Message from the President: Spring 2022 Semester
January 7, 2022
Dear Members of the Villanova Community,
Happy New Year! I hope your time away from campus was restful and restorative.
The start of our spring semester, with the emergence of the Omicron variant, brings some definite, but anticipated challenges. When you view the COVID-19 dashboard on Monday, Jan. 10, you will see that there are a significant number of COVID positive cases within our community, as is the case in communities both locally and nationally. However, as we have been in the past, Villanova is well resourced and prepared to handle these cases, the symptoms of which have been relatively mild.
While I realize that a relatively large number of cases is likely to be unsettling over the next few weeks, we plan to move forward with the semester in person. As we all know, community is essential to the Villanova experience and our focus is holding an on-campus spring semester for our students, while always prioritizing the health and safety of all community members. This priority on health and safety is one of the main reasons we required the vaccine, are requiring the booster, and that the masking requirement from the fall semester remains in place. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that all community members adhere to the mask requirement. We must continue, and in some cases recommit to, putting Community First at all times. If everyone does their part, I am confident we can hold this entire semester safely on campus.
While I appreciate that not everyone will agree with the decision to start the semester in person, please know I have discussed this at length with various community members and medical professionals, carefully weighing the alternatives, and I firmly believe that this is the best course of action for our community. Our experience over the past 22 months has shown that we are well-equipped to safely hold this semester on campus. We have the plans and mitigation measures in place to allow for in-person instruction and enable our community members to safely return to campus to live, learn and work.
That said, I ask that everyone approaches the first few weeks with flexibility, patience and grace. These are stressful times for everyone—students may be inconvenienced by having to return home for a few days if they test positive; faculty and staff may have childcare and eldercare concerns that are disruptive to their work schedules; events and activities may temporarily need to be held remotely or rescheduled, etc.—so I ask that everyone approach these first few weeks with compassion and understanding. Please note: Additional information for faculty and staff is forthcoming from the Office of the Provost and Human Resources regarding the enhanced flexibility we are offering during this time.
We are all craving a return to normalcy; unfortunately, we just are not there yet. However, I am confident that we can overcome this current wave and safely and successfully hold this semester on campus. I look forward to seeing you soon, and best wishes for a productive (and healthy) spring semester.