June 15, 2024

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MSU planning for Fall 2021 that looks ‘close to normal’

With signs suggesting the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic may be over, Missouri State President Clif Smart recently posed the question: “What will the Fall 2021 semester look like?”

A student walks on campus during the first day of classes Aug. 17 at Missouri State University. Face masks were just one of the many safety precautions implemented.

Smart, addressing the MSU Board of Governors during a recent meeting, was seeking feedback on how to proceed. He said higher education officials nationally fall into two “camps” or general approaches.

“Some institutions intend to have a fall semester that looks similar to this semester or last semester — in other words, sort of a transition or hybrid approach, still assuming we are going to be in the middle of a pandemic,” he said.

“Other institutions indicate they plan to approach the Fall 2021 semester differently, assuming that we will be mostly through the pandemic and be able to manage the pandemic in such a way that we will go back to more of a normal distribution of classes, less capacity restrictions … more events being held as they have traditionally been.”