We are gearing up for a busy, productive, and highly engaged fall semester, adapting to the novel situation in which we find our college and our country. This is very much a semester on, not off, for our Logger community, and we are fully committed to ensuring that students continue to benefit from strong relationships with and guidance from their professors; academic and career advisors; librarians and educational technologists; student clubs and organizations; and more.

We look forward to welcoming to campus about 200 students who have applied and been accepted to live in residence this fall. These students are among a total enrollment of slightly less than 2,000 undergraduate students, in addition to 300 graduate students. Our smaller-than-usual undergraduate class is within the range we anticipated and reflects decisions by some students to defer the beginning of their Puget Sound experience or take a leave of absence during the fall. We are first and foremost committed to providing students with the information and support they need to make the best decisions they can as they continue their Puget Sound educations and work toward attainment of their degrees.

We are finalizing a definitive list of campus facilities that will be available to students who live on campus, as well as those who live in Tacoma and surrounding communities. A comprehensive list is expected next week. Meanwhile, please note the following:

Athletic Facilities. Athletic Director Amy Hackett and colleagues in the athletics division have created a comprehensive reopening plan for our athletic facilities, including the Fitness Center. We are awaiting further guidance from the NCAA—expected in the next week—and will be ready to announce our plans at that time.

Collins Memorial Library. Jane Carlin, director of Collins Memorial Library, is developing a plan for reopening the library for limited in-person use in collaboration with Facilities Services and Technology Services, in addition to offering services remotely throughout the semester. Information about in-person use of the library is expected to be announced next week.

Counseling, Health, and Wellness Services. CHWS will continue to serve students on campus and those who live locally, and also provide services and assistance to students who live out of state. See pugetsound.edu/chws for more information.

Dining Facilities. All dining facilities comply with COVID-19 public health guidelines, and meal plans are available to students who live both on and off campus. The Diner’s fall hours will be Monday–Friday, 7 a.m.–7:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m.–7:30 p.m. Diversions Cafe will be open Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–noon, and The Cellar will be open Thursday–Saturday, 6–10 p.m. All other dining venues will be closed. Students, faculty, and staff members can purchase food and beverages from open venues with meal cards or credit/debit cards.

Logger Store.  The store will be open Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–2 p.m., with extended hours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 24–Sept. 4. Curbside pickup and shopping by appointment is available upon request. Course materials can be ordered at bookstore.pugetsound.edu. Free shipping is available on all textbook orders.

Wheelock Student Center. Students, faculty and staff members can access Wheelock with their Logger Cards.

Staff members in Career and Employment Services have communicated with each student who received a work award for fall 2020, and with their supervisor, to notify them of the specifics related to their individual job. Students who have been notified that they are eligible to work are expected to reach out to their supervisors regarding scheduling. Students who received Federal or State Work-Study awards and are not eligible to work in fall 2020 will have 80 percent--the typical utilization of work-study awards-- converted to a grant, which will be applied directly to their student account. Grants will be applied to student accounts beginning Friday, Aug. 14. CES is available to help students seek off campus employment as well.

Respiratory Clinic. We anticipate that a temporary respiratory clinic will be established in September in a separate location near Wheelock Student Center to treat students experiencing respiratory symptoms or illness. In the meantime, CHWS is creating designated times for students experiencing these symptoms to be seen in order to reduce the risk to students visiting CHWS for wellness or other services. All visits for acute medical services will start with a telehealth visit and those requiring in-person examination will be scheduled as needed. Students coming to CHWS for an in-person appointment will be prescreened before entry. Students will be able to seek COVID-19 testing both on and off campus; the CHWS triage team will work with students to determine their best option for testing. Appointments will be available beginning the first week of school.

Tracking the Virus. We will continue contact tracing and notification of members of the campus community who may be affected by potential exposure to persons diagnosed with COVID-19, working in partnership with Tacoma Pierce County Public Health. To stay current on the state of the pandemic in Pierce County, please visit tpchd.org/healthy-people/diseases/covid-19-pierce-county-cases or link to the site from pugetsound.edu/fall2020.

We have received a number of inquiries concerning the university’s overall financial health, especially in light of recent articles in the media predicting dire outcomes for some of our nation’s educational institutions. While revenues will be lower during the pandemic, we are fortunate to have strong liquidity and access to both reserves and unrestricted quasi-endowment (board-designated funds without the legal restriction to hold principal in perpetuity) to support our educational mission during this global crisis. We will continue to do everything we can to support our students and families, and maintain the financial health of our institution such that we will continue to serve students for generations to come.

Many of you have asked how and when decisions will be made about spring semester. We expect to make an announcement later in the fall; the decision and the timing will be influenced by the status of the pandemic at that time, including how well the virus is being controlled in Pierce County and areas in which our students reside; and progress on vaccine development and other mitigation efforts. Meanwhile, we are preparing for a return to campus in the spring, with health and safety measures in place that meet or exceed recommendations of the CDC, the state of Washington, local public health officials, and organizations with which we are affiliated, including the NCAA and other governing bodies. Depending on circumstances, some facilities, operations and programs may resume in-person service in part or in full prior to the beginning of the spring semester.

We look forward to continuing to keep you updated in the coming weeks as we prepare for a safe and successful fall semester for all.


Isiaah Crawford, Ph.D. | President