UMass Boston planning ‘full return’ in the Fall

The University of Massachusetts Boston is planning for a full return to campus in the fall for all students, faculty, and staff with residence and dining halls open and mostly in-person classroom instruction, Chancellor Marcelo Suárez-Orozco told the university community on May 5.

He also noted that the 2021 commencement will be held at TD Garden on Aug. 26.

The decision to return to the Columbia Point campus and offer a full slate of in-person student classes, events, activities, and services was based on increased vaccination rates, the availability of vaccines, low classroom transmission rates, and plans for public school re-openings.

“We fully acknowledge that we’re not simply returning to normal this fall, but that we will be coming together as a community to carry forward the lessons we’ve learned and to build a new way forward that further embraces our founding mission of ‘preserving and extending the domain of knowledge,’ “ Suárez-Orozco said in a statement.

If vaccine and transmission rates don’t continue to trend in a positive direction, the chancellor said the university would reconsider its plans. UMass Boston is also looking for ways to offer more flexible learning opportunities.

“If we were to plan to remain remote in the fall and the health conditions then improved dramatically, it would be very difficult to scale up our campus activities,” he explained.