University of Wisconsin System President Tommy Thompson announced the System will aim to have 75% of classes back in person in the fall, based on current low campus infection rates and social distancing protocols.
Thompson said across campuses, the UW System infection rate is below 1% and that combined with increasing access to vaccinations is helping universities prepare to return to majority in-person classes.
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Despite improvements made to online course delivery, Thompson said it is important to get students learning and building community on campus.
“It is time for us to plan to resume as much of an in-person campus experience as possible this fall,” Thompson said. “That means small-group classroom discussions about politics, history and literature. It means hands-on lab research and internships. It means cheering on athletic teams, attending live performances and socializing in the dining halls.”
In an email to students Feb. 11, UW Vice Provost of Instructional Continuity and Academic Affairs Steven Cramer said UW-Madison was preparing for the majority of classes to be in-person as well. Cramer said by the fall semester, UW expects everyone who plans to get the vaccine will have had the opportunity to do so and the continuous testing will continue.
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Summer courses will continue to be primarily remote with some in-person options available for select courses, according to the email.
“There are still many details to work through, unanswered questions to address and unknowns to overcome,” Cramer said. “We will adapt, as we have done in the past, if things do not go as planned and we will continue to communicate updates and answer your questions as our plans unfold throughout the semester.”