Committee begins to shape spring semester plans

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Committee begins to shape spring semester plans

The fall semester begins on an asynchronous, remote learning basis next Monday, August 17.

A committee with representation by students, faculty and staff is helping guide the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s plans for the spring semester.

Formed in mid-October, the “Spring Open” committee is led by Amy Goodburn, senior associate vice chancellor and dean of undergraduate education, and Bob Wilhelm, vice chancellor for research and economic development. Goodburn and Wilhelm also led the Forward to Fall committee, which organized plans for the current fall semester.


The committee is charged with reviewing and updating the university’s current COVID-19 protocols; responding to new federal and state guidance; developing policies to match new pandemic requirements; and suggesting new university-wide initiatives related to COVID-19. The group will also coordinate with University Communication to update campus and coordinate with existing campus units and committees to complete related work.


“We will be as transparent as possible while this committee works with the COVID-19 Task Force and other campus units to take a second look at protocols and plans developed by the Forward to Fall Committee,” Goodburn said. “Ultimately, our goal is to build upon the successes we’ve realized in the current fall semester to support the health and safety of our campus community.”

The committee has divided into subcommittees that are focused on specific areas of importance. They include testing, quarantine and vaccination planning; communications; university operations and facilities; events; student support and advocacy; academic affairs; research and creative activity; and outreach.

Goodburn and Wilhelm are also encouraging the university community to submit ideas to be considered for the spring semester. Students, faculty and staff can submit ideas through the email address.

Updates on the university’s ongoing pandemic response — including any changes in spring semester protocols — will be posted on the COVID-19 website and in Nebraska Today .

The university has already established a shortened schedule for the spring 2021 semester — a schedule that mirrors the current fall plan, offering a three-week session followed by a shortened semester.

The three-week session prior to the spring semester is Jan. 4-22. The spring semester schedule is Jan. 25 to previously scheduled commencement exercises on May 7-8. Like the fall, it will include no breaks, including no spring break. A complete overview of the schedule is available here.

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