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Holloway provides updates on Fall 2021 semester

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Even though Rutgers has not yet received its allotment of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines, University President Jonathan Holloway said he is not worried that supply will be an issue.  – Photo by Rutgers.edu

University President Jonathan Holloway shared updates and comments on plans for the Fall 2021 semester in a meeting with The Daily Targum.

While Rutgers has yet to receive supply of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, Holloway said there is now excess supply throughout the state and the University is expecting to receive vaccines soon.

“This was really quite remarkable progress in the course of one month, and that's just going to continue along these waves, so I'm not concerned about people not having access to getting the vaccine,” Holloway said. “For Rutgers, it’s (about) waiting to get the vaccine in our hands.”

The University will receive the first of its vaccines next week for at least one of its vaccination sites, the Targum previously reported. The University’s three confirmed sites will be the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy on Busch campus, the Stonsby Commons at Rutgers—Newark and the Lower Level Campus Center at Rutgers—Camden, said Kevin Lorincz, director of communications, news and media relations at Rutgers. 

Regarding recent students’ opposition to the bus schedule changes for the fall semester, Holloway said while he is uninvolved in the management of the bus system, he encourages students to voice their opinions.

“(Students) should let their opinions be known and communicated,” he said. “Their first channel might be (the Division of) Student Affairs, but eventually, if it's serious enough, it's going to go to the head of (the Department of) Transportation Services, which rolls up to (Antonio) Calcado.”

As for the recent agreement reached by the University and various Rutgers unions, Holloway said he is happy they were able to work together toward a solution and that the University plans to continue working with the unions going forward.

Holloway said the rehiring of part-time lecturers (PTLs), which is a main component of the agreement, is typically done at the departmental level and the number of PTLs that will be rehired is contingent upon multiple factors, including enrollment and amount of courses offered.

“We have to preserve local control over hiring levels for departments,” he said. “What we really have tried to make clear to departments is that they need to have clear communication with their PTLs about what to expect."

In terms of what courses will look like in the fall, Holloway said the University is still navigating the process, as the current way the registration system is structured makes planning difficult.

“I do know that we, Rutgers—New Brunswick, didn’t do a sufficiently clear job of explaining which courses would be live and which courses would be online,” he said. “Our absolute aspirations (are) that everybody would have a live in-class experience. And I certainly would hope that most of the classes each individual would take will be in person.”

For now, though, the University is limited by certain government guidelines such as the permitted capacity for large lecture rooms, Holloway said. University officials are working to improve communication with the Rutgers community on the number of in-person courses for the fall.

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