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February 19, 2021

Mesa County's recent transition to "Level Yellow" on the state's dial for COVID-19 is welcomed news for the region. Our close collaboration with Mesa County Public Health since the pandemic began — and our early designation in the county's Five-Star Variance Protection Program — enabled CMU to operate at level yellow restrictions since returning for the spring semester a month ago. Thus, this recent change will not activate any immediate or noticeable changes in campus operations. Please keep wearing masks, minimizing large, in-person group gatherings and maintain physical distance as much as possible.

On-campus activities

We are very optimistic about the outlook for the spring semester especially a return to traditional on-campus activities, including Homecoming and Parents' Weekend, Student Showcase and our May Commencement Ceremony. We anticipate hosting all of these events on campus with some modifications in place to ensure continued safety. Please save the dates of April 9-11, April 30 and May 22, 2021 respectively. Additional details will follow in the coming weeks. We are also hopeful that we will be able to increase the number of spectators at our public events including performing arts and athletics, as well as increasing flexibility for students living on campus.

Vaccinations

Our optimism is buoyed by improving vaccination distribution at the national and state level. While we share the frustration we have heard from many in the campus community, we are confident that as the spring semester progresses those who are most vulnerable and essential employees with high levels of student/public interaction will be able to be vaccinated. Ultimately, we envision a campus where anyone who wishes to be vaccinated against COVID-19 may do so as we wrap the semester/start the summer term.

Plans for fall

Finally, while we’re only a quarter into the spring term, our academic leaders are busy preparing for Fall 2021 classes. Working closely with Vice President for Academic Affairs Kurt Haas, PhD, department heads and faculty are planning our return to “normal” instructional operations. This means our distribution of course modalities will be similar to the levels of in-person, hybrid and online sections we had in Fall 2019. I did read an interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal which strikes a more optimistic tone as we look forward to the Fall of 2021.

Sincerely,

Tim Foster, President
Colorado Mesa University