Stamford Concerns – Provost Lejuez Responds
Office of the Provost
Carl W. Lejuez, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
September 23, 2021
UConn AAUP Executive Committee:
I wanted to take this opportunity to respond to the concerns you raised regarding the enforcement of testing and other COVID-19 related health and safety protocols, specifically at the Stamford campus in a recent letter dated September 15. I have reached out to Interim Campus Director David Souder, to discuss your concerns, specifically regarding ensuring that events are conducted in a manner than enables social distancing and ingress and egress from the building to reduce crowding. It is necessary to issue periodic reminders regarding the rules and safety protocols and we will commit to that course of action.
On the issue of the enforcement of health and safety protocols,it is the responsibility of all staff and faculty to remind students and others of university requirements. Faculty faced with repeated refusal from a student to follow the rules should address this as a student conduct issue in the same manner that other student conduct violations are addressed.
Your recent letter also noted concern about differences in vaccination rates across Campuses. The vaccination rates for all of our campuses, including Stamford, is above 90%. The number of residential students fully or partially vaccinated are the same, on a percentage basis, at Storrs and Stamford, and is currently at 97% at both campuses. The vaccination rate of all students at the Stamford campus is at 91%. To address this further, I have worked with the Dean of Students Office to understand more about the 9% of students who are unvaccinated. What I learned is that 6% are students who received an exemption, 3% are students who are fully online, and only 0.3% are students without an exemption who are noncompliant. Therefore, the functional rate of vaccinated students who are likely to be on campus is 94%. With only a handful of students still noncompliant, any further enforcement strategies wouldn’t impact the vaccination rate.
It should be noted that there has been one reported COVID-19 case among the residential students in Stamford and none reported to date among the non-residential student population. As requested in your letter, there is now a requirement for weekly testing among non-residential, unvaccinated students. I have included a link for your convenience: Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Information | Student Health and Wellness (uconn.edu).
Regional and Off-Campus Commuter Students
Off-campus and commuter students, both graduate and undergraduate, for all UConn regional campuses who are registered for in-person instruction or who will be regularly working or doing research on campus and are not fully vaccinated are required to be tested weekly.
- Testing can be scheduled through 211ct.org.
- Both PCR or antigen tests are acceptable.
Any student who tests positive should seek medical care and clearance from isolation from their local provider.Symptomatic Testing
Any student who experiences symptoms of COVID-19 should seek immediate medical evaluation and testing before engaging with the campus community.
- Use the CDC Self-Checker for a list of symptoms and to help you make decisions and seek appropriate medical care.
- Click here to find local testing optionsI welcome the opportunity to further discuss how we can assist faculty with strategies and guidance to ensure compliance and continuing the success of the start of the semester with respect to our COVID-19 response and outcomes. I also understand that the Stamford Faculty Council will be meeting with Interim Campus Director David Souder to discuss topics addressed in this letter on September 24, 2021. This format will allow for additional discussion regarding the issues raised, and David and I have worked together on the information he will share in that meeting.
Carl W. Lejuez, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Psychological Sciences
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Email: email@example.com; Phone: 240.535.0467
cc: David Souder, Interim Director Stamford Campus Karen Buffkin, Executive Director of Employee Relations