Dear Campus Community,
I write today to dispel rumors that have been circulating and to clarify processes for determining university operations as the COVID-19 pandemic remains a part of life this academic year.
To be clear, there are NO plans to shift course modality to virtual instruction, nor have there been any discussions at the leadership level about exercising that option. If such a change were necessary, it would be made in consultation with our many campus stakeholders (students, faculty and staff), and I would immediately communicate the change to our university community. Rumors are cause for anxiety and uncertainty among our students who rely on this community for reassurance and support as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. The office of the president will continue to be the trusted source of information regarding any significant changes to operations of the university in response to COVID-19.
The move to virtual instruction that occurred LAST academic year was needed to accommodate a continually uncertain environment. Vaccines are now widely available and have helped reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 and are proven to minimize the risk of severe illness. While COVID variants may continue to emerge in the future and challenge the eradication of the disease, we know much more now about measures that can mitigate exposure and spread. Most effective is mask wearing and broad community vaccination.
Members of our community play the largest role in determining whether we would have to resort to virtual instruction in the future. Please continue to do your part. Wear your mask and, if you have not already, get vaccinated. As a reminder, vaccinations are readily available. The SU COVID Office is here to assist in scheduling ( Covid19@ship.edu, 717-477-1007).
Again, there are NO plans to shift to a virtual instruction modality. We remain open with the on-campus experience we had originally planned for fall 2021. If that should change, then you can look for this message to come from me directly.
Charles E. Patterson, PhD