To: Faculty, Staff, and Students
From: President Nariman Farvardin
Date: April 22, 2021
Subject: Planning for Fall 2021 On-Campus Semester and Vaccine Requirements
Over recent weeks, I have had the opportunity to meet with many faculty, staff, and student leaders and groups to discuss our plans for the Fall 2021 semester and our university’s position on requiring COVID-19 vaccinations. Two themes have emerged from these conversations.
First, there is eagerness and great enthusiasm for a return to the activities that characterize a “normal” academic year—in-person undergraduate and graduate classes; on-campus research; and participation in many of the intellectual, cultural, and social events and activities that we have missed during the last 13 months. Second, there is significant consensus that requiring the COVID-19 vaccination for our campus community is an essential component of our plan for a safe and healthy return for the 2021-22 academic year.
This input from colleagues and students, along with expanded eligibility for and availability of the COVID-19 vaccine, has informed our decision to plan for a full on-campus academic year starting with the Fall 2021 semester, using the Summer 2021 as a transition period. Consistent with this plan, Stevens will require all members of our campus community to be fully vaccinated as soon as possible and before returning to campus in the fall.
All students and full-time and part-time employees, including but not limited to faculty, full-time staff, adjuncts, and part-time staff whose program of study or work assignment requires them to be on-campus, must be vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine that has been authorized or granted emergency use authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. International students who are vaccinated in their home country should consult their healthcare provider and monitor the Student Health Services website for updates about requirements for entering the United States. Students whose programs are fully online and do not require an on-campus presence are exempt from this requirement. Limited exemptions will also be considered for medical and religious reasons, and the process for requesting an exemption will be communicated by the Division of Human Resources (for employees) and by Student Health Services (for students) and included in FAQs to be posted on the Stevens COVID-19 website. Records of vaccination, which will be kept strictly confidential, should be submitted via Workday and Workday Student according to these instructions.
Additional details and information will be provided in the coming weeks.
I am immensely proud of the Stevens community for our collective efforts to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus thus far. We must continue to be vigilant against this deadly virus and its variants as we build on the strong foundation of the past year and return to a fully on-campus experience. As we plan for the fall, we will continue to adhere to government and health guidance and do our utmost to contain the coronavirus and increase our community’s contribution to achieving herd immunity.
Stevens will continue to work with various healthcare organizations and alert you about the availability of vaccine appointments on campus and nearby. We will also do all we can to support convenient on-campus vaccination options. Please monitor public and private healthcare options for COVID-19 vaccine availability. We encourage all members of our community to pursue all opportunities to be vaccinated, and we are delighted that so many members of our community have already been vaccinated. Please note that as of April 19th, all New Jersey residents over the age of 16 are eligible to be vaccinated.
This has been a most difficult year for all among us, but I am optimistic that we will soon be together again on campus, enjoying each other’s company, and striving toward our individual and collective goals. Achieving this objective will require continued vigilance, cooperation, and a shared commitment to keeping our community safe and healthy.