What will post-pandemic life look like next fall when students return to campus? Purdue University President Mitch Daniels says “radical changes” or special preparations may be needed for both medical protection and psychological comfort for the campus community.
“Uncertainty confronts us on almost every question. But one thing we can say with confidence: next fall’s college environment and experience will be unlike any we have witnessed,” said Daniels in an open-letter.
Daniels has announced the formation of the Safe Campus Task Force, a broad-based team of experts, including academic, clinical, operational and safety fields from throughout the school.
He’s charged the task force with exploring every possible change that could occur in how the campus operates, “in our practices, procedures, physical facilities, or any of our operations that will limit the degree of illness, flu or otherwise, on our campus, and to manage it effectively when inevitably it does occur. “
With a likely outbreak of influenza in the fall, Daniels suspects COVID-19 could still be part of that overall “flu season” and he expects most faculty, students, and staff will not have acquired a natural immunity.
Daniels says he wants Purdue to be the best prepared and safest environmental possible from a public health standpoint.
He says Purdue’s mission is the prepare tomorrow’s problem-solvers and to cultivate the persistence to overcome adversity.
“This fall, Boilermakers will demonstrate both qualities by making the smart changes needed to produce a high-value education in an optimally safe environment,” said Daniels.
Members of the Safe Campus Task Force:
- David Hummels (co-chair), Dean of the Krannert School of Management
- Willie Reed, (co-chair), Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine
- Lisa Mauer, Professor of Food Science, Director of the Center for Food Safety Engineering
- Pamela Karagory, Interim Head of the Department of Nursing
- Gerry McCartney, Executive Vice President of Purdue Online
- Beth McCuskey, Vice Provost for Student Life
- Bill Bell, Vice President of Human Resources
- Gail Walenga, Director Purdue University Student Health Center
- Carol Shelby, Senior Director of Environmental Health & Public Safety
- Keith Gehres, University Registrar
- Jay Wasson, Associate Vice President, Physical Facilities
- Rita Clifford, Executive Director of Information Technology Enterprise Relationship Management
- Richard Kuhn, Trent and Judith Anderson Distinguished Professor in Biological Sciences and Krenicki Family Director, Purdue Institute of Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Disease
- Phil Low, Presidential Scholar for Drug Discovery and Ralph C. Corley Distinguished Professor of Chemistry – Biochemistry
- Richard Mattes, Distinguish Professor of Nutrition Science