Faculty and Staff - March 22, 2021

Dear Campus Community,  

The last week has seemed a bit more like our pre-COVID days with more people out and about, additional cars on campus, exciting athletics contests, and more. As we experience the annual sense of renewal that comes with spring, I’m reminded of just how far we’ve come. You have contributed in countless ways to helping keep our virus transmission low and our campus, for the most part, open. In the last week, you have pivoted to a full return to work on campus, and I marvel at your ability to manage personal and professional obligations to do so. Thank you!

As I have mentioned previously, with the widespread availability of vaccinations and continued risk mitigation efforts, we will see a return to full operations in fall 2021. Here is what you can expect: 

  • Face-to-face classes will resume at pre-pandemic levels. 
  • Faculty and staff will maintain on-campus office hours.
  • We will offer full occupancy in our residence halls.
  • The first- and second-year residency requirement will be re-instituted.
  • All campus services, from dining to the student experience, will be offered in person. 
  • Buildings and facilities will return to regular capacity.
  • Campus events will be held at appropriate levels of capacity.
  • Athletics competition will resume, and fans will be welcomed, following NCAA guidelines.

Regarding academic offerings, we are completing conversion of most hybrid and online synchronous courses back to in-person. This conversion required us to push fall registration back a week to April 12-16 and provides an extended window for advising that will benefit both faculty and students. I do want to reiterate that, as much as we would like it to be, common time is not an option for fall. We need the time to ensure we can use the full schedule to insert courses back into campus spaces for in-person learning. We are monitoring classroom physical distancing recommendations and will adjust our protocols as appropriate.

The COVID-19 vaccine is critical to our planning as well, and I encourage you to receive your vaccination as soon as you are eligible. It appears that the vaccines may be available to our students even earlier than anticipated, with the federal government ramping up vaccine allocation. We will continue to monitor SCDHEC’s phased schedule in order to communicate vaccine eligibility and availability to students. As we did for faculty and staff, a short survey to determine interest in utilizing the Rock Hill Community Vaccination Center will be sent to our students at the appropriate time. And of course, until public health experts say otherwise, our current physical distancing, mask-wearing and frequent handwashing requirements will continue across our campus. As noted previously, we will very likely require a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination for students’ fall return.

Finally, it goes without saying that these ambitious plans will be contingent upon local and state data and we will continue to follow the advice of public health professionals, including those at the CDC and SCDHEC.

I will keep you updated as we finalize our plans, so please continue to watch your email. In the meantime, enjoy these lovely spring days on our beautiful campus.



George W. Hynd
Interim President