It has been one year since COVID-19 transformed our university and our world.

March 18, 2021

Dear Staff Colleagues,

It has been one year since COVID-19 transformed our university and our world. There is so much to reflect upon—much to process, much to understand, and much change to absorb. Yet this is also a time to look ahead with hope for the future.

I am excited about welcoming back all Emory students for the fall semester, the first time in more than a year. I am eager to get back to the vibrant and thriving community that Emory can be only when we are carrying out our mission with in-person teaching, learning, and research. You, as a staff member, are a key part of this. By our very nature as a university, we are an in-person, experiential workplace. Because of this, staff are expected to return to campus this fall for in-person work.

Each school and division is developing policies and plans for a phased return for their staff. In the coming weeks, your school or division leadership will share their plans with you and will keep you engaged and updated as we near the fall. School and divisional plans may include options for flexible work where suitable for specific jobs. There are some staff members who will be exempt from the expectation of return to campus based on specific criteria.

Because of recent announcements at the federal and state levels, I am confident that COVID-19 vaccines will be widely available by the summer so that any staff member who wants to be vaccinated can be prior to returning in the fall. I strongly urge you to schedule a vaccination appointment when you are eligible according to the state’s criteria. We will continue to provide information about vaccinations through Emory Forward.

Even as the number of individuals who are vaccinated increases, we will continue to follow the CDC guidance regarding mask wearing, physical distancing, and COVID-19 testing into the fall semester. As the pandemic situation and public health guidelines change, we will adjust our policies.

I hope you share in my excitement about returning to our beautiful and vibrant campus. Your work is part of what makes Emory such a special place. The past year has been difficult, but I’ve seen how you’ve been able to adapt and still do excellent work despite incredible challenges. I am grateful for the unwavering commitment of our staff. Thank you for all that you do!


Gregory L. Fenves signature

Gregory L. Fenves