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UL Lafayette staff, students can expect more in-person course options this fall

The Lafayette Daily Advertiser, March 13, 2021

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After a year of virtual instruction and hybrid schedules, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is planning for mostly face-to-face classes for the fall 2021 semester.

"Your diligence, coupled with the increasing availability of vaccines, enables us to expect that campus life in the Fall 2021 semester will look, feel and be much as it was before the pandemic," UL Lafayette President Joseph Savoie wrote in a letter to staff and students campus Thursday.

That means students can expect more in-person course options in the fall, thanks to students, faculty and staff members helping to "create a consistently safe living, learning and working environment over the past 12 months" in response to COVID-19.

Savoie’s message came as the university nears the anniversary of its transition to remote instruction in spring 2020. Though some courses have been offered face-to-face since, most have been delivered online, virtually or in a combination of remote and in-person.

Savoie cautioned that UL Lafayette’s plans for fall would be subject to change depending on the public health situation.

"It is our intention to be as close to normal as we can be when the fall semester begins, though we will continue to follow the advice and guidance of local, state and national health authorities," Savoie wrote. "As that guidance and other protocols change between now and then, we will make appropriate adjustments. Your health and well-being remain paramount, as they’ve been throughout the past year."

Fall semester classes begin Aug. 23. Fall advising and registration starts this month. Significant changes are not anticipated for summer courses.

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In the meantime, Savoie and university officials are asking students and employees to participate in on-campus COVID-19 testing and receive vaccinations when possible.

"Your participation in both will help ensure the continued safety of your fellow students, faculty and staff members. That, in turn, will solidify our confidence that we have done all we can to protect everyone who is on campus now and those who return to campus in the fall," Savoie said. "Reaching our destination requires that we remain as vigilant, cooperative and considerate as we have been."

Doing so will allow the university to "welcome many of you back to campus in a few short months," Savoie said.

"And I am looking forward to that moment very much," Savoie said.