Greetings Ole Miss parents and families,
As we wrap up the Fall 2020 semester, I know your family is eager to welcome your student home for the holidays. As I recently shared in a message to all students, we know they have navigated a semester that is anything but typical, and we are extremely proud of them. I visited with hundreds of them throughout the course of the semester and their input has been invaluable as we make planning adjustments moving into the spring semester.
Completing the semester while adhering to our plan
While we faced countless challenges and difficult decisions as we rethought how we do virtually everything on campus, I’m proud that we completed the semester without the disruptions that so many universities across the nation experienced. We managed to do this because we adhered to the guiding principles outlined in our Campus Ready plan:
- Prevent the spread of the virus to safeguard our community by following guidance of public health officials and agencies,
- Resume an on-campus learning, living and working environment that prioritizes the safety and well-being of the campus population,
- Fulfill our core mission of education, research, and service, and
- Enable our students to maintain progress toward earning their degrees.
Commitment to expanding in-person offerings
In my Oct. 27 letter to parents and families, we committed to holding as many in-person courses (face-to-face or hybrid formats) in Spring 2021 as we possibly can. In committing to more in-person courses, we pledged to expand the number of places where we host classes, and have explored or utilized non-traditional spaces on campus as well as off-campus locations in order to maximize opportunities for face-to-face instruction in the spring while also practicing the required social distancing in the classroom. Some of these include the Tad Smith Coliseum, Student Union and Johnson Commons East Ballrooms, Ford Center Studio A, Jackson Avenue Center and Vaught Hemingway South End Zone Upper Club, among others.
Spring 2021 registration
Spring 2021 registration is underway, and all students now have access to the registration website. We encourage you to visit this resource for an explanation of course delivery formats. Please note that course formats will not change unless under extraordinary circumstances related to the pandemic.
As of November 25, we have been able to increase classes with an in-person component from 2,185 in fall 2020 to 3,329 in spring 2021. While we are excited to offer more face-to-face courses, our registration data indicates that students are signing up for remote/online courses at nearly the same percentage as in the fall. I would encourage you to visit with your student to ensure they take full advantage of the increases in face-to-face offerings.
Please note that we expect the registration numbers to continue to shift as the registration window remains open through the start of the spring semester for students who are still registering for classes or those who want to revise their initial selections.
Commitment to our students and gratitude for our families
Thank you for all you do in partnering with us as we seek to provide our students the best possible college experience during these extraordinary times. We hope this update gives you a sense of how we are working creatively and diligently to respond to valuable input from students and parents to make an even better living and learning environment for our students in Spring 2021. We appreciate how encouraging and caring Ole Miss parents are as we all seek to support our students in pursuing their goals while living through a time that has upended the world. We are tremendously proud of our stellar student body.
Stay safe, stay well and enjoy the holiday season.
Glenn F. Boyce