I am most grateful for your diligent efforts to prepare for the fall 2021 semester. We look forward to welcoming students back to campus in a few days.
The University has been working to ensure the campus environment is safe for students, faculty, and staff. Our health and safety measures reflect the most current guidance from the CDC, IDPH, CUPHD, and the SHEILD team: a mask requirement for indoor spaces, vaccination for all who are able to do so, and active testing for those who are not vaccinated.
These health and safety measures make it possible for us to deliver on our promise of a residential experience for students who have chosen to enroll at Illinois. Students have registered for courses expecting that the class will be offered in a certain modality. The majority are returning to campus expecting in-person classes, with opportunities to interact with faculty instructors and fellow students. We all share the responsibility to meet the expectations of our students and to provide them with innovative and engaging in-person educational experiences.
As the start of the semester approaches, it is possible that a few instructors may seek to change the modality of their course offerings. Instructors who wish to change modality must request and receive approval from the department and college to do so. As part of that process, the faculty member will need to describe the unique circumstances around the request and discuss them with the unit executive officer. For faculty members with health issues that prevent them from being in the classroom, they may seek accommodation through an ADA process. The Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education will continue to monitor all such changes in the modality of course offerings.
We encourage you to remind faculty instructors of the safety precautions that are already in place. Reassure them that the University monitors health and safety conditions closely and is cognizant of the choices made by local school districts. If conditions deteriorate, we will modify our approach.
Andreas C. Cangellaris
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost