Returning to Normal Capacity in the Fall
This message was sent to faculty and staff by the Provost on May 14, 2021, and a similar message was sent to students on the same day.
Recently, we asked all units to plan for 3 feet of social distancing in our instructional and research spaces for the Fall 2021 term, so that we could be best positioned to pivot in response to any changes in COVID-19 regulations. Today, I am pleased to share that we are now planning for a return to normal capacity (no required social distancing), based on recommendations from Drexel's Scientific Advisory Group and the Return Oversight Committee.
This shift follows encouraging news: Our campus is experiencing the lowest number of COVID-19 infections since the start of the pandemic and vaccination is in full swing, with full vaccination required for on-campus students in the fall. Additionally, the City of Philadelphia announced this week that all Safer-at-Home restrictions will be lifted on June 11. The CDC guidelines for vaccinated persons were also updated this week to include a change in the need for masking. We anticipate soon hearing from the Return Oversight Committee concerning how these recent changes in federal, state and local policies and regulations will further affect campus policies and procedures.
Given the rapidly evolving science of COVID-19 vaccination and the corresponding changes in public health guidance, faculty and professional staff have been working diligently to transition the fall course schedule to maximize our on-campus instructional spaces. After consultation with the Return Oversight Committee, the Office of the University Registrar notified course schedulers and academic departments yesterday that the course section creation and validation deadline was being pushed back to allow additional time to accommodate needed changes. The University Registrar will continue working collaboratively with departments on their fall schedules.
All courses that were scheduled to be remote due to capacity restrictions will now occur on campus in a face-to-face or hybrid modality, excluding those sections designated for international students who may be affected by travel restrictions. Similar changes will be occurring to our on- and off-campus research, scholarly and creative activities, and will be communicated separately by the Office of Research and Innovation.
I am grateful for the hard work and collaboration of the Drexel community as we navigate the return-to-campus process. I look forward to coming together in person without the restrictions of social distancing in the fall.
Paul E. Jensen
Executive Vice President
Nina Henderson Provost