Expectations for Fall 2021

This message was sent on behalf of President Nathan Hatch, Provost Rogan Kersh and Vice President for Campus Life Penny Rue.

Dear Wake Forest faculty and staff,

We are grateful for your ongoing engagement as we continue working to anticipate health conditions and otherwise prepare for the fall semester. The feedback we regularly receive from individuals and working groups is vital to the University’s decision-making process.

Later today, we will send the email below to undergraduate students to share current plans for the Fall 2021 semester. You will note that our goal is to have as many in-person classes as public health conditions will allow, in the undergraduate college as across all WFU schools. Our current assessment of conditions for the fall indicates that masks and three feet of social distancing in the classroom will still be necessary. Guidance from the CDC is evolving rapidly and may change multiple times in the coming months. We are sharing what is known today and anticipate making adjustments to our current plans based on the best available public health guidance. Your deans and administrative heads should continue to communicate their expectations with respect to specific plans that affect your area or role.

Our support continues for international students, many of whom face challenges related to travel and visa processing in advance of the fall term. What we know today is that conditions vary widely from country to country, and we expect matters to evolve throughout the coming months. The ISSS team is communicating directly with international students to provide updates and offer support, which will continue throughout the summer.

We continue to assess the faculty and staff experience and work to provide the support necessary to do your best work. The Board of Trustees will review the University’s planned budget at their April meeting, and we anticipate being able to communicate more fully in May about next year’s fiscal situation. In particular, we are planning to renew support for faculty and staff professional development. To help reinvigorate faculty scholarship and creative works, we are creating a pool of stimulus funds for research assistants, teaching assistants, and/or software purchases. Relatedly, we are closely monitoring COVID conditions across the U.S. and the globe, and we will update our COVID Travel Policy as conditions allow.

It has been a long and challenging year, to put it mildly. We are deeply grateful to each of you for all you do that makes Wake Forest such a special place.

Nathan O. Hatch

Rogan Kersh

Penny Rue
Vice President for Campus Life

Read the full message to students »