Return to TU: Fall 2020 Planning

Towson University’s plan to return to campus will prioritize the health and safety of our community and ensure that TU can provide a high-quality learning experience for students. 

students on campus

The Return to TU task force has developed a public health and operations framework for the safe reopening of campus and return to classes for the 2020–21 academic year. As we move forward with implementation, we will continue to comply with local, state and federal directives to guide our decision-making and actions.  

Return to TU Planning Framework

The Return to TU Planning Framework (PDF) details the guiding principles that inform all decisions, the conditions that must be met to advance through three phases of reopening, and finally, the 11 implementation teams charged with planning and leading the reopening and return efforts. The framework is in alignment with the University System of Maryland’s Return to Campus Advisory Group. Read the USM guidance on fall 2020 term return issued May 29. 

The following key decisions have been made for the fall 2020 term:

Key Decisions


  • TU will offer both remote and in-person teaching and learning in fall 2020 with a modified academic calendar.
  • All classes will begin one week earlier, on Monday, Aug. 24, and will shift to fully remote learning after Thanksgiving break, on Monday, Nov. 30. All students will vacate the residence halls before Thanksgiving break. Housing & Residence Life will work with students requiring an exception due to hardship.
  • All fall 2020 classes and all finals will be completed remotely after Thanksgiving break.
  • TU will use a highly flexible instruction model that supports both in-person and remote learning and teaching to ensure a lower-density classroom environment. Some courses will be a hybrid of in-person and online learning experiences; others will be online-only. This model ensures TU faculty have flexibility to provide the highest-quality instruction options to students who are seeking an on-campus experience while offering a safe environment for members of the campus community who choose to learn and teach remotely.
  • All study abroad programs for the fall 2020 term are suspended. 


  • Self-monitoring by community members for COVID-19 symptoms and use of testing, contact tracing and self-isolation will be performed where applicable in compliance with USM, local and state directives. 
  • Frequent and thorough cleaning of campus facilities, including common and high-touch areas, will occur prior to campus reopening and throughout the term. HVAC improvements will be completed and sanitizer stations will be installed throughout campus. 

Physical Distancing

  • To ensure a lower-density workplace environment and accommodate those who cannot or choose not to come to campus, teleworking will continue and remote teaching and workplace scheduling will be implemented.
  • Classrooms, workspaces, restrooms, conference rooms and ingresses/egresses will be modified to support appropriate physical distancing.
  • TU will be a “Mask-On” campus, ensuring that all faculty, staff, students and visitors wear a facial covering indoors and when physical distancing might have limitations.
  • TU will obtain and distribute necessary PPE, testing kits and other materials. Additional PPE will be on hand, as necessary for members of the community. 
  • Plexiglass barriers will be installed at high-traffic service counters where applicable, and signage will be added to encourage physical distancing.

Housing & Residence Life and Dining Services

  • Housing & Residence Life and Dining Services will adjust to lower-density models following public health guidance for university residence halls and dining facilities.
  • Glen Tower C will be made available as a single-use residence hall for students who may need to self-isolate.


  • The university will forego all outside/third-party events, except multi-year contract commitments, held anywhere on campus during the fall term.   


  • All non-grant funded travel will be limited to the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Ultimately, the framework’s effectiveness and success relies on adherence to public health directives and the cooperation and vigilance of every member of the TU community. 

Return to TU Guidance and Protocols

The Return to TU Guidance and Protocols outlines guidance on health and safety protocols and changes in effect across campus in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This information applies to all members of the TU community—faculty, staff and students, as well as contractors, vendors, visitors and guests—while on campus or in TU facilities.

Send Us Your Feedback

We value input from our campus community. Please fill out our feedback form to share suggestions with the Return to TU task force or report concerns about health and safety on campus. 

Return to TU Task Force 

The Return to TU task force has been charged with developing an effective public health and operations plan for Towson University that charts a path to the safe reopening of campus to faculty, staff, students and visitors, and the safe return to classes for the fall 2020 term and the new academic year. The work of the task force is guided by two priorities: 

  • ensuring the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff
  • providing a high-quality learning experience for TU students

The plan aligns with all local, state and federal guidelines related to COVID-19 as well as USM directives and guidance.   

Task Force Committees

About the Committees

The task force includes two committees that report directly to President Schatzel: the Academic and Student Readiness Committee and the Campus Readiness Committee. 

The Academic and Student Readiness Committee is chaired by  Provost and Executive Vice President Melanie Perreault and Vice President for Student Affairs Vernon Hurte.

The Campus Readiness Committee is chaired by General Counsel and Vice President for Legal Affairs Sara Slaff and Associate Vice President for Human Resources Steve Jones. 
Their work began in April and will continue throughout the summer and into the fall term. 

Academic Readiness Committee
Timm Baldwin Associate Vice President, Marketing and Brand Strategy — University Marketing and Communications
Harald Beck Professor, Biological Sciences  Fisher College of Science and Mathematics
Jennifer Ballengee Professor, English  Academic Senate/College of Liberal Arts
Brandon Cohen Associate Vice President of Administration and Finance  Administration and Finance
Katie Cordwell Assistant Director, Business & Administrative Services  Student Affairs/Housing and Residence Life
Leah Cox Vice President of Inclusion and Institutional Equity  Office of Inclusion and Institutional Equity
Bob Giordani Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management  Academic Affairs/Office of the Provost
Esty Goodman HR Partner  Human Resources
Joe Herring Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police  Office of Public Safety
Daraius Irani Vice President of Division of Innovation and Applied Research  Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research
Tim Leonard Director of Athletics  Athletics
Susan Miltenberger Sr. Solutions Architect  Office of Technology Services
Lisa Murray M.D. Staff Physician  University Health Center
Warren Riefner Director, Operations and Maintenance  Facilities
Matt Reinhart Associate General Counsel  Office of General Counsel
Anthony Skevakis Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students  Student Affairs
Oliver Ambush Student Government Association
 Campus Readiness Committee
Tasha Benn Professional Development Partner  Staff Senate/College of Business and Economics
Tricia Bradley Assistant Vice President  Office of Inclusion and Institutional Equity
Bob Campbell Associate Vice President  Administration and Finance
Mary Anne Czyz Director, Finance and Administration  Office of Technology Services
Matthew Durington Professor, Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice/Director, Community Engagement and Partnerships  Academic Affairs/College of Liberal Arts
Matt Goldstein Director  University Health Center
Bruce Griffin Chief Compliance and Risk Officer  Office of General Counsel
Robbi Hairston-Flood HR Partner  Human Resources
Joe Herring Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police  Chief of Police
Eric Jones Director of Financial Services  Administration and Finance
Matt Lenno Assistant Vice President — Student Affairs/Campus Life
Katie Maloney Executive Director of Government and Community Relations  Government Affairs
Bob McHenry Director  Environmental Health and Safety
Kevin Petersen Associate Vice President, Facilities Management  Facilities
Lisa Plowfield Dean  College of Health Professions
Davon Robb Assistant Director, Athletics Facilities Management  Athletics
Sean Welsh Interim Vice President, University Marketing and Communications