Dear Pittsburgh Campus Faculty Members and Instructors,
Monday, September 13, will be a significant day for the Pittsburgh campus.
We began the term with the first two weeks offering flexibility in teaching and learning for undergraduate classes and some graduate programs. Starting September 13, all classes will meet in person, unless permission for remote or hybrid delivery has been approved by your dean.
Providing flexibility in the first two weeks of the semester allowed us to accomplish two important things:
We were able to gain data about vaccination rates for the campus. As you may have seen, last Thursday, the COVID-19 Medical Response Office (CMRO) provided an update on our progress in vaccination rates. The news continues to be very good. That 92% of teaching faculty and 96% of on-campus undergraduate students have reported being vaccinated is great news. Numbers for vaccinated off-campus undergraduates—reporting in at 84% as of September 7—continue to climb. These are strong efforts—and they are lighting the way for our in-person plans.
- Last week we began the weekly mandatory testing program for students, faculty and staff who have not yet been vaccinated or who have not uploaded proof of vaccination.
While we look forward to the return of in-person learning after so much time, it is possible that individual faculty members and students may need to isolate at some points in the weeks ahead should University health guidelines require that.
In light of this reality, the University Center for Teaching and Learning (Teaching Center) has developed a series of ideas to help you support students who may be in quarantine or isolation—or accommodate your own absence, should the need arise. I hope you will take advantage of the center’s excellent suggestions and resources.
If you have not already done so, I also recommend that you consider adding a statement to your syllabi inviting students to contact you to discuss arrangements if they are required to quarantine or isolate due to Pitt's health and safety guidelines. You can view suggested language on the Teaching Center’s website.
As you arrive on campus, please wear your mask and have your current Pitt ID ready when you enter buildings. Pitt IDs can be tapped or swiped to move through concierge stations. Campus study and experiential spaces—including all classrooms and libraries—will be open and available to all members of the University community.
September 13 has been a long-anticipated day. Seeing everyone on campus and in the classroom after such a long hiatus will be very powerful—and, I hope, energizing for all of us.
We are taking a very big step forward in the face of the pandemic—and I am so grateful for your ongoing efforts. You make our progress possible.
Welcome back to campus—and Hail to Pitt!
Ann E. Cudd
Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor