Dear OSU Community Members,
I write to celebrate with you this week’s good news that President Biden expects that a significant increase in COVID-19 vaccine production will enable every adult in the nation to be vaccinated by the end of May. The nation’s plan to increase supply — along with Gov. Kate Brown’s Feb. 26 announcement detailing the distribution of vaccines among all Oregonians, including within higher education — are very good news.
These plans provide me with the confidence that we are on our way back to a more traditional fall term, including predominantly in-person instruction on our campuses and on-site research, engagement, and extracurricular programs and activities.
We have begun to plan accordingly. In the coming weeks, we will provide you with more information on what to expect for fall term, assuming continued progress in reducing positive cases and the broad distribution of vaccines. Of course, we will continue to comply with state and local health guidelines and we also anticipate continuing to employ an appropriate mix of public health measures, such as wearing masks, engaging in physical distancing, reducing gathering sizes, and utilizing COVID-19 testing.
Please join us at 10 a.m. tomorrow, March 4, as Provost and Executive Vice President Edward Feser hosts an OSU community town hall, where we will share information on vaccine distribution, fall planning, testing updates and other resumption matters. Ample time will be left for questions and answers during the town hall.
I know that each of us has many questions about what lies ahead within OSU and beyond. I am confident that improved public health conditions and implementation of sound plans will lead us to greater in-person interactions, study, teaching, research, and community service and engagement, and activities of all kinds, including recreation and athletics.
I also acknowledge that this has been a stressful year, requiring much adjustment, patience, and resilience. As we do come back together, we must maintain our commitment to support each other as a community.
I am proud of Oregon State University, each of you and our collective steadiness through the pandemic. Looking ahead, with prudent planning, community engagement, adherence to health measures, and Beaver Nation’s proven ability to be innovative and adaptable, we can look forward to a great 2021-22 academic year.
F. King Alexander