NSR Cmte → Arizona Law COVID Task Force

Aug. 7, 2020

Dear Students, Staff, and Faculty:

I write to share the latest development in our planning to return to campus as safely as possible.

The New Safe Return Committee is winding down as the Arizona Law COVID Task Force is ramping up. Now we will embark on the next phase of our journey together. 

Chances are, this transition will be seamless to most of our community, but we wanted to be sure everyone is aware of changes, particularly the faculty, staff, and students who are playing a leading role. They are the people to whom you will reach out with questions, comments, and suggestions in the days, weeks, and months ahead.

But first I want to thank the New Safe Return Committee and Working Groups for their thoughtful, challenging, and diligent work in drafting the College of Law New Safe Return Plan. 

During their 3+ months of intensive planning, the team sought feedback from the expansive College of Law community, shared and incorporated the latest science on COVID, and infused best practices throughout the Plan. They conscientiously kept us all informed of their progress and of university developments, guidance, and reports. 

The 9 core members of the NSR Committee quickly expanded to 8 Working Groups with over 30 faculty, staff, and students across every aspect of the Plan. 

The result of their work is a comprehensive and highly practical Safe Return Plan with the priority of creating a College of Law campus that is as safe as possible while continuing the College’s mission of delivering a high quality legal education to our students. 

As the Committee recommends in the Plan, I have created the Arizona Law COVID Task Force to implement the Plan. Implementation centrally will require us all to understand our individual and collective responsibilities when we return to campus. Implementation also involves a substantial voluntary testing and research component, and continuing to update the Plan as the science, university guidance, and best practices evolve. 

The Working Groups created under the NSR Committee will continue to evolve, like the Plan itself, as the Task Force organizes its operational plan and develops its next steps.

The core members of Task Force are: 

Faculty & Staff 

  • Professor Jane Bambauer 
  • Professor Chris Griffin  
  • Asst. Dean Jordan-Curtis 
  • Professor Kristine Huskey 
  • Assoc. Dean Karen Kowalski
  • Assoc. Dean Teresa Miguel-Stearns
  • Asst. Dean Tracy Mueller
  • Professor Justin Pidot
  • Archivist Jaime Valenzuela
  • Asst. Dean Michael Wagenheim
  • Senior Program Director Bernadette Wilkinson
  • Asst. Dean Leah Won

Students

  • DeLorean Forbes (3L)
  • Joy Parker (3L)
  • Christina Poletti (3L) 
  • Dr. Marvin Slepian (2L) - and Regents Professor, College of Medicine, College of Engineering

To help provide structure, within the task force I have asked Bernadette Wilkinson and Leah Won to co-lead an implementation team, and Justin Pidot, Chris Griffin and Dr. Slepian to co-lead a testing and research team.

Many thanks to all members of the Task Force for accepting the invitation to serve; and to all members of the Working Groups for continuing to provide focused and urgent support to all facets of this work. 

The relentless work of everyone involved in building our Plan, with the guiding principle of providing as safe a campus as possible, should motivate us all to follow the Plan. It is not science, but social science that will ultimately define whether we can successfully protect ourselves and each other. We celebrate our close community: we now face a great test of that community.  

In the coming weeks, the Task Force will provide additional guidance as we continue to move forward and welcome students, staff and faculty back to the classroom -- virtual and physical -- and back to campus. 

Marc