Important Message - New Requirements for Those Working on Campus

June 18, 2020

Dear fellow members of the Columbia community,

Yesterday’s announcement concerned adoption of the 2020-21 academic calendar. This message concerns important new actions required as part of the University’s overall recovery planning.

We now have a target date of Monday, June 22, for beginning the ramping-up of laboratory and clinical research on campus. This gradual increase to the density on our campus requires new actions by everyone on campus, including those newly returning and those who have already been providing essential services on campus during the past months.

If you will have access to campus in the days ahead, it is essential that you consult the detailed guidance, which you can find here, to see how these new requirements will apply to you.

The guidance addresses three groups:

  • Those newly returning to work on campus, on or after June 22, as part of the research ramp-up. If you are in this group, your access to campus will depend on meeting important new requirements, most notably COVID-19 testing, a daily symptom self-check, and training.  
  • Those who have been on campus even before June 22 in connection with the performance of essential services. If you are in this group, your access to campus, beginning June 22, will depend on meeting some of the same requirements that apply to returning researchers, particularly the daily symptom self-check and training.  
  • Those not yet eligible to return to work on campus. If you are in this group, you are not presently subject to the new requirements. But please consult the guidance nevertheless, as information contained there is likely to be of value to you. 

The research ramp-up is an important first step back from the severe restrictions under which we have been operating. This undertaking is complex, and we hope the guidance will be helpful as you navigate it. The requirements that have been designated were chosen both because of mandates by New York State and other authorities as well as public health direction. Compliance with these requirements, both by persons newly returning to campus and others already on campus, is essential for the health and safety of the Columbia community and our neighbors. How we manage this particular ramp-up also will affect how, in the future, we can make progress toward the goal of restoring the University.

With thanks and keen appreciation for all that you have been doing,


Ira Katznelson
Interim Provost
Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History