Looking Forward to Fall

February 19, 2021

Dear Campus Community,

Although we're still enjoying the beauty of a Montana winter, within the next month, registration will begin for the fall semester. While much time remains between now and the start of classes in late August, planning for course delivery and scheduling already has begun, and it requires us to look ahead and make decisions today about the upcoming academic year.

We are preparing to welcome students to campus in the fall for in-person instruction to the greatest extent possible. We hope this fall at UM resembles a more traditional environment - from academics to student activities, athletics and campus operations. While there are a number of variables that could impact our ability to be fully back in our classrooms and learning spaces, now is the time to plan for this transition. As we have throughout this pandemic, we will continue working closely with public health officials to monitor the situation and make adjustments as needed.

Of course, we cannot fully predict what the next six months will bring. We do know, however, that our mitigation efforts to reduce COVID-19 transmission on campus are working. Please continue to wear masks, wash hands and maintain distancing. Seek COVID-19 testing if you develop symptoms, and make plans now to get the coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available to you. These are important actions we can each take to help bring COVID-19 under control and end this pandemic.

It's been 11 months since the first coronavirus cases were confirmed in Montana. Since then, we've faced tremendous challenges, both as individuals and as a community. This continues to be a year that looks much different than any before, but the spirit of UM remains, and we see evidence of that vibrant spirit every day in the dedication, creativity and determination of our students and employees. It is in this spirit that we look to our plans for the fall with hope and optimism.