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May 28, 2020

A return to studios and residence halls for CIA

Gund building facade

May 28, 2020

CLEVELAND—Cleveland Institute of Art will open its educational building and residence halls for the fall 2020 semester with some safeguards aimed at preserving the health of the community.

Grafton Nunes, CIA President + CEO, announced that plan recently to students, faculty, staff and applicants.

"I'm proud of the work we did in spring to keep art and design education on track during the COVID-19 health emergency," Nunes said. "Now it's crucial that we move forward in a way that supports safety while allowing students access to the full CIA experience."

Enhancing measures for safe, collaborative work to be done in studios, classrooms and computer labs will be key to students' success as they pursue their bachelor of fine arts degrees in CIA's 15 major areas of study, Nunes said.

Plans are still underway but will include requirements that faculty, staff, students and visitors wear masks in common areas, maintain 6-foot social distancing, and take their temperatures before entering school buildings. Facility changes will include increased cleaning frequency of high-touch surfaces, installation of physical barriers, room capacity reductions, ventilation enhancements, and signage that reinforces the school's safety protocols.

A team led by Kathryn Heidemann, Chief Academic Officer, is fine-tuning adaptations that will likely combine some online course work along with the studio experience. Built into the planning will be flexibility, including a possible shift of the academic calendar so that the College can adjust modes of curriculum delivery in response to local flare-ups of the virus. Adjustments include a plan for all fall semester in-person coursework to be completed by Thanksgiving break.

“CIA is creative and agile,” said Heidemann. “It’s imperative that we leverage our assets to design a planning process that is coordinated, responsible, and flexible while instilling the values of our institution.”

To inform the basis of this work, she added, CIA has instituted “Six Cs” guidelines:

· Care—Safety for all stakeholders

· Curricular Continuity—Successful delivery and accessibility of learning outcomes

· Community—Maintaining engagement, building affinity, sense of belonging

· Creativity—Fostering a culture of creativity and innovation

· Compliance—Operating within governmental, accreditation, and ADA standards

· Communication—Maintaining effective and regular communications with our stakeholders

About 300 students live in CIA's Uptown and Euclid 117 residence halls. Unlike traditional college dormitories, which often require dozens of students to share a common bathroom, CIA's modern residence halls are configured like apartments. Student bedrooms are separated from main living areas, and no more than two students share a bathroom. Suites are configured to be shared by two or four students.

Matthew Smith, Director of Student Life + Housing, said that education and rearrangement of furniture will help reinforce distancing, but added that students will be expected to adhere to all safety protocols. “We recognize that this will feel a little different, but as a community, we will all be expected to do our part to minimize risk,” Smith said.

Residence hall polices will require students to wear masks when not in their individual suites. Furniture will be minimized in social lounges to discourage group gatherings, and there will be restrictions on outside guests.

"We continue to monitor our current situation and will implement strategies to maximize health and safety as our learning about COVID-19 evolves," Smith said.

CIA also is partnering with University Hospitals and with health officials at Case Western Reserve University, which has committed to providing housing for students of CWRU, CIA and the Cleveland Institute of Music diagnosed with COVID-19.

Further details of CIA's return-to-campus plan are expected to be available in June.

Contact: Karen Sandstrom

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