Fall 2021 Planning Task Force is examining repopulation scenarios
April 5, 2021
Dear Fresno State Community,
Thank you for your diligent and careful work this semester. I’d like to share with you an update on our plans for Fall 2021.
We have endured with strength of spirit through this challenging time. Now, we are ready to put the arduous journey behind us, as we plan to repopulate our campus this summer – in preparation for a return to in-person instruction, research, studying and co-curricular activities that make Fresno State so special.
Our Fall 2021 Planning Task Force will soon send me their best recommendations on how to repopulate our campus. The Task Force is examining various capacity scenarios for classrooms, labs, library study space and co-curricular indoor facilities; as well as plans for on-campus student housing; using outdoor spaces, when feasible; and continuing our diligent cleaning efforts.
We are closely monitoring emerging public health guidelines including: (1) California’s expansion of the list of people who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccination to everyone 16 and older starting April 15, (2) the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) possibly allowing 3-foot distance requirements, which would increase lecture and lab capacity; (3) 37% immunity having been reached in the U.S. as of March 11, with a goal of 70% herd immunity anticipated by early August; (4) increased proven efficacy of the vaccines against most COVID-19 variants.
Our precise steps forward will continue to be guided by and conform to state and local public health guidelines and directives from the Chancellor’s Office, which we will implement with care and flexibility to promote a safe teaching and learning atmosphere.
Though plans are still in development regarding a precise timeline, it appears that we will be able to start the transition during the summer, to be ready to support our students on campus at the start of Fall 2021. We do expect that most of our managers and staff will need to return to campus to support the operational needs of their respective departments.
I hope you will take the time to complete surveys you receive, which will provide you with the opportunity to share your thoughts about our return to campus. As always, I want to know your ideas and concerns, as I greatly value your perspective.
There will be more information to come; for now, I hope this message gives you a glimpse into how we are approaching a successful return to campus.
I am grateful for your patience, and look forward to safely enjoying the beauty of our campus and each other’s company.
Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval, Ph.D.