Fall 2021 Return Plan
Xavier will return to mostly in-person classes this fall
“Xavier anticipates to be back to mostly normal operations this fall,” shared Xavier President, Fr. Michael Graham. “We are simply better in-person. We proved that we could hold classes and live on campus during this academic year. Of course, we will continue to follow state and CDC protocols. Our aspiration is to return to a normal collegiate experience as quickly as possible. If the vaccine distributions occur as expected, the University will maximize in-person instruction and restore many events and activities as appropriate with necessary precautions in place.”
Graham continued, “Our students have been committed to one another, both challenging and supporting each other to act with integrity, justice and generosity. Xavier is deeply committed to cura personalis, a term important in Xavier’s Jesuit, Catholic tradition. That is to say, care for the whole person. Time and time again, Xavier proves its care for each student’s academic, social and professional development.”
During the current academic year, Xavier has been one of the few universities in the area and Midwest to offer an on-campus experience for classes, dining and student life for the entire year. Courses have been delivered via online, hybrid, and in-person formats as appropriate.
“Our faculty have really stepped up,” shared Dr. Melissa Baumann, Provost and Chief Academic Officer. “While it has been a challenge for everyone, our faculty have adapted to continue to make the best possible learning environment for our students.”
Xavier has been offering on-campus testing for symptomatic students and close-contacts since the beginning of the academic year. Following State of Ohio guidance, Xavier added a surveillance testing program. The University’s comprehensive approach to testing, contact tracing and quarantine/isolation has resulted in limited community exposure to the virus and a safe campus experience.
“Our students have been amazing,” said Jeff Coleman, Vice President for Risk Management and the Chair of Xavier’s Covid Task Force. “We asked them to be Mask-eteers since the beginning, following all of the necessary protocols so that we could remain in-person. We are very proud of their efforts.”
Xavier has already held some on-campus experiences. Following State guidelines, 10,000 seat Cintas Center has been allowed to host limited capacity volleyball and basketball games. Xavier recently announced that modified and limited-in-size Commencement ceremonies will be held in-person over four separate graduations during one weekend in May.
Graham continued, “Our relationship with TriHealth has never been more important. The doctors, nurses, infectious disease team, and entire staff have provided both guidance to our planning teams and delivered health and wellness support to our students via our new Health United Building. We feel that this partnership has helped to make us successful, and we are being recognized as a leader in collegiate health.”
Xavier will encourage all members of the community to get vaccinated when they become eligible.
Xavier is also making some modifications to the academic calendar. Classes will begin Monday, August 16. Students will be able to return home at Thanksgiving and remain there until the start of the Spring semester, eliminating the need for students to come back in December. Xavier will also have more normal student breaks like Labor Day and Fall Break which students shared are helpful to their experience. The complete academic schedule can be found online.
Coleman noted, “These updates are really driven from the input of our students and their parents. They encouraged Xavier to add back in normal breaks during the semester and noted how convenient it was to return home at Thanksgiving.”
Xavier anticipates strong enrollment again this fall. At the beginning of the academic year, Xavier shared that undergraduate enrollment reached an all-time high.