May Town Hall provides key updates on return to campus, vaccinations

In the final virtual Town Hall for the semester, Chancellor Venkat Reddy and a panel of campus leaders presented updates on plans for the fall semester, the vaccination attestation and exemption process and more.

Chancellor Reddy opened the Town Hall with a presentation that included key takeaways, including a formal recognition of University of Colorado President Kennedy’s May 10 announcement that he will soon begin transitioning out of office.

In addition, Stephany Rose Spaulding, assistant vice chancellor of equity, diversity and inclusion, presented updates and recommendations from the equity, diversity and inclusion task force formed in Feb. 2021.

“I want to give a heartfelt thank you to the task force for all the progress they have made, and to Dr. Rose Spaulding, for her leadership on these efforts,” Chancellor Reddy said in response to Spaulding’s update. “It’s inspiring to see the creativity of our campus community in furthering our campus culture of equity, diversity and inclusion. My hearty congratulations to all the awardees.”

Chancellor Reddy’s Teams background, a stylized illustration of the UCCS campus, quickly became a fan favorite among viewers. You can now download the virtual background online.

Take a look at the key takeaways below.

Commencement

  • In addition to the virtual Commencement ceremonies on May 14, the May 17 Picture on the Plaza event will mark the first time in decades that UCCS offers an outdoor, on-campus graduation event. 570 graduates are signed up to walk down the pedestrian Spine, hear their names read and receive a diploma jacket and photos. Learn more >>

  • Faculty and staff are invited to attend the event and participate in the “Walk of Applause” for graduates.  Learn more and RSVP >>

Fall semester planning

  • Roughly 80% of UCCS’ classes are scheduled to be offered either fully in-person or with in-person components in the fall.  Learn more >>

  • UCCS’ goal is to fully implement plans for fall work and a return to campus for many faculty and staff by August 2, 2021.  Learn more >>

  • When determining work modes, supervisors should consider the impact a work arrangement has on employees’ abilities to perform their jobs in a way that supports the mission of the campus and the unit.  Learn more >>

  • Supervisors, with reasonable notice, may require in‐person, on‐campus meetings regardless of whether some or all employees work remotely.  Learn more >>

  • The Future of Work task force will be addressing the long-term vision of work at UCCS, with preliminary recommendations to come in late summer or early fall.  Learn more >>

  • Reflected on their June 30 paychecks, faculty and university staff will receive a one-time bonus equal to one percent of their annual salaries or two percent of their half-year salaries. Beginning July 1, classified staff will receive a three percent state-mandated increase to their annual salaries.  Learn more >>

  • Creative parking permit options are being explored for hybrid-format faculty, staff and students.  Learn more >>

Vaccinations and exemptions

  • Following the CU system’s vaccination requirement for all four CU campuses in the fall, UCCS is working to develop a simple electronic attestation form to determine whether faculty, staff and students have received a COVID-19 vaccine – a requirement to return to campus for the fall semester. The form will include an option for an exemption.  Learn more >>

  • The goal of the attestation is to determine how close the university is to achieving herd immunity. This will inform decisions around relaxing or continuing facial covering and social distancing requirements on campus in the fall. It will not require the disclosure of any medical information, records or data.  Learn more >>

  • For students, the vaccination attestation process will be similar to the current vaccination requirements already in place at UCCS.  Learn more >>

  • No individual attestation responses or data will be shared with campus. Aggregate data will be used to inform public health guidance on campus in the fall.  Learn more >>

  • Supervisors are not allowed to ask employees to disclose their attestation responses, and instructors are not permitted to ask students.  Learn more >>

  • A top priority is ensuring that individuals’ data will be private and protected throughout the attestation process.  Learn more >>

  • UCCS anticipates FDA approval on COVID-19 vaccinations by the fall semester.  Learn more >>

Equity, diversity and inclusion

  • The equity, diversity and inclusion task force formed in Feb. 2021 recommended $200,000 of EDI funds, directed to UCCS by President Kennedy, should be designated to the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.  A portion of the funds will allow for a full-time support position in the office. Learn more >>

  • The task force received 51 grant proposals for projects to be supported by the president’s diversity fund. 20 awards will be funded over the next three years for a total sum of $285,864.20. Learn more >>

  • The task force also made recommendations on the structure and duties of the future chief diversity officer at UCCS, for which a national search will be launched soon.  Learn more >>

“Looking toward the summer and into the fall, I can finally see a return to some of the activities that bring us joy:  traveling, seeing friends and family, and spending time together in-person,” Chancellor Reddy remarked at the close of the Town Hall.

“We have proven, as a community, that we have the resilience to make it through any challenge we face. Have a wonderful summer, and I look forward to seeing you in the fall.”

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