Messages from the University

Washington University Fall Opening Update

July 20, 2020

Dear Washington University parents and families,

I am writing today to share a brief update.  As Chancellor Martin indicated in his email on May 27, we plan to announce our final plans for the fall semester by the end of this month. 

We have been working very hard since the spring to develop our plans for the fall.  Unfortunately, we are experiencing a continued rise in cases and community transmission of COVID-19 both here in St. Louis as well as in other parts of the country.  Given these rapidly changing conditions, we felt it was important for us to reach out to our students and ask about their preferences now for the fall semester to help us with the final stages of our planning.  I have attached the message your student received today, asking them to complete a short, unique survey related to their fall preferences.

Please help us by encouraging your student to complete this short survey by Friday.  We will be announcing our final plans next week with details for the fall, including the process for students to finalize their intentions for the semester.

Thank you as always for your continued support.  We know these past few months have been difficult for all of you.

Rob Wild
Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs


To Our Washington University Undergraduate Students,

We’ve missed you and we are asking you for your feedback.

We’ve missed you in our classrooms and in our residence halls, at the DUC and in our labs, on our fields and on our stages. We’ve missed you. Our campus is not the same without you.

The spring semester and this summer have not been easy. So much changed so quickly. Many of the things you looked forward to were put on hold or pushed aside. There were canceled tournaments, plays, and concerts. Friendships were being formed and plans being made but then, suddenly, things changed. It was not, and still is not, an easy time. Despite these challenges, we have so much to be proud of. So many of you did so many things to amaze and inspire us all. You’ve risen to the occasion, and we’re proud to call you our students.

As we look ahead to fall, we know it will be a semester unlike any other. For the past few months, we have been deeply engaged in our planning.  While we already have made decisions about some aspects of the fall semester with some degree of certainty, we know that our planning must also take into consideration the recent surge in the spread of COVID-19 both locally and nationally.  We understand the rapidly shifting landscape may impact individual decisions regarding travel, work, and education.  With this in mind, we’re asking you to help us understand the impact of recent developments by completing a short survey regarding your current preferences regarding the return to campus.  The link to the survey is below and we are requesting that you complete it by this Friday, July 24. We will use this information to create a baseline of your current thinking about how you intend to take classes and where you intend to live in light of this surge. Your survey responses are non-binding and do not commit you to any decision. This is simply an instrument for planning purposes. If you don’t respond by July 24, we will assume for purposes of this survey and planning that you are intending to come back to campus.

[Survey Link Here in Student Email]

Keeping with our original timeline, by the end of this month we will send you our plans for the upcoming semester so you can get a picture of what we anticipate life will look like in the fall. Once Chancellor Martin announces our plans, we will work with all of you to finalize instruction and housing for those who are assigned to live in University housing. At that time, you will have more detailed information about the semester in order to consider and declare your preferences for the fall term.

We know things are tough right now. We want you to know that even though we can’t be together in person, we’re still here for you. We appreciate your patience as we develop our plans, even as they must adapt to changing conditions. And we look forward to the day when we can all be together again.

Warm regards,

Beverly Wendland
Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Rob Wild
Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs