Letter from UMN Crookston Chancellor Mary Holz-Clause
Greetings from the University of Minnesota Crookston.
We have many exciting things happening on campus as we welcome students, faculty and staff back. If you have visited campus over the past 2-3 weeks, I know that you have felt the renewed positive energy on campus as students are engaging in a more fully in-person collegiate experience.
Our first day of classes was Tuesday, August 24. First day enrollment, while unofficial until October, has fewer people on campus this year than last and online enrollment is also down from our all time high in Fall 2020. However the decline mostly is due to lagging recruitment numbers because of the limitations COVID placed on in-person recruitment events and campus visits. We believe COVID and its impact on the economy is affecting student willingness and ability to enroll. We’ve got some exciting initiatives in the hopper that we think will help us to rebound. Some of these will start as soon as January.
Do note, this is preliminary information. Official enrollment stats for all University of Minnesota campuses will be available in early October to account for late registrations and/or movement of students among colleges and campuses in the first weeks of the semester.
The number of students choosing to live on campus is just shy of 400, with more students choosing to live on campus after their first year. Over the years we have had many regional students attending UMN Crookston while concurrently completing their high school degree. To-date we have a record-setting 74 PSEO students enrolled with increases seen in both on campus and online delivery of Post Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO) credits.
We continue to closely follow state and federal guidance, public health data, science, and accompanying trends, and the best advice of the University’s own medical and public health experts. We know that even here in Crookston, many people are looking for credible information about the Covid vaccines. I encourage you to visit the “Just the Vax Facts,” “Great Questions and Some Answers,“ and the “Why and Where FAQ“ web pages with information from Jakub Tolar, the Dean of the University of Minnesota Medical School and Vice President for Clinical Affairs. The University of Minnesota System requires compliance with the Vax 2.0 program for all students including those completing courses online and those living in other states and countries. We held a vaccination clinic on campus at the Wellness Center on Thursday, Sept. 2 with 37 people choosing to get their vaccines. The clinic was part of the commitment the University holds to the health and well-being of all our students.
Students have until October 8 to complete a survey documenting that they are vaccinated. The two exemptions are a medical exemption, which requires a doctor’s signature on a UMN form, or a sincerely held religious exemption, which requires a notarized signature by the student on a UMN form. As with our other required immunizations, we will place a registration hold on the account of any students who do not comply, and we will lift the hold as soon as they are in compliance.
Employees are required to attest that they have received the COVID-19 vaccination or are testing on a regular basis if they have not received the immunization. They must do this by September 17.
Facial Covering Compliance
The UMN facial covering policy requires that all students and employees properly wear a facial covering when indoors or in an enclosed space. This is especially important given the highly contagious nature of the Delta variant and strong scientific evidence that facial coverings are highly effective in preventing the spread of Covid when worn properly.
Maroon and Gold Fridays
Maroon and Gold Fridays are back. Regal the Golden Eagle, students, faculty and/or staff will be visiting businesses on Fridays. Beginning September 2021 through April 2022. Any participating and registered Maroon and Gold business/organization wearing maroon and gold during that visit will win maroon and gold swag and even game passes to UMC Athletics games. Winners will then be entered into a drawing to win the grand prize of a $150 office party pack from a local establishment. Two office parties will be awarded one at the end of fall and spring semesters, along with maroon and gold swag. Register your business and/or organization to participate.
We are thrilled to have our campus bustling again. Ox Cart week included several events on campus. Ihope you had an opportunity to attend some of the many events celebrating retirements, the dedication of the Charles H. Casey Equine Arena, welcoming our new students back and the many activities of Ox Cart Days. Thank you to so many of you who worked very hard to make the events within the community and on campus go flawlessly.
Come visit us again soon, consider attending one or more of our athletic events, and watch for our upcoming Teambacker Tailgate on Sunday, September 11 at noon. Come cheer on our women’s soccer team and their home opener vs Michigan Technological University; game starts at 1 p.m. We will be celebrating the success of our baseball team with a short ceremony prior to the Alumni game on Saturday, September 18. We hope to see you at these events and others.
Be well and go Golden Eagles,
Chancellor Mary Holz-Clause