Dear Salve Regina community,
I write to you as April's daffodils are in bloom, offering a new sense of hope along the Cliff Walk and in so many other locations throughout our beautiful city of Newport. While we know that we must remain vigilant to keep our Salve Regina community safe during this ongoing pandemic, the changing season beckons us all to stop for a moment, breathe and enjoy our surroundings.
We have come a long way and have accomplished so much during this pandemic, and I want to take this moment to update our community about Salve Regina's operational plans moving forward, particularly for fall 2021.
Our community has meticulously followed recommended health protocols, which has helped us to sustain low infection rates. As effective vaccinations are being administered at ever-increasing rates nationwide, we are optimistic for the prospects of a healthier fall, and would like to announce our plans for a more robust in-person academic experience for our students, faculty and staff.
As we look forward to transitioning back to our more typical campus learning environment, Salve Regina will continue to follow the latest recommendations and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Rhode Island Department of Health.
Details are still being finalized, but here is what we envision for fall 2021:
- All students will be welcomed back to campus to be fully engaged in our signature University experience.
- Classes will be taught in person and our science labs will return to more standard, hands-on operations.
- As the centerpiece of Salve Regina's academic life, our faculty will be back on campus to teach and to advise our students in person.
- Residences, dining facilities, classrooms and other campus spaces will return to more normal occupancies.
- Intercollegiate athletics, student organizations, performances and special events will resume in person.
A word on vaccinations: Recently, several institutions in the state have announced mandatory vaccination protocols for their students prior to the fall semester, and this is something Salve Regina is also considering very carefully. While we are not yet making an announcement on this policy, we continue to encourage all members of the Salve Regina community to receive the coronavirus vaccine as soon as they are eligible. High vaccination rates among our campus community will be key to achieving our plans for a more traditional fall and beyond.
I’m grateful for the continued kindness and fortitude of our Salve Regina community as we approach the end of this academic year. In spite of all the obstacles, the essential elements of our mercy spirit remained intact throughout the pandemic. I look forward to the fall semester, when we can once again enjoy all of those experiences we cherish in our close-knit learning environment.
Kelli J. Armstrong, Ph.D.