President’s Posts

Michael Rao, Ph.D.

Dear Students,

You have demonstrated that we can learn, work and live together when we come together as a community that cares for each of its members. Thank you for your good efforts to follow our safety protocols, such as wearing face coverings and physical distancing.

Based on your responsible behavior, ongoing assessment by VCU’s Public Health Response Team, and current pandemic guidance from the Virginia Department of Health and CDC, we will proceed with a spring semester very similar to what you have experienced this fall with slight modifications to our spring semester academic calendar.

After winter break, we will begin with a phased re-opening of our campuses in early January. The health sciences schools, college research faculty, staff and trainees will be the first to return to campus. The official start of most spring semester undergraduate and graduate courses will be Jan. 25, slightly delayed from our previously scheduled start of Jan. 19.

In addition to the delayed start date, spring break has been removed from the calendar and two reading days are included, Feb. 23 and March 24. Our public health response team, which includes medical and infectious disease experts, recommended eliminating spring break to mitigate the risk of COVID-19. This measure is consistent with many other universities in Virginia and across the country. Although we know that not having spring break will be disappointing, it is important that you have some type of break. The last day of classes will be May 5 on the Monroe Park Campus and May 7 on the MCV Campus, followed by final exams. The spring academic calendar is available at this link.

A variety of instructional modalities will be available to students similar to the fall semester. The schedule of classes is available at this link. Additional information about registration, including winter intersession and a new J-term opportunity, will be sent to you in the coming days.

Please note that circumstances or conditions may change and require adjustments to the academic calendar, classes or modes of instruction. We will inform you of any necessary adjustments.

Our highest priority in executing our mission is the safety of students, faculty, staff and the surrounding community. Flexibility remains critical in addressing evolving situations presented by COVID-19, including changes in the prevalence of infection in our community, as well as changes in requirements, guidelines and best practices.

We will update you soon on COVID-19 testing and other measures we will be taking as we conclude the fall semester and prepare for our return to campus for spring semester.

Again, I want to acknowledge a successful return to campus this fall thanks to your efforts. Your commitment to each other to follow safety protocols and your resiliency in pursuing your academic careers have made a return to campus possible for the spring. I want to personally thank and recognize you through this video.


Michael Rao, Ph.D.
President, VCU and VCU Health System

Categories 21st-Century University, Periodic update, To VCU, Uncategorized
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