President’s June 23 COVID communication for students

Greetings FPU students,

We look forward to seeing all of you at our FPU campuses this fall as we transition from a hybrid learning environment back to face-to-face interactions.

Return dates have been set for faculty and staff in anticipation of welcoming you back on August 16, for degree completion students, and on August 23, for traditional undergraduate and graduate students.

Throughout the pandemic the university has sought out and acted upon regulations and guidelines from the federal, state and local authorities, and we will continue to do so, recognizing that the fight against this disease is not over. The plan we will follow—reflecting the consensus among the experts—is that people who are fully vaccinated may be safely together without wearing a facemask, and that people who are not vaccinated may be safely with both those who are vaccinated and those who are not while wearing a mask. Therefore, everyone who has not completed vaccinations is required to wear a mask while indoors on campus.

As of June 23, social distancing is no longer required, and COVID screening procedures will be suspended unless otherwise needed. Residential students and student-athletes will be required to be vaccinated before returning to the main campus.

We highly encourage all students to be vaccinated before returning to your campus, and we are happy to say that according to our recent survey a majority of faculty and staff either are already vaccinated or plan to be vaccinated before school starts. We recognize, however, that some members of our community do not desire vaccination due to religious beliefs or overriding health issues, and we will, of course, respect those exceptions. Those individuals will still be required to wear a mask. To maintain reasonable caution, we will keep many of the safety barriers in place in classrooms and other public spaces, at least through the fall semester.

As we care for one another, please remember also to care for yourself. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or any other malady, please—please—stay home or in your residence, and notify your faculty and residence life staff, until you are well.

We again thank you for all your hard work over the last 15 months as “transition,” “flexibility” and “resilience” have been the watchwords of the pandemic. Our gratitude also to the families and loved ones who have supported you. At FPU, we never forget our dependence on God, as he instructs us to “trust in the Lord with all our hearts, and not depend just on our own understanding; but in all our ways to acknowledge him, and he will grant us wisdom and guidance.” God’s blessings on your summer. We look forward to seeing you this fall.

Welcome back!

Joseph Jones, Ph.D.




Wayne Steffen
Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations