Academic Scenarios Advisory Team

Recommendations of the Fall 2020 Scenarios Advisory Team:
Framework for Delivering Academic Mission in Fall 2020 (Board of Regents Mission Fulfillment Committee docket June 2020)


About the Academic Scenarios Advisory Team: The Academic Scenarios Advisory Team was convened to develop a framework of recommendations for delivery of academic mission in fall 2020 in the context of COVID-19, across a continuum of potential scenarios that span in-person and distanced strategies and potential hybrid scenarios. The team, which is continuing its work to plan for spring 2021, brings together public health experts, academic leaders, and operational representatives from across the system invited by President Gabel and led by Executive Vice President and Provost Rachel Croson.  

The work is informed by public health data and guidance as well as a scan of decisions being considered and made by peer institutions. Collectively, the group explores scenarios in five key spheres of UMN academic life: classrooms/study spaces/libraries; labs and studios; housing and dining; recreation centers/student unions/events/student groups; and outreach/engagement. Possible scenarios range from almost all in-person to almost all-distanced, with a number of hybrid scenarios in between. All scenarios incorporate accommodations for vulnerable populations, and contingency plans for potential outbreaks throughout the fall.

The fall 2020 planning work of the team was informed by consultation with governance groups, leading to the development of a rough draft used to solicit feedback from a broader set of constituents before presentation of a set of recommendations to President Gabel in early June 2020. The recommendations informed the framework for Fall 2020 instruction approved by the Board of Regents, and the group has continued to provide advisory guidance as the academic year continues. 

Advisory Team

  • Rachel T.A. Croson, Executive Vice President and Provost, Advisory Team Leader
  • Michael Berthelsen, Vice President for University Services
  • Lendley Black, Chancellor, University of Minnesota Duluth
  • Katharine Bonneson, Assistant Vice President, University Health and Safety
  • Phil Buhlmann, 3M/Alumni Professor, Distinguished University Teaching Professor, and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Chemistry; Chair of Faculty Consultative Committee
  • Lori Carrell, Chancellor, University of Minnesota Rochester
  • Connie Delaney, Dean, School of Nursing, and Chair, Twin Cities Deans Council
  • Fernando Delgado, Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, University of Minnesota Duluth
  • Lisa Erwin, Vice Chancellor for Student Life and Dean of Students, University of Minnesota Duluth
  • Michael Goh, Vice President for Equity & Diversity; Professor of Organizational Leadership, Policy, & Development
  • John Hoffman, Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, University of Minnesota Crookston
  • Mostafa Kaveh, Dean, College of Science and Engineering; Professor  of Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Laurie McLaughlin, Interim Associate Vice President, Auxiliary Services
  • Ned Patterson, Professor, Small Animal Medicine, Epilepsy, &  Genetics; Veterinary Medicine  Director  of Graduate  Studies; Vice Chair of Faculty and Senate Consultative Committees
  • Amy Pittenger, Professor and Head, Pharmaceutical Care & Health-Systems; Chair Emerita of Faculty Consultative Committee
  • Jeffrey Ratliff-Crain, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Innovation, University of Minnesota Rochester
  • Janet Schrunk Ericksen, Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean; Distinguished Teaching Professor of English; University of Minnesota Morris
  • Briggs Tople, chair, Student Senate/Student Senate Consultative Committee
  • Maggie Towle, Interim Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
  • Susan Van Voorhis, Associate Vice President, Academic Support Resources

Technical consultants:

  • Jill DeBoer, Director of UMN Health Emergency Response Office; Deputy Director, Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP)
  • Cynthia Kenyon, Senior Epidemiologist, Minnesota Department of Health (MDH liaison)

Senior Staff: Deborah Cran, Senior Assistant to the Executive Vice President and Provost; Paige Rohman, Senior Assistant, University Services; Kate Tyler, Assistant to the Executive Vice President and Provost