INDIANA – With the understanding that changes in the coronavirus pandemic could force different decisions closer to the second semester, Indiana University of Pennsylvania announced its intention to resume traditional face-to-face classes and events for the academic year 2021-2022.
“We will continue to follow the guidelines of the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control as we move forward, but we wanted to share our current thinking to help our students and their families make their plans,” IUP President Dr. Michael Driscoll said.
“As we continue to follow science, we hope that the health and safety guidelines will allow us to resume the face-to-face events and extracurricular activities that we have all missed a lot,” he said. “IUP was never about buildings, it is about people. Our students, teachers and staff have been incredibly resilient, positive and innovative since the March 2020 requirement to go completely remote, but this is not our preference. “
IUP’s fall and spring semesters during the current academic year brought specific groups of students to campus for hybrid instruction (a mix of face-to-face classes with some of the classes taught through technology). This plan had about a third of the IUP student body returning to campus; the rest of the students used technology to access their courses. Employees who are not student-oriented have been asked to work remotely as much as possible.
For the spring semester, President Driscoll delayed returning to school on campus for three weeks (with some exceptions for classes that could not continue remotely) because of concerns about the increase in coronavirus cases in the state and region. In January, IUP started offering free COVID-19 tests on campus to students, along with a random test initiative for students.
“The IUP community has carefully followed these health and safety guidelines and, as a result, we have seen a low number of positive cases of COVID-19, especially in the spring semester,” said Driscoll. “We expect this trend to continue.”
IUP has not yet made final decisions on how the early May ceremonies will be conducted. Decisions on autumn intercollegiate sports have not yet been announced by the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Classes for the fall semester are scheduled to start on August 23.
Additional or any new information will be announced as soon as decisions are made.