Wilkes University

Monday, Dec. 20, 2021

Dear Students:

We first want to thank you for all the ways that you have helped us maintain a safe and healthy campus this semester. It is your continued diligence and consideration that allows Wilkes to offer an enriching experience. As we write this message, more is being learned about the Omicron variant and the surge of Delta that we continue to experience across the country.

As you know, we are scheduled to begin our undergraduate spring semester on Jan. 18, 2022. As our region and nation face rising rates of infection, we are examining different models of reopening in a safe manner. One such model includes starting all classes, including face-to-face classes, remotely on Jan. 18 and returning for in-person classes on Jan. 31. This may help us avoid the surge of the virus that is being predicted in mid-January.

Let us be clear: a final decision has not been made. We are writing to you today so that you understand our thinking and make considerations for remote learning if deemed necessary. The Office of Technology for Teaching and Learning (OTTL) has developed resources for online learning that you may find useful. You may also contact the ITS Help Desk at 570-408-HELP (ext. 4357).

If we are required to start the academic year in a remote format, we will inform you by Jan. 7. That announcement will include all you need to know about return testing, residence halls, academics and non-athletic activities. Regardless of any shift we may need to make to face-to-face classes, academic programs held entirely online, courses currently scheduled as online and off-campus courses such as clinical placements will continue as planned.

We know that even our consideration of an online start may create some anxiety. Please know it is always our first preference to be on campus; but we also need to remain flexible as we determine the safest way to deliver on our academic promise.

We urge you to get vaccinated and receive your booster doses in the strongest of terms. It is truly the best way that we can combat this virus and remain on campus. Once received, please be sure to upload that information to our COVID-19 documentation system so we can continue to make the safest decisions for our community.

We will continue to communicate with you with the latest. Please monitor your Wilkes email during the break.

Sincerely,

Greg Cant
President

David Ward
Senior Vice President, Provost