Stanford plans to bring all students back in fall

April 7, 2021, 12:00 p.m.

Stanford plans to invite all students back in the fall and return to in-person classes and research, according to a Wednesday email from Provost Persis Drell. The plans are contingent on the trajectory of the pandemic and public health rules in effect at the time. 

This email comes hours after The Daily first reported on fall quarter plans after an interview with University administrators.

“We are anticipating with the greater availability of vaccines that we can plan for a fall in which all students can come back to campus,” Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Sarah Church told The Daily. 

Though Stanford has previously said it will bring students back before walking back those decisions — most notably in the cases of bringing students back for fall and winter quarter — the University’s Wednesday statements follow promising indicators that the pandemic is on the decline in California.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Tuesday that the state plans to fully reopen its economy on June 15, and that he expects all schools and higher education institutions to be able to open for in-person instruction in the fall. 

Drell wrote that the University is also evaluating whether COVID-19 vaccinations will be required for returning students “once vaccines are fully and easily available to all.” She added that, as of now, being vaccinated does not change protocols that people are expected to follow on campus.

Students who plan to enroll in Stanford in the fall should plan to be on campus in person, according to Drell. 

Fall quarter will include flexible work opportunities for staff employees, involving onsite, hybrid and fully remote work, according to Drell. She also wrote that Stanford will be working to provide support and information about fall quarter for international students facing delays in visa processing through the Bechtel International Center.

“Though we are still contending with limited supplies of COVID-19 vaccine locally right now, we continue to see a brightening vaccination picture over the coming weeks,” Drell wrote in the email. “We’re delighted that this allows us to plan with optimism for a ‘new normal’ in our university activities beginning this fall.”

This article has been updated with information from Drell’s Wednesday afternoon email to students.

Camryn Pak contributed reporting.

Malaysia Atwater '23 is a senior staff writer and former Vol. 260/261 managing editor in the News section. She is a political science major from Centennial, Colorado, and she enjoys dancing and re-watching Grey's Anatomy in her free time. Contact her at matwater 'at' Talley is the Vol. 265 Executive Editor. Previously, she was the Vol. 261 Editor in Chief. She is from Sacramento, California, and has previously worked as a two-time news editor and the newsroom development director. Emma has reported with the San Francisco Chronicle with the metro team covering breaking news and K-12 education. Contact her at etalley 'at'

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