December 30, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

I hope that you have been able to rest and renew during the winter break.

The sharp rise in positive cases of the COVID-19 virus has prompted Spelman and AUCC leadership to determine how best to approach the spring semester return to campus.

We ended the fall semester with much to be proud of when it comes to our health and safety protocols. The policies that we put in place, and that our community adhered to, resulted in one of the lowest positivity rates on a college campus in the country.

With the nationwide spread of the omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus over the past two weeks, we are developing plans to continue to limit the spread of the virus among the members of our community, as we enter the spring 2022 semester.

Public health experts have indicated that the peak of the current surge will occur early in the month of January. For the spring semester, we will continue the effective health and safety protocols that are the standard for mitigation on campuses including frequent testing, required vaccinations, wearing masks and so on. In addition, we will implement the following protocols:

  • Classes will be virtual beginning Wednesday, Jan.12 and in-person classes will resume Monday, Jan. 31.
  • Booster shots will be required of faculty, staff and students, unless they have an approved vaccination exemption.
  • We are implementing a PRE-ARRIVAL testing protocol, which includes the submission of a negative PCR test (faculty, staff and students will be sent a self-administered PCR saliva test kit).

Our thanks to the Council of Chairs and the Faculty Council President, who were able to review the preliminary campus plan and provide their comments. We are developing a detailed guide for the pivot to remote instruction for faculty, which will be sent out by Dean Desiree Pedescleaux, Ph.D., early next week.

Concerning other elements of the opening of the spring semester, students will not be returning to campus until the last week in January, and they will have a staggered return to residence halls over a five-day period. Staff will telework 100 percent of the time until Monday, Jan. 24 when they will return to their previously approved schedule.

As our colleagues in the academy are making similar plans for campuses across the country, we share the common goal of maintaining high standards of academic excellence, even while dealing with the realities of an ongoing pandemic.

We will continue to weather this storm by pulling together, supporting one another and remaining undaunted. I thank you for all that you have done and continue to do to support your students, your departments and the College.

Best regards,

Dolores Bradley Brennan, Ph.D.
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Professor of Psychology, Co-Director, RISE Program

Spelman College
350 Spelman Lane
Atlanta, Georgia 30314

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