Lifting of Special Exceptions Due to Omicron Variant
From Dr. Jean Morrison, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer,
Derek Howe, Senior Vice President for Operations, and
Amanda Bailey, Vice President for Human Resources
At the beginning of this semester, President Brown announced that some special exceptions would be put in place through February 18, 2022 due to the surge of the Omicron variant. As Judy Platt, chief health officer, detailed earlier today, the Omicron surge has passed and we are delighted to see a dramatic improvement in the public health data both at Boston University and in the Boston community more generally.
Because of this improved situation, we are writing to confirm that starting Monday, February 21, the special exceptions that President Brown laid out in his January 5 letter, including the ability for faculty and staff to work remotely due to a positive COVID test or caregiving disruptions, will be lifted.
As a result, remote teaching is no longer an option and all residential courses should be taught in-person. If a faculty member needs to miss an in-person class, they should work with their dean (or their designee) to develop alternate plans. This might include identifying another faculty member or senior doctoral student who can teach your class, or rescheduling classes until you are able to return to campus. We continue to encourage faculty, when possible, to make recorded lectures available to students who cannot attend class because they are in isolation or quarantine.
On or after February 21, staff who test positive for COVID or experience caregiving disruptions, should work with their vice president or dean (or their designee) to determine the best available options. If remote work is not an option, this may include utilizing COVID-19 paid absence days.
We are grateful to all of you for your vigilance in getting us through this latest COVID surge. It is a relief to see the public health trends moving in the right direction, and we are glad to be able to take this step in returning to a more normal, in-person teaching, learning, and working environment.