Nov. 10, 2020
Dear Bryant University faculty, students, parents, and staff,
We did it!
The entire Bryant community has much to be proud of this week, our last week of fall semester classes. Under very challenging external conditions, we have had an especially strong semester on campus with active learning and enriching student life programs. This is thanks to the extraordinary spirit and cooperation of our students, faculty and staff.
Health and safety have been our highest priority. At 94% student residency compared to last fall, we have conducted more than 57,000 COVID surveillance tests with full population testing every week and an extremely low overall test positivity rate.
Over the course of the semester, we have continuously reevaluated our plans and procedures and evolving best practices for public health. We have made refinements enabling us to operate on campus and ensure academic integrity is maintained.
Positive cases of COVID-19 have continued to climb in Rhode Island, the New England region, and the nation. On Sunday Gov. Gina Raimondo put new restrictions in place and warned that the state may go back to strict Phase 2 regulations. In this context we appreciate and respect the increasing concern raised by Bryant students and their families and have given thorough consideration to their requests for finals to be remote in light of growing considerations beyond our campus and control.
Acting with caution, and now at the end of the academic semester, we have decided to move final exams to remote. The last day of classes on Monday, November 16th, will also be remote. As students depart campus, they can move out without prior approval. The campus and all student services will remain open through November 24, the end of the scheduled exam period, to accommodate students who prefer to remain on campus or for whom early departure is not feasible. A final COVID test is required in the week of student departure.
This decision is made out of an abundance of caution and with respect for the input we received. We greatly appreciate the faculty’s continued willingness to adjust to meet the needs of students and public health concerns.
We wish everyone a safe and successful finals week and a very happy Thanksgiving holiday, and look forward to engaging with you remotely during the winter term. We will continue to keep you informed as we plan to welcome everyone back for the spring term.
President Ross Gittell, Ph.D.