Changes to the Fall Academic Calendar

Portrait of Chancellor Ronnie Green in union with students in background

May 29, 2020

Dear UNL community:

We are very much looking forward to welcoming students back to campus in the fall, perhaps this year more than ever. As a land-grant institution, supporting access and achievement for our students, from across Nebraska and the world, is very much the heart of who we are. While COVID-19 may be changing how we do this, this mission remains central. We are committed to preserving the high-quality educational experience that our students expect and the global impact of our research and creative activity. We are equally committed to reducing safety risks in the interest of protecting both the campus and the larger communities of which we are all a part.

It is with these considerations in mind that we will be modifying the fall academic calendar. Classes will begin one week earlier, on a remote basis. We will then conclude finals by Thanksgiving. Shifting and compressing the fall schedule will help to reduce travel that can result in increased spread of COVID-19. It will also give us greater flexibility should there be a resurgence of infections later in the fall. Below are the details of how we will accomplish this:

  • Aug. 17: Classes will start on an asynchronous, remote-learning basis.
  • Aug. 24: In-person instruction will begin for those courses which will have an in-person component.
  • Sept. 7 (Labor Day): Classes will meet. For employees, Labor Day will be considered a working holiday, similar to Presidents Day, Arbor Day, Columbus Day and Veterans Day.
  • Oct. 19-20: Fall break has been suspended, and classes will meet October 19-20.
  • Nov. 19-20: "Fifteenth Week" preparation for finals.
  • Nov. 21-Nov. 25: Finals will take place.

With the regular fall semester completed before Thanksgiving, we have an exciting opportunity to provide a new, three-week remote Fall Mini Session from November 30 - December 18. As we are doing this summer, we will be able to offer innovative new courses during this session to help our students continue their educational journey. These courses will include expanded opportunities for experiential learning, career preparedness, and unique course subjects based on the historic times we are experiencing. More information about these course offerings will be coming soon.

We recognize that these changes to the fall calendar present new challenges, but they also present new opportunities. I want to thank all of the faculty, staff and students who have engaged creatively to figure out these complex issues. We will continue to share new guidance as soon as it is available. Thank you for your continued patience and flexibility. We have truly demonstrated a Nebraska can-do spirit, and I am very confident in our continued success.

Signature of Chancellor Ronnie Green

Ronnie D. Green, Ph.D.