Looking Ahead and Vaccination Status
As we recently shared, RIT is busy laying the groundwork for the “next normal,” a return to a vibrant residential campus with a majority of in-person classes and campus activities this fall.
At this time, we are evaluating the way we work at RIT and how we can thoughtfully craft work models that best serve the university, our students, faculty, and staff. These efforts include engaging with people across the university to solicit input on the most effective ways to reestablish in-person work practices. Our goal is to work collaboratively with our community members to help them navigate the complexities of these times.
We are still operating under reduced capacity guidelines from New York state, but we expect those restrictions will change as vaccination rates increase. As conditions permit, we anticipate that the majority of our faculty and staff will be able to return to campus by the first week of August. Department leaders are asked to be flexible in developing transitional work plans with their employees. Flexible work arrangement (FWA) guidelines are being updated to provide additional details and resources for employees and supervisors.
Guidance and additional information will be provided in the coming weeks.
COVID-19 Vaccination Status – Request for Voluntary Disclosure
RIT strongly encourages all community members to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Vaccinations are readily available in our region and we are all now eligible.
We are asking faculty and staff to please voluntarily report their vaccine status via the RIT Oracle Employee Self-Service portal.
Why does RIT want this information and how will it be used?
First and foremost, we are looking for aggregate information to get a sense of our campus community's overall vaccination rate. Public health experts agree that having substantial vaccine coverage is crucial to combating the virus and ending the pandemic.
Overarching percentages will be shared on RIT’s COVID-19 dashboard and may also be used in managing expectations and messaging for students and families. The data will also help shape safety policies, subject to New York state guidelines, including the required level of protective measures (e.g., masking rules, size of in-person gatherings, etc.).
State and federal COVID-19 public health guidelines will continue to change. We do not yet know what the NYS guidelines might be concerning vaccine requirements or reporting. We will continue to monitor federal and state guidance and adjust RIT policy as needed.
We do anticipate that access to some events will likely require participants to have received the COVID-19 vaccine or show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test. We understand and are mindful of the questions of privilege and equity and will work to maintain the dignity of all our employees as we shape associated policies and procedures.
Finally, we do not yet know all of the ways in which we might be asked or required to use this information. We can, however, commit to transparency and advance notice if the university considers usage outside the parameters outlined above.
Thank you for your continued support.