Across every spectrum of our university community and society as a whole, we are eager to return to the classroom, to large events and to the many aspects of life we took for granted before the interloper known as COVID-19 disrupted our routines. As we draw closer to the launch of our 2020-21 academic year, we stand hopeful and optimistic that we will see each other on campus for Fall Semester. But we know it will be in ways that will be different from the usual. It may not be the way we dreamed it would be, but our university is determined to deliver on our mission as a public university to assist students on their path to success through the uniquely excellent education and experiences UC offers to prepare them to be tomorrow’s leaders.

Over the past several weeks, the State of Ohio has been gradually reopening. Businesses have opened, and large gatherings for weddings of up to 300 are permitted as long as physical distancing policies are observed. Nonetheless, many questions remain about how this will all turn out. Will the virus resurge or be vanquished? When will we be able to crowd into large classrooms or Nippert Stadium again? When can we return to holding Commencements in person? We have no crystal ball to predict with accuracy the answers to all of the questions that remain. But, we will begin to uncover them through our gradual process of reopening, making sure to take care of ourselves and each other by practicing needed safeguards, both on campus and at home. We will adjust to contingency plans if it proves necessary. As we prepare for the opening of Fall Semester, let’s remember the words of Retired Admiral William McRaven: “But make no mistake about it, we will prevail, because the only thing more contagious than a virus is hope.”

I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation and respect to all of the members of our UC community who have worked so proactively, painstakingly and persistently during these difficult times.

Consistent with our Next Lives Here vision, we continue to welcome everyone’s feedback and ideas for innovations and improvements at Please keep checking our public health website and your email for further updates.