University Operations

We're proactively engaged in planning in collaboration with our public health partners. Our efforts include ensuring we have adequate medical supplies and staffing resources, as well as enhancing protocols and ensuring we have the necessary coordination to effectively support at-risk individuals. We're working together across campus to meet, develop and review plans for a range of contingencies while putting ourselves in a position to continue to fulfill teaching obligations even if our campus is significantly affected by the outbreak.

We're also coordinating plans on how to assist and support international students from impacted countries as well as other members of our campus community.

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  • What are enrollment projections if stay-at-home orders are reinstated?

    Those universities that have already announced a movement to entirely online in the fall have seen significant enrollment declines in their first year, first-time students. This ranges from 15 to 30 percent. Given DU’s price point, we have been modeling similar declines for financial scenarios II and III.

  • What are the financial repercussions if DU needs to close campus in the fall?

    If we are required to close campus and move all classes online in the fall, we expect to incur significant additional revenue losses and expenses. Broad contingency plans to maintain our viability are in place.

  • How will DU manage a positive case traced by to an in-person class?

    The full response to a positive case is provided in the positive response protocol. We always notify, by phone or email, anyone who has had close contact with a person who has tested positive for SA-CoV-2.

  • How transparently will DU report cases found on campus?

    You can find an up-to-date list, by week, of the number of positive cases on campus per the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE) definitions on the website (scroll down to mid-page). The information on that website exactly mirrors what we report to DDPHE and they report to CDPHE.

  • What specific threshold will need to be passed before we go to fully online once again?

    A range of triggers for moving in both directions of our Phased Campus Access and Support Plan is in development and will be shared when it is completed.

  • What is the University of Denvers COVID-19 Daily Response Network?

    The University of Denver COVID-19 response network is comprised of four parts:

    • Two dedicated coordinators
    • Senior leadership team
    • University Response team
    • Health partner liaison team

    This network is the natural evolution of the COVID-19 task forces, working groups, and emergency operations committee, whose members have been working tirelessly since the pandemic’s arrival this past spring to answer how the University would respond to the virus. Building on that work, this newly formed response network answers who will carry out that response as we move into a safe and healthy return to campus for the fall.

  • Will campus events be cancelled?

    Below is a brief summary of the decisions that have been reached so far. This information will allow people to make alternate plans, while also helping to keep our community safe.

    • Admission events—Campus visits will depend on current travel restrictions, gathering sizes, and room availability on campus. We hope to have more guidance on admissions tours very soon.
    • Alumni 50th Reunion—This event is postponed until June 2021, when the classes of 1970 and 1971 will celebrate together.
    • Athletics & Recreation—All coach's summer camps are cancelled through June 30. Some student Athelete training has resumed. Some youth summer campus have restarted.
    • Conference & Event Services (CES)—All summer conference and camp accommodations through CES are cancelled for summer 2020.
    • Knoebel Hospitality—Summer cancellations are still to be determined, but meanwhile, a new "to go" option features appetizers, full buffet menu and wine, craft beers and signature cocktails. Curbside pickup will begin on May 22 and will continue every Friday and Saturday through June. Details are available here.
    • Newman Center—All in-person events through January 1st have been postponed or cancelled. 
    • Undergraduate and Graduate Commencements—We have postponed our Spring and Summer Commencement 2020 ceremonies until next spring. The Sturm College of Law's Commencement (originally scheduled for May 16) had already been postponed. 
    • Other events across campus— On and off campus events help create community on campus especially in our academic departments and student organizations. In some events can drives additional revenue to support the University mission.   

    Now in Phase III, DU is prohibiting events consisting of external guests. We have taken this action because of the unknown risk large numbers of individuals coming to our campus will have on our employees or facilities. Until the number of cases reduce to a low or moderate rate the University is unlikely to consider expansion of our policies. However, internal essential events will be allowed if the 50% capacity and 6ft social distancing. Internal events are for those to build community and consist of guest who already participate fully in our protection strategies thus understand our institutional expectations and commitments to reduce the spread of the virus. Essential events are those required for training, job performance, teaching, etc. Outside guest speakers will be allowed and required to follow visitor protocols. Student event scheduling will utilize 25Live as previous but consist of greater oversight to ensure that all event protocols are followed.

  • What can you tell us about the University's finances?
  • How does DU keep facilities clean and disinfected?

    Facilities staff are cleaning with disinfectant products in alignment with best practices from the Colorado Department of Health, in addition to increased cleaning of handrails, doorknobs, and other high touch areas.

    For more information, view the Disinfection & Cleaning Protocol.

  • How will University building access be affected?

