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5/8/2020 - Community Town Hall

To: The Caltech Community
From: Thomas F. Rosenbaum, President; David A. Tirrell, Provost

In recent days, state and local officials have initiated steps to ease the restrictions of California's stay at home orders, currently in effect through May 15. As these developments unfold, we continue to work closely with local health officials and government leaders as we plan for a staged return to operations on campus. 

The exact requirements and conditions for Caltech's return to on-campus operations are still being assessed by working groups drawn from across the campus community. These conditions and requirements will be informed by science and the guidance of public health experts overall. The ramp down of campus operations happened rapidly and simultaneously across research and administrative units as we responded to the call to flatten the curve two months ago. By contrast, the return to operations will be slower and phased, with an emphasis on carefully controlled resumption of activities. As a first phase, we expect to restore research functions and those services required to support the research enterprise.

The working groups are developing campus-wide guidelines that will then be implemented and customized locally through the administrative units and academic divisions. Their areas of focus, as highlighted in previous communications, include assessing the safety measures, training materials, physical plant requirements, and medical testing capacity necessary to inform an eventual safe return to on-campus research, instruction, and residential living, as well as the underlying employment policies and environmental health & safety guidelines. 

As an interim step in this process, and to provide an opportunity for members of the Caltech community to raise their questions and topics of interest, we invite all members of the campus community to participate in a virtual forum about Caltech's plans for moving forward. The discussion, which we will host and may include leaders from administrative areas of most interest to the community, will be Wednesday, May 13, at 12 p.m. Register online to attend the virtual event and to submit your questions for the conversation.

We continue to be committed to communicating clearly and in advance the expectations and the safety precautions associated with any resumption of on-campus activities. The health, safety, and wellbeing of our community remain our top priorities. We appreciate your continued efforts to support Caltech's mission and to keep our community moving forward in these challenging times.