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FAS stresses “tentative” nature of fall 2021 planning for in-person learning, commits to monthly summer updates 

FAQ page maintains that students should plan to be in Toronto 
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The Faculty of Arts & Science. SHANNA HUNTER/THE VARSITY
The Faculty of Arts & Science. SHANNA HUNTER/THE VARSITY

On April 20, Melanie Woodin, Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Science (FAS), provided an update to students, writing that although the faculty is planning on a return to in-person classes for the fall, all in-person plans are still tentative and will only proceed given permission from Public Health. This announcement follows one from U of T President Meric Gertler in March that said that the university as a whole was planning for a return to in-person activity in the fall. 

Woodin wrote that the faculty will send updates at least once a month on the status of fall semester plans — on May 26, June 23, and July 28. She also laid out that the faculty’s decision-making will be informed by monitoring vaccinations in the province, advice from public health experts, and the planning process of U of T as a whole.

“I wish I could give you more definitive information now but given that we are still months away from the start of the fall term, it is too early to know if we will have to adjust our plans,” wrote Woodin. She also acknowledged that updating fall plans might affect students’ travel and housing plans, as well as instructors’ preparation for fall courses, and that these decisions are often “time-sensitive.” 

The FAS’ 2021–2022 FAQ page, however, maintains that students will need to be in Toronto for the fall semester as “The majority of our classes require in-person participation.” Details on how courses will be delivered will be available prior to course enrolment in July.