I am writing to you today in my capacity as chair of the Staff Advisory Council. As you know, university leaders are deep in planning for a fully in-person campus this fall. But as of now, no one knows what that experience might be.
- Will it be a true “return to normal” like two years ago—before COVID-19?
- Or will we all be wearing masks and staying six feet apart?
Interim President Cowen and Provost Vinson must make many decisions now for the campus to be ready for the start of classes on Aug. 23. If they had to choose today, it would be Option #2. With the vaccination status of roughly 40 percent of our community entirely unknown, they can’t responsibly loosen restrictions.
I would like to encourage you, if you have received the COVID vaccine, to upload that information to the MyHealthConnect system. I, like you, am looking forward to a return to normalcy. To be able to interact without masks and physical distancing on campus, the university needs to have a better understanding of the vaccination status of our campus population. Instructions for uploading pictures of your cards are available on the COVID-19 website.
Staff Advisory Council continues to push leadership to allow more flexibility in our return to campus. And we will continue to advocate on that issue. If you are not aware, an ad hoc committee was established to look at the Remote Work Policy and will submitting formal recommendations to leadership in the coming weeks.
Low vaccination rates won’t affect those decisions—just the constraints when we are here. Staff cooperation in uploading vaccination status certainly can’t hurt our cause.
Chair, Staff Advisory Council