Coronavirus communications

 


April 22, 2021 | Back to Work – Phase 3 planning


Dear staff and faculty,

As you know, telework flexibility has been extended to Sept. 10 for non-critical staff who want to continue to work remotely and can do so without impeding operations.

There are two additional possibilities offered under our current Phase 3 status, as described below.

Option 1: If an employee can telework but would prefer to come to campus, unit supervisors may authorize them to return to the campus work environment, so long as it is safe and operationally feasible.

For these employees, we request that they:

  1. connect with their supervisor to ensure all necessary safety measures will be met and
  2. complete this information form.

Option 2: In units where employees have been teleworking until now but will be needed on site in person to support operations as the University prepares for autumn quarter, unit supervisors can ask them to report back to work in person after providing at least 30 days of notice.

Note: Exceptions to this notice period can be made for emergency situations and in accordance with relevant collective bargaining agreements.

In these cases, supervisors who want to bring employees back to on-site work before Sept. 10, should:

  1. determine if on-site work is necessary to unit operations;
  2. ensure the workspace meets safety guidelines in UW Bothell's COVID-19 Prevention Plan, working with Physical Planning and Space Management as needed;
  3. provide employee a written, 30-day notice, with a copy to uwboehr@uw.edu; and
  4. ask employee to complete this information form.

For both of these two possibilities, having the information requested on the forms will help us plan and prepare for employees’ safe return to on-site work.

Decisions regarding unit operations and staffing remain with unit supervisors, acting in concert with their department, school and division leadership. Coordinated planning will help balance equity and staff well-being and will ensure that unit objectives can be met.

In all cases, unit leadership must adhere to safety guidelines in UW Bothell's COVID-19 Prevention Plan. This includes but is not limited to the guidelines listed here:

  • The state’s requirement for six feet of distancing remains in effect and often will be the primary factor limiting the capacity of workspaces, labs, classrooms and meeting rooms.
  • Masks and daily health attestation via Workday continue to be required at all UW facilities, and you must stay home if you have any symptoms.
  • All these requirements apply whether you are fully vaccinated or not.

If you have questions, please contact Planning & Administration at uwbpa@uw.edu, and we will connect you with the best group to advise you.

More guidance about returning to work on campus after Sept. 10 will be shared in coming weeks.

Thank you for the extraordinary resilience you have shown as we have navigated uncharted territory over the past year. I am hopeful that we will return to a new normal soon.

Gowri Shankar
Interim Vice Chancellor for Planning & Administration


April 15, 2021 | Autumn quarter planning and vaccine eligibility updates for instructors

This message was sent to all instructors at UW Bothell.

Dear Colleagues,

We look forward to welcoming you and our students back to campus this autumn for largely in-person instruction, research and co-curricular activities. Based on current public health guidance and vaccination trends, we are very optimistic about our University experience this fall, particularly given that vaccinations are outpacing infections. Of course, we must all continue to do our part, such as by masking up and avoiding gatherings with not-yet-vaccinated people. We are writing today to share information on the autumn quarter time schedule, teaching resources and vaccinations to help you plan ahead for the return to campus.

We recognize your hard work — and exhaustion — over the past year as you took your expertise, experience and knowledge from the actual to the virtual classroom. Now, it’s time for us to prepare to shift back to something more familiar.

While the prospect of returning to the classroom now may feel daunting, we hope you will imagine what the University — and life — will be like in five months when millions more vaccine doses have been administered. We will continue to follow the best available science and public health guidelines to protect the safety of our community in any future scenario.

Autumn quarter time schedule

Today, we notified students that the autumn quarter time schedule will post on Friday, April 16. The schedule assumes that most courses will be offered in person, with room capacities and assignments indicated. As with the time schedule in previous years, only those courses offered fully online will be listed as such. Hybrid courses with a mixture of online and in-person elements will be listed as being in person so students understand that the course includes time in a physical classroom, lab or other learning space.

