Fall 2021 Update for Faculty and Staff

Dear Faculty and Staff,

We are writing to provide an update on plans for the fall 2021 semester.  After more than a year of uncertainty caused by the pandemic, we are preparing to begin the transition back to a more traditional, in-person experience for the UIC community.

We have been successful in maintaining a safe campus environment throughout the pandemic and we are confident that the measures we have in place will make the return to campus safe for everyone.

Given the current circumstances in Chicago and Illinois, we want to share what we anticipate for the fall semester, knowing that we must be prepared to remain flexible as the situation evolves.

Academic instruction and the student experience

  • Undergraduate classes with fewer than 100 students will meet on campus, following public health protocols including required masking and distancing. Students will have the ability to view recorded/streamed lectures when they are not present in the classroom due to distancing requirements.
  • Undergraduate classes with 100 or more students will be delivered remotely, either synchronously or asynchronously, as determined by the professor in charge of the class.
  • We will be placing tents on the East and West campuses as alternative spaces for students to take classes remotely and study. The tents will have capacity limits due to distancing requirements.
  • UIC is adding technology in all undergraduate-serving classrooms in order to allow video, recording and streaming of live classes.
  • Campus housing, dining, recreation and student activities will be open with capacity limits as needed.
  • The mode of delivery of graduate and professional classes will be decided by the colleges in consultation with the relevant departments and faculty.

Remote and on-site work

  • Faculty and staff who have continued to work remotely throughout the pandemic can expect a phased-in return to work beginning in May and continuing until August 16th, when fall semester officially begins for faculty and staff. Timing will be at the discretion of the vice chancellors and deans.
  • UIC will soon announce a new remote work policy to provide guidance for the continuation of virtual working arrangements where appropriate and based on the nature of the employee’s job.
  • In order to travel to conduct official university business, employees and students must complete the COVID-19 University Travel Request Authorization Form and obtain approval in advance of travel.
  • For additional guidance on employees who must return to work to support necessary on-site operations, visit the Human Resources webpage.

Health and Safety

We strongly encourage all faculty, staff and students to be vaccinated for COVID-19 at the Credit Union 1 Arena or through personal providers, health departments or pharmacies.

When you return to the UIC campus everyone, including vaccinated individuals, must continue to follow these protective measures:

  • Complete the online COVID-19 Safety Training.
  • Participate in mandatory on-campus COVID-19 saliva testing and contact tracing.
  • Conduct a UIC Healthcheck each day you will be on campus and be prepared to show your UIC Daily Pass with current COVID-19 saliva testing status while on campus.
  • If you feel ill, stay home.
  • Wear a mandatory face covering on campus.
  • Practice physical/social distancing.
  • Limit the size of gatherings (currently 50 people maximum; the number may change based on public health guidance closer to the fall semester).
  • Wash hands frequently or use hand sanitizer located in campus buildings.
  • Report COVID-19 symptoms, a positive COVID-19 test, an exposure to an individual with known or suspected COVID-19, or out-of-state or country travel through the online reporting tool.

Members of the UIC community who work or train at the hospital and clinics and at the regional campuses will follow the guidelines of those entities.

As we have done throughout the pandemic, we will continue to share updates by email, through the weekly Circle Back to Campus e-newsletter, and on the COVID-19 webpages.


Michael D. Amiridis

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