March 2, 2021
Dear OU Community,
It’s hard to believe that we have passed the one-year threshold since the COVID-19 pandemic turned our world upside down. The collective difficulties we have experienced are undeniable. All of us have made sacrifices, and some of us have endured unimaginable losses. This defining year has revealed the spectrum of humanity, from its best to its most excruciating. COVID-19 will be engrained in our university story and in our collective memory for generations to come.
As challenging as it’s been, the OU spirit has inspired our community to remain steadfast and strong. Together, you have remained vigilant and flexible, graciously supporting one another, doing your part to make our campuses as safe as possible, and ensuring that our academic mission continues uninterrupted. You have shown the world why the University of Oklahoma is a place like no other, and I have never been prouder.
Today, I write to provide guidance on our fall 2021 semester planning. Because of your efforts, along with the promise of multiple vaccines and widespread inoculation against the COVID-19 virus, I’m pleased to share that we are planning for a resumption of in-person classes at regular capacity university-wide for the fall 2021 semester with necessary safety precautions in place. Classes designed for in-person delivery are expected to be held face-to-face on campus this fall semester.
As with all of our planning, our decisions are being guided by our Chief COVID Officer, Dr. Dale Bratzler, and our priority remains focused on the health and welfare of the OU community. We will continue to closely monitor the situation in the coming months, ensuring that all appropriate health and safety measures are in place.
Although we remain hopeful, we acknowledge that the pandemic has taught us to be nimble in our response. To help us keep making strides forward, we urge you to continue practicing healthy behaviors, including masking, frequent hand washing, and social distancing; to get vaccinated when you are eligible; and to keep supporting one another through this challenge.
We know that this will be an adjustment for many, and many of our return efforts remain a work in progress. We will communicate additional updates for our summer and fall operations in the coming weeks and months.
From the beginning, our community has demonstrated the values that define the OU spirit: generosity, courage, compassion, and resilience. Our optimism swells with each passing day, and we are ever grateful for your role in helping us grow closer to a rewarding experience on campus later this year.
Live On, University,
Joseph Harroz, Jr.