President’s Message on the First Day of Fall 2020
Fall is coming but it doesn’t feel like fall at all. It is not only because the weather is still hot and humid but also because the campus is unusually empty. Until last year, I could say that fall had come by looking at the faces of our students sitting on a bench below colorful autumn leaves with an excitement to start a new semester. However, things are totally different this year. It is disappointing to see the empty campus just as it was in the previous semester.
Dear CAU Community,
On Aug 19, we announced that all courses apart from those of which nature does not fit remote learning will be moved online for two weeks from Sep 1 to 11 as we are in Phase 2 of our Covid-19 response plan. Back then, we decided to allow practice-based courses to be offered in person for effective learning.
However, the number of daily confirmed cases has started to hover around 200 to 300 and there is a grim outlook that the figure could rise to 800 or even to 2,000 in the following weeks. In order to control the spread of the virus, the Korean government decided to implement “Level 2.5” of its social distancing scheme from Aug 30 to Sep 6 to ban gathering of more than 10 people. On our side, we have made our best efforts to prevent the spread of infection on campus but we also understand the concerns of students taking practice-based courses about whether they will be safe to take classes on campus.
To address their concerns and with our core principle of putting the health of CAU Community as our paramount concern, the university held an urgent committee meeting on Sep 1 and decided to move all courses—practice-based and lecture-based courses of undergraduate and graduate schools—online until Oct 26 (Mon) with a confirmation that we are in Phase 1.5 of our Covid-19 responsive plan. However, if instructors get permission from each department’s Dean, practice-based courses can be offered in person under the condition that classrooms are thoroughly disinfected. Also, reflecting Student Union’s suggestion, we have extended the course add/drop period until Sep 11 (Fri) from Sep 7 (Mon).
I am sending this message to first inform you of major decisions made at the meeting. In order to provide seamless campus operation, the university will post a detailed announcement on the official website once everything is clearly sorted out.
Dear CAU Community,
Although we went through a tough time due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we successfully completed the spring semester and summer break thanks to the efforts of CAU Community. There have been five confirmed cases (Seoul: 4, Anseong: 1) so far among CAU students but fortunately, we successfully prevented the spread of Covid-19 on campus. We hope that the current situation gets better in this semester. We have installed quarantine booths on campus but we believe that it is better to focus more on raising the effectiveness of online classes instead of pressing ahead with plans to bring students back to campus and conduct in-person classes. We have already installed webcams in nearly 200 classrooms to improve the effectiveness of remote learning and are planning to run 24 Da Vinci Classrooms by adding 7 more classrooms equipped with state-of-the-art facilities.
Though I am now informing you of our plan for campus operations until midterm through this letter, it makes me feel burdened to think about all the uncertainties and confusions that might arise throughout this semester. However, we will vigilantly monitor the daily number of confirmed cases and the government’s decision on its social distancing scheme to inform you of our campus operation plans for after Oct 26 by early October.
Dear CAU Community,
We have received a number of helpful suggestions from professors and students. There were a lot of reasonable and valid ones, but I ask for your kind understanding that we were not able to reflect all your suggestions. However, it is clear that we made all the decisions to help as many professors and students as possible to go through this semester. In Fall 2020, we will pay extra care to monitor the ongoing situation and minimize inconvenience.
Even in the middle of the Covid-19 crisis, CAU has made a number of achievements including the selection of 9 groups and 5 teams for the BK21 projects, winning projects from leading research centers (SRC, ERC), receiving Grade A from the Annual University Innovation Support Project Evaluation, selection as a central university for entrepreneurship education, being selected to carry out the School Enterprise Support Project, Future Leading Technology Development Project, High School Education Contribution University Support Project, Nursing College Practical Education Support Project, K-MOOC Project, ITRC Project, Land Transportation Construction Technology Development Project, and SSK Project, etc. I would like to thank all professors and participants who contributed to these achievements.
The university will continue to take necessary measures for CAU Community and never let our guard down until we successfully finish this semester.
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world, setting new standards in every field. As I emphasized in the previous letter, the university will remain far-sighted and future-oriented to turn this crisis into an opportunity to lay a strong foundation for CAU to become a world-class university with a long-term perspective. We look forward to your continued support.
We are going through a tough time, but I hope you fully enjoy this semester despite all the difficulties. Wish you the best of health.
September 1, 2020