As you know, the COVID-19 situation is dire, with rapidly increasing morbidity and mortality. Our campus is also affected, and we must make changes in our planning for this semester and next to consider the extremity of the situation.
This semester, for example, I have had to stop immediately all face-to-face and hybrid (FTF) classes in COTA on our city’s public health department instructions, owing to an acute incident in that College. So far this applies only to COTA campus activities and is not university-wide, but we remain on watch for any other affected areas.
Our Spring semester is still scheduled to begin on January 19, 2021, as planned. However, although all classes will begin on January 19, all class meetings and activities, including those that are approved as hybrid or face-to-face classes, will take place virtually until early February, or perhaps even later, depending on how circumstances evolve.
For the limited number of faculty and students who were expecting these limited FTF classes in Spring 2021, it will be necessary to plan accordingly. These plans might include alternative instruction, arrangements to living situation plans, and many other important matters.
One of the most difficult issues we all face is the inability to make definite decisions or plans in the face of a fluctuating health situation. I appreciate and am grateful to everyone for your understanding in these circumstances.
I am truly sorry to have to make this announcement, but even though we are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel with vaccines, we still must negotiate the dangerous time we are now in.
Remember that all of us bear responsibility for taking actions that limit the dangers of COVID. Do not travel anywhere this holiday season, please wear a face covering, refrain from socializing, and obey all public health care directives. They are for all our benefits.
Brian Jersky, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs