Plan Overview

UMBC is actively planning for the Fall 2021 semester. Planning is focused on creating a robust on-campus community for teaching, learning, student support, research, and social connection this fall. We are committed to doing this in a way that also protects the health and safety of faculty, staff, and students. This includes required COVID-19 vaccination for the 2021-2022 academic year, as mandated by the University System of Maryland for all students, faculty, and staff who are on a Maryland campus.

UMBC’s pandemic response is guided by the COVID-19 Planning Coordinating Committee. The committee consists of five major working groups addressing key focus areas: Academics; Students, Health, and Well-Being; Research and Creative Achievement; Events and Community Engagement; and Operations. These working groups and their sub-groups have engaged more than 150 campus representatives in their work, including faculty, staff and students, with a particular focus on shared governance representation.

We continue to work closely with shared governance leaders and listen to feedback from community members. Our approach will be scientifically informed, and we are regularly consulting with public health experts and colleagues across the state, county, and the University System of Maryland.

Key Points

UMBC plans to maximize in-person learning in the fall, as conditions permit.

  • Physical distancing and health and safety precautions will continue to be essential.
  • We believe that vaccination will have a significant effect on the amount of the COVID virus in the community.
  • We will continue to require mask-wearing, distancing, symptom tracking, and testing.
  • This work will be informed by the key planning assumptions adopted early in the pandemic.
  • Our plans will be flexible so that they can adapt as the health situation evolves.

Guiding Principles for Return to Campus Planning

We continue to carry out our mission to serve the public good by supporting the academic progress of our students, the continuity of research and creative achievement, community engagement, and the well-being of the people in our campus community and the state.

  • The health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and the surrounding community will remain at the forefront of all of our planning considerations. UMBC’s plan to reopen our campus will be grounded in the best available scientific and medical information and adhere to guidance and constraints provided by federal (including CDC and OSHA), state, and local government officials and the University System of Maryland (USM).
  • UMBC’s commitment to shared governance will inform every stage of our planning process. We will continue to engage the campus community broadly, through participation on planning groups, frequent communication, and solicitation of input as plans are developed.
  • While our work through the pandemic takes place in varied modes and spaces, UMBC will continue to offer students a distinctive experience centered on their success and well-being. Now more than ever, students, as well as faculty and staff, will find value and inspiration in our culture of inclusive excellence and supportive communities for teaching and learning, research and creative achievement, student life, and community engagement. Hallmarks of the UMBC student experience—including innovative, collaborative, and interdisciplinary instruction and learning, mentoring, career-building experiences, and student organizations and social life—will continue to be available to students, whether their courses happen on campus or virtually.
  • Our planning and implementation will give special attention to diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. The particular access and support required for one student or group may be different from that needed by others. All plans will be reviewed through an equity and inclusion lens.
  • We understand that recovery is a dynamic process, not a single milestone. Our plan is based on current knowledge and key assumptions about what is possible. We recognize that our plans will likely evolve as the environment changes, or we are able to confirm our assumptions and adapt accordingly.