Ford School announces planning and core principles for fall 2021

March 19, 2021

On March 12, University leaders announced plans for the 2021-2022 academic year. Many details remain to be developed, but assuming continued positive trends in vaccination rates, we expect that the majority of University courses will be in person, with a small number being hybrid or fully remote, and lots more opportunities for in-person connections this fall.

Ford School leadership teams are working on plans for the school’s fall semester, with input from faculty, students, and staff.

Given the accelerating pace of vaccinations, our base case for the fall looks promising; in addition to much more in-person coursework, we believe that we’ll enjoy being together in-person for more of the advising, community-building, activities, and speaker visits that we value.

Our plans for next year will be rooted in our values: community, integrity, respect, and transparency; service to the public good; inclusion, diversity, and equity. We’ll put the safety and wellbeing of our people first, and no one will be asked to take risks that aren’t appropriate for their particular circumstances. Each of us will be asked to do our best to ensure the health and safety of others, and to work together to meet our mission to serve, educate, and research for the public good.

We’ll build a plan for next year that reflects those values; is flexible; puts our people first; and positions us for continued excellence in education, research, and engagement. 

We know that there will be some students who are unable to participate in person because of health reasons or travel restrictions. Faculty and advisors will work to ensure that those students can complete their core required courses over the course of the academic year and stay on track with their academic progress. This includes offering some remote participation options for core courses (such as discussion sections) and finding remote substitutions. We also plan to offer a small number of fully remote electives for the fall term.

We’ll do similar work for faculty, GSIs, and staff teams—taking care of folks for whom this pandemic has had differential consequences and building on the many innovations we’ve developed this past year for delivering on our mission.

We’ll post more detailed information, frequently-asked-questions, and more to our fall 2021 webpage in the coming weeks.