Clarkson to resume in person classes for fall 2021

Clarkson University plans for a return to in-person classes in the fall. Clarkson University photo

POTSDAM — Clarkson University is moving forward with plans to fully resume all regular campus operations in Potsdam, Schenectady and Beacon for the fall 2021 semester.

Classes in Potsdam for the fall 2021 semester are scheduled to begin in person on Aug. 31, as originally posted pre-pandemic. Clarkson’s other campuses will follow schedules tailored for each graduate program.

The fall 2021 plan is shaped by the university’s continued commitment to an in-person experience for all students, expanded vaccine availability around the globe, and the ongoing recommendations of public health and other experts in response to COVID-19.

“The way our faculty, staff and students have responded during this pandemic has been incredible. Their diligence, flexibility, and creativity are what have allowed us to continue in-person education, research, and creative activities,” said President Tony Collins in a prepared statement from the college.

“With the counsel of faculty experts and other professionals in health and safety fields, Clarkson made key investments last spring and summer in high-quality air filtration systems for buildings, reinvigorated cleaning procedures and other modifications that are keeping the campus and our students, faculty and staff safe,” said Provost Robyn Hannigan in the press release.

Throughout the pandemic, many faculty researchers have maintained their laboratory operations and research programs bringing critical advances to the national response to the virus with innovations in sensor technologies, health interventions, data visualization tools and more.

Many other employees returned this spring to their campus offices and laboratories. Plans are in place for a full return of all employees by the end of April. Masks are still required on campus when indoors and around others.

All Clarkson employees, including student employees, are currently eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine if they are working or intend to return to working in person.

While some national and New York State guidance is still evolving, there are several important factors guiding the University’s Fall plans:

The plans are based on the assumption that by mid-August, anyone in the university community who chooses to be vaccinated will have been able to take advantage of that critically important opportunity.

Clarkson expects to be operating classrooms at full capacity. It is expected that classes normally taught in-person will largely resume being in-person.

Web-conferenced, “Zoom” classes will be a rare exception, used as needed to supplement learning and increase access for year-round alumni engagement with current campus community members.

The level of COVID testing and personal protective measures, including the use of face coverings, will be determined closer to the Fall semester based on local trends and in close coordination with local public health officials.

These plans may be adjusted as needed to ensure the safety of the Clarkson community and the communities that are home to Clarkson campuses.

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