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Looking Ahead to the Spring Semester

Dr. Joseph Savoie -- Mon, 10/26/2020 - 10:51am

Dear students, faculty and staff members,

The halfway point of this very challenging fall semester is behind us. Before we know it, final exams, Thanksgiving, Commencement and the holiday season will be here. Then, a new year and a new semester will begin.

Before discussing what we anticipate the Spring 2021 semester will look like, I want to express my sincere appreciation to all of you. The conscientiousness and consideration you’ve shown in adhering to safety protocols and public health guidance has enabled us to maintain on-campus instruction, residential life and activities this fall.

You’ve protected our academic and research missions, ensured business and operational continuity, and enabled the University to continue to serve – and, in many cases, lead – our state and community in overcoming the pandemic’s challenges.

I know it hasn’t always been easy, but your remarkable dedication has provided a template of success we can apply to the coming semester.

Our plan is to structure the Spring 2021 semester in much the same way we did the fall.

  • Masks and face coverings will be required on campus, and social distancing measures will remain in effect.
  • To reduce the number of people in classrooms and on campus, we will continue to offer a wide variety of in-person classes, as well as a robust schedule of hybrid, HyFlex and online courses.
  • Staff members who can effectively work from home will continue to do so.

We’ve made two changes to the spring academic calendar, as well.

One involves Spring Break. While many universities have canceled their spring breaks, we have chosen to shorten ours instead. We encourage members of the University community to limit travel during this period. By doing so, you reduce the possibility you may contract COVID-19 and bring it back to campus when you return.

Spring Break will be held from Friday, April 2, through Tuesday, April 6. 

The second change is to Lagniappe Day, April 16. Traditionally, this is a day of fun activities, boiled crawfish and good camaraderie. Because we aren’t yet sure if such large, in-person events will be possible, we’ve decided instead to cancel classes that day.

Otherwise, the spring calendar is unchanged. Classes begin on Jan. 13. Commencement will be May 14. The Martin Luther King Jr. and Mardi Gras holidays will be observed, and final exams will occur as planned. You can find the full calendar here.

This is our general plan moving forward. But, if 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that we all need to remain agile should the unpredictable arise. We will continue to evaluate and make changes as necessary based on the latest and best public health guidance.

But I remain confident that the dedication and commitment on the part of our faculty, staff and students that has put us on track to a successful end to the fall semester will sustain us in the spring as well.

Thank you all again for making this possible.

Stay safe and Geaux Cajuns!

Dr. Joseph Savoie