Sept. 30, 2021

Dear MSOE Community,  

As we continue to live with a global pandemic that is ever changing, I and the MSOE Leadership Team have made the decision that students who have not provided proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Friday, Oct. 1 will be required to participate in weekly COVID-19 surveillance testing beginning Monday, Oct. 4.  

Students who are selected for the surveillance testing will receive an email from the Office of the Dean of Students with the testing instructions. Those who refuse to participate in testing will be subject to progressive disciplinary action through the Office of the Dean of Students.  

As a reminder, here are the links to upload proof of your vaccination:

A testing protocol for faculty and staff who have not provided proof of vaccination will be forthcoming.  

I also want to remind you that masks are mandatory in all public indoors spaces on campus. This includes in hallways, study areas and in the Dining Commons when you are not eating. Those who disregard this mandate also will be subject to progressive disciplinary action. If you observe individuals disregarding the mask mandate, please report students to deanofstudents@msoe.edu and employees to hr@msoe.edu.  

I thank you for your cooperation and commitment to keeping our campus healthy this year. 

Sincerely,  
John Walz

Sept. 10, 2021

Welcome back, Raiders!  

It is wonderful to see you all on campus again and I hope the first week of classes has gone well. As we kickoff the new school year, I want to share a few reminders:  

  • Masks are required in all public indoor spaces. If you are not wearing a mask, you may be asked to leave the building by MSOE faculty or staff.
    • The mask mandate includes all workout and recreation areas of the Kern Center. You must wear a mask while working out. The only exception to this is for student athletes in the field of play, as they are required to abide by enhanced protocols in accordance with NCAA and NACC guidelines.
    • The mask mandate also includes the Spitzer Dining Commons. You must wear a mask while you are not eating or drinking.
    • Eating and drinking are allowed only in designated dining areas.
  • Faculty, staff and students who have received the full vaccine dose must provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination status by uploading a copy of their vaccination card no later than Oct. 1, 2021—even if you have already reported your vaccination.

Thank you to everyone who has provided proof so far. Our dashboard will continue to show self-reported vaccinations until the Oct. 1 deadline after which the dashboard will report those who have provided proof of vaccination. For those who are not vaccinated, if you receive the first dose of your vaccine by Sept. 19, the state of Wisconsin will issue a vaccine reward of $100! Learn more at: https://100.wisconsin.gov/.  

Vaccines are readily available and accessible. See https://city.milwaukee.gov/CoronavirusResources/Covid19-Vaccination or https://www.vaccines.gov/ for more information.  

Yesterday President Biden announced a requirement for employers with 100 or more employees to ensure that their workforce is fully vaccinated or require those who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on a weekly basis. The Raider Return team will be reviewing the requirement as details are announced and what its implications are for MSOE.  

I am confident we can maintain a safe, in-person learning environment and ask you to join me in diligently wearing your masks and providing your proof of vaccination. 

Sincerely,
John Walz

Aug. 23, 2021

 Dear MSOE Community,  

The Raider Return Task Force continues to meet and plan for the safe return to campus. From the conversations I’ve had and feedback I’ve received, it’s clear that our collective goal is to be on campus for in-person learning. According to the CDC, all COVID-19 vaccinations currently authorized in the U.S. are effective against COVID-19 and substantially reduce the risks of more serious health outcomes.  

While MSOE is currently not requiring vaccinations for any faculty, staff or students, it is our goal to have as many members as possible of our community become fully vaccinated. To help us better track our progress, all faculty, staff and students who have received the full vaccine dose (two shots for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, one shot for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) must provide proof of their vaccination status by uploading a copy of their vaccination card no later than October 1, 2021—even if you have already reported your vaccination. At that time, the Raider Return Task Force and the MSOE Leadership Team will make a determination, based on our vaccination rate and the COVID case numbers in our region, whether additional protective steps are warranted. This could include required periodic testing of all faculty, staff and students who have not been fully vaccinated.  

I want to emphasize that this is not a vaccine mandate, as we fully believe that with appropriate safety precautions, we can continue to keep our community safe and offer the great in-person, hands-on instruction that is the hallmark of an MSOE education. Nonetheless, as we have clearly learned, the situation with COVID-19 can change extremely rapidly and having an accurate assessment of the vaccination status of our campus community will be a critical piece of information should additional protective measures become necessary.  

Details on the process for submitting proof of vaccination will be provided by the Dean of Students Office for students and by the Human Resources Office for faculty and staff. This information will be forthcoming soon.  

