As Spring begins this week and we prepare for Easter and Passover, the wisteria is blooming on campus and hope abounds. We write today with our plans for fall 2021, which begins for our undergraduate students on September 20. As our region makes steady progress in suppressing the virus, we are pleased to announce our intent to fully return to campus with on-campus residential housing, campus activities and in-person classes for our undergraduate students.
We are also preparing for our graduate programs to resume many in-person classes, with some classes continuing in hybrid or remote format, depending on the modality of a program before Covid and to address students’ needs.
Our projections and planning are informed by:
- increasing availability of vaccines as well as more favorable testing data and trends locally in Santa Clara County, in the City of Berkeley for our north campus and within our SCU community;
- guidance from local and state public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our own public health experts on campus;
- and valuable feedback from our students, staff and faculty.
While there is much work to be done in the coming months, we once again turn to our core guiding principles that have consistently anchored our decision-making since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic: (1) protect the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff, and (2) offer a rigorous, transformational education in the long tradition of Jesuit education. In addition, we will work to accommodate any students whose health or immigration status does not allow them to return to our campuses in the fall.
We are hard at work on reopening our campuses and are putting our full energy into welcoming our community back, and we will share information regularly as our planning evolves. Hopefully this news gives you— as it does us—some encouragement after a very difficult year. Faithful to the Jesuit tradition, we need to properly honor our losses and reflect on our personal and communal experiences in order to discern their meaning. This will take time, so we must be gentle with ourselves and one another.
In the coming days, we look forward to seeing many of our students move into residence halls —many living on campus for the first time— as our phased campus reopening is underway in Santa Clara. Please know we are deeply grateful for how all of you have met this moment together, with generosity and clarity of conviction, and always rooted in our mission.
Finally, we thank you for your continued vigilance and adherence to safety measures. We pray that you stay safe and healthy in the coming months.
Take care and God bless,
Kevin F. O’Brien, S.J.
Lisa A. Kloppenberg
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs