June 18, 2020 - Community Update
June 18, 2020
Multnomah County (the county in which PNCA resides) has been given approval by the state to activate its Phase One reopening. With this direction, PNCA was able to start its Low-Residency MFA in Visual Studies program this week as scheduled, operating the college within a limited capacity, adhering to social distancing protocols, and with some degree of remote learning (as agreed upon by the faculty and students in those programs). The LRVS students will have studios in the building, and we are treating the LRVS program activation as a pilot to ensure that we can scale-up to an increased population on campus. At this time, we will not be opening the building for other students or to the general public. Faculty and staff are not expected to return to the building for the foreseeable future. At this time, we do not expect faculty and staff to return until the end of summer.
I recognize that that there are many questions about fall classes and PNCA’s plans to return to campus, as well as the current state of our planning. I am sharing what we know today. This is a highly dynamic and ever-changing situation, but I want you all to have a general overview of our current plans. We will be making announcements as we receive concrete information from the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, Oregon Health Authority, and Governor Brown, but here are the current assumptions.
For now, assume that:
• Elevators will be limited to no more than two people
• There will be "down stairwells" and "up stairwells"
• Sanitation, workplace, and equipment cleaning will happen throughout the day
• Masks will be required in all spaces other than private studios and offices
• Everyone will need to wear their IDs to enter the building
Art House will remain open. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we need to provide 64 square feet of living space per student. We are in compliance with that guidance.
The COVID-19 Planning Group is organizing the return to the 511 and Glass buildings for fall. As part of that effort, all offices will need to review their spaces and develop plans to create adequate social distancing and/or staggered work schedules. You may need to consider how you meet with students (online or in person or some combination) and if you will need to strictly schedule appointments or can still offer "drop-in" hours. Interdepartmental projects and meetings will also need to adjust their standard operating practice and daily routines. You should operate under the assumption that we will not return to the traditional way of work (all of us in the building at the same time), and many people will work remotely as appropriate. Departmental supervisors will be developing individual departmental plans with their team. These plans will then be submitted to the COVID-19 Planning Group to develop a comprehensive community approach for a safe return to campus for faculty, staff and students.
Facilities along with Space Planning are developing and evaluating traffic patterns and classroom configurations. Signage, wayfinding, and "safe community" materials have been produced in collaboration among Facilities, Communications, and Student Life. Plans continue to be developed for both the 511 and Glass buildings and will be announced as they are finalized.
It remains our intention to return to in-person instruction in the fall. Academic Affairs is working on curriculum development and schedules. That is a complex and complicated project and will roll out later in the summer. Our plans to return to campus will comply with Governor Brown’s emerging strategy to reopen Oregon and will be informed by guidance from the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission.
Our priority continues to be the safety of our faculty, staff, and students, while preserving the quality of the student experience. We will provide further updates to the community as information becomes available. In the meantime, if you have additional questions, please direct them to your supervisor or the VPs within your departments.
I once again thank everyone in the PNCA community for your collective abilities to adapt to this ever-changing environment.
Chris Maples Interim President
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