Fall 2021 Welcome and Semester Information

Posted in Faculty Communications

August 24th, 2021

Dear Faculty,

Welcome back! This Fall we will be starting a new academic year with much anticipation and excitement on returning to campus. This message provides important information for the semester including details for the academic calendar and links to important new protocols to keep our community healthy and safe. 

The first day of classes for most programs is Wednesday, August 25. Classes will follow a Monday schedule. Those faculty members who are expecting to start on different schedules (eg. SCS, MBA and GU-Q) will receive that information from their dean or department.

The approved academic calendar can be found on the Registrar’s website. You can also find a helpful Fall 2021 FAQ with multiple updates for faculty.

As we continue to refine the schedule of classes and adjust to the multiple changes in room configurations, many room assignments have changed. To get the most up-to-date classroom assignments and class rosters, please log into MyAccess. If you have difficulty obtaining a roster from MyAccess, ask your department administrator for help. Class rosters in Canvas include the option to view a “photo roster” with pictures of your students from the GoCard system. If a student attending your class does not appear on the MyAccess roster, they are not officially registered for the class. Please direct any unregistered student to their program advisor or dean for advising.

Please note: You will need to use DUO authentication in order to successfully log in to MyAccess. If you do not have DUO, you can find directions on the Enrolling in DUO page

The Fall 2021 Schedule of Classes is available for the most updated information.

The waitlist runs each workday after 3 p.m. from now until August 31. Some programs may run on a different schedule. Students will have 24 hours to claim their seat after which they will be dropped and the seat offered to the next student on the waitlist. Priority outside of the waitlist process is discouraged due to the occupancy limits in classrooms. If you do approve an enrollment outside the waitlist, the increase to the maximum enrollment cap assigned for your class may also require a room change in many cases. To close the waitlist process for your class prior to August 25, you must inform your department administrator.

The waitlist will close after August 31. Any remaining open seats will be available for students to add in MyAccess until the last day of add/drop, Friday, September 3; provided they meet the course prerequisites and restrictions.

If your class requires special permission, undergraduate students must complete the online add form (new window)and submit it before 5 p.m. EDT September 1. Prior to completing the form, students must receive the instructor’s permission via email and upload a copy with their request. Graduate students should contact their program advisor for assistance with special permission approvals.

Please take advantage of the services we offer through the OUR CETS team to review your classroom technology. You can set up an individual training session with the Classroom Manager(s) in the building(s) you teach in. If desired, you can also include a request for our partners at the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS) to join and discuss best practices in the space. Please make requests for specialized software or equipment more than two days in advance.

As we plan for the Fall, we affirm our collective responsibility to ensure equitable access to our academic programs. Access challenges affect a broad swath of our community and range from the need for new or different academic accommodations for students with disabilities and learning differences, to disparities in access to technology, to new responsibilities for dependent care. Guided by the principles of Universal Design for Learning, we have created a host of accessibility-related resources that are available to both faculty and students, including the CNDLS Guidebook on Accommodations and Accessibility, a comprehensive guide to accessible course design with practical instructions, recorded webinars (new window) and suggestions for further reading, and an Accessibility Resources for Students page linked to all Canvas course sites. For additional assistance, faculty may request an individual consultation with CNDLS staff, or contact the Academic Resource Center about specific accommodations for their students. The global crisis and its effects on our community are evolving on a daily basis, demanding new forms of collaboration and support for one another. We urge faculty to check in with students regularly about their changing access needs.

You have my very best wishes for a productive and successful term. I am looking forward to seeing all of you on the Hilltop this week. Stay safe and be well!


Annamarie Bianco

Associate Vice President and University Registrar