Campus Update - Looking Ahead
March 4, 2021
Some higher education institutions have recently made optimistic announcements about returning to “fully” normal operations for the upcoming Fall Semester. As we approach scheduling and registration for the Fall Semester, I would like to update you on where I believe things stand with regard to the pandemic and the path ahead.
With the passing of every week, the efficacy of vaccines against COVID-19 becomes more established and their availability more widespread. As a result, it is understandable that we all are becoming increasingly hopeful about our prospects for returning to more normal campus operations.
While assertions about the Fall by some institutions may be overly confident, I certainly agree that the trajectory of improvement in cases as well as availability of treatments and vaccines should give all of us reason to be optimistic. Accordingly, I clearly expect the upcoming Fall Semester will look much more like the Fall Semester of 2019 than the Fall Semester of 2020.
But one thing will not change – we will continue to place our highest priority on the health and safety of our Southeastern family members – faculty, staff and students. Similarly, our second highest priority will be to ensure that we provide the best educational experience possible for our students, including structuring our course offerings to ensure as much face-to-face instruction as is safely possible.
Let me be clear – given everything that we know at present, we hope and are planning for a more normal Fall 2021 Semester, but we will remain vigilant and attentive to public health guidance and will follow it scrupulously in the interest of safety. Going forward, the increasing availability of highly effective vaccines should significantly mitigate the need for accommodations for faculty, staff and students who have COVID-19 comorbidities, paving the way for more normal operations on all fronts.
While the progress we see being made toward ending the pandemic is extremely promising, at present we should all continue to follow the safety protocols with which we have become so familiar. Summer Semester courses and activities are being planned in accordance with current safety protocols.
As always, additional details will be shared as they become available.
John L. Crain