Fall Semester at LSU

May 7, 2020
Dear LSU Students,

I’d like to first say how impressed and proud I am of the entire LSU community for the way it has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, from the speed and adeptness at which our students and faculty transitioned to online classes, to our researchers and medical professionals who have been fighting on the front lines to save lives. Members of the LSU family have been performing virus testing, working on treatments and a vaccine, manufacturing desperately needed PPE, and so much more. It has been nothing short of a Herculean effort, set against the backdrop of unprecedented circumstances. It has been my good fortune and privilege to lead this amazing group of talented people, and the way everyone has pulled together to keep LSU moving forward has been an inspiration to me.

But like all of you, I’m ready to get back to campus. I know you’re wondering about the fall semester, so let me assure you it is our intention to have campus open and return to in-person, traditional classes this fall. It’s likely, though, that things may look a little different when we do.

Smaller classes may meet in larger classrooms, for instance, to promote physical distancing. Larger classes may meet in spacious athletic facilities, or, in certain cases, hold lessons online. Common spaces such as the Union, the Library, and the Dining Halls may have capacity restrictions or otherwise operate differently. Student organizations may have to alter any large events they host to promote safety. And faculty and staff who can effectively do so may be asked to stagger their days in the office or work remotely on some days.

Until there is a vaccine for COVID-19, we must think about new ways to gather. Today’s technology presents us with many opportunities that prior generations did not have. We will devise creative and innovative ways to bring people together socially while still remaining physically distant, for as long as necessary. The Tiger spirit is unlike any other, and I know you will all continue to rise to this occasion and find ways to show the world that LSU is resilient and fierce.

In all instances, safety will be our guidepost. We will continue to follow federal and state guidelines for the prevention and testing of the virus. The health of our community is of the utmost importance and will be at the heart of all decisions we make regarding the return to campus.

Regardless of what this “new normal” looks like, I’m confident we’ll thrive as one LSU community. We will not sacrifice our students’ futures to this pandemic.

At LSU, what makes us successful is that we come from all walks of life, but we live and learn together as a community. We are a city within a city, and our population hails from all 64 Louisiana parishes, all 50 states, and more than 100 countries. This diversity and sense of community contribute to a better college experience and, most importantly, student success.

We look forward to welcoming you back to campus as you continue your educational journey and pursue your dreams and passions.

Wishing you health and happiness, 

Tom Galligan
LSU Interim President and Professor of Law