December 31, 2021

Dear faculty colleagues,

You will have received the announcement of additional adjustments we are instituting for the beginning of the Spring semester, chief among them the change to remote-only instruction until January 18.  

Given the extraordinarily rapid spread of the Omicron variant, we anticipate a significant wave of COVID infections within the Duke community as students return after the holidays. Although the majority of Omicron cases nationally appear to be mild for those who are fully vaccinated,  we must prepare for operational disruptions related to the mandatory isolation and/or caregiving responsibilities of many members of our community.

We also recognize that for many instructors, teaching in person while also trying to accommodate significant numbers of students in isolation, as has occurred during several periods of the pandemic, is a considerable challenge. In order to avoid the added complexities of hybrid teaching approaches whenever possible – and to ensure that all students have been thoroughly screened for COVID before attending classes in person – we will require all classes to be delivered remotely until January 18. 

Please note that Duke Learning Innovation provides many resources to support instructors shifting to remote learning, including twice-daily online open office hours January 3-7 and help via email at

Finally, I thank you for your continued commitment to our public health protocols and urge you to get your booster shot without delay if you have not already done so. Voluntary surveillance testing will again be available for vaccinated faculty and staff during the Spring semester; note that we do expect large numbers of students at testing centers for required entry testing in early January.

We will keep you apprised of emerging information as we strive to protect the health of our campus and community members and ensure continuity of campus operations. 

With best wishes,


Sally Kornbluth, Ph.D.
Provost and Jo Rae Wright University Professor

 This message has been sent to all Duke University faculty.