In the first Town Hall of the spring semester, Chancellor Venkat Reddy and a panel of campus leaders shared updates on increased COVID-19 precautions on campus, salary raises and compensation analysis, online education and more.
The Town Hall opened with a celebration of UCCS’ many accomplishments from 2021, including signing a new partnership with the U.S. Space Force, formally dedicating the Kevin W. O’Neil Cybersecurity Education and Research Center, witnessing a record year for philanthropic support of student scholarships and celebrating the first full year of the William J. Hybl Sports Medicine and Performance Center, along with rapid growth in its health science academic programs.
The discussion then turned to updates from across campus. Take a look at the key takeaways below.
- Full vaccination, including a COVID-19 booster shot, is required for all faculty, staff and students, unless they are seeking an exemption. The revised attestation process will take the form of a personalized link, delivered directly to student, faculty and staff inboxes. Students have already received their link. Faculty and staff will receive theirs by Feb. 2, 2022. Learn more >>
- The CDC recommends upgrading from cloth face coverings. N95 respirators are available through UCCS, along with a professional fitting to improve its efficacy. Surgical masks are widely available for free across campus. Learn more >>
- The university continues to prioritize in-person learning and experiences. Increased COVID-19 precautions are likely to remain in place until minimal transmission of COVID-19 can be assured. Learn more >>
- The Wellness Center at UCCS continues to conduct contact tracing on all positive cases reported at UCCS, with secondary verification provided by the CDPHE. Contact tracers have not found any evidence of a COVID-19 case transmitted in a UCCS classroom. Learn more >>
- Both the federal government and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) are providing rapid at-home COVID-19 test kits. UCCS students, faculty and staff can check to see if they are eligible for tests provided by UCCS. Anyone can order free tests through USPS. Learn more >>
- Home test kits deliver the most accurate results two to five days after symptom onset. For accurate results more than five days after exposure, seek a PCR test from a community testing site. Learn more >>
- For all active students, the Wellness Center offers rapid antigen testing with same-day results or PCR testing with results typically available in 48–72 hours. Current students can make an appointment by calling 719-255-4444. Commuter students may find it easier to visit a community testing site. Learn more >>
- Three percent base-building raises for eligible faculty and university staff will be reflected on January 2022 paychecks, along with a one-time, non-base building one percent bonus. Learn more >>
- Progress continues on the incentive-based budget model, which the university is currently running parallel to the former budget model. The the University Budget Advisory Committee and Chancellor’s Cabinet are currently considering recommendations on reserves, spending plans, investments and subvention. Learn more >>
- Recommendations from the Future of Work Task Force have been delivered to the Cabinet for consideration. They include technology, criteria for remote work and recommendations on meeting the needs of the campus workforce. Learn more >>
- The university continues to expand its online and hybrid education initiative. All four CU campuses are working towards an April proposal to center student success in online programs. Learn more >>
- 20 percent of undergraduate students, 21 percent of graduate students, 48 percent of faculty and 73 percent of staff responded to the 2021 Campus Workplace and Culture Survey. Results and trends are expected to be analyzed by late February. Learn more >>
- If current COVID-19 trends continue, Spring Break will remain as scheduled for March 21–27, 2022. Learn more >>
“The pandemic has tried our patience and tested our resilience,” Chancellor Reddy said in closing remarks. “But it has also brought many new and important discussions to light, and I’m glad we’re having them. We’re learning how to adapt to the future, and we’re headed in the right direction.”
“Let’s respect each other, let’s be compassionate to each other, and let’s listen to each other,” he continued. “We may not always agree on everything — but we can all agree that at the end of the day, our goal is to help our students succeed and to take care of each other. Thank you for everything you’re doing to keep our campus strong.”