    Because we anticipate significantly fewer staff on campus, exterior doors will be locked. During Phase III of the Campus Access and Support plan, individual buildings will continue to be locked and only individuals who are approved to return to campus will be able to enter using their Pioneer card.

    If you do not have your ID card, please visit the card office in South Driscoll.

  • Is the campus shuttle in operation?

    Visit the Shuttle page on the Parking & Mobility Services website for information, and learn about our precautions.

  • Is Anderson Academic Commons still open?

    Visit the DU Libraries website for the most up to date information. 

  • Will I still be able to receive support from the IT@DU Help Desk?

    IT@DU Help Desk is deploying remote answering of Help Desk line by staff. In-person hours will be limited and may be ended if moving to telephone or online help only is desired.

    Call the help desk at 303-871-4700 or submit a ticket if you need support.

  • What financial assistance resources are available to students during this crisis?
    • Student Assistance Fund (SAF) 
      • Purpose: The Student Assistance Fund provides limited financial assistance to currently enrolled University of Denver students who are unable to meet immediate, essential expenses because of temporary hardship related to an unexpected situation. (Request examples: Supplies for self-quarantine, funds for traveling home, concerns about food insecurities.)
      • How to apply: Click here to submit an application to the SAF
        • Documentation is required for the Student Assistance Fund Process. State, local policies, and company support options are rapidly evolving in response to COVID-19.  Therefore, when considering fund requests related to rent and utilities, documentation is needed that demonstrates landlords and utility companies are reporting students to collection companies, evicting students, or disconnecting services to move forward with the Student Assistance Fund in order to address student need.
    • For Rent & Utility Requests: During the COVID-19 crisis students are being directed to their local governments for guidance on support with Rent and Utility resource requests.
      • Denver Resources: City of Denver’s Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance Program
      • Resources for those outside of the City of Denver:
        • Please work with your local governments regarding resource options within your city.
        • If requested, a case manager can work with you to help identify resources within your home city. 
  • How will the decision be made to close campus should the need arise?

    The policies and procedures in the action plan are designed to minimize the possibility of an outbreak and therefore the need to close down the campus. With that said, the University will closely monitor cases on campus, in Colorado, and across the country. We may be required to close campus and therefore move back to fully online classes if state or city ordinances require us to do so. Outside of state and city ordinances, if there is an outbreak on campus, we may be required, or may elect, to move to only online classes, and we have contingencies in place for such an occurrence.  The DU community will need to remain nimble given the uncertainties posed by the Coronavirus, but we will make every effort to remain on campus as long as we can do so safely.

  • How will the University support community and morale?

    To make being on campus possible and, importantly, rewarding, we have added considerable new support for teaching across modalities, including tech and instructional design supports as well as adaptations to spaces to allow for gatherings and internal events. We are also investing in additional programming for mental health and well-being. As there has been since March, we also anticipate significant virtual programming from our Community + Values initiative, Alumni Engagement, and our schools, among many others.

  • Will the University keep the community informed about positive cases on campus?

    Yes. Our COVID-19 website will have running totals of positive cases of COVID-19 on campus over three months—the same information we are required to submit to the Colorado Health Department.

  • What if I am unable to return to campus for a host of reasons?

    Faculty and staff members should visit the workplace accommodations request form to document informal arrangements with supervisors and to request COVID-19 work accommodations. Students may enroll in online or hyflex courses when possible to meet their needs. And, within in-person or hybrid classes, individual accommodations will be managed through the Disability Support Program.

  • What if I am a faculty or staff member with health issues or feel that it is unsafe to be in a working environment right now?

    Faculty and staff members should visit the workplace accommodations request form to document informal arrangements with supervisors and to request COVID-19 work accommodations.

  • Why can’t the endowment be used to fill some of the financial shortfall caused by COVID-19?

    The endowment is intended to support the institution now and in future years based on donor wishes articulated in the many gift agreements that comprise the endowment. DU’s endowment is made up of more than 1300 different funds. The corpus of the endowment is used to generate investment returns – 65 percent of which are used for financial aid to students. 

    As of March 31, 2020, 70 percent of the DU endowment has donor restrictions that must be honored for use of endowment returns. These are not unrestricted dollars available for any institutional use. The remaining 30 percent is unrestricted, but 83 percent of that number was set aside as a quasi-endowment in 2015 and 2017. The returns on those funds are used for financial aid. The Board of Trustees may look at increasing the payout distribution above the current 4.5 percent—likely to support greater financial aid needs. 

    If the returns on the endowment do not cover the payout, then the corpus erodes. That can put us in violation of UPMIFA (Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act). This act requires that nonprofits do not spend below the original value of contributions and that investing and spending be maintained at a rate that preserves the purchasing power of the endowment in perpetuity.