UT-Austin community should plan for on-campus teaching and research for the upcoming fall semester, according to UT President Jay Hartzell

Samantha Greyson

Students, faculty and staff should plan for a “near normal” fall 2021 semester, with staff members coming to campus regularly and in-person teaching and research, UT President Jay Hartzell said in a Thursday letter to the UT community.

Students and faculty should plan for in-person classes, but some aspects of hybrid and remote work will still be in place, Hartzell said in the letter.

“In general, we expect the fall 2021 semester to look more like the fall 2019 semester than the fall 2020 semester,” Hartzell said in the letter.

Hartzell said the UT community should pre-register for the COVID-19 vaccination now by filling out the University’s vaccine distribution form. Currently, the vaccine is being given to people in the 1B vaccination allocation phase as well as to people with other minor health conditions. However, everyone should fill out the form even if they are not currently eligible, according to the letter. 

“Obviously, we’re not through with the pandemic yet,” Hartzell said in the letter. “Nevertheless, it’s time for us to begin planning our transition to what we hope will be a near normal fall.”

The University’s COVID-19 safety principles will remain in place, and the University will continue testing and contact tracing, Hartzell said in the letter. 

“Finally, as we move forward with fall semester planning, there is one thing that will absolutely not change: our commitment to public health best practices through collective safety, responsibility and solidarity,” Hartzell said in the letter. “The same guiding principles that have enabled us to combat COVID-19 while maintaining critical research and teaching functions will absolutely remain in place.”