COVID-19 Task Forces

University Planning Framework for 2020–2021

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold, I have promised to be as proactive and transparent as possible about the University’s financial outlook. I vowed that all our decisions would be based on a set of guiding principles that are consistent with our community’s values, including to:

  • Protect the health and safety of our community members;
  • Deliver the world-class education our students expect and for which our faculty is renowned;
  • Promote equity and our commitment to the public good;
  • Guide the University for long-term sustainability while advancing the University as promised in DU IMPACT 2025 and our Strategic Imperatives; and
  • Support the livelihood of our faculty and staff.

With these principles as guides, I am confident that DU will prevail and flourish — as we have so many other times throughout our history.

To help us move forward during this complex time, I have created a network of five University-wide task forces, and an over-arching University Planning Steering Committee. Although students do not sit on these largely administrative task forces, their experiences, perspective and suggestions for these groups are vital to DU’s successful planning. Working closely with Undergraduate Student Government and Graduate Student Government, I will be convening a special Student Advisory Board that will be in active conversation with all five of the task forces, including joining some of the planning meetings.

With the combined expertise of our board members, senior leadership, faculty, staff and students, these groups will analyze our situation, collect data and make the best recommendations possible:

  • Scenario and Financial Solutions Task Force
  • Fall Logistics Task Force
  • Digital and Online Strategy Task Force
  • Academic Program/Unit Assessment Task Force
  • Opportunity and Strategy Task Force

Each task force is comprised of central- and unit-level representation, including faculty, staff and administrators. Diversity, including diversity of thought, was a guide for member selection, as was unique expertise, commitment to creative thinking, data-driven decision-making ability, and commitment to the University overall.

To supplement the work of the task forces, I will appoint specialized working groups to delve more deeply into subjects—such as housing and health care—that are timely and critical to the success of our planning, and we also will share their progress. As with all University business, we will be as transparent as possible, with the important caveat that some deliberations will require confidentiality until official announcements are ready to be made. 

I appreciate the number of people who volunteered to serve on these groups, and I’m grateful, in particular, to the Staff Advisory Council as well as the Faculty Senate Executive Committee who worked closely with the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for their thoughtfulness and thoroughness in this process.


Jeremy Haefner