Return to In-Person Classes | A Message from the Provost

Dear Colleagues,

As the Chancellor’s campus message earlier today indicates, the improved public health situation of the campus allows us to lower our operational posture from High to Elevated and resume in-person classes starting Monday, Feb. 22nd. 

As was shared with you on Wednesday, the comprehensive health and safety measures for classroom instruction remain in place. To date, there has been no evidence that transmission has occurred during face-to-face classes when public health protocols were followed. You may wish to review the classroom safety requirements as well as the video recording of a panel discussion about the spring 2021 protocols in place to protect faculty and students in classrooms.   

As the Chancellor’s message also conveyed, the campus is instituting even more aggressive measures to validate students’ compliance with public health measures, particularly compliance with twice-weekly testing. One of these measures is to require students to demonstrate their compliance with testing by showing their green Campus Health Hub checkmark before being allowed to participate in in-person instruction. 

To ensure students attending in-person courses, labs, studios are in compliance with the testing protocol, we are using multiple approaches including non-compliance messages from the Public Health Promotion Center, the Dean of Students Office, and the Provost’s Office. We are now also offering instructors in face-to-face classes the ability to ask students to demonstrate compliance by showing their green Campus Health Hub checkmark.  Students in compliance with the required testing protocol will have a Green Checkmark in their Health Hub. If faculty would like to, they can ask students to show them their Green Checkmark in order to participate in the in-person activity: face-to-face course, lab, studio. A student can access the Green Checkmark via the Campus Health Hub website which will state the student’s name, day/time, and show the Green Checkmark via their smart device or print out if they do not have a smart device. If a student cannot prove that they are in compliance by showing the instructor their Green Checkmark or refuses to show the Green Checkmark, the instructor can and should prevent the student from participating in the in-person activity. If a student has questions regarding the accuracy of the Green Checkmark, the instructor should tell them to email testing@umass.edu. If the student refuses to show the Green Checkmark or does not have a Green Checkmark and refuses to leave class, the faculty member should report the student to the Student Conduct and Community Standards Office through the Incident Reporting link. The student should not be allowed to attend the in-person class, lab, studio until they are back in compliance with the testing protocol. This should not be viewed as an excused absence as the student has not followed the required testing protocol despite extensive messaging about this requirement.

Students are receiving a message today that emphasizes it is imperative that they are in compliance with their twice-weekly testing requirement. They are being told not to attend in-person classes if they are not in compliance with the required testing protocol, and they are being told instructors can request to see the green checkmark. If a student cannot produce the green checkmark you should remind them, as they have been told, that they cannot attend the class until they are in compliance with the testing protocol. 

Thank you for your assistance and understanding as we work together during this very challenging period.

Sincerely,

John McCarthy
Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs