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Latest on Covid-19 and campus operations

COO Larry Sampler shares important events, announcements and employee-engagement opportunities.

By Larry Sampler, chief operating officer

January 21, 2021

Larry SamplerDear Roadrunners,

This has been a significant week for our country and for the Metropolitan State University of Denver community. On Monday, we celebrated the life of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and those who continue his legacy of activism in pursuit of peace, justice and social change. On Wednesday, we witnessed a peaceful transition of presidential power, a hallmark of our democracy.

As we near the end of our first week of the spring semester, I wanted to highlight several other important events, announcements and employee-engagement opportunities.

Listening Sessions

MSU Denver faculty, staff and students are invited to participate in a series of inclusive, future-focused virtual Listening Sessions to provide feedback and share ideas as the University continues to plan for a Safe Return to Campus and post-Covid-19 operations.

There are still opportunities to join the conversation, so please mark your calendars to attend one of the remaining sessions.

Listening Session No. 2: Friday, 10-11 a.m.

Listening Session No. 3: Tuesday, noon-1 p.m.

You can also share future-focused feedback directly via the Safe Return to Campus website.

Vaccine-distribution update

I hope you all read Tuesday’s message from President Janine Davidson, Ph.D., and the Auraria Executive Council, which provided more details on the campus’ vaccine-distribution plan. Working in tandem with our campus partners, MSU Denver aims to be as inclusive, transparent and communicative as possible throughout this process.

When the vaccines become available to the Auraria Campus, individuals within the designated priority groups will be notified in a timely fashion. MSU Denver will continue to follow the state’s priority guidelines for vaccine distribution, beginning with Phase 1B. This includes current campus-affiliated students and employees who are 70 and older, Auraria Campus police, Emergency Management staff and Health Center at Auraria personnel and custodial staff. University members in Phase 1B will receive an invitation via email from CovidCheck Colorado to schedule their free vaccination as soon as the end of this week. 

Please review the frequently asked questions on the Health Center at Auraria website for more information and continue submitting your questions.

Alternative Work Arrangements Policy

I also want to mention the Alternative Work Arrangements Policy, which is currently in development through the University Policy Advisory Council. This policy would provide guidance for employees and supervisors on developing alternative work arrangements to encourage a healthy work/life balance while ensuring that the educational and operational needs of the University are met.

I invite anyone who is interested in providing feedback to attend today’s council meeting or submit comments at This policy has also been discussed in Faculty Senate and Staff Senate meetings, and employees are encouraged to join these important conversations.

This policy relates closely to future-focused work taking place within the Roadrunners Safe Return Committee. Until a policy is in place, however, it’s important that employees and supervisors continue to be flexible and equitable in determining work arrangements — and continuing to adhere to all health and safety protocols.

Universitywide Engagement, Leader and Self-Identification Survey

Another way employees can join the conversation and provide valuable feedback is through the Universitywide Engagement, Leader and Self-Identification Survey, which is open through Jan. 29. To participate, please check your email for a message from President Davidson containing a secure survey link. This survey is confidential but critically important in helping the University learn what is working, what needs attention and how we as leaders can improve the employee experience for all faculty and staff members in pursuit of student success.

As always, if you have questions or concerns about our Safe Return to Campus, please reach out through this form or via email at


Larry Sampler

Vice president for Administration, Finance and Facilities and chief operating officer

Topics: Administration, Health, Safety

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