President Turner Outlines Summer and Fall Plans

Dear SMU Community,

As the semester comes to a close, excitement is building for what lies ahead. We have nearly completed a full school year in the midst of a global pandemic. And we made the most of it – successfully continuing the high-quality education and engaging campus life for which SMU is known.

Now our focus turns toward preparing for a regular semester this fall. In January, we announced our plans to resume normal, in-person instruction by then. During the upcoming weeks and months, you will see modifications in our campus operations as we systematically and carefully make that transition.

This is a good time to move forward. The Dr. Bob Smith Health Center has delivered more than 2,500 vaccinations – the majority of them to students – and will continue to offer first doses with follow-up shots throughout the summer and fall. Anyone who chooses to be vaccinated has the opportunity. Many of you have already received the vaccine through SMU’s health partners or other locations as our community joined in the broader effort to stop the spread of the virus.

The drastic decline in the number of SMU cases demonstrates the current health of our campus. The Mustang Strong COVID-19 dashboard has recorded fewer than a dozen cases a day for the past month, with single-digit numbers of people in quarantine or isolation. Dallas County case numbers also remain very low, as do hospitalizations. While this is a promising trend, we are taking nothing for granted. Along with our reduced restrictions, we are also preparing a contingency plan in case it’s needed.

Over the summer, we will gradually move to normal occupancy limits in all spaces across campus and lessen other restrictions as appropriate while continuing to closely monitor federal and state health recommendations. You can view the full list of changes and their timelines below.

X = activity/procedure will take place

Additional information concerning fall operations will be provided over the summer months.

I hope you are encouraged, as I am, by our University’s campuswide response to this world-changing situation. We worked together and kept going. Now, let’s look forward to a more traditional fall on the Hilltop­­. Pony Up and stay Mustang Strong.

R. Gerald Turner

SMU President