Announcement Regarding Fall 2020 Operating Status
Dear Rutgers Students, Faculty, and Staff,
I am writing today to inform you that after careful consideration of all possible models for safely and effectively delivering instruction during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Rutgers is planning for a Fall 2020 semester that will combine a majority of remotely delivered courses with a limited number of in-person classes. Each of the chancellors will be communicating later today with more detail about what this means for the students they serve.
This decision was not made easily or hastily. We have had extensive consultation with our public health experts, faculty, deans, provosts, and chancellors over the past several months. We have wanted very fervently to be able to resume some version of a normal semester. But given the continued increase in COVID-19 cases across the country, the near-term outlook for the public health crisis in our state, and the uncertainty about the course of the pandemic, we had to make a different decision. Because of the ongoing requirements for social distancing and guided by our paramount priority of safeguarding the people of our university community, we determined that most courses this fall will have to rely on remote methods of instruction—delivered both in real-time and asynchronously.
I want our students to know that Rutgers faculty are busy preparing for remote undergraduate instruction and building on lessons learned from the spring semester. The university has made, and will continue to make, investments in instructional technology and training to further enhance the student experience. All classes that are taught remotely will meet the standards and expectations of the world-class institution that Rutgers is.
While the majority of our courses must be delivered remotely, a limited number of courses that benefit from direct access to campus facilities will happen in-person, with appropriate health-related precautions: some examples include select courses in the arts, laboratory or field work, and clinical instruction. Each chancellor has worked with his or her deans and faculty and will provide updates on specific courses that will use at least some in-person instruction.
Student Support and Campus Services
Our many essential student services, like academic, health, and wellness counseling, will continue to be available to all students. Increased capacity for remote service will be complemented, as public health allows, by in-person interactions. Our IT infrastructure, libraries, and other vital resources for our students’ success will all be available to everyone as well.
Because of the need for social distancing and since most courses will be delivered remotely, on-campus housing across Rutgers will be extremely limited.
Each chancellor will communicate how limited on-campus housing will be prioritized on their respective campuses. Our residential life teams are ready to answer questions for the many students who have already made deposits.
The suspension of campus events will remain in place this fall to ensure we do our part to limit opportunities for the virus to spread.
Decisions regarding the upcoming athletic season will continue to be guided by state requirements and policies developed by the campuses’ respective athletic conferences.
The chancellors will each distribute messages shortly that provide additional details for their respective communities and direct you to resources to answer your questions.
Please note that the university has not made any decisions regarding winter session or the spring semester. We will make those determinations later this year, informed by ongoing analysis of the public health crisis, guidelines from the state and federal governments, and monitoring of our own progress in navigating this unprecedented moment in Rutgers’ history.
Telecommuting and Campus Workspaces
I also want to say a word regarding faculty and staff. The university recently released “Returning to Rutgers,” a comprehensive guide to how buildings and workspaces must be prepared for any significant return to campus by our faculty and staff. If you have not read “Returning to Rutgers,” I encourage you to do so. In addition, University Human Resources recently extended the COVID-19 telecommuting policy through August 31. Please know that we will continue to work within state guidelines for work-related activities and the guidance of public health experts to coordinate the re-opening of our offices later this summer.
The decisions and protocols outlined here are important and necessary, but they are not easy. As your new president, I would like nothing more than to declare that it’s safe to resume the normal course of operations across all of Rutgers for every member of our community. I can assure you that we will do all we can to move toward that goal, knowing how vital our in-person interactions are to the vibrancy of a university. And in the meantime, we will strive to ensure the highest quality academic experience for all our students, who remain at the center of our mission.
President & University Professor
May 29th Proclamation
We understand that President Trump’s May 29th Proclamation has raised concerns for many within our international Rutgers community. Rutgers greatly values and stands in support of our international students and scholars. While we do not yet have many answers as to how this Proclamation will affect Rutgers people, we will continue to monitor the situation closely and share information as it becomes available.
Please see the highlights of this Proclamation below:
Effective June 1, 2020, and will stay in effect until terminated by the President.
Suspends entry into the United States certain Chinese nationals with F or J visas to study or conduct research in the U.S. The suspension applies to individuals who are affiliated with an entity in China that implements or supports the PRC’s “military fusion” strategy through funding, employment, studies, or research.
Definition of “military-civil fusion” strategy: "actions by or at the behest of the PRC to acquire and divert foreign technologies, specifically critical and emerging technologies, to incorporate into and advance the PRC's military capabilities." The “entities” that implement or support this strategy are not defined in the proclamation.
The proclamation does not apply to the following:
Section 1 of the proclamation exempts undergraduate students
Section 2 provides the following additional exceptions to the order:
- Lawful permanent residents of the U.S.
- The spouse of a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident
- Individuals currently in the U.S. studying or conducting research that are not affiliated with the PRC’s military‑civil fusion strategy (as determined by the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies)
- Members of the United States Armed Forces and their spouse and children
- Individuals "whose travel falls within the scope of section 11 of the United Nations Headquarters Agreement or who would otherwise be allowed entry into the United States pursuant to United States obligations under applicable international agreements"
- Individuals "whose entry would further important United States law enforcement objectives, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees, based on a recommendation of the Attorney General or his designee"
- Individuals "whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees."
The Secretary of State has the discretion to determine whether Chinese nationals on F and J visas currently in the U.S. who meet the criteria outlined in the order should face visa revocation.
There is no guidance to institutions yet on the implementation of this Proclamation. The Secretary of State will identify individuals covered by this proclamation as well as those that may be excluded based on criteria outlined in the proclamation. The policies and guidelines for implementation will be determined by the Secretary of State for visas and the Secretary of Homeland Security for the purposes of entry into the United States.
At this time, this order does not apply to immigrant visas, or other classifications of non-immigrant visas. However, the proclamation directs the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security, within 60 days, to review non-immigrant and immigrant programs and recommend to the President any other measures that "would mitigate the risk posed by the PRC's acquisition of sensitive United States technologies and intellectual property."
Useful resource for a detailed summary of the Presidential Proclamation:
Association of International Educators (NAFSA)’s summary of the Proclamation
Updated June 1, 2020
June 22nd Presidential Proclamation
From Rutgers Global
"On June 22, 2020, the President Trump issued a presidential proclamation suspending entry to the United States of certain foreign nationals in certain temporary visa categories. This proclamation goes into effect on June 24, 2020 and will be valid until December 31, 2020. We wanted to let you know how the proclamation will affect Rutgers University’s ability to sponsor and employ certain foreign nationals.
The proclamation extends the effective dates of Proclamation 10014 of April 22, 2020 titled Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak. This proclamation suspended entry of certain new immigrants who do not already have an approved immigrant visa. It was originally valid for 60 days, until June 22, 2020. The new proclamation extends the period for an additional six (6) months, until December 31, 2020.
WHO IS AFFECTED?
- H-1B Specialty Occupation Workers (and associated dependents)
- H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers (and associated dependents)
- L-1 Intracompany Transferees (and associated dependents)
- J-1 Exchange Visitor categories for academic institutions (including their dependent family members) and J Exchange Visitors (and associated dependents), including: Interns, Trainees, Teachers, Camp Counselors, Au Pairs
Note: Rutgers does not sponsor these J-1 categories.
WHO IS NOT AFFECTED?
- Individuals seeking to Change their Status (COS)—for example, from F-1 to H-1B or J-1 or those seeking an extension of H-1B status within the U.S.—since they are not required to have a valid visa foil in their passports.
- Key J-1 Exchange Visitor categories for academic institutions (including their dependent family members), including: Research Scholar, Professor, Short-Term Scholar, Student (degree & non-degree seeking students)
- Those who are inside of the United States in H-1B or J-1 and all other listed statuses as of June 24, 2020;
- Those who are outside of the U.S. but already have a nonimmigrant visa (H-1B, H-4, J-1, etc) that is valid as of June 24, 2020; or
- Those who have another type of official travel document other than a visa (i.e., advance parole) that is valid as of June 24, 2020 or issued any date thereafter that permits them to the United States and seek entry or admission.
- Green card holders (lawful permanent residents)
- The spouse or minor child of a US citizen
- Anyone “whose entry would be in the national interest” as determined by the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security
- The Proclamation does not affect any students in F-1 or J-1 status.
While we are grateful that the vast majority of our J-1 visitors will be unaffected, this proclamation will have an impact on our incoming H-1B positions and it is therefore important to note that the J-1 category cannot be used for tenure/tenure track positions and should not be used in place of the H-1B status.
Visa Exempt Canadians Are Not Subject to the Proclamation:
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Headquarters has confirmed that Canadian citizens entering in H, J, or L status are exempt from the Presidential Proclamation issued on 6/22/2020 and that guidance has been provided to local Port Of Entries (POEs). Please note TN status was not affected by the Proclamation therefore individuals seeking to enter the U.S. on this status may still do so.
Rutgers Global will continue to monitor the situation and provide any new updates as needed."