Fall 2021 Updates from Columbia University Administration
The following message was sent to the Columbia community August 6, 2021.
I want to thank you for submitting your proof of vaccination; you’ve taken a critical step in helping to ensure a safe return to campus this Fall.
If You Missed the Submission Deadline
If you did not meet the August 2 date for uploading your materials, you will need to take the appropriate next steps.
- Domestic students: Upload your proof of vaccination as soon as possible. This is required to access University facilities.
- International students: If you are able to get your vaccine, upload your proof of vaccination as soon as possible, even if it is not currently a World Health Organization (WHO) approved vaccine. International students who are unable to complete the required COVID-19 vaccination with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or World Health Organization (WHO) authorized vaccines before arriving on campus will be offered an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine upon arrival.
- Students who are not fully vaccinated with an FDA or WHO approved vaccine must quarantine for 7 days after arriving in the US from international travel.
Please note that August 2 was the deadline to submit your proof of vaccination, not to receive approval of your submission. With the high volume of documentation being submitted, you may not see an update in your health portal for at least two weeks after submission. If you have entered the date(s) of your vaccination and can see the phrase "Upload Received" in the Immunization Records section of your health portal, you do not need to take further action at this time.
Reminder: Upcoming Vaccine Forums
Do you still have questions regarding the COVID-19, vaccines, and what to expect when you return to campus? We invite you to join one of these informational forums to ask specific questions and learn more about what to expect as you arrive this Fall.
- August 12, 4:00 PM ET: University Life's general student session
- August 16, 8:30 AM ET: Global Centers' Information session, targeted toward international students
Questions about Submitting Proof of Vaccination
If you have specific questions regarding your proof of vaccination status, the resources below can help you.
- Morningside students can check vaccine documentation on the Columbia Health Patient Portal. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any specific questions.
- CUIMC students can check vaccine documentation on the Student Health on Haven Patient Portal. Please email email@example.com with any specific questions.
Having Trouble Uploading Your Proof of Vaccination?
Many of you have asked for assistance in uploading your vaccine documentation. Please remember that only you can upload your documentation.
If you need further help submitting your vaccine documentation, the Vaccine Documentation Upload Instructions walks you through this process. If you still have difficulty submitting your proof of vaccination, please email one of the resources listed above.
Timeline to Comply with the Columbia Community Health Compact
Please ensure you meet the upcoming deadlines below to be fully prepared to return to campus this Fall.
- August 16: Sign the Compact. You can do this now on the ReOpen CU app or sign it online.
- September 1: Complete your training, also available online.
- September 9: Meet the University’s COVID-19 testing requirements.
- Complete your gateway test when you arrive on campus.
- This can be on day 1 if you are fully vaccinated or on day 3-5 if you are not fully vaccinated and are required to quarantine.
If you have any general questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We thank you for your ongoing commitment to creating a safe campus environment for all.
Joseph Defraine Greenwell, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Office of University Life
Gender Pronouns: He/Him/His
The following message was sent to the GS community June 17, 2021.
I hope your summer is going well so far and that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. As our city and country transition into a hopeful new phase of the pandemic—with vaccination rates on the ascent and infection rates on the decline—I am excited to welcome all students back to campus for in-person instruction, social events, and everything else that we have missed over the past 15 months. While many of the details of the fall semester will be finalized in the coming weeks and months, below I am sharing what we know so far to help you all plan for your arrival—whether a joyous return or thrilling first time—to Columbia.
First, in order to support our return to campus, Columbia has made vaccination a requirement for all students, faculty, and staff for the fall semester. I encourage all students who have not already begun the vaccination process to do so as soon as possible. As indicated by Provost Katznelson in his message earlier today, your vaccination documentation must be submitted by August 2, to ensure there is no delay in processing your information before the start of classes. You can find details about where to get a vaccine, how to upload proof of your vaccination, and other vaccine-related questions on the University’s Covid-19 website.
Most significantly, as noted by the University Registrar in his recent message, fall classes will be held in-person. Additionally, the first day of classes has been moved to Thursday, September 9, 2021 with the Change of Program period running until September 21.
Our return to campus also means that we will be able to host our New Student Welcome and our New Student Orientation Program events on-campus and in-person in August. I cannot wait to welcome to campus our third year dual degree students and all of our new students beginning their Columbia journeys this summer and fall. We will also be inviting students who began their studies in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 to join many of the activities being planned for orientation week. I look forward to sharing more details about the exciting slate of events over the course of the summer.
In addition to the Orientation events we are planning for new students, our amazing Student Life team is also hard at work planning a series of events throughout the month of September to welcome all of our students back to our amazing campus and to help us reconnect with this special place. We will share additional details at the beginning of the fall semester.
We are aware of embassy and consular backlogs in processing visa applications. As always, international students with visa questions should contact the International Students & Scholars office. Please be in touch with your academic advisor if you have concerns about visa backlogs or travel restrictions making it difficult for you to return to campus for fall classes. As noted by Provost Katznelson, efforts will be made to offer virtual access to classes for students who are delayed in accessing campus due to visa backlogs. For questions about vaccinations for international students, including which vaccines will be accepted and how to get vaccinated upon your arrival, please refer to the FAQ section of the Columbia Covid-19 website.
With the expectation that GS students who moved away from Morningside Heights will be returning in the coming weeks and months, we have worked to increase the number of University apartments available to GS students to help facilitate a smooth return to campus. All students interested in housing through the University should submit an application on the Columbia Residential website. Updates about housing and related policies and procedures will come directly from Columbia Residential as the summer continues. Please monitor your email and respond as needed.
As we look forward to enjoying a hopeful summer and continue to work toward putting this pandemic behind us, both here and around the world, I encourage you to remain safe and to enjoy the moments of normalcy as they present themselves. I also encourage you to regularly monitor the Columbia Covid-19 website for important updates about policies and protocols. I cannot wait to see you all in the fall, studying and socializing in the GS Student Lounge, taking advantage of our amazing new Academic Resource Center, enjoying the sun on Low Beach, and doing all of the other things that make Columbia GS such a special place.
In closing, I would like to note that, as announced by President Bollinger in April, all University offices will be closed tomorrow to commemorate Juneteenth. I encourage you to reflect upon and celebrate this important date in this nation’s history.
Dean, Columbia University School of General Studies
Professor of Sociomedical Sciences
The following message was sent to the Columbia community June 17, 2021.
Dear Fellow Members of the Columbia Community,
Resilience is the product of hardiness and flexibility. Just these qualities have characterized how staff, students, faculty, and researchers have navigated the past fifteen months. Overall, this has been a period of loss and sacrifice, many personal and institutional difficulties, and no small amount of exhaustion. And yet, with care and consideration, we are on the cusp of restoring our campuses to vibrant density.
There is much for which to be grateful: above all, the persistence of relative safety at a time of danger. The leadership of our epidemiologists, infectious disease specialists, virologists, and modelers has been invaluable. With a blend of personal and virtual teaching, thousands of students have continued their education. Critical inquiry, exceptional work by faculty and staff, pioneering research, responsive libraries, and persistent, courageous, and effective work by our health care colleagues have produced memorable hallmarks.
We have reached a welcome point of inflection. Turning to the impending full return this fall, we are delighted to share the policies and procedures that will govern that renewal, the first signs of which have been experienced this spring. As we write, our campus dormitories are fully subscribed for the fall, about to return to capacity. Registration for classes starting in September has been proceeding briskly. And now, the combination of our own vaccine mandate and this week’s announcement by Governor Cuomo that 70 percent of adult New Yorkers have been vaccinated with at least one dose allows us to expect to relax many, indeed most, restrictions this fall. Of course, such confidence must remain provisional, depending on the continuation of an improving public health situation. Still, the sense of optimism is palpable.
With advice from the deans and other senior leaders, with proposals from the working groups that have navigated the crisis, with adjudication by President Bollinger and the President’s COVID-19 Task Force, the following policies have been crafted regarding instruction, the use of space, the scale of gatherings, travel, visitors, PCR testing, and the vaccination’s requirement. While we are primarily focused on requirements for the fall, in several cases, as noted below, there is a multi-stage phase-in from now until August 2, from August 3 until September 8, and then the final stage commencing on September 9.
- Fall instruction: As previously announced, faculty and students will meet in person for all class sessions. Classrooms will be at full capacity. Notwithstanding, with many international students facing visa-related delays, every effort will be made by our academic programs to offer virtual access to many classes. Having learned much during the pandemic about the use of technology for teaching, faculty are encouraged to use digital tools to enhance their face-to-face teaching where appropriate. With the limited exception of pre-established online courses, all classes will be conducted face-to-face in campus classrooms. Additional details about the new classroom instruction policy can be found in the Fall 2021 Instruction Guidelines.
