Looking ahead to fall 2021: Open and back to business

Looking ahead to fall 2021: Open and back to business

"I am confident Rowan University will be fully open this fall and ready to welcome students to our vibrant, fast-growing campuses," Rowan University President Ali A. Houshmand said in a message to the University community. "I'm excited that we're moving in the right direction every day."

Dear University Community, 

The latest news about the widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccines expected in the next few weeks and the careful loosening of restrictions is greatly encouraging. As soon as state guidelines allow, we’re looking forward to being able to vaccinate the broader Rowan University community. As such, I am confident Rowan University will be fully open this fall and ready to welcome students to our vibrant, fast-growing campuses. 

I expect our classrooms, research labs, recreation facilities and residence halls will be busy and full of activity once again. We’ll also return to in-person student activities and events. After being away so long, it will be an exciting time, one that I know none of us—students, faculty and staff—will take for granted.  

Through this pandemic, we’ve all learned a lot about what it means to be part of the Rowan community—even from a distance. We’ve seen that virtual learning gives students more options to be successful and to thrive in their coursework. As we continue to grow, students forevermore will have the flexibility to choose the course formats that suit them best, whether in person, online or a little of both. 

The testing protocols and mitigation strategies we instituted have helped us minimize illness this spring. Maintaining Triad Hall as an isolation and quarantine site has allowed affected students to stay safely on campus. The combined efforts have been extremely successful and demonstrated that when students needed us, we were there. 

Most importantly, our students and employees have worked hard to follow public health guidelines, although it required much sacrifice. Even off campus, students have been cautious about safety and supportive of University policies. And as soon as we could open vaccination centers, students and staff stepped up by the hundreds to volunteer. Months later, they continue to serve. It’s the Prof way. 

Looking ahead this spring, we’ll host a virtual University-wide Commencement ceremony, followed by a week of smaller, in-person ceremonies that will allow our graduates to celebrate safely—and joyfully.

The School of Osteopathic Medicine will soon open its new clinical facility in Sewell. By summer, we’ll start to ramp up activity on campus. In a few short months, the College of Science & Mathematics will host the Summer Undergraduate Research Program, an opportunity for students to gain valuable in-person, hands-on research experience. We expect to welcome the Class of 2025 at in-person orientation sessions and admissions tours and summer classes will be in full swing.

In September, classes will be held for the first time at our new Discovery Hall on the Glassboro campus. New dance studios in Wilson Hall are in the works, and plans are well underway for our huge expansion of the Chamberlain Student Center. 

I’m excited that we’re moving in the right direction every day. In the meantime, keep up your good work and please continue to follow public health guidelines. With your help, I’m sure we’ll be back to normal soon. I can’t wait. I hope you’re excited as well.

Very truly yours,

Ali A. Houshmand, Ph.D.