After a year of planning and adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic, South Dakota State University’s JacksRBack Task Force is beginning initial efforts focused on a return to more normal operations during the 2021 fall semester.
The JacksRBack Task Force was launched last April at the direction of SDSU President Barry Dunn to develop and execute efforts that would allow students on-campus instruction during the current academic year.
“The efforts of our students, faculty and staff these past 12 months has shown how resilient and adaptable we are at SDSU and how we can overcome the challenges created by COVID-19 with everyone’s safety as a top priority,” Dunn said. “While we still need to remain vigilant and committed to many of our protocols for the next few months, with the vaccines available and so far a high level of acceptance, it allows us to look toward a fall semester in which we will plan for more normalcy.”
The JacksRBack Task Force will begin determining operations for the fall semester in several different areas, including academics, residential life, student life and move-in weekend to welcome the incoming class of Jackrabbits.
“Based on our projected enrollment for next fall, we anticipate a vibrant campus experience for all of our students,” Dunn said. “The strong interest we are seeing from high school seniors who want to attend SDSU, combined with the record retention of our current students, certainly makes us a university of choice for those wanting to seek the benefits of a four-year degree. We will be ready and excited to welcome them to campus in a more normal environment.”
Dunn also noted the task force will explore new opportunities created during the pandemic that will allow the university to be even more efficient in its operations.
“The pandemic has shown how efficient our university is in its operations and how we can adjust to any challenge we face,” Dunn said. “We have a team of people at SDSU that have responded during these unprecedented times and worked to fulfill our mission and serve the people of South Dakota. What we have accomplished during the past year is making us a better and stronger university.”
Classes for the 2021 fall semester are scheduled to begin Aug. 23.