Message Sent To:All Faculty, All Staff, All Students
Message From:Message from the Office of the President
Date Sent:Wednesday, October 28, 2020 04:45 PM CDT

Plans for Spring 2021: Limited In-Person Classes and On-Campus Residence Halls

October 28, 2020

Dear Loyola Students, Faculty, and Staff,

We appreciate your resilience and patience as our Loyola University Chicago COVID-19 response working groups and many other colleagues across the University have been diligently planning the next steps for safely and responsibly reopening more of our three campuses for the Spring 2021 semester. Our plans include an increased number of classes on our campuses, modifications to the spring break schedule, and offering students the opportunity to live on campus.

Recognizing that Chicago, the state of Illinois, and the United States are currently experiencing increases in COVID-19 positivity rates, we will continue to align our decision-making with legally allowable and medically advisable (LAMA) protocols as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state of Illinois, and city of Chicago. As such, our planning continues to prioritize the health, safety, and well-being of all Ramblers while we move toward a more traditional on-campus experience for the spring semester 12 weeks from now. The spirit of our community and shared focus on the common good have sustained us to this point and will be essential as we go forward. Together we can, together we will.

Below are several key updates for Spring 2021:

Spring Classes: Beginning in the spring term, we will prudently increase the number of on-campus courses, with a focus on labs and other classes that we must teach in person. In the spring, we expect up to 10 percent of our undergraduate courses will be offered on-campus, plus some additional graduate and professional classes. This is a significant increase from the number of in-person classes held during the Fall 2020 semester. We will offer all on-campus courses in dual mode (also called hybrid-flexible or “HyFlex”) to give students more options for attending spring sessions in the classroom or participating online. In the coming weeks, the spring class schedule will be available in LOCUS.

Spring Break Plans: In order to prevent the additional spread of COVID-19, universities around the country are cancelling their spring breaks. After carefully balancing our care for the greater community with the need for an academic break in the spring, we are adjusting the academic calendar. The adjustment will include two long weekends instead of one traditional weeklong spring break in March. The two individual breaks will run from 4 p.m. on Wednesday, February 10 through Sunday, February 14, and Saturday, March 6 through 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 10. The start and end dates of the spring semester remain unchanged.

Reopening Residence Halls: For the spring, we will welcome a reduced number of students back to our residence halls. Given the need for social distancing, we will house students in single-occupancy units. Where available, those students will have access to a private bathroom and en suite-style units (no more than two students will share one bathroom). Priority will be given to first-year students who held an active housing contract as of August 6. If you are eligible, Residence Life will contact you directly. All students in residence halls will be required to quarantine for the first 14 days on campus, as defined by Residence Life and to conform with public health guidance. In the event that evolving conditions in Chicago or Illinois necessitate changes, Loyola may be required to postpone the Spring 2021 move-in date.

Surveillance Testing Protocols: These decisions on increasing the number of on-campus classes and the reopening of some residence halls are made possible by an extension of the University’s COVID-19 testing infrastructure. Access to regular asymptomatic surveillance testing is a prerequisite and an essential component of our internal readiness. Students, faculty, and staff who will be on campus for studies, research, work, or recreation should expect to be tested regularly. Other information about our enhanced testing will be shared in the coming weeks. Symptomatic testing and contact tracing remain available through the Wellness Center.

Continuing to Embrace a Community Mindset
We eagerly prepare to come together in person and on campus in greater numbers this spring, and we do so with the full understanding that resources and support structures for students, faculty, and staff will need to expand, both in person and online. As people for others, we are confident that each member of our University community will do their part to ensure that we keep each other healthy and well. We depend on our fellow Loyolans to continue to follow the health and safety policies and guidelines in place. These measures will help ensure a safe campus experience for all this spring.

The University will continue to communicate decisions transparently; encourage our students, faculty, and staff to follow best practices; take all appropriate actions in the unlikely event of potential policy violations; and address surges or spikes in transmission among our community. This may include pausing in-person instruction and activities and requiring campus-wide quarantines until a surge is under control. Like other universities, we have learned much since the beginning of the pandemic and we trust our community to remain informed, vigilant, and caring so that we can best experience a spring semester in an expanded operational capacity.

We know that these preliminary planning decisions will prompt additional questions from our community. However, for initial planning purposes, we wanted to share with you these decisions as we work toward an expanded on-campus experience. More details will be made available in the coming weeks. In the meantime, please send specific questions to Loyola’s COVID-19 inbox at covid-19support@LUC.edu.

Like you, we want to have as robust of an on-campus presence and experience as possible. We invite the entire Loyola community to contribute to a safe reopening. Our collective commitment to the health and safety standards identified on our Return to Campus website will make this next phase successful and engaging.

Together in Loyola,

Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD

Norberto M. Grzywacz, PhD
Provost and Chief Academic Officer

Wayne Magdziarz
Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Business Officer

Thomas M. Kelly
Senior Vice President for Administrative Services

Sheila McMullan
Executive Vice Provost

Jane F. Neufeld
Vice President for Student Development

James S. Prehn, S.J.,
Vice President and Chief of Staff

Winifred Williams, PhD
Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer

On behalf of the full Management, Policy and Command Team