Guiding Principles & Approach

UNC Asheville intends to resume in-person academic and co-curricular operations for Fall 2020 if public health conditions allow. Our return to campus—for in-person work and classes—begins with several guiding principles, adopted by the Chancellor’s Leadership Group in consultation with select faculty, staff and students:

  • Adhere to best practices in health and safety protocols
  • Ensure high-quality instruction and learning
  • Support student success, persistence and retention
  • Support employee health and safety
  • Rigorous attention to the University’s financial sustainability
  • Dedication to community collaboration and mutual support
  • Dedicated effort to ensure continuity of campus operations
  • Attention to institutional resilience

Read the Fall 2020 Return to Campus Plan, or view a condensed version with narration (published June 16, 2020).

The health and virus mitigation protocols and guidance related COVID-19 can change rapidly, so the UNC Asheville Fall 2020 Plan is subject to change and will be updated as needed. However, the principles that guide us remain constant. In addition, the University has worked with external entities and advisors to develop the plan, stay informed about COVID-19, and consider possible future scenarios.

Our approach for returning to in-person academic and co-curricular operations begins with a phased return to work, initiated in accordance with prevailing state laws and guidelines. We will start the fall semester on August 10, bringing most students, faculty, and staff back to UNC Asheville for on-campus instruction, and will conclude November 20. We will prepare for the delivery of a variety of alternative, pedagogically sound, instructional models for faculty and students to teach and learn in a variety of formats—in-person, hybrid, remote, synchronous and asynchronous—to encourage excellence, provide flexibility and foster inclusion. We will continue to offer a high-quality academic and co-curricular student experience that empowers human potential, reflects the unique mission of UNC Asheville as the only public liberal arts and sciences institution in the UNC System, and supports our vital position in the region as a hub of scientific, creative, cultural and economic vibrancy. Following established health and safety protocols, we will safely connect students with each other, their professors, the campus community, and their University by fostering equity, inclusion and accessibility, while providing all students with the co-curricular and experiential opportunities we value.

This approach ensures the hallmarks of the UNC Asheville experience remain distinctive and focuses on best practices of both a liberal arts and science education and protocols for the protection, health and well-being of our faculty, staff and students.