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Pepperdine University

Pepperdine Restoration Plan



Especially in these unprecedented times, Pepperdine's unwavering foundational commitments remain: the highest standards of academic excellence and Christian values and the recognition that our students must be at the heart of the educational enterprise. All members of our community are highly valued and viewed holistically, and their safety and well-being are of critical importance. To that end, this plan concentrates on safeguarding the health and safety of our community. Be assured, these measures will be implemented in ways that prioritize the quality of the student experience. We are a community filled with brilliant scholars and creative professionals, many of whom view their work as a ministry. Their collective effort and ingenuity, coupled with their genuine care for our students, will ensure the remarkable Pepperdine experience while taking prudent precautions to maintain the health and safety of our community.

With comprehensive emergency preparation and a pandemic plan in place, Pepperdine is well-positioned to address and respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. As soon as the virus hit the news, we activated our Emergency Operations Committee and the Infectious Disease Task Force, and immediately gathered a consultative team of experts to supplement our on-campus medical professionals. After navigating the initial outbreak and adapting to health restrictions, the University's Steering Team developed Pepperdine's reopening plan to return students to campus.

This comprehensive plan is built upon research, benchmarking, industry guidance, and official mandates, and it prioritizes the health and safety of our community and our commitment to the student experience. Implementation of this plan will be tailored for each of our campuses in accordance with local public health guidance. To ensure a safe and elevated experience for our students, faculty, and staff, we will test, treat, trace, operate, separate, clean, and deliver excellence this fall.


vial icon Test

  1. In line with current, best scientific practices, Pepperdine will prioritize diagnostic testing and will continue to follow the development of antibody testing for potential use.
  2. Pepperdine will procure an ample supply of testing kits and processing units to serve our in-person and on-ground community population.
  3. In line with prevailing guidance and the advice of our medical and infectious disease specialists, Pepperdine will execute a confident screening and testing strategy that mitigates community spread through early identification.


doctor icon Treat

  1. Pepperdine's Student Health Center has capacity to address COVID-19 and routine health concerns as well, with expanded medical staff to provide appropriate campus coverage.
  2. The University will provide tests for COVID-19 coordinated through the Student Health Center.
    • The Student Health Center will add medical personnel to the existing full-time medical staff to assist with treating COVID-19 matters as well as routine medical needs.
    • The Counseling Center will provide services for students experiencing COVID-related anxieties and other mental health concerns.
    • Staff will continue to update the Student Health Center's COVID-19 Treatment Plan regularly as more is learned about the coronavirus, how best to treat it, and how to prevent its further spread.
  3. Pepperdine will continue to closely monitor developments in treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, securing adequate supplies when appropriate therapeutics become available.
  4. Pepperdine will enhance its customary focus on influenza:
    • Pepperdine will treat individuals with influenza-like illness at the Student Health Center.
    • Annual flu shot clinics for the community will be expanded and marketing campaigns conducted to encourage all members of the community to receive the annual influenza vaccine.
      • The Student Health Center has ordered an extra supply of flu vaccines to prepare for the upcoming season.


chart network icon Trace

Pepperdine will establish a contact tracing team and framework, utilizing all relevant departments (including Registrar, Human Resources, Student Affairs, Student Health Center, and Campus Dining), and the technology best suited for our campus. This team will be trained and available to respond at all times.


separate icon Separate

  1. Classes will incorporate appropriate social distancing, reducing density to increase physical space between students, utilizing face coverings, and following practices conducive to effective contact tracing.
    • Large lecture classes may transition to smaller sections. Instructional accommodations will be offered for vulnerable populations, and those requiring quarantine or isolation.
    • Because social distancing reduces classroom capacity, the University will identify additional spaces for academic use; increase the number of sections; and utilize other creative solutions to satisfy health officer orders and academic requirements.
  2. Housing will be modified to comply with public health orders.
    • Residence hall common areas, shared community spaces, and fitness rooms may be modified to account for social distancing guidelines.
    • Adherence to social distancing guidelines within residence facilities will be required.
    • Pepperdine will manage scaleable isolation and quarantine spaces for residential students, sufficient to handle different scenarios.
    • Pepperdine will house suspected and positive COVID cases in pre-arranged locations, while providing for cleaning, academic, and nutritional needs.
  3. Gatherings and events will comply with public health orders, including appropriate limitations on the number of participants or attendees at athletics competitions and performing arts events.
    • Fitness areas and other common area gathering spaces may have limitations subject to public health orders.
    • Pepperdine's Malibu campus has ample outdoor spaces on campus, allowing for recreation to be spread out and not contained solely in indoor venues.
    • External groups will be closely managed, if allowed on Pepperdine's campuses at all.
    • Many of Pepperdine's events are small by nature already because of school size.
  4. Dining will be available in a grab and go format only at the university's main cafeteria, at least initially, with limited indoor seating, until public health guidelines recommend otherwise.
    • Catering services will eliminate family-style delivery and focus on individual servings.
    • The University is also arranging for alternative food service options, including food truck appearances (e.g., In-N-Out, etc.) and allowing food delivery (e.g., Door Dash, Uber Eats, etc.).
  5. Workspaces in large part utilize individual offices and cubicles with walls high enough to create individual workspaces.
    • Workspaces will be evaluated to ascertain whether designated one-way walking paths will decrease contact.
    • Supervisors and Human Resources will promote remote working where possible and will consider staggered or alternating work schedules on campus (e.g., Team A works Monday, Wednesday, Friday on campus; Team B works Tuesday, Thursday on campus).
    • The University will encourage use of virtual meetings rather than using conference rooms.
  6. Physical spaces will include markings denoting appropriate spacing for social distancing (e.g., elevator capacity, retail lines, waiting areas).
  7. Technology and innovation will remain a University focus as we seek to implement best practices across all facets of our campuses.
  8. Guiding policies and practices will accompany changes in operations.