- Space: Subject to public health arrangements specified below, every space on campus— not just classrooms, but the gym and the chapel, places for student activities, faculty offices, and administrative units— can be fully utilized this fall. Instruction, campus scholarly activities (including research and library access), as well as student life, will have the highest priority. By contrast, most conferences and external speaker series will remain virtual through the fall. Additional details about the new space policy can be found in the Space Use Guidelines for Fall 2021.
- Face coverings and physical distancing: Changes in face coverings and physical distancing will be phased in over three periods. Face coverings indoors and physical distancing will continue to be required until August 2, even for vaccinated individuals, though they are no longer necessary outdoors for those who have been vaccinated. From August 3 to September 8, face coverings indoors will continue to be required for all, but the indoor distancing requirement will be relaxed for vaccinated individuals only. Unvaccinated individuals will continue to be required to wear face coverings and physically distance. Finally, beginning September 9, when we will have achieved a fully vaccinated status, face coverings and distancing no longer will be required on the non-medical campuses, except for persons who have received a vaccine exemption. Face coverings on the CUIMC campus will continue through the first quarter of 2022. And a cautionary word: No judgments should be made and no criticisms offered regarding individuals who continue to use face coverings, either because they have vaccine exemptions or simply choose to continue to cover their face as a matter of personal preference. Additional details on these matters can be found under Face Coverings and PPE in the COVID-19 Public Health Protocols.
- Gathering size and events policy: Changes in gathering size will be phased in over three periods. Currently, there are no limits on the size for academic (instructional, orientation, and commencement) gatherings provided that the provisions just enumerated are followed until September 9. Administrative and research gatherings presently permit up to 500 individuals outdoors and 250 indoors. There will be no capacity limits after August 2. It is important to note that any food and beverages sold on campus must be “grab and go” through September 8. For now, however, social, religious, and extra-curricular gatherings are restricted to 50 persons outdoors and 25 indoors, but only through August 2. Additional details about the new gathering size policy can be found in the updated Events Policy.
- Fall visitors: Beginning September 9, the existing “no visitor” policy will be rescinded. Visiting and exchange students, visiting faculty, scholars, and scientists, among others, will be allowed back on campus. These visitors will be subject to University health and safety policies, including the vaccine mandate if on campus for more than four days, as well as required attestations. Still to be completed is a separate policy for contractors and vendors that will be announced soon. Additional details about the new visitor policy can be found in Visitor Guidelines for Fall 2021.
- Fall travel: The summer 2021 travel policy will remain in effect throughout the fall, with minor changes that affect undergraduates and graduate students. Undergraduate study abroad for the fall will not be allowed, but we anticipate a full resumption in the spring term. Additional details about the new travel policy can be found in these Fall 2021 Travel Restrictions.
Especially with the return to higher density, campus safety will require continued vigilance. All members of our community will thus respect the following procedures and policies:
- Vaccine mandate: As previously announced, a vaccine mandate applies to all faculty, researchers, staff, and students. Completion of the steps necessary to comply with this mandate must be concluded by August 2. Students can register their compliance through the Columbia Health portal; faculty and staff may use the COVID-19 website or the ReopenCU app. Additional details about how to upload vaccine documentation can be found in these Vaccine Documentation Upload Instructions.
- ReopenCU app: We will continue to rely on this app to manage access to campus throughout the fall; therefore, we encourage all Columbia affiliates who have not done so already to download it and become familiar with its features. Through the app, every person accessing campus is required to attest to symptoms related to COVID-19 every day, without exception. Individuals who have not been on campus should download the ReopenCU app on their smartphone, or use the web link to do so. This app generates either a “green pass” or a “red pass” based on the answers that are offered by an individual and whether health requirements, notably including the vaccination requirement, have been met. Green is required for entry. You can find information about how to download the app on the COVID-19 site.
- Testing: Anyone who has not accessed campus since January 2021 is required to present themselves for a “gateway” test just prior to returning. Appointments can be made via the Columbia Health Online Patient Portal. Once such testing has been accomplished prior to September 9, weekly mandatory testing of unvaccinated affiliates and random sampling drawn from all affiliates on campus will continue into the fall semester. Additional details are included in the COVID-19 Testing Program for Fall 2021 Plan.
- Columbia Compact: The terms of the existing Compact are being amended in light of the University’s revised policies, including the vaccine mandate. It thus will be necessary for all to use the ReopenCU app to re-sign this pledge between July 6 and August 16. Additional details can be found in the newly revised Columbia Community Health Compact.
With these ten sets of policies, it will be possible to prepare for and proceed toward the fall term with an energetic renewal. Though the pandemic is not yet defeated, by acting responsibly together, we can maintain safety while getting closer to a familiar and more customary campus life. That will be a cause for satisfaction, even celebration.
Sending thanks with anticipation,
Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Columbia University Irving Medical Center
Chief Executive Officer, ColumbiaDoctors
University COVID Director
The following message was sent to the Columbia community June 3, 2021.
With a registration window starting for many of you next week, I wanted to update you on some important course attributes and functionality that will affect your registration and enrollment.
As we plan for the fall semester, our guidance from public health experts has significantly changed the instructional landscape. Because Columbia is requiring all affiliates to be fully vaccinated, coupled with an ongoing testing program, public health guidance has determined that all of our students can be back on campus this fall. In addition, we anticipate that all of our classrooms will return to full density with no social distancing required. Because of these changes, the University expects that all instruction will be offered In-Person, that students will once again participate in their classes on-campus, and that Faculty will be teaching from their assigned classroom locations.
When you are registering next week, you will therefore not see any Methods of Instruction identified for fall courses. The reason for this is that most courses are now being offered on an In-Person basis only (there will, of course, be some exceptions for courses that have always been offered in an On-Line or Hybrid format). You will also not be asked how you prefer to enroll in your courses because the expectation is that you will be participating in person. Later in the summer and as we approach the start of the fall semester, it could be that some courses may be offered on a Hybrid basis because of required changes in the density of our classrooms (depending on Public Health requirements) or because of the need to accommodate our international students who may be experiencing difficulty securing visas for travel to the United States. I will keep you apprised of these changes and how they will affect your registration and course enrollment.
If you have any questions regarding the conduct of registration next week, write to us at: email@example.com
Have a great weekend.
Barry S. Kane
Associate Vice President and University Registrar
Columbia University in the City of New York
The following message was sent to the Columbia community May 17, 2021.
Dear Faculty, Students, and Staff:
I write today to inform you of a change to the academic calendar for the fall 2021 semester.
The first day of classes for the fall semester will be Thursday, September 9, 2021. This is a change from the previously published calendar, with classes now starting two days later than originally scheduled. The fall Change of Program period will, therefore, start on Thursday, September 9th, and extend to Tuesday, September 21st. Students will have the usual nine days in which to select their classes and determine their final fall schedules.
This year, the return to campus carries particular significance and is unique in that we will have many students entering campus for the first time. We are implementing this calendar adjustment from our strong desire that all Columbia students can begin this post-COVID academic year together, both within their entering cohorts and as a University community.
If instruction were to begin immediately following Labor Day, many in our University community would be absent in celebration of Rosh Hashanah. Holding classes on a religious holiday is quite normative at Columbia. This decision thus represents an exception to ensure that this most welcome return will include everyone.
Outside of this change, the academic calendar proceeds as originally planned. I am certainly available with any questions you might have as is the entire team in the Office of the University Registrar. You may write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call our offices at: 212-854-4400.
I look forward to seeing you all on campus.
Barry S. Kane
Associate Vice President and University Registrar
Columbia University in the City of New York
The following message was sent to the Columbia community May 11, 2021.
On April 19, 2021, the University announced its decision to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for all students, undergraduate and graduate, by the start of the Fall 2021 term. This decision was informed by the now widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccines on our campuses and across the country, as well as confidence in the other protective measures put in place. As President Bollinger stated earlier this term, our goal is to return to normal University life in September while protecting the health and well-being of our community; a vaccinated student population will be critical to making this a reality.
How the requirement works
Students who intend to access campus for any reason at any time beginning Fall 2021, including those registered only for online courses, must be vaccinated before being granted access to University campuses and facilities, as well as participation at in-person University-recognized activities. This requirement applies regardless of the purpose, duration, or frequency of planned access to facilities or participation with in-person activities.
Any student who fails to complete the requirement or has not received a medical or religious exemption to the COVID-19 vaccine shall not be permitted to access University facilities nor engage in any in-person University recognized activities.
Students, graduate and undergraduate, living in University-owned buildings are required to complete the vaccine process at least 14 days prior to their move in, with limited exceptions.
Employees that are registered for any classes, including online and audit only, are considered students and must comply with the vaccine requirement. This requirement applies even if the primary purpose for access to University facilities is a role other than student.
How to complete the requirement
Students can submit their vaccine documentation via the Columbia Health Patient Portal. Columbia University accepts all vaccines recognized as safe and effective according to the World Health Organization.
We encourage students to upload their documentation as soon as possible. All students are expected to complete the vaccine process at least 14 days before first accessing University facilities or participating with in-person, University-approved activities to ensure they are considered fully vaccinated at the time of first access. In Fall 2021, all students are also required to register (new students) or update (continuing students) their Meningitis decision. Please register your decision in the Columbia Health Patient Portal when you submit your COVID-19 documentation.
Completion of the vaccine process is defined as:
- At least 14 days after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine
- At least 14 days after receiving a single dose vaccine (currently only the Janssen/Johnson&Johnson vaccine)
In limited situations where a student has difficulty accessing an approved vaccine, the student can receive the vaccine from the University at no out-of-pocket cost. Until fully vaccinated (as defined above), such students will be required to comply with additional COVID-19 testing requirements and other preventive measures in place at that time.
Religious or Medical Exemptions
Columbia is committed to providing a safe, inclusive, and supportive experience for all students. The University recognizes student observance of their faith as it pertains to the practice of immunization and limited medical contraindications to certain vaccinations. Personal and philosophical objections to the COVID-19 vaccine requirement are not permitted; requests based on personal or philosophical reasons will be denied.
Students wishing to request an exemption must submit the required request forms via the Columbia Health Patient Portal. Exemption requests will not be considered if incomplete documentation is received. Students with approved exemptions for other vaccines must submit a new and separate request for the COVID-19 vaccine.
All requests are considered and reviewed, but approval is not guaranteed. Decisions are final, not subject to appeal, and will be shared in a determination letter sent to your University email. Students may submit a new request with new supporting documentation.
Students must submit their exemption request at least 30 business days before their first planned campus access. Late submissions will not be expedited. Please note that all exemptions are temporary and must be renewed as noted in the instructions and determination letter.
Access to Vaccination
Information on how to schedule an appointment—whether through New York City or through the University—can be found on the vaccine information page of the COVID-19 website.
We hope that you will join us on Thursday, May 13, from 4:00-5:00 PM ET for our next University Life Forum: COVID-19 Update, Vaccines and Planning for Fall Return. This conversation is an opportunity to learn about the University’s ongoing response to the pandemic, vaccine availability and requirements, and more.
Continue to check the Columbia University COVID-19 website periodically over the coming weeks to stay up to date. We appreciate your participation in this key step that is critical to a successful and safe return to campus in the Fall term.
Melanie J Bernitz
Senior Vice President, Columbia Health
Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine (in the Center for Family and Community Medicine)
The following message was sent to the Columbia community April 26, 2021.
Dear fellow members of the Columbia community,
Working groups on education, facilities and campus life, research, and public health were formed one year ago to help navigate Columbia during the pandemic. Following difficult decisions for the remainder of 2020 and the spring 2021 term about dormitories, dining, travel, gatherings, library access, and the character of classroom instruction, these committees, reporting to the President’s Task Force on COVID-19, were asked to protect public health and consider how best to maintain our commitments to excellent teaching, top-tier research, outstanding clinical care, and critical programs by crafting and recommending compelling policies and making operational decisions.
As planning proceeds for the fall, every step taken will continue to be governed by our highest priority: campus safety. It is a source of satisfaction and collective pride that, in this respect, Columbia has led the way nationally. Strategic choices to regulate density in our labs, ensure distancing in our classrooms and in other spaces, indoors and out, launch a carefully designed testing and tracing program, together with a heartening collective commitment to the Columbia Compact, have generated compliance, responsibility, and good outcomes.
