Provost Carolyn Kapinus looked to the upcoming academic year in a Feb. 4 email to faculty and staff. The provost outlined the university’s expectations for summer and fall classes and resuming normal activities, based on current information and modeling.
Key takeaways include:
- Progress will continue in curbing COVID-19 through the spring and summer as the administration of vaccines increases and we sustain the use of other public health measures of mask wearing, handwashing and social distancing
- Mass vaccination efforts will need to continue through the summer
- Mask wearing will need to continue through the summer and into the fall
- We will continue use of current safety measures such as sanitizer stations, microphone covers and additional cleaning supplies
University officials expect to continue to offer a large number of online classes through the summer. Student Life plans to hold online orientation activities through the summer.
Kapinus said officials are planning for the best-case scenario for fall 2021, meaning:
- Faculty and staff should expect to be back on campus
- Continued use of telecommuting arrangements will be done on a case-by-case basis with the approval of the divisional vice president
- Though some students may wish to continue taking online classes, the default for scheduling most undergraduate courses, particularly lower-division, should be in person
- Classrooms will be at normal capacity with continued mask wearing
Student Life plans to resume all normal in-person activities for the fall. The on-campus residency requirement will be reinstated for the fall.
The provost said these plans are consistent with those of other state universities. Adjustments will be made in moving courses to online, suspending in-person activities and campus residency requirements if needed, she noted.
“We are at a critical point in the pandemic and our safety depends on continued use of practices such as handwashing, mask-wearing, social distancing as well as seating charts for in-person courses (along with attendance taking if possible) to facilitate contact tracing,” Kapinus wrote. “Compared to other universities, our infection rates have been low and that is due to the collective effort of everyone. Your continued vigilance is appreciated!”