TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Due to the reinstatement of pandemic restrictions in the state, Indiana State University is moving its in-person Winter Commencement to a virtual format and encouraging faculty to move next week’s classes online, the administration announced on Friday.
Mark Alesia, ISU’s Communications Director, said they had high hopes for an in-person commencement ceremony.
“We worked really hard to try and have an in person winter commencement. But we have to deal with reality and the reality is the governor announced some restrictions and our cases are going up here and all over Vigo county,” Alesia said.
University officials said they expect their decision to alter the ceremonies will be met with disappointment.
“We have made a good faith effort to host commencement in-person this fall because our students worked hard to earn their degrees, and the opportunity to celebrate is important and meaningful,” Provost Mike Licari said. “It’s disappointing to have to shift to an alternate format for commencement. However, this decision is the right thing to do, in order to safeguard our students, their families, ISU employees, and the broader community.”
“Likewise, faculty are recommended, if possible, to shift their classes online starting next week.”
Citing strained hospital resources and increases in positivity rates, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb on Wednesday said that pandemic restrictions will once again be in effect for a month starting Nov. 15. Therefore, ISU’s commencement ceremonies, originally scheduled for Dec. 11 and 12 at the Hulman Center, will now take place virtually in early 2021. December graduates will also be invited to participate in spring commencement exercises, scheduled for May 2021.
The ISU commencement webpage will be updated as more information becomes available. Questions from graduating students and their families should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, the university is recommending that faculty shift their class meetings online, if possible, starting Monday, Nov. 16. Classes that require in-person meetings must continue to follow existing university guidelines for instructional spaces.
University Housing and food service operations will continue as usual next week. As previously announced by the university, all classes will be online after the Thanksgiving break.