Fall 2021 on campus will look far more like 2019 than 2020, if vaccines are as widely available in the coming months as expected.
Resuming similar levels of on-campus activity as before the pandemic has long been a possible goal for this fall, but President Wendy Wintersteen made the intention clear in a March 12 message to students and employees.
"I'm pleased to announce that we are looking forward to a 'new normal' for the upcoming academic year. We are planning to return in-person classes, labs, studios, residence, dining, student activities, and campus events to pre-pandemic levels," Wintersteen said in the message.
The foundation of a full fall return is widespread vaccinations, and campus operations will continue to be based on both appropriate health practices and Iowa State's "deep commitment to academic quality and supporting an excellent student experience," Wintersteen said. It would mark the next step in a progression toward normalcy already underway, including the state Board of Regents rescinding its yearlong systemwide ban on university-sponsored international travel and plans for in-person spring commencement ceremonies.
Existing working groups formed for the university's COVID-19 response will continue their in-depth planning, and a newly formed Moving Forward Coordinating Committee has been established to help coordinate their work and bring high-level issues to senior leaders, Wintersteen said. Vice president for extension and outreach John Lawrence, who chaired the fall planning committee in 2020, also will chair the moving forward committee.
Members of the Moving Forward Coordinating Committee are:
- Vice president for extension and outreach John Lawrence (chair)
- Associate vice president for student health and wellness Erin Baldwin
- Vice president and chief information officer Kristen Constant
- Vice president for university human resources Kristi Darr
- Dean Sam Easterling, College of Engineering
- Associate vice president for campus life Pete Englin
- Associate vice president and dean of students Sharron Evans
- Chemistry chair William Jenks
- Professional and Scientific Council president-elect Chris Johnsen
- Associate vice president for public safety and police chief Michael Newton
- University counsel Michael Norton
- Study abroad center director Frank Peters
- Provost's office communications director Rob Schweers
- Vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion Reg Stewart
- Associate provost for academic programs Ann Marie VanDerZanden
- Associate vice president for institutional financial strategy Bonnie Whalen
- Faculty Senate president-elect Andrea Wheeler