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03-03-22 From the Chancellor

Dear UAS Community, 

By now, I hope you have read this week’s message from UA President Pat Pitney.   In it, she calls attention to the new guidance from the CDC.   This revised guidance reflects real progress in our global fight against COVID.  I am proud of the role that our UAS community has played in this.  Faculty, staff, administration, and especially students have worked to keep our communities safe and our campus doors open.

As we celebrate success, we recognize that there is more to do.  The work is not over.  While most of the state is at a “medium” risk level, our southern southeast communities remain at “high” risk.  We need to bring these risk levels down.  In light of both the accomplishments and the remaining work, UAS has modified a number of policies, but has left others in place for the time being.

Vice Chancellors Michael Ciri and Lori Klein recently sent messages to students and employees describing these policy changes.  UAS has shortened required quarantine and isolation times to 5 days.  In addition, all special restrictions on UA sponsored travel have been rescinded, and we are no longer requiring strict social distancing for unvaccinated travelers arriving in our communities.

Our face covering policies remain in effect for the time being.  The CDC is updating the community risk levels weekly and we will be watching these closely to see if the risks come down and stay down.  Our COVID response team will be meeting after spring break on March 24th to assess these levels and the updated guidance from the CDC.  Our UAS Executive Cabinet will decide on March 29th what policies will be in effect through the remainder of the Spring semester.

As we have throughout the pandemic, whatever policy we adopt will be scientifically sound and align with the guidance from the CDC.  We have reached out to our Faculty, Student and Staff Governance groups for their perspectives.  Where there is flexibility in interpreting the CDC guidance, we will seek to take advantage of the perspectives of our governance groups.

Next week is spring break, and UA campuses will be closed on Friday the 11th.  I encourage everyone to take some time for yourself.  I know everyone has been working very hard.  March 11th also marks the 2-year anniversary of the COVID pandemic declaration by the World Health Organization.    We are close to making sure there is no third anniversary.  Your UAS leadership team is working every day to safely put COVID behind us.   Thank you again for your hard work right alongside them.

Dr. Karen Carey
UAS Chancellor