As you can read in today's message to campus, because of the likelihood that many students will need to isolate after a positive COVID test early in the semester, we will shift most instruction to be remote during the first week of classes. We will continue to monitor the case counts on and off campus, keep the campus informed about the Omicron variant, and attend to CDC and other guidelines as we adjust plans for the beginning of the semester.
Faculty who wish to have their class meet in person during the first week of the semester may request this through their dean's office by Jan. 12. Such requests should include all of the following:
o a description of the specific educational need for having this class meet in person
o a description of how students who are in isolation or who otherwise cannot attend will be accommodated
o a commitment to ensuring that all COVID guidelines—especially universal and 100% mask-wearing—are followed in the classroom
Deans will then make recommendations to me regarding these exceptions, and I will inform faculty and the deans about which are approved within a day or two after the recommendations are submitted. Faculty will then need to inform students in their class that class will be in person during the first week.
The current outbreak of the Omicron variant and our need to once again adjust to the next wave of the pandemic is deeply frustrating and is the source of unwelcome disruption for the entire Lehigh community. I very much appreciate your dedication to Lehigh as you also need to respond to personal and family obligations. I remain hopeful that by focusing on the health and welfare of the community and applying the recommendations of the best-informed experts to our decisions, we will work through this current challenge successfully and move towards more normal campus operations later in the semester.
I hope you and your loved ones are keeping well.