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Friday, May 14, 2021
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UB plans for modified campus reopening in fall

In-person instruction to end before Thanksgiving, with final exams conducted remotely

UB will reopen campus for the fall 2020 semester under a “modified in-person” format, President Satish Tripathi and Provost A. Scott Weber announced Monday.

The fall semester will feature a mix of in-person and online classes.

Students and faculty will be operating on a modified academic calendar. The UB Faculty Senate will pursue changes to the calendar, which include holding classes on Labor Day and concluding in-person instruction before Thanksgiving, with the final three weeks of the semester being conducted remotely.

“This decision will preserve our mission as a place-based, public research institution, while providing us needed flexibility to continue caring for our campus community and providing the best possible educational experience for our students,” Tripathi and Weber wrote in the email.

UB is planning for the following modifications:

  • Residence Halls will reopen, with “reduced occupancy”;
  • Dining services will reopen, with “additional takeout and delivery options”;
  • Libraries will reopen, and services will be available in-person and remotely;
  • Classroom instruction will be designed to provide six feet of distance between students;
  • There will be reduced density in classrooms, student housing and offices;
  • The school will send out communication this summer confirming instruction format for specific classes

UB is “in the process of crafting an updated fall schedule,” and students “will be able to access their schedule by mid-July,” according to the guide for students returning to campus.

In April, the university tasked a number of university-wide committees with determining how to best reopen campus in the fall. These committees were composed of more than 180 staff, faculty, students and senior administrators.

In late May, the Campus Planning Committee submitted its 104-page Final Report, which the administration accepted. Final guidance will come from the Governor and SUNY Chancellor. 

In the email, Tripathi and Weber acknowledged that all determinations about the fall semester will have to align with Western New York’s progress on the state’s Phase 1-4 regional benchmarks.

“We would like to thank the many faculty, staff and students who have contributed so significantly to the university’s planning efforts to ensure that we continue to advance our mission during these challenging times,” Tripathi and Weber wrote.

UB will be sending more information and guidance in the coming days and weeks.

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This is a developing story.

Justin Weiss is the senior features editor and can be reached at


Justin Weiss is the The Spectrum's managing editor. In his free time, he can be found hiking, playing baseball or throwing things at his TV when his sports teams aren't winning. His words have appeared in Elite Sports New York and the Long Island Herald.



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