January 5, 2022: RIC COVID-19 Update for Spring 2022

RIC Seal Office of the President

Dear RIC Students, Faculty and Staff,

Due to the expected rise in Omicron COVID-19 cases in mid-January, Rhode Island College will begin its spring semester as scheduled on Tuesday, January 18; however, classroom instruction will be predominately remote for the first three weeks of school. After the three weeks, when the Omicron spike is expected to have subsided, RIC will return to in-person instruction in consultation with the Rhode Island Department of Health.

I do not make this decision lightly, but it will help us protect the health of both our campus community and the state as a whole. Ninety percent of our students are commuters. We have thousands of students congregating on campus each day, then traveling to their homes and places of work in every city and town in Rhode Island. This creates tremendous exposure risk to our students, faculty, staff, their families, and the state. 

This three-week period of remote learning will also allow additional time for each student to come into compliance with our COVID-19 vaccination booster requirement, which will further assure everyone’s health and safety when we reconvene in person.

Throughout this remote period, the campus will remain open with all appropriate COVID-19 mitigations. Residence halls will be open for students choosing to return, dining will be available, select courses which cannot be effectively taught remotely will be held in-person, and athletic programs will continue. Staff are expected to report to work during this period. Please see RIC COVID UPDATE TO SPRING 2022 for additional information. 

If you have any questions or concerns you would like to discuss, we will be hosting virtual town halls next week for students, staff and faculty:

Students: Tuesday, January 11, noon-1:30 p.m.
https://ri-college.zoom.us/j/88310840125

Staff: Wednesday, January 12, 12:30-2 p.m.
https://ri-college.zoom.us/j/84130627063

Faculty: Thursday, January 13, 1:30-3 p.m.
https://ri-college.zoom.us/j/84583339911

Through your continued understanding and cooperation we have maintained the health and safety of our community and continued our academic mission. I am proud of what we have achieved together, and I certainly look forward to seeing you on campus in February.

Sincerely,

Frank D. Sánchez
President