March 12, 2021

A Return to Normal: Academic Plans for Fall Semester 2021

We are happy to report that we are planning for fully in-person instruction in Portland this fall. We expect to deliver a Lewis & Clark undergraduate education as we did pre-COVID, with all courses taking place on campus and without the option of remote access.

While we were successful in delivering hybrid instruction over the last academic year, we are eager to return to what we do best: in-person classes in a close-knit environment on one of the nation’s most beautiful campuses.

This planning assumes that vaccines will be available and accessible to all Lewis & Clark community members in the coming months, and that the rate of infection, already low in greater Portland, continues to drop. In all scenarios, safety is our top priority, and we will continue to be guided by state health agencies. President Wim Wiewel has been part of the Higher Education Coordinating Committee—a working group on protocols for colleges and universities put together by Oregon Governor Kate Brown JD ’85.

If we need to follow any social-distancing guidelines, we know that we can meet whatever challenges come our way. Our small classes and park-like campus make distancing efforts easier for us compared with institutions offering large, lecture-based courses or those located in denser urban areas. And our experienced Health Service teams will have protocols and resources in place.

We are eager for and expect a return to normal. We will communicate mid-summer with more details of our plans. We can’t wait to welcome everyone to Palatine Hill in the fall!


Bruce Suttmeier
Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences