Fall 2020 Visitor Policy

August 17, 2020

Dear Tulane Community:

Tulane University deeply values its neighbors, civic partners, visiting scholars, prospective students, researchers and all who help make our campuses so vibrant, intellectually engaging and impactful. But as part of our comprehensive efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 both at Tulane and throughout the city of New Orleans, we have made the difficult decision to limit the presence of visitors on our campuses and to impose heightened expectations for those visitors who are permitted on campus. The policies below will be in effect from August 17, 2020 until further notice:

Campus buildings: Campus buildings will not be open to the general public. Administrative and lab buildings’ exterior doors will be locked after 11 p.m. nightly and all day on weekends on the uptown campus. Access to classroom buildings will be limited outside of hours when classes are held. Tulane students, faculty, staff and postdoctoral fellows will have access to buildings using their Splash Card (Tulane ID). Downtown campus buildings will be card access only.

Residential Dining Facilities/Retail Outlets: Green Wave Grille, the Commons, and the temporary Dining Pavilion will be restricted to those with an active Tulane University Student Meal Plan or those with a valid/active Splash Card (Tulane ID). PJ’s and retail outlets located in the Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life, including the bookstore, Fed Ex, ATMs and other services will be available to Tulane students, faculty and staff only.

Libraries: Howard Tilton Memorial Library and all associated libraries (including Rudolph Matas Downtown Library, Jones Hall Archives, Tulane School of Architecture Library), and the Newcomb Art Museum are closed to the public until further notice. Information about remote events and resources can be found on the websites associated with these buildings and centers.

Visiting research participants: In-person visits by participants in research studies will be allowed by scheduled appointment only. Visitors must adhere to the university’s screening process upon arrival and must follow these Standard Operating Procedures.

Visiting researchers: All requests for hosting visiting researchers must be submitted via a written request to either the Office of Research or the Provost’s Office. All visiting scientists will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival and required to follow all other COVID safety protocols throughout their visit to any Tulane University campus. For additional COVID-19 information and resources, please visit the Office of Research.
Prospective undergraduate students: The Office of Undergraduate Admission will host a limited number of prospective students on campus. All prospective students and their families will be required to complete a COVID symptoms check, have their temperature taken and wear face coverings. Participants in campus tours will not enter campus buildings, but will gather in a temporary tent erected on the Academic Quad prior to departing for their tour. We encourage prospective students and their families to explore the Office of Undergraduate Admission for more information.  

Prospective graduate and professional students: Graduate and professional student recruitment activities and interviews must be conducted remotely via video or teleconferencing tools such as Zoom, Teams or Skype. Any requests for an exception to this policy must be cleared by the relevant dean and submitted to the associate provost for graduate studies and research for review. All campus visits must be consistent with the university's travel policy, which defines permissible travel to or from New Orleans for official Tulane business. All in-person activities must be conducted consistent with the university’s COVID-19 protocols, including limits on the size of gatherings.

Faculty and Staff Recruitment: Interviewing of candidates for approved faculty and staff positions should be conducted remotely using teleconferencing tools such as Zoom, Teams or Skype. In-person interviews should be extended only to a small number of finalists. All in-person interviews require the approval of the provost for faculty or the chief operating officer for staff. All campus visits must be consistent with the university's travel policy, which defines permissible travel to or from New Orleans for official Tulane business. All in-person activities must be conducted consistent with the university’s COVID-19 protocols. Hiring managers and search committees are encouraged to use the same format for all candidates at each stage of a hiring process so none are disadvantaged.

Non-degree/auditing university students: Students enrolled in Tulane University courses (whether for credit or auditing) are permitted to come to campus. They are required to complete COVID-19 specific training and sign an acknowledgment form agreeing to comply with the university’s COVID-19 protocols.

Non-Tulane interns and observers: Non-Tulane student interns or observers are not permitted on campus until further notice; student interns or observers who can participate solely in a remote format are permitted.

Non-Tulane invited speakers or performers: Events (conferences, seminars, concerts, etc.) featuring invited speakers or performers should be canceled, postponed or conducted remotely (live-streamed or asynchronously).

Public officials and other high-profile individuals: Units sponsoring visits by individuals seeking to meet with university officials should contact the Office of Government and Community Relations or the President’s Office to discuss arrangements. Such visits must be approved by the relevant senior administrator or the president and must comply with university COVID-19 protocols.

Safety inspectors and other government regulatory or enforcement agencies: To the extent possible, such individuals seeking to come to campus to meet with university officials should contact the Office of the General Counsel in advance to ensure appropriate safety guidance is provided.

Suppliers, contractors, and vendors: These persons must submit the Visitor Acknowledgment Form prior to being granted permission to be on campus, and comply with university COVID-19 protocols.

Recruiters and employers: All recruiting events sponsored by university departments will be conducted virtually this fall. Any exceptions will require pre-approval by the respective dean or senior officer with adherence to all COVID-19 protocols.

Family members (including minor children) of students, faculty, and staff: To limit the number of people present in campus buildings, regrettably these individuals are not permitted in campus buildings until further notice.

  • The vice president for student affairs may grant exceptions when necessary for the health/safety of a student. One parent may accompany their student to campus during move-in. This does not include residential faculty and their immediate family members who live on campus. Additionally, family members who are dropping off and picking up children from Newcomb Childcare (uptown) and Kidopolis (downtown) are exempt but must abide by all university protocols at these locations.

Athletics competitions: Attendance at these events will be addressed separately. The Athletics Department will abide by the guidelines in this policy for all other visitors.


Exceptions to the limits described above may be granted by the appropriate dean or senior vice president. Any exceptions should be requested as far as possible in advance, and in all cases at least a week in advance. Where an exception is sought, the requester should provide a compelling rationale (e.g., why the goals of the visit cannot be attained virtually or at another time) and the proposed itinerary for the visit, including any group meetings. The university will not pay for or reimburse expenses for visits that are not approved in advance. Deans or a senior vice president will approve exceptions based on an assessment of: (1) the need for the requested visit now instead of at some later time; (2) the immediate importance of the requested visit to the university’s core mission of teaching and research; (3) the potential long-term consequences to the university of not hosting the requested visit now and (4) ability to comply with all applicable university COVID policies, procedures and protocols.

Expectations for all approved/permitted visitors

Where an exception has been granted consistent with the above, Tulane University personnel are responsible for informing their visitors about Tulane’s COVID-19 protocols and supporting their full compliance with those protocols. Visitors must complete a Visitor Acknowledgment Form at least a week in advance of their arrival on campus. The form will be distributed to the visitor, collected and held by their Tulane sponsor. Any visitor arriving from an international location must follow the same policy as Tulane University affiliates: self-quarantine for 14 days in another location off campus before coming to campus. Anyone who visited the Tulane campus and tests positive for COVID-19, or is established to be a close contact to a COVID-19 positive person, within 14 days of such visit is expected to notify their Tulane sponsor (and must participate in contact tracing, as appropriate) so that the university can take the necessary mitigation actions. Visitors who fail to comply with Tulane's COVID-19 protocols (including but not limited to expectations regarding face masks/coverings and physical distancing and gathering protocols) may be asked to leave campus.

Patrick Norton
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Robin Forman
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost