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Highlights from the Fall 2021 Safe Return Survey

More than 1,200 employees provided perspectives on a potential return to on-campus operations.

By Samuel M. Jay, Ph.D., Presidential Faculty Fellow

February 24, 2021

Aerial image of Auraria Campus; Over the past week, there has been growing optimism from federal and state leaders that increasing access to Covid-19 vaccines could open the door to a more complete return to on-campus learning for universities and colleges around the country.

To gain a better understanding of how faculty and staff members at Metropolitan State University of Denver feel about returning to campus – as well as to kick-start strategic planning around potential options for fall 2021 – Edward J. Brown Jr., chief of staff, and Steve Monaco, director of the Health Center at Auraria, sent out a survey late last week asking for employee feedback.

We are happy to announce that faculty and staff turnout was excellent, and we would like to share some of the initial findings from the survey:

  • 1,217 faculty members, staff members/administrators and student employees replied to the survey.
  • 92% of respondents said they “already have” or “intend to” receive the Covid-19 vaccine once it is available to them.
  • 90% of respondents answered that they are prepared to return to campus, although there is a clear desire by many faculty members, staff members/administrators and student employees to be given the flexibility to work on-campus and remotely.

In addition, several themes stood out from comments left by respondents, including:

  • Safety remains paramount in relation to a return to campus – specifically, calls for continued mask mandates and social-distancing measures until an appropriate vaccination rate (re: herd immunity) can be reached and there are changes in guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the State of Colorado.
  • Ensuring that students have access to and take advantage of the vaccine is important for faculty and staff/administrators as these respondents recognize the role students play in ensuring safety on the Auraria Campus.

Recognizing the importance of communication to successfully planning and preparing for fall 2021, no matter what form the semester takes, senior leaders will continue to keep the campus community informed as more is learned.

Topics: Community, Health, Safety

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