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Dear Students, Faculty and Staff, 

I am certainly looking forward to the opportunity for DePauw to return to as normal as possible campus experience. Our ability to do so depends upon our commitment to the health of our entire community--our students and our co-workers. We demonstrated this strong commitment to one another over the last year-and-a-half and I am asking all of us to continue to do so.

As we prepare for the Fall semester, and after gathering input from across campus, I write with an important update regarding COVID-19 university policies for vaccinations, masking and events.

  • Faculty and staff vaccinations. As you know, earlier this year we announced that we would require students to be vaccinated. Along with global health experts, I have become increasingly concerned about the Delta variant, which is on the rise especially in rural communities like ours, and against which the current vaccines have proven effective. After careful consideration and consultation with health officials and community constituencies, DePauw will also require all employees to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination

As with the required flu vaccine, employees who have a medical or religious reason, or philosophical belief, will be exempted from this requirement, but will be required to follow the protocols outlined below. Vaccination or exemption information should be submitted by August 15th through the links below. 

I thank those of you who have already reported your status to the University and am pleased that more than half of our employees and 80 percent of our students are already vaccinated. Requiring vaccines is the best way to protect everyone’s health, including those among us who are most vulnerable to serious illness; to prevent unexpected, new clusters of the virus on campus that could result in closing campus; and to enable us to live, learn and work together with the least amount of restriction. 

Employees who have already submitted their vaccination information should update their records with the vaccine manufacturer name.

Employees who have been vaccinated but not yet submitted their vaccination information should enter their vaccine information here.

Employees looking for vaccine sites in our area can check here to locate a vaccine provider.

Employee exemptions should be submitted here.

  • Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated faculty and staff: 

    • must wear masks indoors and when around others.

    • must practice physical distancing.  

    • must be tested once per month or more frequently based on any spread on campus and in the local area.

    • must quarantine if a COVID test is positive. 

  • Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated students:

    • must wear masks indoors and when around others.

    • must practice physical distancing. 

    • are asked to test prior to arrival, participate in return to campus transition, and will be tested on the day of arrival and again throughout the term as needed, based on spread on campus and in the local area.

    • must quarantine if a COVID test is positive. 

  • Fully vaccinated individuals will:

    • no longer be required to wear masks indoors.

    • not be tested unless needed.

    • not be required to practice physical distancing.

  • Effective immediately, masking in campus buildings is now recommended but no longer required for fully vaccinated individuals. There will however, be some spaces, events and situations where masks will be required of everyone, such as:

    • when a contract for a special guest (i.e., a performing artist) requires it.

    • in our health center, as per local, state and federal recommendations.

    • for return-to-campus protocols as outlined in a previous Restart Team email.

    • when an individual requests or requires visitors to wear a mask in their own personal office or living space.

  • In August, limitations on indoor and outdoor event sizes and locations will be removed, and we will resume with the regular event policies in place prior to the pandemic, including the hosting of non-university events and removal of COVID safety plan requirements and attendance tracking. 

  • Guests are welcomed back to campus and students may visit each other in living units. Unvaccinated students must wear a mask when visiting others.

  • Quarantine and isolation spaces will be arranged for students as needed. 

In consultation with health professionals, we will continue to review thresholds for when we may need to increase or decrease mitigation efforts to keep our campus community healthy. Please respect those who choose to continue wearing masks; disposable masks will remain available throughout campus for use.   

As we transition from the summer months to the beginning of the term, DePauw is already ‘coming back to life,’ with staff and faculty preparing to welcome our new and returning students.The 2021-22 academic year will be filled with activity as we continue developing our strategic plan and make exciting plans for inauguration, Monon Bell, Ubben lectures, in person performances and many other university events.

Each of us has been affected in various ways by the pandemic and, while we are optimistic about the immediate future, we must not lose sight of the challenges many of us have faced. Let us be more gentle with ourselves and one another as we together navigate this upcoming academic year. 

Your vigilance over the last 16 months has allowed our community to remain healthy and quickly get on track towards a vibrant fall term. I am so grateful to all of you for your ongoing commitment to keeping yourselves, your families and our community safe. 

Lori S. White
President