihoods and reboot our state’s economy.” Review the THEC Guidelines for Reopening >

Both the State of Tennessee and the City of Memphis have moved forward with phased reopening plans. Each step we take will be consistent with the best health guidance available, along with state and local plans. All details of our re-opening plan will be placed on this page as they are available.

Consistent with the State and City of Memphis, we are moving forward with a multi-phase approach. Phase I will begin effective June 3, with approximately 25% of our staff returning to campus. We already have close to that number on campus right now, as has been the case for the entirety of the past two months. It is also important to be aware that we continue to house a limited number of students on our campus (i.e. those with no other available housing options). Our safety protocols have proven effective throughout this period. Phase I will also include a return of additional staff to support various aspects of University operations, the voluntary return of some faculty conducting research and related activities, along with the return of a limited number of our student-athletes, coaches and athletic staff. Learn more about the Department of Athletics plan >

Phase I

This initial phase will be in place during the month of June. Please remember that during this first phase:

  • The majority of staff will continue to work remotely unless required to be on campus at the explicit request of their supervisor.
  • Faculty will continue to work remotely for the foreseeable future unless authorized to be on campus by their dean and the Provost.
  • A limited number of students with explicit approval are currently residing on campus.
  • Buildings are open only to University of Memphis community members with appropriate access.
  • Physical distancing of at least 6 feet between individuals remains in place in all campus spaces. This includes the interior of buildings and outside.
  • Face masks are required in all indoor and outdoor public spaces.
  • All those on campus must abide by University social distancing and mask protocols, including any contractors or visitors.
  • No events or gatherings may be held on campus.
  • The Phase I protocols in place across the various divisions include specific density limits in all workspaces and building areas, monitoring and reporting symptoms of illness and related safety precautions.

Phases II-IV

We will move forward with Phases II, III and IV during the months of July and August, allowing for a return to campus for the fall semester. Currently, we are scheduled to resume fall classes on August 17. Details about Phases II-IV will be shared in the coming weeks, including: any changes in previously published academic calendars (to include fall break), nature and structure of classroom instruction, housing, dining and extracurricular activities. Additionally, we will be asking that all students, faculty and staff members that are part of our campus community complete a very brief educational video addressing the important role that each of us play in maintaining the safety and health of our community prior to their return to campus. I will share additional details via regular updates in the coming weeks. 

I look forward to seeing you this fall. Be safe, and stay healthy.

-Dr. M. David Rudd, President, University of Memphis