July 26, 2021
To the Tuck Community:
Two weeks from today, Tuck Launch commences and our School will officially welcome the Class of 2023 to campus. A mere month thereafter, the Class of 2022 reconvenes for the start of their second-year fall term. This year marks exciting new beginnings for each class—and for all of us staff and faculty colleagues. For the first time in nearly 18 months, we aspire to come together primarily in person.
At the onset of the pandemic, we established five principles to guide how we would live our School’s mission while playing our part to support public health. One of these principles has been to transition back to our distinct in-person learning community as soon as safely possible. Central to this possibility is vaccinations.
As Dartmouth leadership announced months ago, all students, faculty, and staff are required to be fully vaccinated. In terms of COVID-19, fully vaccinated means you must be 14 days past the second dose in a two-dose series vaccine or 14 days past one dose in a single-dose series vaccine that has received full approval or emergency use authorization by the FDA or full approval or emergency use listing by the World Health Organization. Students must submit proof of vaccination to Dartmouth College Health Service’s medical records team, complete an information consent form through their Health Portal, and maintain compliance with the College’s Graduate Student Health Requirements. We encourage Tuck students to do all this as soon as possible. Employees must complete an online form through Axiom Medical no later than September 1.
Another of our guiding principles – consideration of the diversity of individual experiences, needs, and concerns – is particularly pertinent as we begin this school year. Members of our community may hold markedly different perspectives about where we now find ourselves. Some of us may have enjoyed easy access to vaccines and quickly resumed activities of pre-pandemic life. Some of us may have persistent health concerns or feelings of trepidation about increased in-person interactions, even with vaccinations. Some of us may be joining our community from regions of the country or the globe where vaccine availability or uptake has been more challenging. Indeed, for some, their first opportunity to get vaccinated may be upon arrival to the Upper Valley.
We are all at our own points in processing this global-health crisis, and we are all making our own risk-assessment calculations in how we engage with the world at this time. Empathy and respect for one another’s circumstances and decisions will be key to our collective success, above and beyond continuing to adhere to public-health guidelines and regulations.
Per College policy, individuals who are not fully vaccinated, either because they have an official exemption from the College or are in the latency period of a vaccine dose prior to its official date of full effectiveness, will be required to continue masking when indoors. Partially vaccinated individuals will also be required to practice social distancing and participate in COVID testing twice per week until they are fully vaccinated. In this context, it should be recognized that there may be fully vaccinated members of our community who choose—for entirely appropriate personal reasons—to use face coverings or to maintain social distancing in certain settings.
As we resume our in-person learning, access to Tuck classrooms for classes with faculty and students will be limited to those students who are fully vaccinated or who have an official exemption from the College. Students who are completing their vaccine regimen but are not yet fully vaccinated will not be present in densely populated spaces in which they are unable to physically distance. The MBA Program Office will work closely with any students who are completing their vaccine regimen to guide them in knowing which spaces they should or should not be present in and in knowing the alternative places and ways in which they can participate in curricular and co-curricular events until they are fully vaccinated.
Above and beyond vaccinations, safely transitioning back to our distinct in-person learning community will continue to entail actions such as enhanced ventilation and cleaning of our spaces. And playing our Tuck part for public health will mean complying with Dartmouth Community Expectations for the 2021-2022 academic year and with any changes in College policies that might arise.
The start of every academic year always holds such great promise. I am confident that our unrivaled Tuck community can rise to the occasion in creating personal, connected, and transformative experiences while still playing our part for public health. I look forward to seeing everyone around our halls soon.
Dartmouth has formed a high-level task force to plan for and manage possible disruptions related to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, monitor federal and state recommendations, implement guidance, and communicate with our community.