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Fall 2021 Return to Campus Plan

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University of Tennessee President Randy Boyd announced yesterday that students attending a UT campus this fall can expect more in-person course offerings. The UT Health Science Center supports this UT System-wide plan. UTHSC is planning to move to a format that includes on-campus preclinical courses for our students this fall.

The move toward a more traditional semester this fall will require a stepwise strategy with the objective of preclinical students returning to campus for many in-person classes. We have maintained preclinical laboratory and simulation classes on campus during the pandemic and our clinical experiences – both on campus and working with our clinical education partners – have been in person. Details for our return to campus will be defined as we move forward with planning. UTHSC will continue to follow all COVID-19 guidelines.

We are working with the college deans and program directors to develop and communicate the steps necessary for all of our students to return to the classroom. Realistically, any plan we develop will adapt to the changing face of the COVID-19 pandemic and to our vaccination success. Likewise, the in-person experience for this upcoming fall semester will be somewhat different, as we will have larger components of our preclinical curriculum offered virtually, as well as a larger portion of our workforce working remotely and other students learning remotely.

As we begin the planning process to return students to campus, we have identified a few areas to start quickly:

  • Increasing library and study space availability
  • Expanding simulation capacity
  • Expanding on-campus testing capacity
  • Extending Health Sciences Library hours of operation from 8:00 am to 11:00 pm, seven days a week, beginning in early March
  • Increasing SASSI’s counseling availability in March

We will communicate upcoming plans to return students to in-person courses as we are prepared to enact them.

Steve J. Schwab, MD, FACP, FASN
Chancellor