A letter from Alan Rudolph, Vice President for Research at Colorado State University

March 13, 2020:

The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR), in coordination with the College Research Associate Deans (RADs), has drafted a plan for sustaining research operations reporting to the Vice President for Research. This will be complimented by existing and robust emergency and contingency plans for OVPR research operations that are well-developed and updated annually.

Further progression of the pandemic could result in additional restrictions, with only essential research personnel being allowed on campus to perform “critical research” and/or “critical research operations.” The RADs have identified what constitutes “critical research” and/or “critical research operations” and who is considered essential research personnel for each of their respective Colleges. The research community will need to start planning immediately to ensure that we minimize impact to research progress in the eventuality that further restrictions are put into place. That planning will include ensuring that staff, students and faculty have the resources to work remotely, and that data to be analyzed remotely are both collected now and accessible remotely. We also need to address the security of data, samples, equipment, and facilities, in order to avoid loss of expensive and important experiments and studies.

As we determine critical staff that will continue to have access to campus facilities, we will be prioritizing projects with the RADs. If you have any questions about whether your research project(s) will be designated as “critical” please contact your College RAD.

Criteria for “critical research” and “critical research operations” designation include those that, if interrupted or delayed, could result in:

  • Endangerment to human subjects or pose unreasonable risk to human subjects;
  • Endangerment to animal subjects or animal suffering;
  • Loss of experiments or data that will be impossible to replicate; and/or
  • Loss of instrumentation, infrastructure, and/or an unsafe/unsecured laboratory environment.

Our primary goal is to mitigate any impacts a pandemic might have to ongoing research. Thank you all for your partnership and support as CSU works to confront these very important issues! For more information and guidance on other aspects of campus planning, please visit the campus COVID-19 resource page.