UMBC plans to maximize in-person learning in the fall, as conditions permit
Physical distancing and health and safety precautions will continue to be essential
More information, including an updated academic schedule, will be released in the coming weeks
Dear UMBC Community,
The spring semester is well underway, and we continue to take pride in the many ways our community has come together during this challenging time. We know that there is still much uncertainty in our community and the world as we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, a difficult rollout of vaccines, and the continued isolation brought on by the necessary steps we are taking to preserve health and safety.
It is now time to plan for the fall 2021 semester. The COVID-19 Planning and Coordinating Committee (CPCC) is focused on creating a robust on-campus community for teaching, learning, student support, research, and social connection this fall. We are committed to doing this in a way that also protects the health and safety of faculty, staff, and students. We continue to work closely with shared governance leaders and listen to feedback from community members. Our approach will be scientifically informed, and we are regularly consulting with public health experts and colleagues across the state, county, and the University System of Maryland.
At this time, we are committed to maximizing in-person instruction within the constraints of physical distancing. This work will be informed by the key planning assumptions adopted early in the pandemic, as well as what we learn about the status of vaccination in Maryland over the coming months.
Now that we have identified our goal, we have started working on specific implementation strategies. We will start by creating a fall schedule that significantly increases in-person instruction and offers flexibility, as health conditions require. College deans, UMBC's registrar, facilities management, and the Division of Information Technology are partnering with departments and faculty to develop course-specific approaches based on course goals, class enrollment, and facilities available. This process will include providing online options as appropriate, and exception processes for community members with health concerns. As we work toward our academic goals, we will always take into account the needs of students, faculty, and staff.
We ask for your patience and flexibility as we work together to answer the many questions we know that you have. We will share additional information in the coming weeks.
We also encourage any community member who has not yet done so to complete the vaccine registration process. We believe that vaccination will have a significant effect on the amount of the COVID virus in the community. However, vaccination is only one of the strategies we will depend on to ensure the health of our community. We fully expect to continue to require mask-wearing, physical distancing, symptom tracking, and testing.
Thank you for all that you do to strengthen our community.
President Freeman Hrabowski and Provost Philip Rous