building icon Operate

  1. Classroom technology is being upgraded to accommodate recording and/or Livestreaming for remote learning as necessary. 
  2. Campus housing is all apartment- and suite-style living. Even at full capacity, no more than eight students (two per room) live in a suite/apartment with a double bathroom.
  3. Housing and Residence Life provides a structure and personnel to manage and enforce social distancing measures. Pepperdine has a high ratio of staff to students with resident and spiritual life advisors, resident directors, and professional staff on campus.
  4. Performing Arts will resume when safe to do so, and casts and performances will be evaluated individually, pending the development and application of a specialized control plan targeted to address all relevant factors.
  5. Athletics will resume when safe to do so, and teams will be evaluated on an individual basis, pending the development and application of a specialized infection control plan targeted to address team size, sport contact, practice and competition, travel, and other relevant factors.
  6. Hand sanitizer will be available at numerous locations across campus including in no-touch community dispensers, large pumps for office use, and smaller bottles for personal use by community members.
  7. University policies and practices will be adapted in response to COVID-19:
    • Policies will adjust to accommodate sick students and employees staying home, address vulnerable populations, allow for added breaks for hygiene, use of break rooms/elevators/conference rooms, etc.
    • Access to Pepperdine's Malibu campus will be managed at the two entrances staffed by Public Safety officers (stop each car, request basic identification information, and conduct a basic screening, while also providing reminders such as face covering requirements while in proximity to others). Graduate campuses will follow protocols established by each building's property management.
    • The University has an interim face covering policy requiring campus community members to wear a face covering. This policy will remain in place until Public Health lifts its recommendation on face coverings. Additionally, each campus occupant (student, faculty, or staff) will be provided with a face covering and instructions for proper use and care.
    • Pepperdine will maintain a clean desk policy and increase the availability of sanitation options.
    • Mail services and package handling will continue to be managed in accordance with CDC guidelines.
    • Retail operations will reduce or eliminate in-person operations, with a preference for pick-up/delivery until public health guidelines recommend otherwise.
    • Educational materials about infection control, social distancing, hand washing, covering coughs/sneezes with elbows, and staying home for work/class will be distributed to the community at the beginning of the semester.
    • Enforcement of interim policies will continue by or through:
      • Public Safety officers who staff the campus entrance gates and patrol the campus, addressing policy violations.
      • Supervisors for departmental compliance.
      • Housing staff including resident directors and resident advisors. Initial violations might be given a warning, and repeat offenders would be sent through the University's student disciplinary procedures for violating University policy.
      • LiveSafe, a campus safety/security app is available to all community members so they themselves can report violations for follow up from Public Safety.


hand sanitizer icon Clean

  1. Supply chain management and supplies procurement is a high and ongoing priority for the University.
  2. Enhanced cleaning, with an emphasis on high-touch areas, will exist across campus.
    • The University will implement enhanced cleaning/disinfection services and protocols for the workplace and classrooms (including public areas and restrooms).
    • Pepperdine will maintain on-call deep cleaning crews to address potential exposure areas.
  3. Student residential common living spaces, including bathrooms, will continue to be cleaned by Custodial Services.
    • Cleaning supplies will be provided to students with guidelines for cleaning frequency of high-touch items.
  4. Offices and working spaces will be appropriately cleaned.
    • Personal sanitation supplies will be provided to employees so they can clean their workspaces at the end of each shift.


Pepperdine theme tower Deliver Excellence

What we do to keep our community safe is important, but how we do it will define this era in Pepperdine's history. Our truest identity will be represented when, guided by God, we faithfully execute these plans and deliver excellence to our students. From out of this crisis, we will Ascend. Together.