Dear OSU Faculty and Staff,

I write to share with you Oregon State University’s Pathway to Fall – a guide to our return to onsite and in-person activity.

As the rate of COVID-19 vaccinations continues to rise, we are excited about the prospect of providing for a more traditional fall term, including predominantly in-person teaching on our campuses and on-site research, engagement, extracurricular programs and activities. The return process will be gradual and flexible. We know the transition requires patience and compassion as much as clarity and structure.

Pathway to Fall complies with state and local health guidelines and is informed by public health experts from a joint taskforce from Oregon State University and the University of Oregon. While we expect vaccination to drive dramatic improvements in public health conditions well before fall term, we anticipate continuing to employ an appropriate mix of public health measures, such as wearing face coverings, engaging in physical distancing, and utilizing COVID-19 testing.

Pathway to Fall, which will be presented to the Board of Trustees for approval on May 21, 2021, is intended to help supervisors and employees facilitate a return for those who have performed their duties off-site due during the pandemic and provides guidance for use in program planning and communications.

Pathway to Fall provides:

  1. Guiding principles, expectations, and strategies for returning to more on-site and in-person activity.
  2. General guidance and information for supervisors and employees to use in their worksite planning, and how to balance operational and program needs with supporting individual employee interests and circumstances.
  3. Specific guidance by area, including academic programming, student services, Extension and Engagement.

Additional planning tools will be provided to aid in your planning in the coming weeks. Please plan to join next week’s COVID-19 Community Town Hall on April 28: 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Registration is not required, and the session will be recorded.

There will be questions we cannot yet answer, but clarity will come. What we do know from our response throughout this pandemic is that the OSU community is innovative, adaptable and compassionate. We will draw on those strengths as we move to teach, research, engage, and celebrate with one another in person once again.

Thank you,


Dan Larson
Vice Provost for Student Affairs
OSU Coronavirus Response Coordinator

April 23, 2021