2022 2022: Spring 2022 Semester Update for Staff and Faculty
Spring 2022 Semester Update for Staff and Faculty

Chancellor Fuller provides updates on health and safety protocols before the start of the spring semester

Dear UMass Dartmouth Staff and Faculty,

As we all prepare for the beginning of a new semester, I’m writing to confirm that UMass Dartmouth will start the Spring 2022 semester in person and on schedule on January 18, as outlined in our Spring 2022 Operating Plan.  The university leadership has made this decision based on the best data, scientific information and guidance available to us at this time, and in close consultation with our Pandemic Emergency Response Team (PERT).

While I’m excited to welcome our students back to campus soon, I also recognize that the pandemic will continue to be a disruptive force in our lives this spring. We’ll need to remain flexible and continue to adapt to changing circumstances. We can expect that 5-10% of our community may need to be isolating at any given time throughout the semester, and we’re asking Deans, department chairs and supervisors to provide reasonable flexibility and support, in close collaboration with our Human Resources team, while continuing to fulfill our teaching, learning and research mission primarily face-to-face this spring.

The university’s leadership team and the PERT committee have been monitoring the conditions of the pandemic carefully since the onset of the omicron COVID variant late last fall.  While the new variant has spread rapidly, it has been heartening to see that it appears to cause less severe illness, particularly in fully vaccinated individuals.

We’re taking every precaution to ensure that we are providing our students, staff and faculty with a safe living, learning and working environment this spring. Some of the proactive steps we are taking at the university include:

  1. Requiring all students, staff and faculty to obtain booster shots when they are eligible to do so.  The very high proportion of our campus community who are fully vaccinated is our best defense against COVID;
  2. Reemphasizing adherence to our indoor mask requirement, with new recommendations about the most effective masks;
  3. Implementing a re-entry COVID-19 testing program as everyone returns to campus.
  4. Providing all staff and faculty with at-home COVID tests, until tests become more widely available at low or no cost through government programs;
  5. Implementing enhanced cleaning protocols in high-traffic areas;
  6. Continuing to ensure that airflow in our classrooms exceeds CDC recommendations;
  7. Continuing to monitor our polices related to off-campus visitors.

We understand that many of you have questions about the omicron variant and the pandemic. We’re pleased to be able to offer a COVID-19 webinar with epidemiologist and Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Erin Bromage and Director of Student Health Services Dr. Marianne Sullivan soon. 

To help our students, staff and faculty comply with the university’s COVID-19 booster shot requirement, we continue to hold booster shot clinics on campus.  The next clinic will be held on Tuesday, January 18 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. in the Library Grand Reading room; make your appointment here.

I’d like to thank everyone in the campus community for working together and following our COVID-19 protocols to help keep us all safe and healthy. I’m also deeply grateful to everyone on the PERT for continuing to work through how we need to adapt our protocols as new variants have emerged.  I have been heartened by the level of their deliberations and their thoughtful input that has guided us successfully through the first 18 months of the pandemic, and will help ensure our continuing success downstream.

With all of us working together, I know we can create a safe and vibrant in-person learning environment for our students at UMass Dartmouth this spring. I look forward to having everyone back on campus very soon.



Mark A. Fuller, PhD


University of Massachusetts Dartmouth