Category: Community Messages Page 2 of 17

Update on Travel for Faculty and Staff

This message was sent by email to Vice Presidents, Vice Provosts, Deans, Directors, Department Heads and Managers on April 21, 2021.

While Duke has extended its travel suspension due to the pandemic until at least August 8, effective May 2, 2021, top-level managers can grant exceptions for domestic travel by employees for those who are on record with Employee and Occupational Health and Wellness (EOHW) as fully vaccinated, or have an accepted medical or religious exemption on file, and for whom the travel is necessary and reasonable, meeting the criteria listed within the policy addendum.

Please note the following:

  • All Duke supported travel by Undergraduates (whether domestic or international) is suspended until August 8, with rare exceptions granted by the Provost.

  • Graduate/Professional Student travel continues to be suspended with exceptions for essential travel approved by Top-Level Manager(s);

  • All Duke supported travel should be managed carefully given Duke/Duke Health budget reductions in effect until July 1, 2022; and

  • All Duke supported travel must be entered into the Duke TravelRegistry.

Definitions as to what constitutes domestic travel, who top-level managers are and how one’s vaccination records can be put on file with Duke’s EOHW are included within the Travel Policy and Addendum for Travelamidst COVID-19, online at https://travel.duke.edu/travel-policy-and-covid-19-addendum.

Testing Update: April 12 – 18, 2021

Duke University’s comprehensive COVID-19 testing and contact tracing program administered 18,504 tests to 9,951 students and 2,190 tests to 1,125 faculty/staff for the period April 12-18, with a total of 26 positive results. The total positivity rate was 0.13 percent.

The full announcement of testing results is posted to Duke Today.

Testing data is also available on our Testing Tracker, which is updated every Tuesday.

Student Conduct Updates, April 15

The message is being sent to all Duke undergraduate students.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Dear students,

We are writing to share the April COVID conduct and compliance update. We are now less than two weeks away from the last day of classes, and we know it’s taken a tremendous effort to get through this semester and this year. We are so proud of the ways you all have come together and supported each other, while rising above extraordinary challenges. 

We are so close—keep following all health and safety guidelines, keep following the Duke Compact and COVID policies and expectations, and let’s help make sure our seniors get to have commencement, and that all of us get to finish out the semester as we’ve planned.  

COMPLIANCE AND CONDUCT UPDATES

As we have throughout the year, we are providing a monthly update to share aggregate data around conduct outcomes for individual students and student organizations found responsible for any violations of COVID and Duke Compact-related expectations. As you know, we follow up on all reports of on- or off-campus conduct and investigate to determine any student responsibility. 

For the period from the start of the term through Friday, April 9, we can provide an aggregate overview of following categories of conduct sanctions:

  • 146 students referred for educational interventions for less severe infractions of the Duke Compact — these outcomes are not part of a student’s disciplinary record.

  • Sanctions for COVID-related violations are implemented by either the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards or Housing and Residence Life. 187 sanctions have been issued this spring to students (total number of sanctions does not equal total number of students; in other words, one student could receive multiple sanctions). These actions, which include suspensions for an upcoming semester, formal warnings, disciplinary probation, withdrawal of campus privileges, and educational initiatives, may become a part of the student’s conduct record and in some cases reportable to graduate schools, study away programs, employers, and other university programs in which a student’s disciplinary record may be a factor in participation. 

  • 2 campus organizations currently on suspension for COVID-related infractions; this status carries over from the Fall 2020 semester in both cases. (Note: this does not include organizations disaffiliated with the University.)

Administrative Action Review Panels are held to determine if allegations of flagrant violations of COVID policy expectations and the Duke Compact could result in interim measures to preserve the health, safety, and welfare of the Duke and Durham community, pending the conduct process.

  • 11 students have had cases this semester addressed through Administrative Action Review Panels. Examples of flagrant violations include: hosting gatherings, failing to follow quarantine and isolation protocols to protect fellow students, and repeated violations of COVID expectations. (Note: individuals affiliated with unrecognized student organizations and who host organizational events are accountable as individuals, not as part of an unrecognized group.) As in Fall 2020, interim measures have included loss of campus privileges, interim suspensions, and other interim restrictions.

We will provide the next update in mid-May, and OSCCS will report aggregate conduct outcomes for the 2020-21 academic year in August 2021.

