July 29, 2020

Dear Fuqua community,

As Duke University shares plans for the fall, detailed in President Price’s message below, we at Fuqua have been thinking deeply about how we continue our mission while also keeping each other safe. We would not open our campus in any capacity if we did not believe, based on medical guidance, that we can safely do so. Our team also understands we will never be able to assure a zero percent risk. However, we are confident in the policies Duke and Fuqua have developed in partnership with some of the world’s most knowledgeable health experts, which we are fortunate to have at the University.

I am writing to explain what the University guidance outlined below means for our community at Fuqua.


The most significant development for us is the policy for COVID-19 testing, governed by the University and not locally by Fuqua:

  • The University has now agreed to test all students prior to entering classes in person.
  • We will also be asking all students, pre-arrival, to be tested, if possible, and self-quarantine, before coming to campus.
  • In addition, our full-time residential students coming to campus, front-facing staff, and faculty teaching in-person classes will participate in surveillance testing during the fall.
  • Duke will provide as-needed access to symptomatic testing. While unchanged for Duke, this access has been problematic in many parts of the country and therefore bears repeating.

I am personally grateful the University has evolved its original testing guidance. The new policies are an important step in ensuring we are doing all we can to protect the health and safety of our community on campus.

Restricted Access

As another mechanism to help keep each other safe, Duke’s campus and Fuqua’s facilities will have restricted access.

  • Members of the Fuqua community will not be permitted to commingle with people in other parts of Duke, and vice versa. Access to the JB Duke Hotel will be restricted to guests and academic program activity, with campus distancing protocols in place.
  • Fuqua students, faculty, and staff will only receive card access to the Fuqua building.
  • Unless for a pre-approved academic purpose, no students, faculty or staff from other Duke units will be allowed access to the Fuqua building.
  • No visitors from outside the Duke community will be granted access to Fuqua.

Campus Protocols

We will continue our plans to operate in a hybrid classroom model – meaning some students will join classes in person while others will participate virtually. For faculty in high-risk categories, courses may be fully online. The restrictions regarding limited capacity in Duke’s residence halls do not apply to our graduate students who all live off campus. As a reminder however, the campus environment will look far different than it did last fall. As previously announced, the following protocols are in place:

  • Everyone is required to wear a mask, unless in an office alone with the door shut or while eating.
  • Everyone is required to observe physical distancing of six feet. Classrooms have been reconfigured so that students will be six feet apart. Chairs have been removed from common areas like the Fox Center to maintain physical distancing and may not be moved without violating the Duke Compact.
  • Everyone will be required to monitor symptoms daily through Duke’s SymMon app. Keycard access to the building will be tied to the app and anyone who has not reported daily monitoring will not be allowed into the building.
  • No one should hold an exterior door open for another person, as access is being monitored by key card. It will be a violation of the Duke Compact to do so.
  • All students, faculty and staff will be required to commit to accountability measures, such as the Duke Compact, as outlined in the President’s message. While the agreement will be released in coming weeks, it will include elements such as the requirement to get a flu shot unless an official exemption is granted. Failure to comply with any of the Duke Compact’s requirements will result in a loss of access to Duke’s campus.

We feel these policies will allow us to keep one another safe, and therefore open our residential programs to students who choose to participate in person. We feel these protocols also enable us to hold longer EMBA residencies safely for those working professional students who choose to come to campus. However, any residential activities of duration shorter than a week will remain online for the near future, a decision that affects 1- and 3-day residency activities in our Weekend Executive MBA program.

Given a 48-hour turnaround to complete required Duke testing on campus before coming to class, we do not feel it is worth any students traveling to campus for these shorter program immersions, as they would be arriving on Duke’s campus only to be isolated in their rooms for most of their experience until they received test results.

We know this will be very disappointing to many of our working professional students. However, Fuqua will revisit the possibility of running these short residencies in person at whatever point the following conditions allow:

  • Testing improves to allow for faster results that enable us to obtain results within a few hours, enabling students to be tested and cleared in time to participate in the same day activity required for a shorter residential experience.
  • Treatment for COVID-19 or a vaccine are developed allowing for in-person interaction with lower risk.
  • The local, state and national COVID trends improve such that conditions are more favorable for gathering in person.

Additional Information

Program deans will be following up with additional relevant information for their students. As you are aware, conditions evolve rapidly and we will be constantly evaluating and reassessing our guidance and protocols. You can expect to hear from us often in coming weeks as additional policies are codified and there is additional Fuqua guidance to share.

While we will be answering many of your specific questions in coming days, if you have an urgent question please continue to email covid19questions@fuqua.duke.edu if you are a student and covid19response@fuqua.duke.edu if you are a staff or faculty member. Team members are continually monitoring both addresses and will respond back to you as soon as an answer is available.

This is a challenging time for all of us – but we must remember, it is temporary. We will get through this together. In the meantime, we must do all we can to stay healthy and protect each other’s health. It is essential that we care and look out for each other. Now – more than ever – we must commit to the decency that guides us in doing what is right for each member of Team Fuqua.

Stay well,