Spring Semester To Begin With Four Weeks Remote

Photo Courtesy of DePauw University

This story contains a clarification

DePauw plans for all classes to be held remotely the first four weeks of spring semester from Feb. 2-26, according to LaTonya Branham, university registrar. 

Per the plan announced in July, following Thanksgiving break, all students will be remote. Winter term is also entirely remote. However, all students will be welcomed back to campus for the spring term according to an email sent by Lori White.

The university plans to continue offering remote, mixed and in-person classes, according to Dave Berque, vice president for academic affairs. The board of trustees is meeting today and tomorrow. Plans for spring are among the things they are expected to discuss.  

The intention behind the four week delay is to avoid flu season when it will be hard to differentiate between COVID-19 and flu symptoms, according to English professor Harry Brown, who attended Monday’s faculty meeting at which the schedule was discussed. 

To limit traffic to and from campus, certain breaks have been omitted from the academic calendar. Next week Oct. 12-20 was fall break last year, however, students will not get a fall 2020 break. In place of spring break, there will be 5 weeks where classes only meet 4 times a week to support mental health and allow time for restoration, Lori White said in an email. 

It is unknown how this all remote period will affect IFC and Panhellenic recruitment, which is traditionally scheduled for late January, the weekend before the spring semester begins. The new cumulative Depauw Dialogue day is planned for Feb. 24 and would also fall during the proposed all remote period.

Academic departments are working to prepare spring 2021 teaching plans to the Office of the Registrar next week, according to Berque. The goal is for students to complete spring course requests prior to Thanksgiving break “and make information about teaching modalities about specific courses available to students well before they request courses,” Berque said in an email.

Additional reporting by Joslyn Fox and Katie Hunger.