EAST CAMPUS INCIDENT UPDATE

Following the incident on East Campus on March 20, the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (OSCCS), Office for Institutional Equity, and DUPD launched an investigation of this incident to determine if more could be learned about the circumstances surrounding this incident. The investigation included an audit/review of any nearby security camera footage, interviews with residents of the building and witnesses, as well as review of all reported information and tips. 

To date, no responsible students have been identified through the investigation; however, the investigation is on-going and has not concluded. Anyone who has any information related to this incident can report it here. If Duke students are found to be responsible for a policy violation related to this incident, the OSCCS will issue sanctions to the responsible student(s). Any incident that is motivated in whole or part by an individual’s race, warrants “acceleration” or elevation of sanctioning. Any conduct process will be confidential under FERPA, but OSCCS will report aggregate conduct outcomes for the 2020-21 academic year in August 2021.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

We are in the season of final examinations, projects, and end-of-year assessments. 

Do your own work and follow faculty guidance carefully in each of your courses.

If you are experiencing challenges in your coursework, please reach out to your faculty member as soon as possible to seek assistance. There are also additional campus resources, such as the Academic Resource Center and the Thompson Writing Center, that can help through tutoring, time management, developing skills and strategies for writing essays and papers.

We would like to remind students that academic dishonesty is a violation of the Duke Community Standard. All reports are carefully reviewed and adjudicated; students found responsible for serious violations of academic integrity will also face sanctions of disciplinary probation or suspension from Duke. 

LET’S FINISH STRONG
We’ve said it before, and we will say it again—thank you for everything each of you continues to do to make sure we can finish out the semester strong, safe, and healthy. Your fellow students, all of us here at Duke, and the Duke and Durham communities appreciate it.

Thank you and go Duke,

John Blackshear
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Jeanna McCullers
Senior Associate Dean & Director,
Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards

Testing Update: April 5 – 11, 2021

Duke University’s comprehensive COVID-19 testing and contact tracing program administered 18,727 tests to 10,016 students and 2,213 tests to 1,154 faculty/staff for the period April 5-11, 2021, with a total of 39 positive results. The total positivity rate was 0.19 percent.

The full announcement of testing results is posted to Duke Today.

Testing data is also available on our Testing Tracker, which is updated every Tuesday.

Vaccination Requirements for Fall Semester

April 9, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

As you all know, the success of our pandemic response has relied on a number of different approaches for combating COVID-19—social distancing and de-densification, enhanced cleaning and controlled facilities access, restrictions on visitors and events, and the expectations outlined in the Duke Compact.

This spring, we have added a powerful new weapon to our quiver: three safe and effective vaccines, which are proven to significantly reduce COVID-19 transmission and the risk of serious illness when the disease is contracted. Duke research played an important role in the development of these vaccines, and we are committed to leading the way in vaccine access for students and employees.

Looking ahead, we know that widespread vaccination will be the only way to facilitate a return to normal and robust campus life.

With this in mind, we plan to require all new and returning Duke students to present proof of vaccination to Student Health before they can enroll for the Fall 2021 semester. This policy will cover all undergraduate, graduate, and professional students—in all degree programs—who intend to be on the Duke campus for any period of time starting with the Fall 2021 semester. Documented medical and religious exemptions will be accommodated.

We have offered every current Duke student and employee the opportunity to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Those students and employees who have not yet received a vaccination from Duke are urged to schedule an appointment as soon as possible through the message you received earlier. We cannot guarantee that our supply of vaccines will continue at the same rate; if you miss this opportunity, you will have to obtain a vaccination from another health care provider or a public health agency and provide confirmation to Student Health.

The past fourteen months have been among the most difficult and exhausting in our university’s history. Under great stress, and often at great peril, we have remained committed to each other—and to our missions of discovery, research, and patient care. Today, I ask you to join me in taking the next step toward ensuring the safety and vitality of our university community.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment and flexibility. I am so very proud to call you fellow members of the Duke family.

Vincent E. Price
President
This message has been sent to all Duke students, faculty and staff..

Testing Update: March 29-April 4, 2021

Duke University’s comprehensive COVID-19 testing and contact tracing program administered 18,972 tests to 9,417 students and 2,299 tests to 1,177 faculty/staff for the period March 29-April 4, 2021, with a total of 30 positive results. The total positivity rate was 0.14 percent.

