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The Road Forward for Clemson: A Return to Campus Operations

Clemson's COVID-19 resources graphic.

Return to the Workplace

Employee Guide



Clemson University is focused on returning to on-campus learning and living this Fall to the greatest extent possible while prioritizing the health and safety of our students, employees and surrounding communities. This complex undertaking is being carried out in a thoughtful and data-driven manner and will occur in phases that will provide ample opportunity to assess and learn from the latest information available to the University.

Our three-phase process to returning in the Fall is scheduled to begin June 1, with the goal being a return to on-campus instruction and activities in August.

Phases for Return

Clemson University recognizes our unique circumstances as an institution of higher education may result in a different reopening timeline than other entities throughout the state.  

The University’s three-phase framework establishes guidelines for the University to respond to COVID-19 in coordination with federal and state recommendations and orders. The framework identifies key medical indicators related to the prevalence of COVID-19 in our communities and will provide guidance as we progress from one phase to the next, expanding operations as we go, while allowing flexibility to our employees during this challenging period.

Additional details about the return framework will be made available in the near future. Below is an overview of each phase:

  • Phase I, projected to begin June 1, features limited on-campus University operations for those faculty and staff members who cannot complete their work functions adequately while working remotely. We anticipate only a small percentage of individuals returning during this phase and employees should not return to their workspaces unless instructed to do so by their supervisor. Those who return will do so under specific safety guidelines related to face coverings, social distancing and other precautions, which will be shared with employees and supervisors. Clemson campuses will remain closed for events and group activities.
  • Phase II involves bringing back a moderate number of Clemson’s employees to their workplaces under strict safety guidelines and with an emphasis on social distancing regulations and guidance. As in Phase I, those considered to be medically vulnerable, or who have care responsibilities for a vulnerable individual, will continue to work remotely.
  • Phase III will result in a return to on-campus instruction and activities, and the return of nearly all employees to their workspaces. Detailed safety protocols – both enacted by the University and expected of individuals – will be put into place, and aggressively communicated, to avoid possible spread of COVID-19 across the University community.

Each phase includes a gradual expansion of available areas on campus, increases in limits to sizes of meetings and social gatherings and a consistent emphasis on non-pharmaceutical interventions to reduce the risk of spread to individuals and through the community. The University also is exploring a range of options related to testing and contact tracing.

Clemson anticipates spending at least 14 days each in Phases I and II to assess the COVID-19 trends provided by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. The University also will closely monitor conditions on campuses and surrounding areas, and will be prepared to remain in a given phase for longer than 14 days – or revert to a previous phase – if the health indicators warrant such action.

Criteria for Return

Clemson University’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, has established a set of criteria to follow before, during and after a phased University reopening in response to COVID-19. These criteria are designed to:

  • meet short- and long-term campus needs.
  • respond to changes in community, regional and national health status.
  • establish flexible restrictions and limitations for 12-18 months.

Faculty and Staff

  • As the University continues planning a phased expansion of on-site operations, a return framework guidance document is being prepared to ensure a safe working environment. The document, which will soon be available, will focus on health and safety guidelines, guidance for specific work scenarios and support resources.



  • Academic and safety leaders are working on options for instruction and an academic calendar for the fall semester. Provost Bob Jones and his academic leadership team met with faculty and academic staff across all our colleges to solicit their feedback to our draft academic plan. We plan to start the academic year as previously scheduled.
  • More information will be announced as it becomes available.

Campus Housing

  • A multi-week move-out process for Spring 2020 residents will begin in conjunction with the University's Phase I date of June 1. Appointments will be communicated in advance to students and families.
  • Phase II will include a thorough cleaning and sanitation of dining facilities and residential areas.
  • Officials continue to identify isolation/quarantine areas for sick students and prepare accommodations for vulnerable students.
  • Fall 2020 move-in will be extended from its traditional time period to ensure physical distancing.
  • Alternative dining services are being planned and will be communicated prior to Phase III.


Primary Contacts Phone
University Call Center (general inquiries) 864-365-0555
Redfern Health Center (medical - students) 864-656-3571
Joseph F. Sullivan Center (medical - faculty/staff) 864-986-1218
Emergency Management (University protocols) 864-656-9933
Office of Global Engagement (international programs) 864-656-2457
Business Continuity (mission critical functions) 864-656-9737
CCIT (IT assistance) 864-656-3494

Timeline of Key Developments

  • March 2 - Ended all study abroad programs and international travel
  • March 19 - Online learning mandated, events suspended
  • March 27 - Campus access restricted to essential personnel
  • April 1 - Officials authorized to provide prorated refunds
  • April 27 - Campus summer camps, programs cancelled
  • June 1 – Date set for Phase I return to limited on-campus operations

Protect Yourself from Getting Sick

Health Resources

Many health centers are continuing to test for COVID-19. Please look into testing availability in your area or visit one of the following resources for more information:

Prisma Health
Medical University of South Carolina
Self Regional Medical Center

Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions

Continue helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and lower the risk of transmission by consistently practicing simple, everyday non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs):


Travel Information

Current Advisories

U.S. Department of State

Guidance and Resources

All university related travel Is suspended until further notice, even if previously approved. Any exception to this policy will require the following review:

  • Faculty and staff travel within the United States must be deemed essential per college criteria and reviewed by employee’s chair/director and approved by dean/vice president.
  • Faculty and staff travel outside of the United States, including the US territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, US Virgin Islands and Northern Mariana Islands must be deemed essential and requires review by the Office of Global Engagement pursuant to the University’s High Risk Travel Policy. 
  • In conjunction with the return framework and in line with the University's Phase I date of June 1, only essential business travel will be allowed.

University travel guidance

Facilities Access

If you need system access before being permitted to campus based on the University’s three-phase approach, please contact CCIT support. Because of a high volume of support tickets at this time, using the Live Support Chat is encouraged.

IT Resources for Working Remotely

CCIT Guide to Faculty, Staff and Students

Frequently Asked Questions

Most Recent Campus Communications

Previous Updates