University begins planning for Fall 2021 instruction

by Delaney Appelhans

Last week, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost Andreas C. Cangellaris announced in a university MASSMAIL email to undergraduate and graduate students that planning for the upcoming Fall 2021 semester is “well underway.”

The email explains that university officials are “confident” that there will be a larger margin of in-person classes offered during the next academic school year, in comparison to the small number of classes that are being offered as in-person options this academic year.

This announcement comes alongside the the university’s current COVID-19 mitigation strategies’ successes, such as the covidSHIELD saliva testing system, face covering mandates and contact tracing, as well as the continuation of vaccine distribution in Champaign County. The covidSHIELD testing system has recently been approved by the FDA for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).

Chancellor Robert J. Jones recently announced that eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine in Champaign County has now expanded to students age 18 and older with disabilities or who have certain health conditions, as defined by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Individuals age 16 and older with certain health conditions in the county itself are now eligible to receive the vaccine, also.

The COVID-19 vaccine distribution is being credited, in-part, for the higher probability of more in-person classes in the Fall 2021 semester. Photo by the Associated Press.

“Of course, the university will continue to follow guidance from the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (CUPHD), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as it evolves,” said Cangellaris.

The email further explains that each of the departments and colleges are currently working on developing their class schedules for the Fall 2021 semester. Registration is expected to begin on Monday, April 19. The full-semester’s schedule will be available for students to view as early as Monday, April 5 on the Self-Service website.