December 29, 2021
Dear Georgetown University Faculty and Staff,
Following today’s message from President DeGioia with a link to a detailed webpage including public health requirements, we provide the following information about how we will begin the Spring semester. As we send this very important information, we’d also like to recognize the impacts and the challenges of the changing pandemic environment requiring another shift in our mindset and activities as we adapt to an altered start to the Spring semester. As we have done since the beginning of this pandemic, we will continue to work closely with our colleagues and students to ensure our community has the necessary support for success.
Classes Start as Originally Scheduled, Held Virtually Through January 30, 2022. Most classes will start on January 12th as stated in the academic calendar, in a temporary remote mode, through January 30, 2022. It is our intention to resume on-campus in-person classes on Monday, January 31, 2022, depending on public health conditions at that time. We will communicate any updates to the mode of instruction if need be. At this time, all students and faculty regularly scheduled to be on campus will be expected to be on campus by January 31.
When research activities require in-person work, faculty and staff have been asked to schedule work in such a way that allows for reduced density, maintaining physical distancing when possible and wearing a properly-fitted, high-grade mask inside at all times. Graduate students conducting research should continue as scheduled. We strongly encourage those who are eligible to be boosted to do so before returning to campus before the January 21, 2022, deadline. Access for study participants visiting Georgetown for research purposes continues as planned.
Use of Library and Study Spaces
Libraries will be open only to Georgetown University community members. Students will need to keep at least six feet apart while studying in libraries or study spaces on campus and wear a high-grade mask at all times. These rooms will also be available for students as study spaces until January 30, so that students may maintain physical distancing. We strongly encourage those who are eligible to be boosted to do so before returning to campus before the January 21, 2022, deadline. Masks (specific types outlined here) must be worn in indoor public spaces on campus, and no eating or drinking is allowed in communal areas, including libraries, classrooms, and study spaces.
Undergraduate Residential Student Move-In Begins January 11, 2022
There are a very small number of exceptions for move-in prior to January 11. Given that classes will be held virtually, temporarily, through January 30, residential students may choose to move in later in January in the period between January 12 and January 30. Residential students will receive more information about the move-in process in early January.
New F1 students must enter the United States within 30 days of the start of Spring 2022 classes. For classes that start on Wednesday, January 12, the arrival deadline would be Thursday, February 10. Students in programs with different start dates should consult their program leadership. Students should, in all cases, make every effort to arrive by the start of in-person instruction to ensure their ability to make academic progress. Those students unable to get a booster in their home country can receive one upon arrival at the University.
Students, faculty and staff returning to campus after the winter break will need to get tested prior to their arrival on campus, following the arrival testing schedule described here, regardless of their vaccination status or whether they have traveled or remained in the local area. Please see the COVID-19 Testing section of the Public Health and University Operations webpage for more information on testing requirements prior to returning for the spring 2022 semester.
Meetings, Gatherings, Events and Visitors
With limited exceptions explicitly approved by University leadership, all University events, including meetings with visitors, must be held virtually or outdoors through January 30, 2022. Georgetown requires all visitors to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and, effective January 21, 2022, to have received a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot when eligible, or to have an approved medical or religious exemption.
Mode of Work for Staff
Except for required in-person services, teleworking is encouraged temporarily through January 30, for academic staff while classes are held virtually. Supervisors have the responsibility to determine any temporary changes to mode of work, and to communicate these changes to impacted employees. We recognize that many staff have on-campus duties not feasibly performed remotely, and reducing campus density will assist our safety efforts.
We will continue to monitor local school district public health policies to support faculty and staff with school-aged children, as well as being aware of issues that may arise from problems accessing established care for preschool aged children and other dependents. We will extend the GUCares Dependent Care financial support grant program into the Spring 2022 term for those in the community facing particular challenges with child or dependent care.
Use of Classrooms and Faculty Offices Until January 30, 2021
Prior to January 31, faculty may teach in virtual mode from classrooms or campus offices if they choose. Please contact CETS or the MSB or SCS help desks to let them know if you will continue to use your assigned classroom. Medical Center faculty may use classrooms on the GUMC campus as currently reserved and scheduled.
In addition to extensive instructional resources found on the Instructional Continuity website, CNDLS will hold Digital Learning Days on January 6-7 (please complete the registration form to attend). CNDLS will also expand office hours for any instructor needing assistance. Please feel free to visit CNDLS virtual office hours, M-F from 9am-6pm, with additional times available by appointment.
CETS and MSB Help Desk
Contact the CETS team at firstname.lastname@example.org or via their Zoom help desk (Meeting ID 995-332-8350) between 8am-9pm Monday-Friday and Saturday 8am-6pm. For MSB classes, please contact the MSB help desk through the zoom link or ‘chat bot’ or by email (email@example.com ) or by phone (202-687-4721). The MSB Help Desk is available Monday through Saturday from 8 am to 8 pm.
Requesting an Instructional Technology Aide
You may request an Instructional Technology Aide (ITA) by completing the Faculty ITA Interest Form by Wednesday, January 5, 2021. ITA’s are undergraduate work study students in paid hourly positions, who can assist instructors by performing tasks such as maintaining the virtual environment by troubleshooting connection and access issues, monitoring zoom discussions, chat function and/or breakout rooms, monitoring course activities by gathering rapid class feedback, and distilling discussion board posts.
MCEF-Faculty Senate-CNDLS Joint Forum
On January 10th at 2:30pm, the Main Campus Executive Faculty, the Faculty Senate, and CNDLS will hold a joint faculty forum on teaching and learning plans for the beginning of spring semester, public health, and resources and support for faculty. Medical Center faculty are invited to participate. At that time, please join the forum here.
We hope this detailed information will allow you to better plan for your return to campus in January. We will continue to monitor public health conditions and communicate any updates. In the meantime, we wish you a healthy and restful winter break, and look forward to our return to University activities in January.
Robert M. Groves
Edward B. Healton
Executive Vice President of Health Sciences
Interim Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer