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April 9, 2021

As you have likely read in the recent message from University leadership, we are now planning for a fall 2021 semester that will be in line with the dynamic in-person, on-campus experience of pre-pandemic times. For more than a year now, we have all been operating under extraordinary circumstances; both faculty and staff’s continued commitment to the work we do has been unwavering, and Peabody and our students have thrived thanks to your perseverance. And I am so appreciative of our students’ ability and flexibility in making the most of your educational and artistic opportunities despite the many challenges presented by the pandemic.

Based on everything we have learned about safe operations during COVID, and on the expectation at this time of required vaccinations for all students on campus, and the strongest urging of vaccinations for faculty and staff, I very much look forward to welcoming you back to our beautiful Mt. Vernon campus in the fall. If you have not been vaccinated already, I strongly encourage you to get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible and able.

In addition to the performance-related activities that Peabody successfully conducted in person during the spring semester, we will be expanding the academic courses and co-curricular opportunities that will be offered in person and expect that all aspects of the student experience will return to in-person modality this fall, including the on-campus residential experience for our students. For those students who are not able join us on campus due to restrictions in international travel, Peabody will continue to offer most, if not all, courses required to advance your degrees in a robust online format.

Faculty, we look forward to seeing you on campus for the start of classes and any other pre-semester activities to be scheduled. Staff, we look forward to a full return by mid-August and welcome your input about ramping up that return gradually in the coming months. We will have a process for accommodations and adjustments, although it is our general expectation that these exceptions will be rare.

There are many details still to be determined, and I will be sharing more information with you as it becomes available. Certainly, in partnership with University leadership, we will continue to diligently monitor public health conditions, but at this moment, we clearly see the path forward to a normal academic year. I look forward to taking these next steps with you.

We have all been through a challenging time, and I know it has not been easy. At the same time, I am so proud of how our community has responded and navigated through. And I am especially grateful to see Peabody emerging as strong as ever.