September 3 Message to Faculty & Staff from the Office of the President

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Dear Faculty and Staff,

Thank you for joining us at today’s Town Hall to discuss our plans for the fall term and the many policies and precautions we have in place to keep the College community safe. 

As a follow-up, I wanted to recap some of the important topics we discussed:

  • Effective immediately, the College will require faculty and staff to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.  We believe it is in the best interests of our entire community for faculty and staff to adhere to the same policy as students, who are already required to be vaccinated.  We expect that the recently announced approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for individuals 16 and older by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will alleviate some of the initial concerns expressed by some unvaccinated employees.  We will communicate soon about the process, including timing for submitting vaccine proof. Employees will be given an opportunity to apply for a medical or religious exemption through the Office of Human Resources.
  • As was previously communicated, all faculty and staff who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or who receive an approved medical or religious exemption will be required to be tested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis. Those individuals will receive an email soon with details about signing up for testing appointments.  Failure to participate in weekly COVID-19 testing will result in sanctions.
  • As of today, more than 80% of full-time faculty, staff and part-time faculty teaching on campus this fall have been fully vaccinated. We will continue to share progress on these numbers with our community.
  • The College continues its outreach efforts to increase the percentage of students who are fully vaccinated. As of today, more than two-thirds of students attending classes on campus this fall have been vaccinated. That represents a significant improvement from when we first started collecting this data, but it also means that faculty and staff should not assume that all students in classes and offices are vaccinated and therefore should continue to take precautions.
  • All unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, and exempt students (like faculty and staff) will be required to participate in weekly COVID-19 testing. Failure to adhere to these guidelines could lead to disciplinary action for students, with sanctions up to and including suspension.

We continue to monitor the public health outlook and make any necessary adjustments to our policies and protocols. Thank you, as always, for your dedication to starting the fall term in-person and for your cooperation in keeping our community safe.

Tim Hall