Thank you for your patience, once again, as we adapt to this continually changing situation.  

Sincerely,
John Walz

Aug. 6, 2021

I hope this message finds you well. We are about one month from the start of classes and I am looking forward to seeing everyone in person. We’ve no doubt been on a roller coaster ride for more than a year and a half and, just when we think it might be coming to an end, we’re faced with another challenge.  

With the evolution of the COVID-19 Delta variant, the CDC now considers Milwaukee County an area of high transmission. As such, the CDC and the Milwaukee Health Department recommend individuals wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status.  

MSOE is following CDC and local health department recommendations. Beginning Monday, Aug. 9, 2021 masks will be required at MSOE in public indoor settings. The MSOE Facial Covering Policy has been updated accordingly and can be found on myMSOE.edu. Please review the policy for complete details.  

Our plans to return to full, in-person learning this fall have not changed. As previously announced in spring, we will no longer accommodate requests for fully-remote undergraduate or graduate learners (with the exception of graduate programs that are offered 100% online). By taking the step to mask-up, we are hopeful we can protect our community from a significant COVID outbreak, maintain a healthy and safe environment on campus, and deliver the full collegiate experience. The CDC warns that the Delta variant is much more contagious than what we dealt with last year and wearing a mask will help mitigate its spread.  

Our COVID-19 dashboard currently shows 79% of faculty and staff and 39% of students have reported being vaccinated. It is imperative that you report your vaccination status. This data will inform our decision making as the pandemic changes. 

  • Faculty and staff should report their vaccination to hr@msoe.edu and students should use the form available at my.msoe.edu.
  • If you are not feeling well, please stay home.
  • Employees should contact HR to discuss any medical accommodation requests while students should contact the Dean of Students Office (deanofstudents@msoe.edu) for accommodation requests.  

Please visit the Raider Return website for frequently asked questions and to share your suggestions/questions.  
Sincerely,  
John Walz 

May 27, 2021

Throughout the pandemic we have closely followed the guidance put forth by the CDC, the State of Wisconsin and the Milwaukee Health Department. The CDC has announced if you are fully vaccinated you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal or local laws, rules and regulations, or business and workplace guidelines.   

The city of Milwaukee’s mask mandate and current health order will expire on Tuesday, June 1. Face masks will no longer be required for fully vaccinated individuals and restrictions on gathering sizes and capacity will be lifted.  

MSOE is following suit. Beginning June 1, masks are optional for fully vaccinated individuals on campus, and capacity limits in all of our spaces will return to normal. Masks are required for those who are not fully vaccinated. In addition, the MSOE Kern Center will return to its normal mode of operation and reopening the locker rooms. On June 15, the Kern Center will reopen to community members. Faculty, staff and students will also notice that the Rave Guardian daily wellness checks/push notifications have ended.  

We have had to adapt and respond to rapidly evolving situations for more than a year now, and I am grateful for all of your work and resilience. The changes in federal and local health guidance are encouraging and show that progress is being made. We will continue to monitor guidance from the CDC and local health departments throughout the summer and provide updates regarding our COVID-19 health and safety protocols, if needed. Our pandemic response plan and associated protocols remain at the ready should we need to implement all or a portion of them in the future. 

I would like to offer a few reminders:

  • Faculty and staff should report their vaccination to hr@msoe.edu and students should use the form available at my.msoe.edu. These metrics will remain critical to informing our decision-making as the pandemic evolves.
  • If you are not feeling well, please stay home.
  • All staff should return to their pre-COVID working arrangement by July 6.
  • Employees should contact HR to discuss any medical accommodation requests while students should contact the Dean of Students Office (deanofstudents@msoe.edu) for accommodation requests.  

Sincerely,  
John Walz

May 6, 2021

Registration for Fall 2021 is underway, and you’ll notice on the class schedule that MSOE is planning to return to normal, in-person classes for the 2021-22 academic year.  

The Leadership Team and I, along with the Raider Return Task Force, continue to plan for the fall and bringing everyone back to campus. More information will be shared as it is finalized, but I can assure you an appropriate safety plan will be in place to accommodate in-person learning. For now, I felt it was important to let you know we will be in-person so you can begin planning accordingly.   

While a limited number of undergraduate online course offerings are available, we will no longer accommodate requests for fully-remote undergraduate learners. 

As the Spring Quarter comes to an end, I want to thank you all once again for your dedication to making this academic year a success during truly unusual circumstances.

Sincerely,
John Walz