June 12, 2020
Dear Members of the SCU Community,
I hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and well. As we continue to grapple with the global pandemic and our country’s struggle for racial justice, we extend our care and concern for those most impacted. With this update, I hope to provide some certainty during these rapidly changing and unsettling times.
Recognizing that our academic programs impact decisions in many other areas, I want to provide you with some important information about two key areas -- our undergraduate calendar for the 2020-21 academic year and fall study abroad program. Decisions regarding the upcoming academic year are guided by two primary principles: (1) protect the health and safety of our faculty, staff and students, and (2) offer a rigorous, transformational education in the long tradition of Jesuit education.
The 2020-21 undergraduate academic calendar is unchanged. Fall classes will begin on Monday, September 21, 2020 and end on Friday, December 4, 2020. Final exams will take place December 7-11, 2020. For health and safety reasons, we will not return to campus after Thanksgiving; Week 10 and Finals Week will be conducted remotely for all undergraduate classes in fall 2020. This will help to reduce both the risks associated with travel during flu season as well as exposure of our community to the virus.
Decisions regarding the mode of instruction for Fall Quarter for our undergraduate programs are under discussion, and will be announced mid-summer.
Fall Study Abroad
On April 27, we announced the cancellation of study abroad programs with start dates on or before August 31. Upon the recommendation of the Crisis Abroad Task Force (CART), we have decided to extend the cancellation of Fall 2020 study abroad programs to include those with departure dates on or after September 1.
As before, this decision was not made lightly and the University understands the impact of this cancellation. We made the call in light of continued stringent travel and quarantine restrictions, health advisories, border closures, and embassies suspending issuance of student visas in the hopes of mitigating as much risk as possible for students and families. It has become increasingly clear that we will not be able to provide our students with the critical level of precautionary care at each study abroad location. We want to do everything we can to support our students with this transition and help them plan for a future semester abroad when it once again becomes safe to resume international travel.
I am so proud of all of our students for finishing the year despite the challenges and disruptions over the past three months. Our seniors, in particular, persevered through the transition of ending their final term remotely, separated physically from their peers and community. I look forward to the toasting each of our undergraduates and their families at the virtual celebration tomorrow.
Our faculty and staff have kept Santa Clara University functioning at a high level during really difficult times. I am so grateful for their generosity and care and compassion for our students and for each other.
I wish you all some peace, rest, and time to rejuvenate with family and loved ones this summer.
Lisa Kloppenberg Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs