Middle Tennessee State University remains on track to resume primarily in-person instruction and restore its array of campus events and activities for the fall 2021 semester, President Sidney A. McPhee announced this week.
“We will be back together this fall — even better than we were before,” McPhee said as the campus reached the midpoint of the current spring semester.
McPhee, who announced in late December his intentions to restore operations for the fall as they were before the onset of the pandemic, said he was “buoyed by the tremendous progress made recently in vaccination efforts,” including on-campus vaccine clinics run by MTSU’s School of Nursing faculty and students and Student Health Services staff.
“Our courses offerings will be back to normal — primarily in-person but with selected online options,” he said. “We will use the lessons we learned from teaching during the pandemic, and the technology we installed to help us do so, to make our academic offerings even stronger.
“Our residence halls will reopen as before, with both single- and double-occupancy options. And our faculty, administrators and coaches in academics, athletics and Student Affairs are currently planning a robust return to the activities, events and games that enrich the student experience on our campus.”
One year ago this month, most universities, including MTSU, quickly pivoted to remote instruction in the pandemic’s first surge. MTSU, in late April 2020, was among the first in the nation to announce it would resume some on-campus classes and operations for the fall 2020 semester.
McPhee, however, urged the campus not to ease up on current measures in place to contain COVID-19, including the university’s continued mandates for wearing masks masks, practicing social distancing and observing posted safety capacities in rooms and facilities.
“While there’s light at the end of the tunnel, we must maintain our efforts to contain and control COVID-19 as we wind down the spring semester,” he said.
McPhee authorized on-campus groups this week to begin reserving spaces in campus buildings for activities, including end-of-the-year activities, and allowed off-campus groups to schedule space. However, food service will not be allowed at the events, and participants must follow campus safety mandates.
He also said summer camps and conferences will be allowed in campus facilities, but overnight accommodations will not be permitted except by limited exception and only for academically related groups, such as the Governor’s School for the Arts.
— Andrew Oppmann (Andrew.Oppmann@mtsu.edu)