I am writing to clarify plans for the class schedule for the Fall 2021 semester. Over the past few weeks, I have communicated with a variety of groups and individuals at the university in order to get feedback about how to approach the undergraduate class schedule in light of the current and predicted course of the pandemic; the multiple uncertainties this involves; the ever-developing news about the availability of the vaccine; and the appearance of new strains of COVID-19.
UIC plans to be fully open in Fall 2021, with students returning to in-person classes. However, we are planning for classes with sections that have enrollment of 100 or more students to be online due to continuing distancing requirements and infrastructure limitations, unless no distancing at all is required in the Fall.
As for the rest of the courses, and all discussion sections with fewer than 100 students, the Deans of the Colleges who have undergraduate students in them are being asked to create a set of contingency plans, based on several different scenarios, that maximize the number of students attending class on-campus. At the same time, we are undertaking a large renovation project to put streaming and recording technology in all of the 187 centrally-controlled classrooms, and as many of the College-controlled classrooms as feasible so that it is possible to simultaneously stream and/or record live classes.
We expect that a final plan for all undergraduate courses will be finalized by the end of the semester. The delivery of graduate and professional classes will be decided by the colleges in consultation with the relevant departments and faculty.
As we have for the past year, we will continue to be guided first and foremost by science, health and safety.
Provost & Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs