Faculty May Rescind Vote on Modular System

In an email sent to Bates students and families on Wednesday, Dean of Faculty Malcolm Hill wrote that faculty will reconsider their previous decision to continue a system of modular learning into the fall semester in light of a recent announcement by President Joe Biden.

In his email, Hill confirmed an earlier report published by The Student on Monday that faculty voted to continue with a modular schedule for fall 2021.

Hill wrote in his email that the decision was made “based on the available public health guidance,” received from Dr. Stacey Rizza and Dr. Jack O’Horo of the Mayo Clinic at the time.

The decision to reconsider Monday’s vote was fueled by an announcement from President Biden on Tuesday that promised a sufficient vaccine supply for every adult in the United States by the end of May. 

Hill stated the factors that will be considered when making the new decision include “the pace at which vaccines will be administered this spring, especially for those between the ages of 18 and 22,” as well as new variants, the progression of the pandemic and public health restrictions, and the public policy in Maine. 

In addition, Hill wrote that the Bates administration is “optimistic that by the fall, student life at Bates will look much more like it did before the pandemic, with greater flexibility for the in-person gatherings and activities that are such an essential part of the Bates experience.”

Despite this, he noted that it is “unlikely” that the return will be 100% back to normal in the fall.  

Hill did not say when the new decision will be made, or whether students will be able to give input.