January Town Hall focuses on vaccine rollout and progress on many fronts

Chancellor Venkat Reddy and campus leaders addressed campus at the first virtual Town Hall of the year on Jan. 28.

Chancellor Reddy opened the session with a series of updates on the spring semester, the vaccine rollout for Colorado and UCCS, budgetary and personnel matters and more. The session then opened for a series of questions submitted by members of campus.

“I don’t have to remind you that we are still going through some challenging times,” Reddy said. “However, I also want to inform you that we will get through these challenges – because of the strength of our community and because we are thoughtful, resilient and kind.”

“No matter how difficult the times are, I will continue to be hopeful about the future, because I believe in you, and I believe in our campus. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being a part of it.” 

Updates presented by the Chancellor and campus leadership included key takeaways. Take a look at the topics discussed below.

COVID-19 Vaccine

  • UCCS has applied to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment to become a point of dispensing for the COVID-19 vaccine, beginning in Phase Two or Three. The university has not received approval yet. Learn more >>

  • If the university is approved as a point of dispensing, vaccines would only be made available to students, faculty and staff. Learn more >>

  • If the university is approved as a point of dispensing, vaccines would begin to become available to eligible populations this spring or summer. Learn more >>

  • Because it is uncertain if UCCS will be selected as a point of dispensing, if an employee or student is notified that their health care provider is making the vaccine available to them, they are welcome to receive the vaccine from their healthcare facility rather than wait to receive it from the university. Learn more >>

  • Research has shown that the current vaccine should be effective against the new variance of COVID-19 that has arrived from the United Kingdom. Vaccine manufacturers are working on booster vaccines that provide more coverage for variant strains.  Learn more >>

  • Those eligible to receive a vaccine in Phase One can learn how to enroll for an appointment.  Learn more >>

Student Success

  • UCCS anticipates receiving nearly four million dollars in emergency financial aid for students. The maximum grant amount is $3,000 per student, and a FAFSA form is required.  Learn more >>

  • Expansion has begun on the Career Center, which will relocate to the first floor of the University Center and which is slated to open Aug. 2021.  Learn more >>

Campus Developments

  • The launch of the new Alumni and Friends Volunteer Program allows for new connections between campus, alumni and the community.  Learn more >>

  • Every first Friday from 11 a.m. to noon, and every third Tuesday from 3-4 p.m., interim associate vice chancellor of equity, diversity and inclusion Stephany Rose Spaulding will be offering listening sessions on EDI topics.  Learn more >>

Employee Updates

  • If spring enrollments continue to follow historical trends until the spring census date on Feb. 3, UCCS anticipates being able to end furloughs on faculty and staff making more than $60,000 per year, with relief retroactive to the beginning of January 2021.  Learn more >>

  • UCCS is in performance evaluation season. Annual evaluations now ask how COVID-19 has impacted employees’ goals, plans and outcomes so they may discuss changes they may have made to their work due to challenging or unusual circumstances.  Learn more >>

  • Faculty and staff will have access to mental health counseling through the UCCS HealthCircle Primary Care Clinic at the Lane Center starting Feb. 1.  Learn more >>

  • Implicit bias and diversity training for search committees, employment law for supervisors, and conflict management and healthy conversations training for supervisors are now available.  Learn more >>

  • A new supplemental sick leave provision is available for employees with fewer than 80 hours of sick time who are impacted by COVID-19.  Learn more >>

  • Under the new Colorado Equal Pay For Equal Work Act, the Office of Human Resources will reach out to any departments that may have potential pay inequities with further guidance. Learn more >>

  • When employees return to pre-COVID-19 levels of on-campus work, supervisors are encouraged to discuss flexibility around work-from-home options with direct reports.  Learn more >>

Chancellor Reddy closed the session by sharing a story of a current student, who once struggled at UCCS but has now found success thanks to the dedication of UCCS faculty and staff.

“I know these times are hard. I know that some days, the struggles can feel insurmountable,” Reddy said.

“On those days, please remember this student and everything that UCCS has meant for him. Your work is important. You are contributing to great things and you are transforming lives for the better. And there is always hope that tomorrow will be a brighter day.”

Members of the UCCS community may submit additional questions and fill out a survey response to the event.