Rector's Message - Update for Fall 2020-2021 Semester

12 August 2020

Dear students,

The COVID-19 pandemic affecting all the world has unfortunately forced us to complete all of our academic activities via online education in the Spring 2020 semester.  We continue to use these online tools in the Summer Term.

Accumulating evidence and data suggest that the effects of the pandemic will persist for a while. All of our academic units as well as the University Senate have been working diligently to plan for the Fall 2020 educational and academic activities under the pandemic conditions. I hereby write to you to provide you with an update regarding these campus planning activities and the decisions taken related to Fall 2020.

The dynamics of the pandemic indicate that the risk of transmission of COVID-19 is high in university dorms and classrooms. According to the new regulations announced in the Pandemic Management and Work Guide of the Ministry of Health, we will be obliged to reduce our 3600-student dorm capacity and classroom density dramatically, should we decide to hold our classes on campus via face-to-face education. Therefore, unless a completely different decision is taken by the government officials regarding the higher education institutions in the country, we have decided to restrict on-campus education and will implement it only under certain circumstances that absolutely require face-to-face interaction.

Within the framework of these regulations, the University Senate has unanimously decided to hold all English Prep classes online for the Fall 2020 semester. I would like to underline that this is a decision we have taken very reluctantly and it is limited to the upcoming Fall semester.

The University administration and Senate continue to work on the methods and tools to be used in both undergraduate and graduate classes to be held in the Fall 2020 Semester. We will provide you shortly with an update as to which classes will be held online and which on-campus. We will bring forward the registration period so that you can have sufficient time to decide on your workload and to make plans for your online or face-to-face courses. Only for those students who absolutely cannot continue their education via distance learning, admission and placement in dormitories will be arranged following the Pandemic Management and Work Guide.

A BUIS-based daily symptom tracking system and COVID-19 PCR testing will be implemented for the upcoming term considering the campus population and flu season dynamics affecting the infection rate of COVID-19. Guidelines on these new procedures will be conveyed to you in detail before October 22, 2020, the new semester start date.

Our university exhibits a distinct performance not only in its academic activities but also its social and cultural activities. I believe that we will maintain these unique qualities and heritage in these hard times. To this end, we will strive to do our best to ensure that you are able to carry out your social, cultural, and extracurricular activities either remotely or face-to-face. As such, you will be able to continue to use the same tools and infrastructure provided for distance education. You also will be sent written guidelines for COVID-19 measures that need to be taken in all student activities planned on-campus facilities soon.

I wish you a good summer term and a great Fall semester to be completed in success and good health. I strongly believe that we will overcome these extremely challenging times together in solidarity. 

With my very best wishes,

Prof. Dr. Mehmed Özkan