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Return to Campus Phases

Current Status
PREPARE

Vanderbilt Return to Campus: Phase II+ / CONTINUE

  • Vanderbilt Phase Two+ allows for on-campus residential living, activities and education, including multiple course delivery options, as the university prepares to host in-person classes for the fall semester beginning August 24.
  • Vanderbilt’s Phase Two+ includes stricter health and safety guidelines than Metro Nashville’s modified Phase 2 plan and was designed with the university’s residential education and research environment in mind.
  • Phase Two+ will also enable certain experiential learning programs through the School of Nursing and Vanderbilt University Medical Center to occur on campus.
  • If there are high-priority research needs that cannot be advanced at the currently approved Phase 2 capacities, research operations will have the opportunity to request an increase up to 70% capacity with stringent approvals and appropriate COVID-19 safety precautions.
  • All those on campus must abide by the protocols outlined in the Return to Campus Plan (i.e. symptom monitoring, face masks/coverings, physical distancing, etc.)
  • Gatherings continue to be limited to 10 people while abiding by the university’s physical distancing requirement.
  • Testing and tracing incident command structure and contact tracing and symptom monitoring system will launch August 10. That system will include symptom monitoring, follow-up with those students who do not complete mandatory daily symptom monitoring (symptom monitoring is required of all undergraduates and some professional students), and tracking and follow up with those who report symptoms.
  • Building certifications and circulation plans will be complete for all Phase Two+ facilities by August 10.
  • Detailed plans will be submitted, reviewed and endorsed for all Phase Two+ activities by August 10.
  • University-sponsored international travel to any country, and university-sponsored domestic travel, remains restricted under Phase Two+.
  • The university strongly recommends that everyone reconsider personal travel.
  • All students are discouraged from traveling out of the Nashville area during the semester.
  • Graduate and professional student field-based training/learning allowed as informed by on-campus research activities phased opening and/or clinic/occupational site authorization.
  • Staff recalled to campus when needed on campus to directly support research, instruction and residential living. Staff who are to be recalled to campus will be notified by their supervisors. Others working remotely.

Guiding Principles

Vanderbilt University’s policies and protocols for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic are rooted in safety for staff, faculty, students, invited guests (e.g., contractors), and the public with whom we interact. The health and well-being of our community are critical. Protecting the health of the Vanderbilt community will require long-term effort and commitment, cooperation, teamwork and understanding — all values that our community has shown in a multitude of ways in recent months.

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As we confront this health crisis, Vanderbilt University will remain steadfast in the constant pursuit of our mission and ideals outlined in the Academic Strategic Plan. Therefore, the university will ramp up in phases with primary mission activities at the heart of all decision making. Mission-centric activities are any required on-campus activities that fulfill Vanderbilt’s core mission of teaching and research.

Radically different ways of deploying VU campus resources, including physical spaces, will be necessary as part of establishing a new normal. As we move forward, flexibility will be critical. Vanderbilt University’s return to learning and discovering on campus will occur in phases of increased activity and will involve the careful evaluation of data, models and public health recommendations. Protocols will be pragmatic and will evolve over time.

Vanderbilt University’s plans for expanding operations and increasing the presence of faculty, staff and students will be guided by the following criteria:

  • The intentional effort by all faculty, staff and students to exercise both personal and community responsibility. The combined efforts by all members of the Vanderbilt community will create a culture that sustains a healthy and safe on-campus environment.
  • Existing and projected government restrictions (e.g., safer-at-home orders, masking requirements, physical distancing, gatherings, etc.).
  • Public health status: recommendations from the federal government (recently released Opening Guidelines), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
  • Resource availability, including personal protective equipment for students, faculty and staff.
  • Contact tracing and case management protocols.
  • Physical distancing strategies.
  • Financial feasibility.
  • Alignment with Vanderbilt’s strategic framework that the ramp-up of on-campus activities will support primary mission objectives of the institution (on-campus research, on-campus teaching and instruction, on-campus residential living and learning).
  • Flexibility and adaptability to respond to the constantly evolving nature of the pandemic.

Vanderbilt University’s plans will also take into account local orders and ordinances of the City of Nashville, Davidson County and the Nashville Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), as well as the State of Tennessee’s “Tennessee Pledge: Reopening Tennessee Responsibly.”

