January 8, 2022
Dear Members of Our Campus Community,
In my December 21, 2021, message to our campus community, we announced that we would begin the Winter quarter with two weeks of remote instruction, with in-person instruction to resume on January 18, 2022, subject to reassessment of the situation. Given the spread of Omicron, many students, staff, and faculty are likely to need to isolate for a period of time at some point in January. After consultation with our Academic Senate and members of the faculty, our deans and administrative colleagues, our students, our staff, and campus medical experts, and on the recommendation of the COVID-19 Working and Planning groups, we have decided to allow continued remote instruction for two additional weeks.
Between January 18, 2022, and January 31, 2022, instructors may continue to offer instruction remotely or choose to teach in person, and students who choose to remain off campus or who must isolate or quarantine following COVID-19 protocols will be provided with reasonable opportunities to participate remotely in any in-person class. We expect that many instructors will decide to continue teaching remotely for the rest of the month, in order to ensure stable and consistent delivery of their lectures, and we understand that some students will need to be absent at some point during this two-week period. We are trying to balance our faculty commitment to providing students with the best educational experience possible with the practical realities expected for the rest of the month.
Instructors should communicate with their students by Tuesday, January 11, 2022, if they plan to offer any in-person instruction in January, along with information about how those students who cannot attend class or have delayed their return to campus can access course materials. The contact address for student advising is firstname.lastname@example.org. Our current plan is for all in-person instruction to resume January 31, 2022.
Having a reduced campus population will help us to maintain campus operations as much as possible and allow our dedicated staff and faculty to observe COVID-19 isolation protocols if required and take any necessary sick or COVID-19 leave. Where possible, we encourage managers to be flexible with temporary work arrangements for staff during the month of January. We are deeply grateful to our colleagues, who have worked tirelessly to keep our campus operational, supporting our students and ongoing research endeavors throughout the pandemic.
Our campus, including housing, student support services, the Library, and the RecCen, will remain open. Our Dining Services team is currently reviewing options for students who purchased dining plans but are living off-campus this month. We will reach out directly to eligible students with information regarding these plans.
As our COVID-19 Response Team and medical experts advised in December, we request students who choose to remain off-campus during the remote instruction period to return at least six days prior to the resumption of in-person instruction on January 31, in order to obtain a COVID-19 test on campus and, if necessary, complete the 5-day isolation period. Eligible students must get the required COVID-19 booster by January 31, 2022, and follow all the mitigation protocols, including masking and testing, highlighted in the December 27, 2021, message to students and in the January 6, 2022, message to faculty and staff. Eligible faculty and staff must obtain a vaccine booster by February 4, 2022.
Our campus is quieter, but still bustling. Over half of our students have already returned. Our faculty and staff colleagues have also come back following the holidays and are fully engaged with instruction and research, supporting our students and the mission of the University. Although we are disappointed by this delay, we are committed to a return to in-person instruction, and are acting now because we believe that making this decision now will pave the way to a full return to classrooms as soon as possible.
We wish you all a Happy New Year, and we look forward with great anticipation and enthusiasm to having everyone back on campus by the end of the month.
Henry T. Yang