We will continue updating the time schedule this summer as the public health picture becomes clearer and as schools refine their plans. We also expect that health and safety measures will remain in place, such as requiring masks, and will provide more updates as state and local governments finalize those guidelines. As more students and community members become fully vaccinated, we’re hopeful that Washington state will be able to adopt revised higher-education guidelines related to distancing, such as the ones adopted in K-12 schools based on Centers for Disease Control guidance.

We also anticipate our academic and extracurricular services will be fully operational to help students make the most of their experience at UW Bothell, including the library and the Activities & Recreation Center. The UW Bothell coronavirus webpage will continue to be updated with information as the quarter approaches.

Resources for course planning

We have all learned a lot in the past year, and we are leveraging those lessons into new best practices in teaching and technology. Guidance for a largely in-person autumn quarter is being developed by groups of instructors, instructional designers, and teaching and learning experts from across all three campuses and will be available soon. This guidance will also cover preparations for instructional continuity in case circumstances change. In addition, the Center for Teaching & Learning is developing resources, which will be posted in the coming weeks.

We respect your right to make decisions about how to teach courses in a manner that is most pedagogically effective, equitable and appropriate. As always, we urge you to consult with your deans, chairs and faculty colleagues for ideas and support.

Vaccines now available to Washington residents 16 and over

We expect everyone in the University community who is able to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to do so.

Washington residents ages 16 and over can get vaccinated starting today through UW Medicine or any number of other locations. If you haven’t yet made an appointment to get vaccinated please do so. By Monday, all states and territories will have taken this step, and vaccines.gov links to vaccination opportunities in the United States. If you live outside the U.S., contact your local health department for information.

UW Bothell is exploring the option of creating pop-up vaccination sites on campus as vaccine supplies become available, and we will provide more information as soon as possible. Any decisions on requiring vaccinations will be made by June 1; if a requirement is established, it will have exemptions similar to those in our current immunization requirement for students.

We will continue to rely on the advice and expertise of our public health experts when we make decisions. Because we are on the quarter system and our autumn classes begin Sept. 29, we have more time to plan and prepare for your return.

We are looking forward to seeing you in person soon!

Sincerely,

Mark A. Richards
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Professor of Earth and Space Sciences

Philip J. Reid
Vice Provost for Academic and Student Affairs
Professor of Chemistry


April 15, 2021 | Autumn quarter planning and vaccine eligibility updates for students

This message was sent to all students at UW Bothell.

Dear Students,

We are looking forward to welcoming you back to campus this autumn for a largely in-person academic and extracurricular experience. We are very optimistic about what our University experience will be like this fall, particularly given that vaccinations are outpacing infections. Of course, we must all continue to be on guard, such as by masking up and avoiding gatherings with not-yet-vaccinated people, as the pandemic is not over yet.

As we all plan ahead for the return to campus, we are happy to share some information on both autumn quarter courses and vaccinations.

Autumn quarter time schedule

The autumn quarter time schedule will be posted Friday, April 16, and assumes that most courses will be offered in person, with room capacities and assignments indicated. Only those courses offered fully online will be listed as such. Courses with a mixture of online and in-person elements will show up as being fully in person in the time schedule so that you know there is an in-person element for the course.

We will continue to update the time schedule over the summer, both as health conditions dictate and as schools refine their plans. We expect there will continue to be health measures in place this autumn, such as requiring masks, and will update you as we get closer to autumn quarter and those measures are finalized by state and local governments.

We also anticipate that our academic and extracurricular services will be fully operational to help you make the most of your student experience, including the library and the Activities & Recreation Center. The UW Bothell coronavirus webpage will continue to be updated with information as the quarter approaches.

Vaccines now available to Washington residents 16 and over

We expect everyone in the University community who's able to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to do so.

If you’re living in Washington, anyone age 16 and over can get vaccinated starting today through UW Medicine or any number of other locations. Many other states and territories have already taken this step, and all of them will do so by Monday. Vaccines.gov links to details on vaccination opportunities in the United States. If you’re living outside the United States, check with your local health department for details on vaccinations.

