From the President, re. Reopening Campus for the Spring

Dear Colleagues,

I hope that all of you enjoyed a peaceful, healthy and restful Holiday season. As you know, the spring semester is almost upon us and I want to update you on some essential information regarding the opening of campus.

Due to the post-Holiday surge of coronavirus cases in the state, the on-campus start of the spring semester will be delayed until Monday, Feb.  1. While the semester will still officially begin on Tuesday, Jan. 26, all classes will be virtual during that first week and all campus offices will remain closed, with student services being offered remotely until Feb. 1. 

Faculty members teaching on-ground (face-to-face) classes will commence their on-campus teaching the week of Feb. 1.

Faculty and staff needing to come to campus to prepare for the new semester should follow the same approval procedures that have been in place during the winter break. Faculty should place a request to their respective College/School Dean at least two days before the requested date/time of visit, using the form available at https://inside.southernct.edu/reopening

Staff coming to campus should confirm their schedule with their supervisor and/or vice president. When on-ground activities commence Feb. 1, staff will continue to operate on the same staggered scheduling that was in place for the fall semester.

Students will receive a separate email notification on Monday (Jan. 11) regarding classes, residence life, campus dining and other essential services. A detailed plan covering all facets of our spring reopening has been submitted to the System Office and will soon be available on our website.

As you are aware, a new, more contagious strain of coronavirus has been identified in the state. While there is no evidence that this new strain leads to more severe illness, the fact that it transmits more rapidly means that we need to place renewed emphasis on health and safety measures.

I urge all of you to continue to practice social distancing, the wearing of masks and other safety precautions both at home, and when you return to campus. As a further precautionary measure, I also ask that all employees take a free COVID-19 test at a site near your hometown during the week before we commence on-ground teaching and working.

As during the fall, COVID kits with hand wipes, disinfectant and masks, will be available on request at Facilities Operations – department chairs/supervisors should contact Lisa Kortfelt at kortfeltl1@southernct.edu. Ext. 2-7073 to arrange for pick up.

I was so proud of the way that our faculty and staff joined together to support each other and advance our mission in unprecedented circumstances during 2020. The fact that we were able to keep campus open to our goal of Thanksgiving –  when many other institutions could not –  says a great deal about our caring community and its shared resilience and commitment to student success.

In that same spirit, I encourage you to do all that you can to ensure that the spring semester gets off to the best possible start: so that our students can learn, and we can teach and work, in a safe and welcoming campus environment.

Sincerely,

Joe Bertolino
President