June 24, 2020

Fall Semester Academic Plans for the College of Arts and Sciences

We wish to share our current plans for the fall semester: We expect to be holding in-person classes this fall.

We wish to share our current plans for the fall semester: We expect to be holding in-person classes this fall.

We have all begun to realize, of course, that life will not return to normal quickly or easily. Until a vaccine is widely available, we will have to maintain forms of social distancing, avoid large gatherings, and anticipate second and third waves of infection. In all cases, safety will be our top priority, and we will continue to follow the guidance of state health agencies. In fact, President Wiewel is part of the Higher Education Coordinating Committee—a working group on protocols for opening colleges and universities put together by Governor Kate Brown JD ’85.

What does this mean for Lewis & Clark?

Our typically small classes lend themselves well to spreading people out. We may need to reduce the number of students living in on-campus housing, and we will likely need to limit the size of crowds at events. Our Health Service teams will have protocols and resources in place. However, these efforts will not be as difficult for us compared with large schools or those in denser urban areas. Our beautiful campus, slightly removed from the bustle of downtown, is an ideal location for safely spreading out.

If the situation changes and we are ordered by the governor to end in-person instruction anytime in the fall, know that responses to a current student survey show general satisfaction with our efforts to continue all learning remotely. It has been a challenging effort, but has been aided by strong collective efforts and patient, creative problem-solving, including our Teaching Excellence Program (TEP), which has provided resources and weekly seminars for faculty. With time to plan this summer, the quality of online instruction in the fall, if needed, would no doubt be even higher.

Lewis & Clark has shown itself resilient throughout this extraordinary challenge. We are collaborating, supporting each other, and creating great educational opportunities inside and outside our classrooms.

We will communicate mid-summer with more details of our plans. We can’t wait to welcome everyone back to Palatine Hill in the fall.


Wim Wiewel, President

Bruce Suttmeier, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences