June 16: Official Return to Regular Campus Operations

Dear CSB and SJU Employees:

For the last fifteen months, you have done remarkable work responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, fulfilling the campuses’ missions in new and innovative ways, and mitigating the spread of the virus. We are so proud of and grateful for the ways you have accomplished the work of the colleges during this difficult period. We are especially grateful to our Scenario Planning Team, our Health Services Employees, and all front-line workers. Thank you!

While COVID-19 is still active around the world, broadly available vaccination in our region has made it possible for most normal campus operations to resume. We are enthused to announce an official return to regular campus operations at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University on July 8, 2021.

What does that mean? Here are some details:

Return to regular campus operations

Effective July 8, 2021, all CSB and SJU employees are asked to return to work in-person per their pre-COVID employment arrangements unless their position is regularly scheduled off in the summer months. The return-to-work on campus includes those who received accommodations during the past academic year to work remotely. If a COVID-19 related accommodation is currently needed, please discuss with your supervisor, the Dean of Faculty, or a Human Resources representative. We strongly encourage all employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccination before July 8th.

Special leave for COVID-19 isolation and quarantine was discontinued on May 1, 2021. The institutions’ standard leave policies will apply to benefit-eligible employees who need to stay at home.

At this time, 70% of CSB/SJU students have already been vaccinated. This is good news! We will continue to recommend vaccinations for all students, faculty and staff and offer in-person vaccine clinics as all return to campus in the summer and fall.

We’d also like to have a thorough understanding of the percentage of faculty and staff who have been vaccinated as we attempt to hit the 70% mark for this important population. We are continuing to gather that information as well.

Spend time together face-to-face

Masks are no longer required on campus; however, it is expected that unvaccinated individuals on campus wear a mask which covers their nose and mouth when both indoors and in crowded outdoor settings. Fully vaccinated individuals who feel more comfortable wearing a mask are invited to do so. Respect for community members is always expected with regard to wearing a mask or face covering. Social distancing requirements have also ended, and employees are encouraged to begin meeting face-to-face within offices and conference rooms. Virtual and hybrid meetings continue to be options as needed.

Celebrate with us

You make CSB/SJU come alive, and we have missed seeing many of you on campus. We look forward to being with each of you – in person – very soon. To that end, the CSB/SJU communities are invited to a “New Year’s Party” on the CSB Mall from 3-4:30 PM on Thursday, July 8. We’ll gather with CSB/SJU staff, faculty (who are available in the summer), Abbey employees and our Monastic communities to enjoy food and drink, toast to our successes, and celebrate the beginning of a new fiscal year (our fiscal year starts July 1). Please click here to RSVP by June 30, 2021. We look forward to meeting and seeing you all in person.

Know of our gratitude

We are deeply grateful for the dedication that you have demonstrated to our students and to each other, during challenging times. We value your work and are eager to reward your efforts. To begin to show our appreciation, we’ve arranged a thank you gift for all employees. You may pick up your gift at the New Year’s Party on July 8. For those who are unable to join the celebration, watch for an email that will give you an opportunity to place a special order to be delivered to your CSB/SJU department at your convenience.

Seek help when needed

We know that getting “back to normal” is more challenging than just driving to work and reentering your office space. If you have any concerns about returning to work on campus and engaging with others, please discuss them with your supervisor or Human Resources staff. Support resources are also available through the CSB/SJU Employee Assistance Program (VITAL WorkLife). More information about this program is available here.

We are grateful to – and for – each member of our community, and we look forward to the return to regular campus operations.

Warmly,

Laurie Hamen, J.D.

Transitional President

College of Saint Benedict

James H. Mullen, Jr., Ed.D.

Transitional President

Saint John’s University