Chancellor Glenn Boyce announced via email on Friday that all University of Mississippi campuses will “return to normal” by the fall 2021 semester. The announcement was also published on all of the university’s social media accounts.
“The growing adoption and distribution of multiple vaccines against the COVID-19 virus enables us to plan for a full resumption of in-person classes for Fall 2021 and fully return our campus to pre-COVID-19 operations,” the email read.
The email said that the availability of the vaccine in the state will allow the university to plan for a fall semester that will resume operations as they were before the pandemic.
“As we remain committed to doing all we can to operate similar to Fall 2019, we will monitor the distribution of the vaccine closely as well as other relevant indicators,” Boyce said in the email.
The university is currently gathering data on how many students, faculty and staff have already received a vaccine or plan to do so when doses become available to them. The Office of the Provost requested that UM community members fill out the COVID Vaccine Administration Survey on Feb. 25, and no data has yet been released.
Policies for summer classes will come later, but a specific date was not mentioned.
Boyce also reiterated in his email on Friday that the class of 2020 and class of 2021 commencement ceremonies will take place on consecutive weekends in the last weekend of April and the first weekend in May at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
“We look forward to hosting the Class of 2021 and Class of 2020 for in-person Commencement ceremonies,” Boyce wrote.
The university has maintained its plans to host two in-person graduations this year since the fall.
As of Sunday at 4:00 p.m, there are a total of 8 confirmed UM cases, according to the university’s COVID-19 tracker. There are no active outbreaks on campus, and there is a 100% quarantine bed availability. Only one person is in university-provided isolation housing.
Boyce concluded his email with the sentiment that he will share updates as the university receives them.
“Thank you again for all of your efforts and contributions to our campus community, and for your continued commitment to keeping our campus safe and healthy,” Boyce wrote.