August 9, 2021
Preparing for an in-person fall semester
In a couple of weeks, we will welcome everyone back to our campuses for the fall semester. Once again, we face uncertainty because of the resurgent pandemic of COVID-19. And once again, we call upon our students, faculty and staff to work together to keep each other safe. We have faith that the K-State community will take personal responsibility for their own health and the health of others.
We are strongly committed to in-person learning and ask everyone to do what’s necessary to support this effort. The best personal defense we have is to get vaccinated. The vaccines are free, safe and widely available. Last spring, we made tremendous progress in our vaccination rates but we know there is more to do.
As we move to phaseout and return to normal campus operations, there may be times ahead when we have to pivot to other mitigation efforts, as we recently did with requiring face masks indoors. It is our hope that these efforts are temporary and can be relaxed when situations improve. With regard to masks, we plan to keep the requirement in place until our host counties are no longer in the high/substantial risk category as identified in the CDC COVID-19 data tracker. Hopefully, we will be able to relax the face mask requirement in the next few weeks. As always, we’ll continue to assess the situation based on data and factual information.
Additional information and announcements will be shared through K-State Today and the COVID-19 website in the coming weeks. We are also holding a virtual faculty and staff town hall meeting on Thursday, Aug. 12.
As the pandemic conditions change, it helps to maintain perspective and context. Our campuses are intertwined with our communities; there are variables beyond our control as we strive to balance our responses. Let’s all continue to encourage our friends and neighbors to do what’s necessary for healthy communities.
We are grateful for what you continue to do to keep our university strong as we all look out for each other. Let’s get ready for a great semester!
Richard B. Myers