JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A-State officials said they are planning for full, in-person, on-campus activities to return to its Jonesboro campus this summer and fall.
In an email sent out Friday, A-State Chancellor Kelly Damphousse said plans are moving forward.
“I am pleased to share the news that Arkansas State University is preparing for full, in-person and on-campus activity for the upcoming Summer 2021 sessions and the Fall 2021 semester. In addition to the increased numbers of extracurricular activities, I anticipate we will have the same proportion of in-person classes in Fall 2021 as we had in Fall 2019,” Damphousse said.
Damphousse noted the COVID-19 pandemic has created difficulties on campus and in the community, but that students, staff and employees adjusted.
“One year ago this month, we began a journey of creating accommodations related to a global pandemic. Our instructors quickly adjusted their course delivery, and with time, we all learned what measures were useful in limiting the spread. Our staff members worked diligently to implement measures to make our campus as safe as possible. Our students followed through by complying with our Ready to Learn plan so they could protect their fellow students and our employees. As our daily dashboard shows, our planning, our process, and our cooperative spirit have resulted in very low levels of viral spread on campus this spring,” Damphousse said.
Officials said the reduced number of COVID-19 cases on campus, improved medicines and three vaccines available have helped to accelerate the decision and that modifications to the university’s restrictions could be done as early as Maymester and the summer session.
Damphousse said 70% of the full-time faculty members and more than half of the full-time staff members on campus have been vaccinated.
“In closing, I cannot overlook the sacrifices by our entire Red Wolves community related to COVID-19. I am forever in the debt of the students, faculty, and staff who stepped up to limit the impact of the virus at Arkansas State. I have cautiously congratulated everyone for keeping our numbers down, which is a direct product of following the plan we set out. While our mission is not accomplished, we are closer to that than we have been in the past 13 months. Thank you for what you have done. And now, looking ahead to an in-person and on-campus summer and fall,” Damphousse said.