Dear Bulldog Nation,
As the State of South Carolina and our nation continue to see an uptick in COVID-19 cases, the safety of our university community remains our top priority.
In recent months, university administrators have monitored local and national news stations as well as local, state and national health agencies who have advised that the Delta Variant of COVID-19 has emerged as the most contagious and most deadly mutation of the virus since its original onset last winter.
After meetings with my executive leadership team, representatives of the Student Government Association, Faculty Senate and Staff Senate, I have made the decision to postpone the beginning of classes until Monday, Aug. 23, 2021.
Members of the university’s Board of Trustees fully support this decision. Starting the academic year three days later will allow the university to educate new and returning students about the COVID-19 virus while encouraging them to take advantage of vaccination clinics that will be set up on campus. Maintenance teams will further enhance and increase sanitization measures, and faculty will have time to prepare in the event the spread of the variant worsens, requiring a shift to digital learning platforms.
As the university steps up its response to this pandemic, we will do all we can to encourage students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated if they have not done so already. I have authorized the implementation of campus-wide incentives designed to encourage members of our campus community to receive the vaccine. Our goal is to reach at least a 90% vaccination rate on our campus.
While there are so many unknowns about the behavior of this virus, the Centers for Disease Control and health care providers from around the world have advised that wearing masks and receiving the vaccine offer the best defenses against the most lethal impacts of the virus.
We are excited to welcome our students back to campus for the 2021-2022 academic year. As we execute these various initiatives, your participation is paramount in achieving the safe and healthy outcomes necessary for a productive year.
With Bulldog Tenacity,
SC State University