Chico State and CSU cancel in-person classes for Spring 2021 citing COVID-19 threat


Kimberly Morales

Chico State will continue virtual instruction through spring 2021. Photo taken Sept. 2, 2020.

Chico State will continue with virtual instruction for most classes next semester. The policy, handed down by CSU Chancellor Timothy White, applies to all 23 California State University campuses, according to an announcement from the CSU Chancellor’s office. 

“I realize this is another disappointment for all of us, however, it is a wise and necessary decision. … Again, this is not the news any of us wanted, yet we persist in protecting the health and safety of our campus community and in keeping our students on the path to degree’,” Chico State President Gayle Hutchinson wrote in an email.

The decision came after The Office of the Chancellor consulted with campus presidents and other stakeholders. By committing to virtual learning early on, faculty and staff have time to better prepare and teach in an online environment, White wrote in a letter.

“There is no vaccine and there likely will not be one widely available any time soon,” White added. “The summer increase in infections that was forecast in the spring happened as predicted, and it was larger than expected. While cases and hospitalizations are starting to stabilize in most of California’s counties, it is plateauing at a number that is approximately 40% higher than what we experienced in the spring.” 

Students and families are also able to plan accordingly for the spring semester with the announcement of this decision. Students will be able to apply for on-campus housing, with limited availability, White added.

Following the announcement, academic plans for the spring semester will be finalized sooner, as the Western Association of Schools and Colleges requires each campus to seek authorization for online courses by September and October this year.

“I offer my heartfelt thanks to our faculty, staff, students and leadership across the 23 campuses and in the Chancellor’s Office for their resilience, engagement, adaptability and unwavering commitment to our relentless pursuit of inclusive excellence,” White wrote. 

Chico State will update students and faculty after receiving further direction from the Chancellor’s Office. 

Each CSU campus will publish its course catalog soon so students can begin planning their schedules for the spring semester.

Julian Mendoza can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @JulianMTheOrion.