What a difference a year makes! Around this time last year, we were reporting on the fall 2020 plans of the Ivy League institutions. From phrases like “planning for a range of different scenarios” to “we just cannot predict now when that moment will arrive [when in-person instruction will be possible]” to “the university will not be making a decision as to whether the fall semester will be held online or in-person until early July,” last May, the Ivy League schools were desperately trying to figure out how to plan for fall. This year, there’s a whole lot less stress and a whole lot more certainty as America emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. So what exactly are the fall 2021 plans across the Ivy League? Wonder no more! As they sang it in Rent, “Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes; Five hundred twenty five thousand moments so dear; Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes; How do you measure? Measure a year?” Measure it in fall reopenings!
Brown University will be returning to in-person instruction this fall. All students and faculty, unless they have a medical or religious exemption, must receive both doses of the vaccine. Class sizes and residency hall capacities will return to their pre-pandemic numbers. Columbia University will be returning to in-person instruction this fall as well, with similar vaccination requirements as Brown. Class sizes and residency hall capacities will return to their pre-pandemic numbers. Cornell University is planning to restart in-person instruction this fall, with similar vaccination requirements. Cornell has also mapped out some contingency plans. As Sharali Shah and Mary Tuyetenhi Tran report for The Daily Pennsylvanian in a piece on the fall-reopening plans across the Ivies, “If Cornell reaches herd immunity, classes will be completely in person and will operate normally. If there are high levels of immunity — meaning that even though the campus does not meet herd immunity standards, the majority of staff, faculty, and students are vaccinated — classes will be taught mostly in person with some online options. In the case of low levels of immunity — if less than 50% of students are vaccinated — classes will be a hybrid of online and in-person.”
Dartmouth College will be returning to in-person instruction in the fall. Students who are not exempt must be vaccinated, though it’s not a requirement for faculty and staff (though it’s highly recommended). As Shah and Tuyetenhi write, “If the college does not reach herd immunity, Dartmouth will continue social distancing protocols, remote learning, and a hybrid residential model.” Harvard University will be returning to in-person instruction in the fall with the same vaccination requirements for students, though vaccination requirements for faculty and staff have yet to be announced. Princeton University will be returning to in-person instruction in the fall. As Shah and Tuyetenhi write, “Princeton administrators announced on May 20 that they are planning for a ‘fully residential’ fall semester with courses, extracurriculars, and programming conducted in-person. All students will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.” An announcement on faculty and staff vaccination requirements is forthcoming. The University of Pennsylvania will be returning to in-person instruction in the fall. Students who are not exempt must be vaccinated, though the requirements for faculty and staff remain to be determined. Yale University will be returning to its in-person residential program in the fall as well. All students without exemptions must be vaccinated. Vaccination requirements for faculty and staff remain up in the air as of now.
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