Over the past three weeks, the number of positive tests among Duke students has declined from a high of 218 (for the week ending March 14) to 15 this past week. In addition, all Duke students, faculty and staff have now been offered the opportunity to get the COVD-19 vaccine.

The full announcement of testing results is posted to Duke Today.

Testing data is also available on our Testing Tracker, which is updated every Tuesday.

Testing Update: March 22-28, 2021

Duke University’s comprehensive COVID-19 testing and contact tracing program administered 19,448 tests to 9,944 students and 2,495 tests to 1,329 faculty/staff for the period March 22-28 2021, with a total of 43 positive results. The total positivity rate was 0.20 percent.

This represents a significant decline in positive cases among students from last week.

The full announcement of testing results is posted to Duke Today.

Testing data is also available on our Testing Tracker, which is updated every Tuesday.

East Campus Union Closed Until Further Notice

The message is being sent to all Duke undergraduate students.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Dear students,

We are writing to update you on East Campus Marketplace and Trinity Café hours. Several positive COVID cases have recently been identified among the Marketplace dining staff. As a safety precaution, all of East Campus Union, including Marketplace and Trinity Café, will be closed until further notice. Duke’s Employee Health team is in the process of contact tracing and investigating those cases right now. The information collected so far indicates transmission occurred between employees who have been in close contact with one another.

Other dining options are being made available for students, and we hope to reopen East Campus Union as soon as it is advisable to do so.

In the meantime, the Duke Dining team is working on a number of alternatives for students on Meal Plan I:

  • Now: All students’ Board swipe values have been automatically transitioned to food points, which can be used at any Duke Dining venue, including Merchants On Points. These points are now available to all students.
  • Beginning Monday: Duke Dining will begin offering hot, catered meal options for both breakfast and dinner beginning with breakfast on Monday, March 29. All meals will be prepared in a separate kitchen facility nearby and available for pick-up from East Campus Union.
  • Beginning Monday: Duke Dining will be offering rotating food truck options for dinner each night in the circle in front of East Campus Union. Please see the Dining Food Truck Calendar for trucks and times. This will begin at dinner on Monday.

Please be sure to keep checking the Duke Dining website as well as follow Duke Dining on Instagram for the food truck schedule, menu options for catered meals, and other continued updates. As always, Duke Dining is committed to offering a wide range of healthy, delicious options for our students while keeping the health and safety of both our students and team members at the forefront.

Thank you for your flexibility. We hope to reopen Marketplace as soon as it is advisable to do so, and will keep you updated.

Sincerely,
Student Affairs 

Testing Update: March 15-21, 2021

Duke University’s comprehensive COVID-19 testing and contact tracing program administered 20,018 tests to 9,729 students and 2,437 tests to 1,246 faculty/staff for the period March 15-21 2021, with a total of 78 positive results. The total positivity rate was 0.35 percent.

This represents a significant decline from last week. The downward trend allowed the university to lift most of the restrictions that were part of the “Stay in Place” order for undergraduate students which began March 13 at midnight and ended at 9 a.m. March 21.

The full announcement of testing results is posted to Duke Today.

Testing data is also available on our Testing Tracker, which is updated every Tuesday.

Update on Stay-In-Place sent to Faculty, Staff, and Graduate & Professional Students

This message is being sent to all Duke faculty, staff and graduate and professional students.

March 20, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

Please see the message below that was just sent to all undergraduate students.  Based on the decline in positive COVID tests and the continued low rates among graduate and professional students, we have decided to lift the stay-in-place guidance as planned effective 9:00 AM Sunday. Therefore, beginning Monday morning, all classes will return to their Spring 2021 delivery mode, so please plan accordingly.

We will continue to closely monitor testing results and trends and will be prepared to insitute another pause in activities should there be another surge.   In addition, off-campus undergraduate students will only be permitted access to campus for classes, other academic purposes and essential services.

Thank you for the rapid and successful modifications that you all made to continue our teaching mission and student support during this past week. We greatly appreciate it and look forward to working with you and our students to protect the health and safety of our community.

Sincerely,

Sally Kornbluth
Provost

Kyle Cavanaugh
Vice President for Administration

This message was followed by the full text of the message sent to undergraduate students earlier in the day. That message can be found here: https://coronavirus.duke.edu/2021/03/update-on-stay-in-place/

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