Bucknell University announced today that it will aim to implement a full academic year of on-campus instruction and will begin its fall semester on Monday, Aug. 17, a week earlier than originally planned.
In addition to the earlier start date, fall break will be eliminated this year and classes will end on Friday, Nov. 20. Remote finals will begin on Monday, Nov. 30, and end on Monday, Dec. 7. January graduation will remain as planned on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021.
"In recent weeks, several teams have been exploring the range of challenges and implications that Bucknell could face in August, including the possibilities of remote learning and hybrid modalities," wrote President John Bravman in an email to students, their families, faculty and staff. "After considering feedback from faculty and staff, and after iterative consultations with the Emergency Response Team, the Academic Response Team and the Committee on Instruction, our best option is to begin our fall semester on Monday, Aug. 17."
The adjusted academic calendar conforms with state and federal requirements, and "offers as many of the academic and residential hallmarks of the Bucknell experience as are prudently possible," according to Bravman.
"Aug. 17 offers us the best option to help protect the health and safety of the campus community," he wrote. "Starting early, eliminating fall break and the reading period, and conducting final exams remotely also offers us the greatest flexibility as we consider that changing events and health and safety issues could necessitate a return to remote instruction. It also lowers the possibility of students and members of our campus community becoming infected during breaks and then spreading the virus upon their return."
Bucknell's fall planning teams will continue to work on details regarding how this new schedule will affect the classroom experience and other key campus functions. Information regarding move-in dates, New Student Orientation and residential living will be announced in the weeks ahead.