Today, June 15, Governor Newsom updated information regarding COVID-19 practices and protocols as the state begins to ease restrictions. There is still work to be done over the coming weeks as other government agencies have yet to provide updated guidelines specifically related to safety protocols for employees in the workplace. The governor has announced his plans to issue executive orders to expedite these other state agency’s deadlines. Those orders would end mandated mask wearing and eliminate social distancing in most circumstances.
At this time, our current COVID-19 protocols—including wearing of masks indoors—will continue as is, on all campuses, until further notice. As of today, however, we will no longer require masks to be worn outdoors on any of our campuses. We will continue to maintain a hybrid workplace for employees through July 31, with more information to come next month.
Returning to Face-to-Face Instruction
· We plan for the return to in-person instruction for fall 2021 at all our campuses.
· IT continues to work in each classroom to make sure all technology is ready to return to classrooms. More information will become available as we approach the fall semester.
· We encourage each of you to get vaccinated. Doing this protects you, your loved ones and our FPU community.
· Until the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gives full approval to one or more vaccines, we cannot provide clear information on any expectations or requirements related to vaccination. Once a vaccine receives full approval, it is possible specific student groups who by nature of their interactions maintain close contact with one another, such as athletes and residential students, will be required to be vaccinated. If the vaccine is required, students could seek an exemption based on medical or religious grounds. We will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.
· All staff and faculty should have received a brief survey regarding their current vaccination status. As of June 15 of the 273 who have responded 80% are vaccinated. As a reminder, that survey is submitted anonymously and will help determine the current number of vaccinated employees. If you have not yet completed and submitted the survey, please do so today.
Maintaining Current Protocols—to be Updated by July 31
· All employees will still need to complete a self-screening before coming to any of our campuses. Visitors to campus will also need to complete and submit the proper COVID-19 screening form.
· All employees will continue to wear masks indoors when not alone in their office and will need to continue to maintain physical distancing, until further notice.
· We will maintain current cleaning protocols.
Save the Date
Please save the date of the following events as we look forward to being able to gather in person again. Each of these events will take place on our main campus:
· Faculty and Staff Welcome Back Breakfast: Wednesday, August 18, 8:30 a.m., outside on the McDonald Green. This event, specifically for faculty and staff, is a kickoff the week prior to the start of the academic year.
· Fall Convocation: Friday, August 27, 10:00 a.m. This is a community-wide university event for students, staff and faculty where we will formally commence the start of the academic year. Faculty will be dressed in their academic regalia and process into the event. Melanie Howard, Ph.D., the most recent recipient of the Nickel Excellence in Teaching Award (NETA), will be the keynote speaker.
· State of the University by President Jones: Wednesday, September 15, 10:00 a.m. This is also a university community-wide event for students, staff and faculty in the Special Events Center.
Thank you for your patience and your prayers as we continue to navigate the many details. We are deeply grateful for the grace of God, for his presence with us and the many ways he is at work among us. We give thanks for the ways he has led us and sustained us. We are committed to providing timely updates and look forward to the opportunity to see you face-to-face soon.
Joseph Jones, Ph.D.
D. Gayle Copeland, Ph.D.
Provost/Senior VP for Academic Affairs