The Roadmap for Reopening Nashville follows a four-phase approach. The Vanderbilt University Return to Campus Plan acknowledges the triggers and phases of ramp-up for the city in which Vanderbilt is located and identifies which activities ramp up on campus and when. The Vanderbilt University activities that will ramp up are identified below in each corresponding phase. Vanderbilt’s ramp-up may lag the Nashville ramp-up and will be tailored to our own unique density, operations, and other considerations as a residential education institution. The university will communicate with the VU community in advance of each phase. If metrics of COVID-19 transmission and health system capacity change significantly, and Metro Nashville returns to a prior phase, Vanderbilt may also return to a prior phase and re-impose restrictions on activities.

Vanderbilt Return to Campus: Phase I / BEGIN

  • On-campus research ramp-up to no more than 33% capacity, subject to minimum 6 feet of physical distancing and other safety protocols (e.g., face masks/coverings)
  • Graduate and professional student field-based training/learning allowed as informed by on-campus research activities phased opening and/or clinic/occupational site authorization.
  • Graduate and professional instruction online and preparation for on-campus activity continues.
  • Undergraduate instruction online and preparation for on-campus activity continues.
  • On-campus residential education preparing for on-campus activity continues.
  • Staff recalled to campus when needed on campus to directly support research, instruction and residential living. Others working remotely.
  • Staff who are to be recalled to campus will be notified by their supervisors, and only those who need to be on campus to directly support activity ramp-up will be requested to return to campus. Others will continue working remotely.
  • All those on campus must abide by the protocols outlined on this site
    (e.g., symptom monitoring, face masks/coverings, physical distancing, etc.).
  • No gatherings allowed
  • Specific details may be adapted in response to current conditions.

Vanderbilt Return to Campus: Phase III / INTENSIFY & LAUNCH

  • On-campus research ramp-up to no more than 70% capacity, subject to minimum 6 feet of physical distancing and other safety protocols (e.g., face masks/coverings)
  • Graduate and professional student field-based training/learning allowed as informed by on-campus research activities phased opening and/or clinic/occupational site authorization.
  • Graduate and professional instruction ready for on-campus activity and/or enhanced virtual/alternative platforms.
  • Undergraduate instruction ready for on-campus activity and/or enhanced virtual/alternative platforms.
  • On-campus residential education ready for on-campus activity and/or enhanced virtual/alternative platforms.
  • Staff recalled to campus when needed on campus to directly support research, instruction and residential living. Others will continue working remotely.
  • Staff who are to be recalled to campus will be notified by their supervisors, and only those who need to be on campus to directly support activity ramp-up will be requested to return to campus. Others will remain remote.
  • All those on campus must abide by the protocols outlined on this site
    (e.g., symptom monitoring, face masks/coverings, physical distancing, etc.).
  • May change gathering guidelines. Gathering size restrictions will be communicated as we ramp up.
  • Specific details may be adapted in response to current conditions.

Vanderbilt Return to Campus: Phase IV / SUSTAIN

  • On-campus research nearing maximum capacity subject to minimum 6 feet of physical distancing and other safety protocols (e.g., face masks/coverings)
  • Graduate and professional student field-based training/learning allowed as informed by on-campus research activities phased opening and/or clinic/occupational site authorization.
  • Graduate and professional instruction ready for on-campus activity and/or enhanced virtual/alternative platforms.
  • Undergraduate instruction ready for on-campus activity and/or enhanced virtual/alternative platforms.
  • On-campus residential education ready for on-campus activity and/or enhanced virtual/alternative platforms.
  • Staff recalled to campus when needed on campus to directly support research, instruction and residential living. Others will continue working remotely.
  • Staff who are to be recalled to campus will be notified by their supervisors, and only those who need to be on campus to directly support activity ramp-up will be requested to return to campus. Others will remain remote.
  • All those on campus must abide by the protocols outlined on this site
    (e.g., symptom monitoring, face masks/coverings, physical distancing, etc.).
  • May change gathering guidelines. Gathering size restrictions will be communicated as we ramp up.
  • Specific details may be adapted in response to current conditions.