NC State Community,
Based on guidance from healthcare professionals, faculty feedback, and recommendations from the university’s reactivation task forces, and in conjunction with peer institutions and UNC System leadership, I am pleased to announce dates for the fall 2020 semester.
NC State will begin its 2020-21 academic year on August 10, nine days earlier than originally scheduled, and will forgo fall break in order to complete the semester before Thanksgiving, including finals. Students will not return to campus after Thanksgiving for the remainder of the calendar year. Winter commencement plans will be announced at a later date.
The driving factor behind this schedule is the health, safety and well-being of students, faculty and staff. Many public health experts believe our nation and our state could face a second wave of COVID-19 sometime in late fall or early winter. This guidance led us to start and finish the semester early in an effort to try and stay ahead of a potential second wave.
In addition, a tremendous challenge for college campuses during this pandemic can occur when students, faculty and staff leave for breaks, often traveling outside the state and overseas, where they can be more easily exposed to coronavirus either at their destination or during their travel. This can greatly increase the chances of our community members contracting COVID-19, bringing it back to campus, and spreading it to others. This led us to eliminate the fall break and try to keep our community on or as close to campus as possible throughout the fall term.
Finalizing these dates is an important step forward in NC State’s planning efforts toward bringing students, faculty and staff back to campus safely for the fall. There are many details still being worked out by our 10 reactivation task forces, the Chancellor’s Cabinet, and the myriad of dedicated professionals committed to ensuring the health and safety of the campus community. Additional details about the fall semester will be forthcoming in the days and weeks ahead.
As we move forward, I want to look back one more time to thank all of you – our students, faculty and staff – for your hard work, commitment and dedication. The last two months have been not only unprecedented, but for many in our community, very challenging. COVID-19 has disrupted and affected all in our Pack. But in the Wolfpack way, you stepped up, overcame the difficulties and pushed not only yourselves but our entire community forward.
I’ve never been prouder to lead this institution, and I’m looking forward to having you all back on campus.
Randy Woodson, Chancellor