January 19, 2022 - Next Steps for Our Safe, Successful Spring Semester Return to Campus

The following message was sent to the University of Portland community on January 19, 2022.

Diligence, compassion, hope, hard work, faithfulness, solidarity. These are some of the wonderful hallmarks of our special community on The Bluff. As we have confronted recent pandemic challenges, these attributes of our students, staff, faculty, and families have been on full display.

It is because of your efforts that I am now able to announce important changes in our University’s mode of operations. First, in-person instruction will resume on Monday, January 24. A very small selection of courses may continue to meet temporarily online due to extenuating circumstances for faculty; impacted students will be notified directly by their instructor. Second, in-person student activities may resume on Monday, January 24. Campus services and recreation will continue to be available, albeit with some modification.

Driving these changes has been the encouraging outcome of our post-arrival testing program. We achieved extraordinary rates of student participation, and we have been able to provide support to the relatively small number of students who tested positive for the virus. We are also a highly-vaccinated, highly-boosted community, enabling us to limit case counts, thus preventing widespread outbreaks, as well as minimize symptom severity for those who may become sick.

Please know that the COVID-19 pandemic and the Omicron variant are still very much a part of life on The Bluff. The University’s face covering/mask policy is still in effect. All are encouraged to continue following health and safety practices such as de-densification of meeting spaces, frequent handwashing, and avoidance of un-masked gatherings. If you experience symptoms of COVID-19, stay home and contact a health care provider for guidance. Upload proof of receiving your vaccine booster shot on the Pilots Prevent website and know that free boosters will be available for students from the Health & Counseling Center beginning this Friday.

With continued diligence compassion, hope, hard work, faithfulness, and solidarity, I am confident that our community will forge a safe, successful spring semester, just as we did during our fall semester. Thank you for your continued efforts and God bless.

Sincerely,
Herbert

Herbert A. Medina, Ph.D.
Acting President
Provost