FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – The University of Arkansas is preparing for the fall semester and that includes getting all of its faculty and staff back on campus.

The U of A’s goal is to have as close to 100 percent of its staff and faculty who were working remotely during this pandemic back on-site as of Monday.

Employees who need to continue to work off-campus need to put in a special request that will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

The university’s Manager of Communications, John Thomas says this is an opportunity for staff to get used to being back on campus, organize their offices and get their day-to-day operations together before the university goes back to face-to-face instruction and full capacity this fall.

Now there will still be some safety measures in place.

“If you’re not vaccinated we ask that you wear your mask. For those who may be hesitant to coming on campus and being around a bunch of people at one time and feel like they want to wear their mask and are vaccinated they can still do that,” said Thomas.

At this time, the university does not anticipate vaccinations to be required but COVID -19 shots are highly encouraged.

Those who are not vaccinated, need to follow the state department of health’s guidance in regards to social distancing, quarantines and should not come to campus if they are feeling sick.

In the fall, there will be a lot more foot traffic on this campus. The university expects to operate pretty close to a traditional setting. That means dorm life, in-person classes and in-person campus events; the full college experience.

Thomas says in-person orientation will return this year but there will still be a virtual option for students.

Students can expect to see normal class sizes and back to that face-to-face learning. Moreover, it’s not only the freshmen who will be stepping foot on campus for the first time but the sophomore students who didn’t get that experience last year.

“A lot of those services that we did have in the past we are going to bring back obviously to get students acclimated to campus. We’re going to have a lot more people on campus than we are used to that are going to be staying in the dorms and living in the area, but we do have the adequate space to accommodate them,” said Thomas.

Students can expect to see hand sanitizing stations throughout the campus and extra cleaning measures still in place.

Testing and COVID -19 vaccinations are still going to be available by appointment through the Pat Walker Health Center.

At this time anyone, who is not vaccinated will need to wear a mask. The university is hoping this will encourage more folks to get the COVID -19 shot. There will be more guidance released by the U of A closer to the start of the semester.