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Email from President Davidson and Provost Alfred Tatum, Ph.D.
March 30, 2021
Dear Roadrunner community,
We write to update you on our planned return to campus for fall 2021, and to reiterate our appreciation for you and your efforts the past 12 months. The resiliency as well as the physical, mental, and emotional labor invested by our faculty and staff has been remarkable.
As we continue to plan for the fall semester, the safety of our campus and the well-being of Roadrunners remain paramount. MSU Denver, along with our AHEC partner institutions, will continue to follow all health and safety guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State of Colorado, and the City of Denver. We have consistently shown a commitment to meeting safety standards and will continue to embody this commitment in the months ahead. We are equally committed to the mental health and wellbeing of our faculty and staff. Please know that we support you and that our campus has resources available should you need them.
Earlier this month, then-Interim Provost Bill Henry, Ph.D., called upon deans and chairs to build a fall 2021 schedule that would include 70-100% on-campus courses in comparison to on-campus courses offered in fall 2019. This percentage was provided as guidance to departments and to empower chairs and directors to use their judgement knowing that for many departments, offering more online offerings would be the new norm, whereas for others, a return to fall 2019 on-campus section levels made more sense. Thanks to your hard work, we have reached 80% of our fall 2019 on-campus section numbers. This is great news for our community, including our current and prospective students.
Much of our optimism about returning in fall is based on progress being made with vaccines. On March 19, Phase 1.B.4 officially began in Colorado, meaning all MSU Denver employees are now vaccine-eligible. Subsequently, on March 29, Governor Polis announced that all Coloradans aged 16 and older will be vaccine-eligible beginning on Friday, April 2. For those who have not yet received the vaccine, we encourage you to take advantage of any opportunity to schedule your appointment, whether that be right here on the Auraria Campus or through off-campus points-of-distribution.
We are encouraging students to get vaccinated as well, and we feel confident the majority of our students will get vaccinated once their eligibility begins later this week. It is clear that many of you would prefer a more concrete stance on vaccine requirements and we share your sentiments. We will continue to work closely with state health and legal officials and will keep you updated on this issue.
We also understand that apprehension remains about returning to campus for health and safety reasons, personal reasons, cultural and historical reasons, or others. All are justified. Providing on-campus courses to our students and support for each other is important, as is your well-being. In planning for your own return this fall, we ask that you communicate with your deans, chairs, directors, or supervisors to make the appropriate accommodations for teaching and work.
As we move forward, we will keep you informed of updates in a timely manner. We will use the Roadrunner Safe Return website to provide vaccine information and education, planning resources and FAQs. We also encourage you to read the Early Bird, check social media pages, and to stay in close communication with your deans, chairs, director and supervisors.
In closing, we would like to reiterate the immense respect and appreciation we have for the Roadrunner community. Our motto at MSU Denver is “Reimagine Possible,” but without all of you none of what we have done over the past year — nor what we will do in the weeks, months, and years ahead — would be possible.
Thank you again,
President Janine Davidson, Ph.D.
Provost Alfred Tatum, Ph.D.