Planning for Fall 21: In-person Classes and Activities (Student Message)

Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor
Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, 3:05 p.m.
All KU Lawrence and Edwards Students

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 22 seconds.

Dear Student,

The University of Kansas Lawrence and Edwards campuses are planning a return to – as much as possible – in-person instruction and service this fall. Instructors and scheduling officers are building course schedules to offer in-person instruction for most courses that had been in-person prior to the pandemic.

There are many factors that may affect this plan, such as vaccination roll-out and possible surges in infections, and we’ll continue to watch conditions and keep you informed should our teams advise caution. In our classrooms and workspaces, we’ve been largely successful in controlling the spread of COVID-19 through masking, attention to air flow in buildings and classrooms, physical distancing, and enhanced disinfection and cleaning measures. We have significant classroom scheduling capacity available to meet instructional needs in a safer manner. To help keep campus density low throughout the day we will use the full set of options – scheduling classes earlier and later in the day and using the full week more than we typically have in recent years. These guidelines will shape our fall plans:

  • The Pandemic Medical Advisory Team is developing recommendations for infection prevention and control measures for reducing risk while operating at, or close to, our typical capacity level for in-person classes. 
  • As always, the Pandemic Medical Advisory Team will continue to monitor the evolution of the virus including variants, prevalence, vaccination rates, deaths and hospitalizations, and modify recommendations as needed as we approach the fall 2021 semester. 
  • We will continue to monitor CDC, state and local recommendations and collaborate with our local health departments.
  • We will strive to accommodate faculty and staff whose personal or family health concerns necessitate they continue to work remotely. Some classes may still be taught remotely. Some services may still be available through remote means.
  • We will be mindful that your individual health concerns may also need creative solutions to build a class schedule. However, course adaptations, which can help students who have long-term health concerns, will not be available for all classes.

At this time, we anticipate our fall semester calendar will be more typical, with Fall Break, Thanksgiving Break, Stop Day and an in-person finals week. KU Student Housing continues to be open, and is presently offering contracts to current students and new students. Housing plans to provide a staggered move-in schedule again this fall. KU staff members are also working continuously and closely with health and safety officials and partners in the region and the state to facilitate vaccine distribution this spring, especially for members of the KU community.

Our ability to return to a robust in-person experience rests upon everyone doing their part to curb the spread of COVID. Please stay safe and follow all protective measures, even if you’ve already been vaccinated.

We will be back in touch with an updated outlook at the end of March, before the start of enrollment for the fall semester.



Barbara A Bichelmeyer
Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor