Duquesne Announces Fall 2021 Return to In-Person Learning

Duquesne University, located in Pittsburgh, Pa., announced this week that it will resume a “full, on-campus learning environment and regular student life operations” for the fall semester. During the summer, it will integrate faculty and staff back into offices and buildings and make any updates to campus necessary to optimize health and safety practices.

In a news release, the university explained its reasoning that between the success of current safety measures (like masks and social distancing), the declining number of reported coronavirus cases, and the increasing availability of the vaccine, university and local health authorities see a path to being able to safely resume normalcy. That said, the release said that Duquesne will continue to watch the situation and that student, faculty, and staff safety remains top priority.

"Many students choose Duquesne as much for our community as they do for the programs we offer," said Duquesne President Ken Gormley. "Being here in Pittsburgh and learning together on campus matters. Our students and faculty weathered this past year in impressive fashion and showed that we can be safe, adjust as necessary, and continue reaching for bigger goals. The public health news is encouraging, and while our region still has a ways to go until things are fully normal, I have enormous faith in the Duquesne community's ability to launch a much more typical semester in the fall." 

As part of its reopening, the university will make arrangements to be able to adjust health and safety measures as necessary. Certain preventative hygiene and sanitation practices will remain in place.

Some fall courses will still offer virtual or hybrid learning components. The university fast-tracked the installation of HyFlex classroom technology in preparation for remote learning, and as long as the infrastructure is already in place, officials are willing to use the technology to everyone’s advantage.

“We learned a great deal and made some innovations during the time when we had to be remote, and we will keep some of what we learned for future classes,” said Dr. David Dausey, Duquesne University Executive Vice President and Provost. “We won’t just be returning to business as usual—we’ll be returning to something like a new-and-improved business as usual.”

Duquesne joins the University of Pittsburgh and Point Park University among other Pennsylvania schools preparing for a full-time return to campus this fall.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning and Campus Security and Life Safety. He can be reached at MJones@1105media.com