Yesterday, the California State University announced the anticipated return to primarily in-person instruction in fall of 2021. This announcement was made to provide current and future students and their families with assurances that the CSU is and will continue to work diligently on the health protocols needed for a safe return to campuses in fall and to allow all more time to plan.
Despite increased restrictions due to the current surge in cases, recent news about COVID-19 vaccine development allows us to begin to plan for this step. In addition, the CSU recently extended the fall application deadline for first-time freshman and transfer student admission to December 15 to allow students additional time to submit application materials.
As always, the health and safety of our campus community will be our top priority. Throughout the pandemic, we have lived in a rapidly-changing environment, and we don’t have enough information yet to make an informed decision about Summer 2021 instruction. Obviously, our ultimate goal is a safe return to fully-normal operations, but our campus planning work will continue to be driven by science and the guidance of public health experts.
I am grateful to our faculty, staff and administrators who are working diligently to make the college experience the best it can be as our students continue their progress to degree.
The prospect of a partial return to normalcy is tremendous news and cause for great optimism. Brighter days lie ahead of us, but we must continue to be vigilant and careful to ensure that we all reach those days safely. Recent changes to local and state health guidance had minimal impact on our already-cautious approach to in-person, on-campus experiences, but we can give one another the gift of good health by continuing to follow the guidance of health experts and also by enrolling in California’s recently-launched statewide exposure notification system.
More updates will be provided as the situation becomes clearer in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, stay safe and look forward to the days when we may safely return to campus together.
Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.