At Columbia, our COVID-19 testing stands out as an instrument and as a measure of relative well-being. More than 220,000 samples have been taken since June 2020. Together with wastewater analysis, the tests conducted at the Black Building (CUIMC) and Lerner Hall (Morningside) have enabled a rapid identification of cases and contacts and have provided critical surveillance data confirming campus welfare. Overall, less than 0.5% of persons tested have had a positive result. This level compares favorably to significantly higher rates in the city, the metropolitan area, and the state, indeed across the country as a whole.
Our expectations for the fall are being shaped by the now widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccines on our campuses and in ColumbiaDoctors locations, as well as confidence in the other protective measures put in place. Just last week, the University decided to mandate vaccinations by the fall for all students, undergraduate and graduate. For them, and indeed for all faculty and staff, the University is providing cost-free vaccination. We strongly encourage all our affiliates to take advantage of this availability as soon as possible.
Looking ahead, our four existing working groups have been joined by a fifth that is addressing the new work environment. All have been ramping up efforts to judge how best to rebuild campus density. With their direction, some important policy decisions have been made. In addition to those that concern the presence of teachers, students, and staff, and the vaccination mandate for students, these include guidelines for summer travel and guidelines for visitors participating in academic activities. These temporary limitations are intended to make a fuller campus life achievable and safe.
In tandem with public health developments, more decisions and communication will follow about the reopening and organization of facilities, the scale of gatherings, classroom scheduling and technology, athletics, laboratory and office space densities, and important aspects of work situations. All this will happen in the context of public health indicators and milestones.
Please watch for updates in the coming weeks. Like our community as a whole, we eagerly anticipate a steady and secure return to an increasingly robust Columbia. For now, let us celebrate the extraordinary accomplishments of the many thousands of citizens of the University—near and far—who have been navigating hard times, and offer a warm salute to the graduates concluding their studies. The Lion roars.
Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Columbia University Irving Medical Center
Chief Executive Officer, ColumbiaDoctors
University COVID Director
The following message was sent to the Columbia community March 17, 2021. Please note: this message has been edited for clarity regarding the fall term.
Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:
I am writing this at the moment of the one-year anniversary of the onset of the pandemic in New York. Life before that now seems innocent in comparison to what we have endured since. What was taken for granted now seems more precious than ever. The entire world has suffered a lethal and arduous challenge beyond the worst we feared. Each person has lived their own version of this reality—hardships and frustrations along with unexpected revelations, but, for far too many, the tragic loss of family and friends. We join in mourning and memorializing the more than 30,000 residents of our City who died due to the coronavirus.
With this anniversary, however, comes the need to look ahead to the coming year and to plan. There is a practical side of deciding about events and life’s schedules, but also an emotional side of girding ourselves for what remains to be done to be rid of the pandemic. Life’s plans are always best thought of as provisional, but life under COVID-19 has reached new levels of persistent uncertainty. In this period, our minds are attuned to things like the pace and uptake of vaccinations, the implications of new virus variants, and the trajectory of the coronavirus in our City and State. With caveats for the uncertainties ahead, I want to share two decisions about two specific issues ahead of us—our Commencement activities and our return to university life in the fall.
Let me begin with a note of optimism. Hope is always the essential element of resilience, and there are now grounds for hope. As we all know, President Biden has just announced national goals of having vaccinations available for all adults in the country by May 1st and of being able to gather in small groups to celebrate July 4th. In addition, we are heartened by promising evidence of vaccination plans globally, which, of course, has enormous implications for achieving equity and fairness in a time of crisis and for health generally in our very interconnected world. There is progress, provided there is a sustained commitment to our well-known health protocols.
Now I want to turn to the fall term. By then, we expect to have the capacity and supply to vaccinate all Columbia affiliates. Many students, faculty, and staff will have been vaccinated in other locations, including abroad. This and other actions against the coronavirus mean that our goal is to return to normal University life in September. This means the resumption of in-person academic activities across our campuses, for teaching to take place in our classrooms, for undergraduates to be housed in our residence halls, for research and service work to resume, and for our calendar to return to its familiar rhythm. We are dedicated to coming as close to this reality as is safely possible, recognizing that events beyond our control may intervene and that we will need to have an adequate and sympathetic accommodation process in place for faculty, staff, and students, especially our international students who may not be able to return to campus.
In other words, the fall will be, as much as humanly possible, our homecoming.
Of course, there will be many more communications on all these matters in the coming weeks and months. For now, Jean and I send our gratitude and admiration.
Lee C. Bollinger