Provost Miranda, EVP Cullinan, and VP Hoffmann Harding: Spring Update #11

Author: John Slott

Note: Dated communications are archived here for reference, but may not reflect the most up-to-date information available.

Main Quad Aerial

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,

During this week before Easter, we are grateful for the unity and shared commitment of our Notre Dame family to our mission and students. We hope that all of you are experiencing the joy and fresh outlook that Easter and spring bring. Here is a brief update on several important issues:

Rising COVID-19 case numbers

The increasing number of new cases across the nation, in our state, in St. Joseph County, and on our campus is cause for serious concern. Despite the increasing (and encouraging) availability of vaccines, we still have a journey before us in beating COVID-19. We were pleased St. Joseph County chose to keep its mask mandate in place through May 27. Please remember that our public health protocols remain fully in effect. We ask for continued vigilance by everyone in our campus community.

Summer academic programs on campus

The University’s approach to summer 2021 strives to balance opportunities offered to students and faculty with the number of those activities that campus operations can safely support (e.g., residence hall support, student services, CRU, etc.). With these concerns in mind, the following categories of academic programs will be allowed to take place this summer; other academic programs are encouraged to consider virtual offerings.

Programs for degree-seeking Notre Dame students

The following two categories of programs for students at all levels are allowed:

  • Essential academic programs for degree-seeking Notre Dame students (e.g., degree programs that require regular summer instruction; onboarding courses and academic readiness programs for new Notre Dame students of all levels)
  • Critical academic offerings for degree-seeking Notre Dame students (e.g., Summer Session courses, research experiences for undergraduates)

 Adult academic enrichment offerings and conferences

Academic programs that want to offer on-campus adult professional development or academic conferences should contact University Enterprises & Events at 574-631-1400 or by email at These conferences must be limited to 100 or fewer attendees and must follow health and safety protocols outlined in the University’s Gatherings Policy. All attendees are required to be vaccinated or show proof of a valid medical exception to being vaccinated.

Registration for summer classes will begin April 7

Barring new developments, courses will take place in person. Instructors should offer dual-mode instruction in summer 2021 only to students in quarantine/isolation or to those students receiving an accommodation. Consistent with past summers, there will be a robust catalog of fully online ND courses available to all students.

Summer programming for minors

Summer programs for minors (under 18) will not be offered on campus or off campus. This includes residential and non-residential academic enrichment programs as well as recreational athletic camps. Academic programs for pre-college students should be converted to online/virtual delivery for 2021.


Campus housing in residence halls will be offered only to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students enrolled in the academic programs listed above. The University will also continue to offer testing, contact tracing, and quarantine/isolation services to students living in residence this summer.

Other summer campus events

Campus events will be extremely limited during the summer and must follow the University’s Gatherings Policy. Events must be approved and planned in collaboration with University Enterprises and Events, which can be reached at 574-631-1400 or via email at Additional information regarding the health and safety protocols, Travel Policy, and Visitors Policy is forthcoming.

Summer study abroad

Earlier this week, Notre Dame International notified enrolled students and faculty planning to take part in Summer Study Abroad programs that these programs have been suspended for Summer 2021, with one exception. Decisions regarding summer programming for the School of Architecture will be made after April 26, 2021.

Fall 2021 Academic Calendar

Having solicited input from deans, department chairs, students, the Faculty Senate, and the Academic Council (note that both the Faculty Senate and Academic Council have student representatives), here is the academic calendar for the fall semester:

  • Aug. 23 (Monday) – Classes begin for all Notre Dame students
  • Aug. 30 – Last date for all class changes
  • Sept. 6 – Labor Day – Classes are in session
  • Oct. 16-24 – Mid-Term break
  • Oct. 18 – Mid-Term deficiency reports submitted through insideND by 3:45 p.m.
  • Oct. 29 – Last day for course discontinuance
  • Nov. 15 – Dec. 1 – Registration for Spring 2022 semester
  • Nov. 24-28 – Thanksgiving Holiday
  • Nov. 30 – Dec. 12 – Course Instructor Feedback administered
  • Dec. 7 (Tues) – Last class day
  • Dec. 8-9 (Wed-Thu) – Reading days (no exams permitted)
  • Dec. 10-11 (Fri-Sat) – Final exams (no review sessions permitted)
  • Dec. 12-13 (Sun-Mon) – Reading days (no exams permitted)
  • Dec. 14-16 (Tues-Thurs) – Final exams (no review sessions permitted)
  • Dec. 20 – All grades submitted through insideND by 3:45 p.m.
  • Jan. 2 – January graduation date (no ceremony)

Closing thoughts

Recent vaccine developments and the planned student vaccination campaign give us great hope for the future. However, please remember that we must all remain vigilant in our adherence to the University’s health and safety protocols. It is important that we do not become complacent as we approach summer 2021. A shared commitment to practicing safe protocols will establish our best opportunity to return to a full and robust experience this fall.


Thank you for your continued dedication to Notre Dame. Above, young Emily Diltz, daughter of Katie Diltz in the McGrath Institute for Church Life, is working to make our wonderful University even stronger. Please remember: 

  • Wear your mask
  • Practice physical distancing
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Complete your daily health check
  • Keep your scheduled testing appointments

Much joy to you and yours during this blessed season of renewal. 

Yours in Notre Dame,

Marie Lynn Miranda, Provost

Shannon Cullinan, Executive Vice President

Erin Hoffmann Harding, Vice President for Student Affairs