Dear ASU students and employees:
Happy New Year and welcome to the start of the spring 2021 semester. As we did in the fall, we begin this semester by committing to work together to navigate this time of uncertainty with resilience, moving forward with our lives.
Recommit to the ASU Community of Care
COVID-19 cases remain high, nationally and in Arizona, and I know we all wish we could just “be done” with this virus. But, as I’ve shared before, COVID-19 is not going away. Our goal at ASU is to have the right systems, structures and protocols in place to manage the virus in a way that allows us to carry out our essential mission of advancing education, research and service to our community. This is a time when we all need to review and adhere to the ASU Community of Care so that we can continue working to fulfill our charter.
As you return to ASU's campuses and classes begin next Monday, the same public health protocols that allowed us to successfully complete the fall 2020 semester remain in place.
- Face coverings, daily health checks, physical distancing and participation in our random COVID-19 testing program will continue to be required.
- We are increasing our required random testing to 25% of on-campus students each week, and 25% of employees each week. COVID-19 testing remains available to all students and employees at no cost and is available on all campuses for anyone who wants or needs a test. Appointments can be made here.
Learning and Housing Modes of Operation
We will continue the spring semester in the same learning (mode 2) and housing (mode 3) modes of operation that we were in at the end of the fall semester.
In learning mode 2, instruction is delivered to students by faculty in a hybrid fashion. Courses are offered in-person, on-campus at a reduced capacity and are also available to students digitally through ASU Sync and iCourses. Students can choose their preferred learning environment to accommodate their needs.
In university housing mode 3, we will maintain security and enforcement of all ASU Community of Care protocols; no external visitors will be allowed and residents are allowed one guest per room from within the same residence hall at any given time. We have reduced higher risk living configurations with communal bathrooms and communal living situations and individuals who repeatedly violate housing protocols will be removed from university housing.
Continued Monitoring and Information Sharing
And, as always, we continue to closely monitor COVID-19 on and near our campuses and will communicate changes in our management strategy as the semester moves forward. We will also continue sharing details of what is happening with the virus on our campuses and in the community at our COVID-19 Management webpage, which is updated every Monday and Thursday evening.
Hundreds of ASU employees have been included in the state’s Phase 1A COVID-19 vaccine plan, including those working in COVID-19 health care or testing laboratory support roles.
Arizona will begin open registration for Phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccine plan on Monday, January 11. I am pleased to share that all ASU instructional staff who will be teaching in the classroom during the spring semester will be included in Phase 1B. Phase 1B also includes K-12 education and childcare workers, those in protective services occupations, adults 75 and older, essential services and critical industry workers, and adults with high-risk conditions in congregate settings.
I would like to thank Governor Doug Ducey and Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ for including ASU instructional staff who will be in the classroom this spring in Phase 1B.
Individuals eligible for Phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccine will receive additional communication regarding registration information and we will share more information about the availability of the vaccine for all ASU employees and students as it becomes available.
Ask for help
If you are a student and you need anything – laptops and hotspots, a review of available financial aid, help navigating ASU Sync, or time to chat with our medical or mental health providers – contact firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be directed to the right resources.
Employees who have questions about ASU operations should contact their supervisors directly.
As always, you can contact me directly at email@example.com so we can work together to find solutions. Thank you for doing your part to support ASU's Community of Care and your fellow Sun Devils. Let's have a successful spring semester.
Michael M. Crow
Arizona State University