A Message from President Oliver

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June 19, 2020

Dear Pitzer Community,

I hope this message finds you and your family healthy and safe. Each of us has experienced unprecedented and challenging circumstances brought on by the global pandemic and the uncertainties that it brings to our daily lives. In nearly every corner of the world, everyone has had to learn as we go and reimagine how we co-exist in our communities. Higher education institutions are no exception and I would like to take this opportunity to provide an update on Pitzer’s current plans for the fall.

Based on guidance and projections from federal, state and county health officials, and in close consultation with our sister colleges in Claremont, Pitzer is actively planning for our campus to be open for in-person instruction for the fall semester. A final decision on this will be made in the next few weeks.

Our planning for a modified educational and residential life program continues to be an enormous and complex undertaking. I thank everyone for their contributions and support in our planning efforts. You will see new measures and protocols, some that you have become familiar with in the last several months.  These include social or physical distancing, “family unit” style-living in our residence halls, monitoring and tracing, face-covering requirements, hybrid and HyFlex teaching/learning, dining plan and policy changes, disinfection, isolation and quarantine.

Our close-knit residential campus community has always been central to the educational experience at Pitzer. However, during a pandemic, we need to recognize that this fall semester will look different from what we are used to on campus. With that in mind, these are key elements of our plan as Pitzer works toward an in-person fall semester:

  • Academic Calendar:  The five undergraduate Claremont Colleges will start classes on Monday, August 24 and conclude instruction by the start of Thanksgiving break to limit the amount of travel that could contribute to public health risks. The fall break has been eliminated to ensure additional instructional days. Final exams and assessments will be conducted remotely and completed by Friday, December 4.
  • Classes:Pitzer plans to offer a range of classes, including those that are in-person, online and various hybrid modalities. Each classroom on campus has been reviewed and modified to accommodate physical distancing and time will be added in between courses to allow for cleaning and disinfecting. We are also in the process of installing tents in various campus locations to serve as outdoor classrooms and spaces for dining and other activities.
  • Residence Halls:  Following current state and county guidance for residential campuses, we are currently planning for no more than two students to be housed in one room, and a maximum of four students sharing one bathroom. Double rooms in Mead Hall will become single occupancy to limit the number of people using a bathroom and common space.
  • Meal Service:  Pitzer will continue to offer healthy, fresh and delicious food with modified and expanded pick up locations to limit potential health risks and allow for physical distancing.  Dietary needs will continue to be accommodated as requested. Several outdoor seating areas are planned across the campus to allow for physical distancing dining.

We realize that you still have many questions and many details are being finalized as we go forward, including move-in, new student orientation, academic and campus life activities. Please know that we will be sharing additional information as our planning efforts continue.

In the meantime, we hope this information helps our students, families, faculty and staff as they engage in their planning in the weeks ahead.

For the latest information related to Pitzer’s plans for the fall semester, please visit the COVID-19 Information Page. I invite you to participate in one or more of the many virtual programs we are providing this summer, including Pitzer@Home and Juice: a Pitzer Summer Series. All of our online programs are free of charge and a great way to connect with and learn about the Pitzer Community.

I sincerely appreciate your understanding and flexibility. The Pitzer community is looking forward to a fall semester where we are together again. 

Provida Futuri,

Melvin L. OIiver
President