IMPORTANT UPDATES: College Operations, COVID-19 Testing and Health and Safety Measures, IT Security, Accreditation
January 14, 2021
Dear RIC Faculty and Staff,
As we prepare to kick-off the Spring 2021 semester, I want to provide the following updates related to college operations, COVID-19 testing and other health and safety measures, IT security and accreditation:
Spring 2021 Academic Instruction
Let me begin by taking this opportunity to thank faculty for their ongoing work to conduct remote instruction, and for their adaptability and hard work in the midst of challenging circumstances.
During the Spring 2021 semester, the college will once again be predominately remote, offering limited in-person classes for the visual and performing arts. Clinical placements will continue to be held in-person and in accordance with procedures established by the partnering entities. To better accommodate our students with disabilities in the remote learning environment, the Disability Services Center will use a new platform called Accommodations Information Management (AIM) to email faculty the ADA Accommodations Letters for students who are eligible to use them in their courses. AIM is integrated with MyRIC, making coordination of services and accommodation letters easier for RIC students, faculty, and staff.
As we continue to monitor the spread of the virus, we will remain agile, making whatever adjustments are necessary to protect the health and safety of our community while ensuring the continuity of academic instruction
Once again, we are strongly encouraging faculty and staff who can perform their work from home to continue to do so. Employees may contact their supervisor or the
Office of Human Resources with any questions regarding teleworking arrangements.
The mitigation standards that were initiated in the fall will remain in place for the duration of the Spring semester, including increased cleaning and sanitation of high-touch locations.
Our Anchor Health Ambassadors program will continue. If you are coming to campus for any reason, please remember to pre-screen yourself using the RAVE app. Doing so will make the screening process easier and our campus community safer.
Residential Housing, Dining and Athletics
On-campus housing options will continue to be limited for the Spring semester. For those students residing on campus, move in will be staggered between Friday, January 15 and Tuesday, January 19. Prior to moving in, all students must have a flu shot and a negative COVID-19 test. All residential students should review and monitor the communications from Residential Life and Housing for further details.
Donovan Dining Center will remain open to students, staff, faculty, others working on campus (e.g. construction workers).
Athletic training, practice, and competition will also be limited during this semester. The recreation center will be open, to students only, for extended hours, as follows: Monday through Friday, 3:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
It is likely that the state may issue guidance requiring weekly testing of certain populations at institutions of higher education to control the spread of COVID-19, particularly among residential students, athletes, and students coming to campus for classes.
In anticipation of these changes, we are expanding our asymptomatic testing capacity and have moved testing from the Student Union Ballroom to the Recreation Center.
Next week, asymptomatic testing will be offered on January 19 and 20 from 9:00 a.m. – noon.
Starting on January 25, asymptomatic testing will take place on a walk-in basis and without an appointment as follows:
- Mondays: 9 a.m. – noon
- Tuesdays: 9 a.m. – noon
- Wednesdays: 3 p.m. - 6 p.m.
- Thursdays: 9 a.m. – noon
Again, these hours are for
asymptomatic testing. Please
do not seek testing at these sites if you have symptoms. If you are on campus and experience symptoms, please contact
Student Health Services.
Remote students, faculty, and staff should seek regular testing in their home community.
If new guidance is issued, we will provide additional details at that time.
Student Health Services, the School of Social Work, and Human Resources will continue to do case tracking to limit the spread of COVID-19 on campus. We ask that you please cooperate with their efforts to help identify and contact individuals who may have been exposed and can unknowingly spread the virus.
Priority groups on campus have already received immunizations (e.g., Student Health Services, Campus Police) and we are working with RIDOH on immunizations for the campus community. We are hoping the vaccine will slow the spread of the virus in the community and campus, and allow us to make it through the semester without interruption.
Thank you, Christie!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Christie Rishworth for her tremendous job as Interim Director of Health Services over the course of the last several months. Christie played an invaluable and integral role in our COVID-19 planning and response. Christie is returning to her previous role as a Family Nurse Practitioner at Student Health Services.
Starting January 17, Marie Wilks will serve as the new Interim Director of Student Health Services. Marie has worked within the School Nursing for 14 years, more recently serving as an associate professor within the undergraduate program. In addition, she is familiar with the operations of RIC Health Services, having worked in the department from 1995 until 2006. During this pandemic Marie has aided RIC Health Services by sharing her time and expertise to aid in response efforts for suspected and confirmed student cases.
Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart
Information Technology Services has received reports of phishing attempts targeting students with false job offers for lucrative pay close to campus. Here are a few things to remember:
- If a message seems too good to be true, it probably is;
- Official messages from the college regarding career opportunities will originate from the Career Development Center; and
- Please do not respond to a message you suspect to be phishing, no matter how lucrative the offer seems.
Please report any suspected messages that you encounter to help our system learn how to protect against future phishing messages.
Increased Security on Campus
With the Rhode Island State Senate holding sessions on campus during the Spring semester, we will likely see increased law enforcement presence in or around Sapinsley Hall, where the sessions are taking place. These precautionary measures are in place to ensure the safety of our elected officials. If you should have any questions, please contact Campus Police at (401) 456-8888.
NECHE Accreditation Self-Study
While COVID-19 put the self-study process on hold this past year, the work is once again underway with a team visit scheduled for Fall 2021 and completion of the self-study planned for Spring 2021.
The steering committee is finalizing the first draft of the self-study report and is looking for reviewers willing to read chapters and provide feedback over the next couple of months. If you are willing to serve as a reader, please contact Lexi Rogel at
firstname.lastname@example.org. The steering committee will be sharing more about the accreditation process and providing opportunities for you to be involved in this important collective endeavor.
I would like to thank the members of the steering committee for their hard work in leading this effort: Co-chairs Sue Pearlmutter, Trece Mettauer, and Christopher Hourigan; Members Tom Schmeling, Erik Christiansen, Ducha Hang, Jim Tweed, Tamika Wordlow-Williams, Earl Simson, Steve Nedder, Jay Nimmagadda, Debbie Servello, Mimi Mumm, Helen Tate.
Yours in education,
Frank D. Sánchez