Communications about fall semester 2021 to members of the University community, sharing information on COVID-19 efforts, health and travel guidance, and academic programming.

 This information is current as of 4 p.m. on Dec. 15, 2021.

Updates to Faculty, Staff, and Community

Dec. 15: Leadership transition and initial planning for spring semester

Provost Nancy Berner shares initial plans for next semester (masks required, boosters strongly encouraged, students will be tested before they return) and reminds us that the Regents remain committed to the University’s priorities so that strategic planning can continue. And there’s progress on the new cell tower!

Dec. 2: Omicron variant and news from the Cabinet

In addition to COVID-19 and Cabinet news, the provost highlights current news and events, including Klarke Stricklen’s Rhodes Scholarship and upcoming holiday events.

Nov. 29: Tracking potential effects of the Omicron COVID-19 variant

Following the identification of the new COVID-19 variant, Vice-Chancellor Brigety informed campus that administrators are consulting with physicians and looking at possible impacts of the Omicron variant.

Nov. 16: Strategic planning forums this week

Among the news items this week are the creation of the Employee Emergency Assistance Fund, opportunities to offer input into the strategic planning process—and a reminder that the University’s masking policy is still in effect.

Nov. 3: “Campus News and Updates” will focus more on campus news and important reminders

The provost will continue to include COVID-19 updates as needed, but will use her weekly message to provide regular updates about other campus topics, such as the strategic planning process.

Oct. 13: Vaccination requirement results

Provost Berner praises campus compliance with the vaccination requirement and thanks the staff who had a positive effect on the results. Fall Break and an Open Staff meeting are coming next week.

Oct. 6: Vaccination deadline; Boards meet this week

The vaccination deadline is this Friday. Provost Nancy Berner also shares news from the Cabinet, and explains the roles of trustees and regents, who meet this week.

Sept. 22: Town hall meetings; vaccination deadline change

The provost announces upcoming town hall meetings with the vice-chancellor, shares news from the Cabinet, and reminds faculty and staff of an extension to the vaccination deadline.

Sept. 22: Adjustments to vaccination policy

In a letter to campus, Vice-Chancellor Brigety announced  a few adjustments to the COVID-19 vaccination policy. Vaccination is required by Oct. 8.

Sept. 15: New process for gowning on Friday; vaccination reminders

Provost Berner shares a new process for the gowning ceremony in order to follow the capacity limits in All Saints’ Chapel, as well reminders about vaccination resources.

Sept. 9: Addressing employee anxiety; vaccination clinics on campus

The provost acknowledges a level of anxiety among faculty and staff who have not been involved in the constant fine-tuning of fall protocols, and offers a reminder about the vaccination requirement and opportunities.


The vice-chancellor explains the University’s COVID-19 protocols for fall semester, and announces changes in procedures. 

Sept. 1: Employee listening session about vaccination; recent changes in policy and practice

Provost Nancy Berner discusses recent “pivots” in the University’s efforts to continue an on-campus, in-person semester. A listening session for employees will be held on Friday.

Aug. 31: All students to be tested this week

Faculty and staff were notified that screening testing will be required for all students this week. 

Aug. 26: COVID-19 Vaccination Required

Vice-Chancellor Brigety announced in a letter to campus that vaccination for COVID-19 will be required. The requirement goes into full effect on ­­­Oct. 5, 2021.

Aug. 25: Reminders of COVID protocols; news about COVID-relief funding; our shared values

Provost Berner shares vaccination and masking reminders and updates other University news, including information about COVID-relief funding from Congress, and the introduction of four shared University values that emerged from the process we began last spring. 

Aug. 18: University approach to policies and protocols this academic year

Vaccination, testing, masking, isolation and quarantine. Provost Nancy Berner explains the policies and describes this year’s shift in our approach to dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aug. 11: College students begin to arrive today for programs and sports; a few reminders

The provost shares the early arrival schedule for the College and updates the student vaccination percentage.

Aug. 4: Student arrivals begin this week; policy updates

Provost Berner summarizes recent policy updates and points employees to the University’s new weekly COVID-19 dashboard. College students will begin to arrive on campus in less than a week.

Aug. 2: New masking policy

The University's masking policy was updated effective Aug. 3, 2021.

July 28: Employee COVID-19 Testing Update

Important information about COVID-19 testing for employees; the CDC has updated masking guidance.

July 23: Time away from work due to COVID-19 is treated like any other illness

Due to the ready availability of free COVID-19 vaccines, the University has amended the way it considers time away from work for isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19 infection or exposure. COVID-19-related time away from work is treated like any other illness.

July 21: Planning continues for student arrivals and testing

In addition to planning updates, Provost Nancy Berner gives employees a reminder of the CDC guidance on masking. The new academic year dashboard will be launched Aug. 2; upload your vaccination documentation if you have not already done so.

July 14: Small “FOG” is planning for fall; how to order personal protective equipment

The Fall Operational Group is working to clarify details and integrate the University’s fall planning; the provost shares some of the items being discussed. Reminder: Please upload your vaccination documentation if you have not already done so.

July 8: Students will begin to arrive in four weeks; so far, we have vaccination documentation for about 70% of students

Provost Berner shares that students who are not vaccinated will participate in onboard testing as well as weekly surveillance testing. Masking will not be mandated in all classes, but faculty members (and meeting and event organizers) may require masks in classrooms, at meetings, lectures, or events, and for other gatherings.

June 23: Fall strategy begins to take shape; vaccination is very important

For the coming academic year, the University’s COVID-19 containment strategy will largely move toward reliance on vaccinations rather than regular testing of all students and employees.