Dear Faculty and Staff,
Later today, I will announce to students what I am confident will be welcome news: Mercy College will be fully open for in-person classes and campus life in fall 2021. With widespread availability of the COVID-19 vaccine as of this month, we look forward to restoring vibrancy on our campuses, while maintaining many of the safety precautions that we have adopted in the past year.
In last month’s return-to-campus survey, we heard clearly that the majority of you are looking forward to seeing more students and colleagues in person and returning to a sense of normalcy. You told us how you miss the strong community on our campuses, the satisfaction of seeing a student master a new skill, the joy of connecting informally with colleagues, and a more defined work/life balance.
You also told us about some benefits you have experienced from the shift to remote work. I continue to be impressed by the professionalism, dedication and commitment you exhibited in ensuring the College was able to remain open to support the education of our students. You pivoted quickly to adjust to the many challenges presented by COVID-19, adapting to new on-campus protocols, learning new technology, and managing the emotional toll associated with living through a pandemic. Mercy College appreciates and recognizes your contributions that made it possible to navigate through the past year. This fall, we will evaluate how we might revise our institutional remote work policies to reflect all we have learned.
Finally, we are encouraged to know that the overwhelming majority of respondents have already received or intend to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The health and safety of our community remains our top priority, and we plan to continue many of the new safety precautions that we implemented last fall. We know you will have questions about our fall policies. As we make these decisions in consultation with the state and campus health officials, you will be the first to know.
Taking all of this information into account it is the College’s plan for all employees to once again be working regularly from our campuses and offices as of July 1. We wanted to share this date now and your department heads will share safety protocols specific to your individual work environment. To welcome everyone back, we will hold a series of safe community-building events, including our on-campus picnic, throughout the summer. Soon, Human Resources will share more information for those employees who require accommodations beyond June 30.
I hope you can join me at a Return to Campus Town Hall on April 23 at 10:30 a.m. During this time we will review plans for the summer and fall terms.
To join the Zoom webinar, use this link: https://mercy.zoom.us/j/91739502842?pwd=TXJDZmEwam0ybjJvejc3K2JudG14Zz09, Passcode: 067561.
It is YOU, our faculty and staff, who make the Mav Community so special for our students, and we are eager to welcome you back in a safe and prudent manner.