College leaders have rolled out broad guidelines for a phased re-opening of the 106 campuses in Massachusetts this fall.

The framework of recommendations, released Wednesday by a working group of local college presidents, resembles the one for the state that Governor Charlie Baker has outlined.

The group called on Baker to require each college to develop plans for its campus. They should include, at a minimum, monitoring for infection and the ability to scale back operations if a resurgence of COVID-19 cases make that step necessary.

“This is a jewel in the crown of Massachusetts, and we are going to do everything that we can to make sure that this is done well,” said Worcester Polytechnic Institute President Laurie Leshin, who led the group.

In all, Massachusetts public and private colleges enroll more than 500,000 students and employ 130,000 people; so whether and when they reopen are decisions with economic repurcussions for the state and educational consequences for students from the United States and other countries. The financial stakes for colleges are also high.

“Specifically, we are looking at near-term being able to reopen some research laboratories and clinical education, but the larger scale repopulation of our campuses would not happen until the commonwealth is in phase three,” Leshin said. Baker has said the earliest Massachusetts would enter phase three is the end of June.

In her role, Leshin has been interviewing and surveying dozens of college presidents across the state and she said they see reopening as the most important decision of their professional lives.

“They want families to know how seriously we’re taking this and that our North Star in all of this is keeping our communities healthy and safe,” she said.

The group’s statewide survey of college presidents finds a majority want to make their decisions around July 1, so in the coming weeks colleges are expected to be much more specific about their plans, which will likely involve some degree of coronavirus testing.

Several higher ed experts have argued that colleges will not reopen in the fall and the public should not be misled by presidents who say otherwise.

Following a series of vague announcements that colleges “intend” to reopen, the humor website McSweeney’s Internet Tendency published a fake letter on Friday from “your university about its plans for next semester.”

“Please know that we eventually will all come together as a school community again,” it deadpanned. “Possibly virtually. Probably on land.”

The satirical letter added: “We plan to follow the strictest recommended guidance from public health officials, except in any case where it might possibly limit our major athletic programs, which will proceed as usual.”

"The Chronicle of Higher Education" is keeping a searchable list of colleges’ plans and intentions for reopening in the fall.