June 10, 2021
After 15 months of working through this pandemic, I remain prouder than ever to be part of the IUPUI faculty. Our collective pivot to remote work ensured that we remained flexible and responsive to the demands of this crisis. With confidence and expertise, you have provided our students different modalities, teaching styles, and opportunities for engagement to keep them on track for graduation and success beyond their time at IUPUI. All of this work by our dedicated faculty has been immensely impressive.
I'm also proud of the number of faculty members who have been vaccinated. You are putting science and fact ahead of rumor and fear. Currently, nearly 90 percent of the IUPUI faculty have reported being fully vaccinated. Considering the Restart Committee's guidance that the vaccine will protect those inoculated against spreading or catching the virus, this vaccination rate is an even greater comfort, and we hope that staff and students follow your inspiring example.
Given all that that we have lived through, it's going to be especially important not simply to "return to normal" this fall but to double down on our collective presence to help ensure that we are able to rebuild the vibrant campus communities that we cherish and miss. We need to be present to support each other, to welcome faculty and staff who began in their roles just before the pandemic started, and—most important—to help our students connect with faculty and staff in classrooms and offices, in the hallways, outdoors, and other places for conversations and interactions that bring energy and excitement to the college experience. On very rare occasions, when it is absolutely necessary, substantial remote work by faculty may be permitted and will follow the Remote Work for Academic Appointees Policy, which has been reviewed by the IUPUI Faculty Executive Committee.
It will take our collective action and presence to ensure that our campus remains a place that welcomes all students, that encourages vital and vigorous campus life, and that makes full use of our facilities as dynamic and engaging parts of our community and of the city as a whole. Let's wash hands then join hands in person and in solidarity as we rebuild these communities that we love.
Nasser H. Paydar