“We’ve been heartened by the public health gains Nevada has seen with the advent of vaccines,” University President Brian Sandoval said in a letter to campus on Monday. “Because of these positive trends, I want you to know that we’re actively planning and preparing on being back for the fall semester – with more in-person academics and events, while remaining vigilant in all critical prevention efforts and continuing to prioritize the health and well-being of the University community.”
University administrators said they have heard from countless students stressing how much they want to be back on campus, participating in University life including campus traditions and curricular activities that mark every fall semester return.
“Our students have told us time and time again how important it is for them to be on campus,” Shannon Ellis, University vice president for Student Services, said. “We want them to know that we want them here, that they belong here and that we are working now to ensure they have the services they need when they return. For students worried about affordability, we want them to know we have available financial aid and scholarships. For students who need help with their grades because they didn’t do well via remote learning, we have expanded academic forgiveness policies, academic support services and advising. Additionally, we will continue to offer a vibrant residential life community and many of the currently open in-person services including our fitness and recreational sports program and mental health services by way of University Counseling Services. We want students back and are excited to welcome them.”
One of the fundamental assumptions guiding the University’s planning is that conditions will continue to improve and that everyday life will continue to open up, as the University continues to observe all of the public health guidelines from the state and the county that are meant to mitigate the spread of the virus. If conditions change, the University’s re-opening plans will need to be revised and will be guided by current state and county guidelines. Specific plans for resumption of fall classes, including additional safety measures and starting dates, will be announced to coordinate closely with local public health agencies and will follow all local and state health guidelines.
Here are some of the areas of emphasis the University is prioritizing for a successful return to campus in Fall 2021 as it must continue to follow all current protocols and guidance from the state and county:
More in-person instruction in classrooms and laboratories.
More students living in residence halls and eating in the dining hall.
A return to Welcome Week events and a fall semester of student activities designed to re-engage us all with the beautiful campus and its facilities.
The E. L. Wiegand Fitness Center will be open with additional offerings.
In-person visits for the University’s entire suite of academic support services.
Expanded in-person services in the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to assist students in affording their University education.
Allowing public attendance for all intercollegiate athletics events, guided by recommendations from the county.
Return of the first-year student academic boot camp, NevadaFIT.
Opportunities for faculty and staff to return to work on campus and other locations.
Return of on-campus and in-person job and internship recruitment fairs.
Live performances in the performance halls.
Continued access to professional counseling and psychological services offered through Counseling Services.
Ongoing strategically targeted public health campaigns, with information provided both in and out of the classroom and displayed prominently throughout campus.
“It is with sincere hope and optimism that we are going to make every effort to provide our Wolf Pack Family with the energy and excitement of campus life and to feel the supportive force that our entire University represents,” Sandoval said. “There is real reason for optimism, something more than the cautious optimism we’ve experienced before.”