Dear Regis students and families,
Every day I meet with leaders from across the university and with colleagues from other institutions to review the latest information about COVID-19 and its impact nationally and locally. At this point in the summer, we had hoped the infection rates would be lower and we might have a respite from a surge until later in the fall or winter.
Sadly, cases are rising in Massachusetts prompting us to make proactive adjustments to our plan. Although we have put together a comprehensive plan to reopen the campus fully in September, I can no longer confidently lead our community in that direction due to mounting concerns about the spread of the virus. Instead of reopening campus on a large scale, we will open only to those students who must have in-person learning to progress in their degree programs. We anticipate fully reopening the campus in January. Additionally, at this time we believe it is important to provide single-occupancy rooms for students, which will significantly reduce our residential capacity.
We remain committed to maintaining academic continuity for all students; given our limited residential capacity the first students served by on-campus housing must be those who require in-person and clinical experiences (all under appropriate safety guidelines) to make academic progress. For the fall 2020 semester, students in the following programs will have the option to return to residence halls so they can complete clinicals and simulation experiences:
Only some courses in those undergraduate programs, as well as our graduate program in occupational therapy, will meet in person in a classroom setting. All other Regis courses will be taught remotely and no first-year students will live on campus this fall. After August 17, all students, faculty and staff returning to campus will be subject to ongoing testing and safety protocols.
This was a very difficult decision to make and I know you are all disappointed we will not have the traditional start to the academic year. Many of you were looking forward to returning to the residence halls this fall and I truly wish you could. Instead, we are focused on taking steps now to welcome you back to campus in January. As I have said for months, your safety and your academic progression is my top priority.
We know you may have questions and we invite students and families to attend a town hall on Thursday, August 6 at 6 p.m. The Zoom information was emailed to you. We welcome you to submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be well and I look forward to seeing you soon.
Antoinette M. Hays, PhD, RN