Dear Faculty, We have successfully managed another week! Students are wearing their face coverings, testing and health screening are occurring and our positivity rate for COVID-19 remains well below 1%. Thank you for your continued diligence and for reinforcing the positive behavior of our students. I hope you also had a chance to thank our incredible staff across campus during this Staff Appreciation Week as they have been crucial to our successful fall return.
I am writing to share some important information that I hope will be helpful to you.
- Please join us for the Faculty Teams Live event next week where we’ll provide updates on a variety of topics including the spring 2021 calendar, testing, library services and more. As always, we’ll leave plenty of time to answer your questions.
Faculty Teams Live Event – Updates
September 23, 2020
12:00 – 1:00pm
- A clarification on the academic visitors policy that was announced on August 28. We have temporarily suspended all academic visitors – in-state, domestic, and international – to campus for fall 2020. Exception requests for campus access by non-UVM researchers engaged in ongoing research collaborations should be submitted to the Vice President for Research Kirk Dombrowski. All other visitor exception requests should be submitted to Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs Jim Vigoreaux.
- As announced in the September 4 digest, the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) expanded its very successful Faculty-to-Faculty Consulting Program to better accommodate the emerging needs related to course modalities. CTL Faculty Associates offer confidential, one-on-one consultations regarding teaching. Faculty Associates represent a range of disciplines from colleges and departments across the university, and have experience teaching in online, remote, mixed, and in-person modalities. CTL Faculty Associates are here to help build a strong teaching community at UVM and to strengthen the peer networks that have been critical to our success during this uncertain time. Please reach out to schedule a teaching consultation.
- As we continue to deal with the threat of COVID-19, getting annual flu shots is more important than ever. To encourage and promote participation, UVM has doubled the number of on-campus opportunities to get flu shots this year. Flu shots will be available to all employees and dependents from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. in Waterman 427A on the following dates (please bring your medical insurance ID card – UVM and non-UVM allowed): October 15, 16, 20, 22, 23, 28, 30, and November 9. Please note that registration is required to help ensure appropriate social distancing. A registration link will be made available the week of September 28. Flu shots will also be available to all students at the COVID-19 Information and Service Center.
- As you know, our COVID testing protocol was designed based on advice from our own public health and infectious disease experts. Our experts reviewed the data from the first month of testing and offered their best guidance about the future. Based on their counsel, we will continue existing testing protocols: All students who are not entirely remote are required to continue to receive PCR testing every seven days. This requirement will remain in place until November 1, at which time we will revisit the results to date with our medical expert panel again.
If you weren’t able to watch Governor Scott’s press conference on Tuesday, he was joined by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert. In addition to describing Vermont as a model for the country, Dr. Fauci warned, “This virus is a formidable foe. You give it an opportunity to reemerge its ugly head...that virus is going to take advantage of that. So please, you’ve done so well, don’t let your guard down.” Please share these words of both praise and warning with your students.
It has been inspiring to witness the perseverance, dedication, collaboration, and creativity spurred by the pandemic. We truly are UVMStrong. Please know that I remain grateful for all of your efforts on behalf of our students.
Patricia A. Prelock
Provost and Senior Vice President
The University of Vermont