President Paul LeBlanc (image courtesy: Education Writers Association)

“September.” Said SNHU President Paul Leblanc, “I’m super confident we’ll be back in September.”

While SNHU staff and faculty are working to ensure that students will be returning to campus in the fall, SNHU has yet to make a public announcement regarding the decision to return to campus. Despite this, President LeBlanc mentioned the previous statement in an interview on February 23.

When asked to elaborate, Leblanc stated “We are operating on the assumption that, barring the catastrophic, we will be able to be back on campus with some relative version of normalcy.” 

A few of the catastrophes that would prevent students from returning to campus include vaccines not working or a new strain of the virus rendering them ineffective. Leblanc expressed his doubts that these disastrous events will occur and that he “suspects that we will be back on campus,” in the fall.

“Three things have happened; we’ve gotten really good at testing, which wasn’t true this past fall; we have vaccines and most of America will be vaccinated by September; and because of campuses that did open, even though they have lots of struggles, we’ve learned what has to happen. We may need some quarantine beds in case someone gets sick, we may need to go into lockdown from time to time, but I don’t think so, I think it will be pretty normal.”

Leblanc also brought up a question that is currently being debated in the college and academic community as a whole, “Can you require [vaccinations]? What if someone says ‘I object’? We have to accept medical and religious exemptions, but beyond that, it’s not clear.” The question of whether vaccinations can be mandated will have to be answered before SNHU’s possible return in the fall.