KOKOMO, Ind. — After nearly a year of adapting to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Indiana University Kokomo is looking forward to returning to mostly normal operations for the next academic year.
IU President Michael A. McRobbie announced this week that the fall 2021 semester will be in-person.
“This decision has been made on the basis of advice from IU’s medical and public health experts who have been leading the university’s comprehensive and successful response to the COVID-19 pandemic for nearly a year now,” McRobbie said. “It has also been made possible because of the dedicated, determined and creative actions of our students, faculty and staff, to whom we are deeply grateful.”
Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke expects fall 2021 to look more like fall 2019 than fall 2020, but said flexibility is still key.
“I join with our students, faculty, and staff in looking forward to increased student activities, and more in-person classes on our campus,” she said. “This year has been challenging, but together, we’ve faced the challenges, made the adjustments necessary to teach during a pandemic, and continued with our mission of educating the people of north central Indiana. I am proud of everyone here who has been part of this effort.”
During the current academic year, the campus implemented a number of health and safety policies to allow as many on-campus academic, research, and creative activities as possible. Positivity rates have continued to fall and have recently been below 1 percent in part because of these policies.
Ongoing mitigation testing of IU students, faculty and staff has played a major role in enabling IU to manage COVID-19 on campus, with hundreds of tests completed across the campus each week. And, as vaccine eligibility expands, IU is strongly encouraging everyone to get vaccinated as soon as they’re eligible.
Sciame-Giesecke said the campus will likely still have health and safety precautions in place for the fall semester, and asked that everyone continue to be flexible, as plans depend on the state of the pandemic, availability of the vaccine, and how many in the IU Kokomo community are fully vaccinated.
“We’ve learned in the last year that we have to be ready to change our plans during a global pandemic,” she said. “Our leadership will continue to monitor the state of the pandemic, and continuously review our plans and activities to be sure we are providing the world-class educational experience our students expect, in the safest environment possible. “