In the second virtual Town Hall of the fall 2021 semester, Chancellor Venkat Reddy and a panel of campus leaders presented updates on UCCS’ vaccine attestation process, plans for the future of the university and more.
Chancellor Reddy opened the Town Hall with key takeaways, including updates on the university population’s strong vaccination rate, an enrollment and budget update and a celebration of fall athletics.
Stephany Rose Spaulding, Associate Vice Chancellor of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion encouraged all campus community members to answer the University of Colorado-wide Campus Workplace and Climate survey when it launches on Oct. 12. Jessi Smith, Associate Vice Chancellor of Research, presented an update on research efforts across the university. And Harper Johnson, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Technology and Human Resources, shared the university’s implementation of the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act. The Town Hall then opened for a Q&A with campus experts.
Take a look at the key takeaways below.
- UCCS’ campus community is reporting high vaccination rates. More than 98 percent of employees report having received their vaccine, and more than 80 percent of students report the same.
- Campus data and reports from the Colorado state vaccination database confirm the accuracy of attestation rates across campus.
- Due to strong compliance with the face covering executive directive and high vaccination rates, there have been no instances of virus transmission in a UCCS classroom or workplace setting for the duration of the pandemic.
- However, face coverings remain critical at this stage of the pandemic, and enforcement procedures are in place for individuals who do not comply with the face covering executive directive while indoors.
- UCCS continues to conduct contact tracing on campus. Vaccinated individuals who have been exposed to a positive case will be asked to monitor their symptoms for 14 days and receive a COVID-19 test three to five days after exposure. Unvaccinated individuals will be asked to quarantine. If an individual has not completed their vaccine attestation, they will be considered unvaccinated and will be placed in quarantine.
- The Wellness Center aims to complete contact tracing for known exposures within 24 to 48 hours.
- To make contact tracing faster and more efficient, the university is evaluating the benefits of requesting voluntary vaccine card uploads, beginning with students and followed by faculty and staff. If enacted, a timeline for voluntary upload requests will be announced in a future campus communication.
- The Wellness Center continues to offer vaccine clinics for anyone wishing to receive the vaccine.
Budget and Enrollment
- The university met its fall 2021 projection for student credit hours enrollment. While enrollment for first-year, out-of-state and transfer students increased this fall, retention for students who entered the university in fall 2020 and spring 2021 fell.
- The search committees for UCCS’ new Provost and Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion aim to bring finalist candidates to campus in November and October, respectively.
- The CU-wide Campus Workplace and Climate survey will launch Oct. 12. All members of the campus community are strongly encouraged to respond to it.
- In accordance with the 2030 Strategic Plan, the university will soon begin a new phase of the Strategic Plan core strategy on Deliberate Investment in People, Processes and Infrastructure. Members of the campus community are encouraged to submit feedback throughout the process.
- In addition, the university has begun implementing the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act across campus.
- Faculty who believe they are subject to a pay discrepancy should look to the university policies for faculty salary grievances within each college. Staff cases will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Learn more >>
- The Future of Work Task Force is in the process of formalizing recommendations for each of three subcommittees to be delivered to Cabinet in late October to early November. The university may begin to implement these recommendations as early as January 2022.
- The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund continues to make emergency financial aid available to UCCS students.
- As the Office of Sustainability plans for the next decade of sustainability at UCCS, campus feedback is sought. Any member of the campus community can fill out a feedback form with ideas to promote sustainability.
As he concluded the Town Hall, Chancellor Reddy shared the story of a current student at UCCS who is not only a competitive figure skater and conducting a yearlong research project with a UCCS faculty member of critical importance to human health, but who is also working to pursue her dream of becoming a physician.
“Our students are dealing with a lot. But they are also working tirelessly to achieve their dreams. And our work to support them has a real impact on their lives and their futures,” Reddy said.
“Let’s remember that we are facing these challenges together. And the work we do every day is important. It helps to transform lives for the better. Without your commitment to the success of our students, the dreams of students like Madison will just remain dreams. Together, we can transform the world, and stay resilient during these tough times.”
Members of the UCCS community may submit additional questions and fill out a survey response to the event.