Additional information on the return to in-person instruction

Dear faculty,

We cannot thank you enough for all the compassion and flexibility you have shown to our students this semester and this academic year. With that in mind, I wanted to follow up with you about a few items related to President Rao’s message regarding the return to in-person instruction.

In-person learning return date

If you have a class scheduled to be blended, hybrid, or in-person, you need to MUST resume in-person learning on March 4. However, you may start back as early as March 1 if your circumstances allow and you feel it would be beneficial for your students.

Regardless, it is important that you communicate with your students about your plans for returning to in-person instruction.

Changing modality

To minimize confusion and disruption to students, we hope that you can proceed with the modality you selected for your courses at the beginning of the semester. We understand, however, that circumstances can change, so if you feel you absolutely must move your course to being fully online, you may request a modality change from your department chair or director/supervisor. All such requests must be made by Feb. 23, 2021.

Ensuring student success

We understand that changes mid-semester can be challenging for everyone, especially our students. Please make sure that you have a flex instructional plan in place to ensure students who are unable to return to in-person instruction can still continue with — and be successful in — your class.

Likewise, we encourage you to be understanding in excusing student absences, recognizing that students may need to miss time due to travelling back to campus for in-person instruction, to be present for available vaccination shots, or a variety of other valid reasons.

Again, thank you for all your efforts to make this semester as smooth as possible for our students.

Sincerely,

Gail Hackett, Ph.D.
Provost and senior vice president for academic affairs

Arthur Kellermann, M.D., M.P.H.
Senior vice president for health sciences at VCU and CEO of VCU Health System

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