In addition, UW Bothell is exploring the option of creating pop-up vaccination sites on campus as vaccine supplies become available, including for students not able to get vaccinated where they currently live. Any decisions on requiring vaccinations will be made no later than June 1, but please know that if a requirement is established, it will have similar exemptions as our current immunization requirement. In the meantime, if you haven’t yet made an appointment to get vaccinated, please do so.

As always, we rely on the advice and expertise of our public health experts when we make decisions. Because we are on the quarter system and our autumn classes begin Sept. 29, we have more time to plan and prepare for your return.

We are looking forward to seeing you in person soon!

Sincerely,

Mark A. Richards
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Professor of Earth and Space Sciences

Philip J. Reid
Vice Provost for Academic and Student Affairs
Professor of Chemistry


April 1, 2021 | UW Bothell’s spring quarter and Commencement 2021

Dear students, faculty and staff,

We hope that you’ve had a good start to spring quarter and that the longer days of spring and, importantly, the growing hope for an end to the coronavirus crisis are beginning to lift your spirits.

As we all continue to do our part during the pandemic — including masking up, maintaining distancing, avoiding large gatherings and getting vaccinated when eligible — we are also working to expand the number of in-person services and activities this spring quarter, and planning for how we can recognize our graduates this June.

We shared guidance with instructors and staff that outlines how to safely offer more in-person services, student organization meetings and optional class-related activities. The state moving to Phase 3 of its recovery plan allows us to do more in-person, although its requirement for 6 feet of distancing in classrooms, study areas and other facilities continues to limit most in-person instruction and group gatherings. Nevertheless, we will see an expansion of in-person services this spring and summer, and instructors are now allowed to offer optional class-related activities, so long as students learning remotely aren’t disadvantaged. Masks continue to be required in all UW facilities.

We have spent the past several months evaluating what would be safe, feasible and equitable to do for commencement. Unfortunately, the lifting of restrictions on large events is not projected to come soon enough to give us confidence it will be safe to hold an in-person commencement ceremony in T-Mobile Park. UW Bothell student leaders, faculty and staff share these concerns.

Rising case counts in recent days, along with the fact that the majority of the UW’s employees and students will likely not yet be fully vaccinated by commencement, make our conditions uniquely difficult and fluid when compared to other institutions around the country.

After consultation with health experts and key constituents, we determined regretfully that holding an in-person commencement ceremony is simply not possible in the interest of public health. The UW Bothell 2021 commencement ceremony will therefore be held virtually, as will all school and department graduation celebrations. UW Bothell’s Office of Ceremonies will be sending communications to graduates in the coming days with specific information about the virtual 2021 Commencement Ceremony.

We recognize that commencement is among the most meaningful events in the lives of graduates and their families. We, too, look forward to these events and take pride in your achievements and recognize you have worked hard — particularly since last spring — to reach this moment.

I know the lack of an in-person commencement is disappointing news for our 2021 graduates, as well as for the 2020 graduates whom we’d hoped to recognize at an in-person ceremony this year. I wanted nothing more than to congratulate all of you in person this year as it will be my eighth and final commencement ceremony as UW Bothell chancellor.

It is our fervent wish that everyone understand that this decision is the best way we can protect your safety and that of the many others who will honor this milestone with you.

We are working on additional opportunities to celebrate our graduates during the traditional spring time frame, as well as ways to recognize the achievements of the Classes of 2020 and 2021 in the future. We’ll share details when they are available.

Students: Please know that we are inspired by you and by the ways you have cared for each other, for those who depend on you and for yourselves. We’re inspired by the way you’ve continued your studies, your clubs and activities, your internships and research, and your friendships, even in the face of grief, loneliness, anxiety and all the other, often hidden, side effects of this pandemic and other traumas.

We promise to act on the lessons we have learned during remote operations about the need to build a more just and more equitable world for us all.

I send you my best wishes for a successful spring quarter.

Stay well,

Bjong Wolf Yeigh, Ph.D., F.ASME
Chancellor and Professor of Engineering