Temple continues to do all we can to ensure the welfare of students, faculty and staff, as well as our greater community. Learn more about how we are planning for the fall 2021 semester and read answers to frequently asked questions about the process.

Return Team

Temple’s Return Team, which comprises representatives from every area of our campus, meets regularly to build out scenarios and plan for the academic year. Each member of this team is committed to maximizing safety while ensuring that quality teaching, education and research can continue to take place. Results from the university’s staff survey, in addition to government mandates and public health guidelines, are used in the university’s planning.

Temple Community Health Advisory Group

  • Laura Siminoff, dean, College of Public Health 
  • Resa Jones, chair, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, College of Public Health 
  • Tony Reed, executive vice president and chief medical officer, Temple University Health System
  • Heather Clauss, professor, Clinical Medicine, Lewis Katz School of Medicine
  • Stephanie Ives, associate vice president and dean of students 
  • Sharon Boyle, associate vice president, Human Resources 
  • George Kenney, senior advisor for Government Affairs 
  • Cameron J. Etezady, deputy university counsel

Fall 2021 Update

The university welcomes fully vaccinated students and faculty back to campus in the fall for a semester of primarily in-person classes. Academic buildings, the Student Center, residence and dining halls, and athletic and recreational facilities will be open and available for use. We encourage the Temple community to continue practicing healthy behaviors so that we can keep our COVID-19 numbers at bay and enjoy a successful start to the 2021–2022 academic year.

Return Scenarios and Phases

Temple employed a phased return approach when planning for the for the 2020–2021 academic year. Each phase allowed additional people on campus in a strictly regulated fashion. To ensure a healthy environment for our students, faculty and staff, measures aimed at protecting public health—centered around the four public health pillars—are in place. 

When employed, a phased approach allows us to assess our protocols and ensure that they produce the best possible results through each of the phases of reopening. All planning efforts and continued support of state and local authorities allow for a highly fluid situation. The university was ready to pivot to primarily online instruction at any point.

Scenarios considered explored a range of possibilities, from a slightly modified traditional semester to a blend of smaller classes; continued online teaching; and gatherings that are limited in size, or anticipate greater use of online options. The four scenarios for the 2020–2021 academic year were reasonably normal, restricted semester, essentials only and comprehensive remote. All plans have included contingencies for changing conditions over time. 

The university consistently monitors and responds to new information about COVID-19 and its impacts, and we are prepared to deviate from outlined plans in order to take swift actions to keep our community safe. The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is always our top priority.

FAQ: Return Planning