Furman Bell Tower

Fall 2021 Planning

The COVID Response Steering Committee and the Public Health and Safety Advisory Group, along with other teams across campus, are planning for the fall 2021 semester based on the current and best available information. We will continue to follow CDC guidelines and our campus operational phases.  Any restrictions or adjustments to operations will be based on vaccination levels across campus and within the Greenville community. With this in mind, all of the following is subject to change, depending on the conditions just prior to and during the fall semester.

  • Furman plans to hold in-person classes and is working to determine classroom capacity, given the expected states of disease prevalence (including variants), vaccination distribution, and population immunity by August.
  • Furman will continue to follow the phased operations plan, with possible adjustments based on the level of disease prevalence and vaccination across the campus community.
  • Some form of masking and physical distancing will still likely be in place in certain circumstances and we will know more as the summer progresses, when we can better measure the percentage of students and employees vaccinated, and the CDC adjusts its guidance. Ideally, there will be less of a need to physically distance, but that guidance has as yet not been updated by the CDC.
  • Furman also is planning for off-campus activities in the fall. Community service, internships and research activities will follow all university and local protocols. To the extent that the health and regulatory conditions in the host countries permit it, study away will operate through our affiliate programs this fall.
  • The university plans to increase activities and gathering sizes for student organizations, service groups and fraternity and sorority life. Additionally, we will likely resume club sports competition and travel pending levels of student vaccination.
  • Furman’s Division I Athletics Program will follow Furman’s campus operational phase, NCAA and Southern Conference guidance, and will likely resume with normal competition schedules starting in the fall.
  • Dining and housing will make adjustments toward “normal,” according to the current conditions and campus operational phase.
  • We strongly encourage all students and employees who are able to be vaccinated to do so as soon as possible because it will greatly expedite our ability to have in-person activities at increased capacities. South Carolina has been in Phase 2 for COVID vaccinations, which includes those aged 16 and older, for several weeks now. See more information regarding Phase 2. This timing is promising for accomplishing our goals for next fall as described above.
  • Furman has not yet determined whether COVID-19 vaccines will be mandatory for students or employees, or whether we will require negative COVID tests before returning in the fall. Currently, some South Carolina lawmakers are proposing legislation that would prohibit organizations from requiring employees to get vaccinated, so we are unsure how that will apply to private educational institutions and college students. A survey of campus indicates that a majority of our current students, faculty, and staff have received at least one shot.
  • Furman is not planning to offer remote learning as an “option” for the 2021 Fall semester like we did this past year. Rather, requests to be a remote learner will be considered as part of an accommodation due to a disability. The ADA defines a person with a disability as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Students requesting this accommodation will need to complete the Initial Contact  Form. Documentation can be attached to the initial contact form or can be submitted to SOAR at a later time. Documentation guidelines for various disabilities are also located on the  SOAR website.  All documentation can be emailed to SOAR@furman.edu or faxed to 864.294.3044. Documentation must establish a connection between the impairment and the specific need for remote learning. After receipt of the Initial Contact  Form and documentation, the information will be reviewed, and the student will be contacted to meet to determine if the impairment rises to the level of a disability requiring accommodation, which could include remote learning options.