We remain confident that we will be in person to the fullest extent possible this fall. While we are focused on ensuring a successful spring and summer, we continue to take productive steps to prepare for the fall, including by ramping up our testing and other public health protocols; reviewing and updating our buildings, ventilation systems, and classroom configurations; and readying our residence halls.
Since our last Commencement update in early February, the university has engaged members of our community, particularly our graduating students and their families, in order to collect feedback and ideas and consider a range of scenarios for in-person graduation elements. The university now has announced plans for our 2021 Commencement celebrations.
The Office of the Provost has officially announced the national search for a vice provost for research, run by a faculty-led committee chaired by Paul Wahlbeck, Dean of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. We also are pleased to announce that Sylvia Ezekilova has been promoted to Executive Director of the Office of Sponsored Projects.
Although we have determined that the Summer 2021 term will continue with a mainly virtual operating status, the success of our efforts to contain the spread of the virus on campus has enabled us to begin initiating phased reopening of on-campus activity in preparation for the fall, when we will be back in person to the fullest extent possible.
As a result of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021, the federal government has allocated GW and other universities additional funding to address the ongoing financial impact of the pandemic.