Employees,

Over the past week, we have received a number of questions regarding our fall 2021 protocols relative to the COVID-19 pandemic. Listed below is additional information to assist you in preparing for the start of the fall term. Additionally, we continue to update the Q&As on smumn.edu/covidplanning. Please refer to this website for all information related to our protocols.

As a Catholic Lasallian university, we are committed to serving our students, “together and by association.” Many of our students enrolled at Saint Mary’s to experience in-person instruction and, specifically at the College, a robust campus life experience. Protocols are designed to support on-campus operations and meet student expectations while maintaining strong safety protocols. We want to clarify some of the questions we are hearing.

Classroom instruction

In-person instruction is the expectation for all classes, except for those classes that are part of a fully online degree program. Certain classes on the Twin Cities and Rochester campuses will move online or to a hybrid format due to facility constraints in accommodating physical distancing. These classes have already been updated in the faculty and student portals. Classes cannot change delivery modality without approval of the respective program director and school dean. To be clear, no individual faculty member and no program director may change the delivery modality of a class or program without these approvals.

Student and campus services

All offices and services on all campuses are expected to be open and staffed during normal hours to support full campus operations. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring appropriate staffing levels during these hours. Air filtration devices have been installed in some areas with office cubicles. In situations where multiple employees share an office, employees should work with their supervisors to determine options.

Accommodations

The university will grant reasonable accommodations to employees who qualify for such accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Employees should contact Human Resources for additional information. Individual supervisors are not authorized to grant remote work as an accommodation to employees without approval from Human Resources.

Reminder of general protocols

We appreciate everyone remembering that masks are required on all our campuses when inside buildings and outside when social distancing is not possible. Masks are not required in individual offices when you are alone. Please also remember to stay physically distanced (6 feet apart) and wash your hands frequently. We can hope that as transmission levels decline, we will be able to lift some of our current protocols.

By staying vigilant and following protocols, we will continue to exhibit the same commitment and flexibility to support our students that we have since the beginning of the pandemic. Thank you for remaining steadfast and resilient in the coming weeks and beyond.

Ann Merchlewitz
Senior Vice President and General Counsel

Ben Murray
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Brian Schmisek
Provost and Dean of Faculties

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