KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The University of Tennessee-Knoxville is planning for a full return to the in-person experience on campus this fall.
University officials said Thursday that plans in are motion for a return to classrooms at capacity, traditional campus housing, reopening dining halls, fully-staffed campus student services and a slate of student events and programming.
Plans are also in motion to allow for more fans at athletic events, a university release said.
“As case counts continue to drop and vaccines become more readily available, we are nearing a turning point in this pandemic,” Chancellor Donde Plowman said. “We’ve heard time and again from students and members of our faculty how much more effective and meaningful learning can be when we are together in person. I look forward to safely providing that experience again this fall.”
The chancellor notes that she and her leadership team will continue to follow the guidance of local, state, and federal health officials.
“There is nothing more important to me than the health and safety of our campus community,” Plowman said. “We will listen to experts and remain flexible and adaptable throughout our planning as we decide what protocols to put in place this fall.”
The university moved all classes online following spring break last March, around the same time the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
The university reopened in fall 2020 under COVID-19 precautions including reduced capacity in residence halls and classrooms, as well as a hybrid model of remote and in-person learning.
In coordination with the Knox County Health Department officials, the university has implemented a contact tracing program, created a saliva testing lab to support its testing efforts, offered free COVID-19 tests, and operated vaccine clinics on campus for members of the public.