from the desk of Harlan Sands

Dear campus community:

As we cross the midpoint of the fall semester, I wanted to take a quick opportunity to provide a campus update and share some good news with you on a couple of fronts:

Let me begin by thanking each of you for following our safety protocols and demonstrating incredible self-sacrifice in the greater interest of our “common good.” I am so proud of the way we have collectively adhered to our pandemic safety protocols. To date, our on-campus COVID-19 infection rate has been slightly less than expected and is generally lower than what we have seen across other institutions of higher learning in the state.

Much of this early success is a credit to our data-driven, consensus-built, and well-conceived plan; nonetheless, a plan can only succeed if its components - namely personal protocols around masking, distancing, self-assessment, and handwashing - are carried out. There is much work still left to do, but our progress so far suggests that we are within reach of completing our robust, on-campus fall semester as planned.

Given this early success, our current plan is to stick with our current fall schedule, with a scheduled Thanksgiving break and then final exams will take place during the week of December 7. Commencement will be held on Sunday, December 13.

Given our strong compliance efforts on campus, and in appreciation of collective efforts of our faculty, staff, and students, we will close CSU for business between Christmas Day and New Year's Day, meaning employees will be granted paid holiday time.

For our students: We appreciate your efforts too, and, after careful consideration and with full endorsement and support of CSU’s faculty senate, we will be modifying our grading policies for the fall to allow for a pass/fail grading option. Details on this can be found by clicking here.

And, for our spring 2021 academic calendar, we have made the following modifications:

  1. We plan to offer 44% of our classes on campus. This is in line with our pandemic response planning guidelines and consistent with feedback received this fall from our faculty and students. CampusNet will be updated tomorrow to reflect our course schedule.
  2. Spring break will be moved from mid-March to January 9-16. Classes will begin Saturday, January 16.
  3. In lieu of spring break in March, Wednesday, March 10 and Thursday, April 8 have been designated reading days, when all scheduled classes are cancelled.

More details on all these plans will be forthcoming shortly from Provost Zhu and other members of our leadership team.

Please join us for our virtual State of the University Address on Thursday, October 29 at 11 a.m. Log onto or go to our CSU Facebook page to hear the story of how we are advancing our unique brand of Engaged Learning every day and our exciting plans for the future.

As always, I look forward to seeing you and hearing from you in the days and weeks ahead.

Please stay safe!

Harlan M. Sands
Cleveland State University

If you're having trouble viewing this email click here.
© 2020 Cleveland State University, 2121 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio
44115-2215 PH: 216.687.2000