About Manchester

Manchester plans to reopen May through August 


From: Van Vlerah, Abagail L <ALVanVlerah@manchester.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, May 6, 2020 1:57 PM
To: All Colleagues <AllColleagues@manchester.edu>
Subject: Manchester plans to reopen May through August


Dear Colleagues,

As you know, Gov. Eric Holcomb has announced a plan to reopen the state. Similarly, a group at Manchester has been working on what reopening will look like for MU.

The University will follow a gradual reopening plan beginning May 15. The plan’s goals are to mitigate risk while trying to protect the health of colleagues, help ensure the well-being of the community, and prepare for the fall semester.

Work group premises:

  • A one-size-fits-all model does not serve Manchester and our campus communities well.
  • Employees who can do their jobs that way should continue to telecommute/work from home as much as possible.
  • We will work to accommodate colleagues who are part of vulnerable populations or who live with members of a vulnerable population.
  • We will rely on state, local and federal guidance from the CDC, Indiana State Department of Health, White House, county health departments, and our MU community resources as appropriate.
  • We will continue to build on the ideas and innovations we developed in the last few months.
  • We need to focus on the fall – conserve supplies and other resources – with the goal of opening in the fall. 
  • Offer grace and compassion wherever possible.


These phases and dates might change, based on guidance and data from the CDC and from other national, state and local officials, as well as University health care professionals.

Phase 1

Allow colleagues for whom it is best to do their work when others are not on campus to return. This includes specific departments such as maintenance, grounds, and custodial staff. This work for campus projects may begin on May 18. You will be contacted by your supervisor if you are invited to return to campus during Phase 1. 

During Phase 1, other colleagues may request access to their offices to obtain belongings by emailing health@manchester.edu prior to their arrival. This will allow us to ensure buildings and spaces can be unlocked, monitored and cleaned appropriately. You must wear a cloth mask or facial covering (such as a bandana) when on campus.

Phase 2

Carefully bring back more colleagues into office settings. Target date is June 15. Offices will need to refine habits to focus on social distancing, cleaning and hygiene. The reopen work group will work with supervisors to determine how and when colleagues can return. You must have supervisor approval to return to campus during this phase.

Phase 3

Return to new normal with most colleagues on campus while continuing to make use of telecommuting, scheduling and other measures to maintain social distancing and flexibility. Target date is Aug. 1. Additional information about returning will be communicated.

Each phase will require diligence from our community members to self-monitor signs and symptoms of illness, remaining home when ill, and continuing to work from home as much as possible.

Please direct all questions to health@manchester.edu. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.



Abby Van Vlerah, Ph.D. (she/her/hers)
Vice President of Student Life
604 E. College Ave.
North Manchester, IN 46962
E: alvanvlerah@manchester.edu