Spring break is canceled at Northern Illinois University next year in an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, according to school officials.
On Thursday, Beth Ingram, NIU’s executive vice president and provost, sent a letter to students, faculty and staff announcing a change in the 2021 calendar amid the ongoing pandemic.
“The spring semester will start Monday, Jan. 11, and will end one week earlier, on April 30,” the letter reads. “There will be no spring break and, instead, the university will offer all students, faculty and staff a three-day weekend beginning Friday, March 12, and one additional non-instructional closure day to be determined, where classes will not meet and university offices will be closed.”
University council met Oct. 7 and approved the revised spring 2021 schedule, according to the letter.
“These changes help reduce travel-related exposures but also allow for breaks in the semester to recharge,” said Ingram.
In the letter, Ingram also outlines the plan for commencement ceremonies noting May, August and now December 2020 graduates will be honored with a virtual ceremonies later this fall.
“While it’s likely that you expected this news, I recognize that it’s still heartbreaking for our graduates and their families,” Ingram wrote. “Even though the pandemic has stolen many important milestones from us, nothing can change the fact that through hard work, talent and perseverance, our graduates will have earned degrees from NIU and be able to begin their new paths forward.”
One notable plan that remains unchanged for next year are final exams which are still scheduled for late April, according to Ingram.