Jan. 13, 2021
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
We are pleased to welcome our students back tomorrow when we begin the semester with fully remote or online classes for the first month. This message confirms our subsequent return to in-person classes as hoped on Feb. 15 and provides important updates about spring semester operations. We are excited to provide an improved on-campus student experience beginning in February.
In-person courses will resume Feb. 15
Courses designated as in-person or hybrid in-person for the spring semester will begin their in-person format on Monday, Feb. 15. Courses designated as remote or online will continue in those formats for the entire semester.
Residence halls: Students will be able to move back into the residence halls by appointment beginning Feb. 7. Students who will be living on campus will receive more information about move-in soon from Residence Life.
COVID-19 safety and monitoring
The spring semester will continue to be a time when we are a COVID-19-aware campus. We’re increasing our testing capacity and requirements and will continue with safety measures such as daily check-ins via Buff Pass, required use of face coverings when on campus, reduced density in campus buildings, social distancing in the classroom and proper ventilation.
New testing expectation: All faculty, staff and students with a need to be on campus during the spring semester will need to participate in the campus monitoring surveillance program once a week. Participation in the monitoring program is critical to help avoid further public health restrictions. The existing requirement for on-campus residents and certain staff to participate weekly will also continue.
Public health services: Diagnostic testing, contact tracing and case investigation will continue to be available for students. Faculty and staff will be referred through the monitoring program to diagnostic testing, as long as they are asymptomatic. The campus also supports contact tracing as needed for faculty and staff who get a positive diagnostic test result.
Testing for immediate family/household members: Faculty, staff and students will continue to be able to bring their immediate family/household members to participate in the monitoring program as long as our testing capacity permits this.
Boulder County Public Health and the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment have asked CU Boulder to partner on vaccine distribution to faculty, staff and students. The campus anticipates serving as a site where faculty, staff and students can choose to get the vaccine. Vaccine timing and availability through CU Boulder will follow state guidelines and depend heavily upon national and state vaccine supply. We know this is of major interest to our community and will communicate more information as soon as we have it. Please be aware that vaccines for most students, faculty and staff will not be available at the beginning of the spring semester or when in-person courses begin. We cannot distribute any vaccine outside of the state guidelines.
State COVID-19 dial and campus operations
The in-person course mode and on-campus activities will be closely tied to where Boulder County is on the state COVID-19 dial. The current designation of Level Orange allows for in-person instruction that is less limited and small personal gatherings. That said, the semester will begin in a fully remote format, and in-person instruction will not begin until Feb. 15. We expect students, faculty and staff to continue to comply with public health orders and the campus health and safety policy, which will help us keep infection rates low and offer the best opportunity for ongoing social activities and student programming throughout the semester.
Please also note the following important information:
Friday, Jan. 15, will follow a Wednesday class meeting schedule (excluding law classes).
There will be two wellness days on Feb. 17 and March 25. No classes will be held on the wellness days, however, the university will be open for business.
Existing research activities––including related graduate-student research–– will continue in-person as approved through existing protocols.
Staff members will stay in their current status, whether currently working on campus or remotely, unless instructed otherwise by their supervisors.
We are eager to welcome students back
As a community, we learned many things last fall. We will use that knowledge for an improved student experience this semester with more consistency and opportunities for engagement.
Most important, we learned the expectations we all have for each other to keep our families, our university community and the broader community safe. For more details about the spring, please visit the Spring 2021 Semester page on our COVID-19 website.
We look forward to providing regular updates throughout the semester, including the weekly COVID-19 update on CU Boulder Today. The campus recently launched Buff Info, a centralized resource for information.
There will be regular campus Q&A sessions via Zoom. The next one is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 2 p.m. Please join us as we discuss our return to in-person courses, updates on vaccines, the expansion of the campus monitoring program, campus life updates and more in preparation for a successful spring semester.
We are Buffs together,
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer