With the understanding that changes in the coronavirus pandemic may force different decisions closer to the fall semester, Indiana University of Pennsylvania today announced its intention of resuming traditional, in-person classes and events for the 2021–22 academic year.

“We will continue to follow the guidelines from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control as we move forward, but we wanted to share our current thinking to help our students and their families to make their plans,” IUP President Michael Driscoll said.

“As we continue to follow the science, we are hoping that health and safety guidelines will allow us to resume in-person events and extracurricular activities that we all have greatly missed,” he said. “IUP has never been about buildings, it is about people. Our students, faculty, and staff have been incredibly resilient, positive, and innovative since the March 2020 requirement to go completely remote, but this is not our preference.”

IUP's fall and spring semesters during the current academic year brought specific groups of students to campus for hybrid instruction (a mixture of in-person classes with some of the class delivered through technology). This plan had about one-third of IUP's student body returning to campus; the remainder of students used technology to access their courses. Employees who are not student-facing were asked to work remotely to the fullest extent possible.

For the spring semester, President Driscoll delayed the return to on-campus classes for three weeks (with a few exceptions of classes that could not continue remotely) because of concerns about the rise of coronavirus cases in the state and region. In January, IUP began offering free, on-campus COVID-19 testing for students, along with a randomized student testing initiative.

“The IUP community has carefully followed these health and safety guidelines, and as a result, we have seen low numbers of COVID-19 positive cases, especially in the spring semester,” Driscoll said. “We hope that this trend continues.”

IUP has not yet made final decisions about how May commencement ceremonies will be conducted. Decisions about fall intercollegiate sports have not yet been announced by the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Classes for the fall semester are scheduled to begin on Aug. 23.

Additional or any new information will be announced as soon as decisions are reached.