Dear Members of the USF Community,
It’s been a tumultuous start to the new year, and I write with the hope that you and those you hold dear are keeping safe and staying healthy.
Our teams responsible for campus operations continue to plan for how USF will proceed this spring, summer, and fall. We have learned a great deal in the past 10 months. While we cannot predict with certainty what USF will look like in the months ahead, we have made informed plans, are in regular communication with public health officials and other experts, and are prepared to adjust our plans as necessary based on the course of the pandemic and the availability of COVID-19 vaccines.
Our intention is for USF to return to primarily in-person instruction starting in fall 2021. Fall semester will also mark the time when most staff will likely be back working on campus.
To open safely this fall, we are building upon current testing procedures, contact tracing protocols, and safety measures, including face coverings, social distancing, and hygiene practices, to name a few. We are working closely with local health officials to ensure we know how the vaccination process will continue to work. Classes and residence halls have been set up to best protect students, faculty, and staff.
Most importantly, we will remain vigilant in all prevention efforts and will continue to prioritize the health and well-being of every member of the USF community.
If the situation with COVID-19, including vaccines, changes, or if public health guidance requires a change to our fall plans, we will quickly adjust. We are committed to communicating our plans as early as possible to all members of our community. We want to be sure students and families, as well as faculty and staff, are able to make informed decisions.
Spring and summer semesters will proceed as planned with online classes and most staff working remotely. However, depending on public health guidance, we may be able to offer in-person or hybrid/hyflex classes during later summer sessions. Detailed plans for fall, including information on classes, remote and other work policies, safety measures, and more will be shared as soon as they are finalized. Members of our community should expect further information from the provost’s office, human resources, and other areas.
Please continue to stay safe and take care of yourselves and others. I join you in looking forward to the time when we can all safely gather together on campus again.
Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J.