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Health and Safety

 

Together, we can slow the spread of COVID-19.

In the face of extreme challenges, our community is resilient. Our students and faculty and staff have stepped up. We adapt. We innovate. We lift each other up. That’s who we are. And we’re not done yet.

Our community and our world need us now more than ever. They need our desire for knowledge. Our tenacity to solve problems. They need our compassion and our care. We are willing to sacrifice for the greater good, to step up and put “we” before “me.” That’s the Vanderbilt Way.

It’s up to each of us to help protect our community. Anchor Down. Step Up. Together, we can slow the spread of COVID-19.

YOUR COMMITMENT: MASK UP. BACK UP. WASH UP. CHECK UP.


Find answers to the most asked questions about Return to Campus

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Consistent with our student vaccine requirement, all Vanderbilt University-employed faculty, staff and postdoctoral fellows will be required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 for the 2021–22 academic school year.

Faculty vaccination requirement

All full-time and part-time Vanderbilt University-employed faculty are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for the 2021–22 academic school year. All faculty, including those who received their vaccine from Occupational Health, VUMC or a VUMC clinic, must submit their vaccination record using the vaccine tracker submission form by July 31.  

Faculty who seek an exemption from the vaccination requirement as a medical or religious accommodation must submit a request for accommodation to the Equal Opportunity and Access office as soon as possible. To support timely processing, accommodation requests should be submitted by June 15.

Faculty who have not submitted confirmation of vaccination and who do not have an approved or in-process request for exemption/accommodation by July 31 will be subject to appropriate Faculty Manual processes, including disciplinary actions. 

Staff and postdoctoral fellow vaccination requirement

All Vanderbilt University-employed staff—which includes full time, part time, flex and temporary—and all VU-employed postdocs are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for the 2021–22 academic school year. Staff and postdocs, including those who received their vaccine from Occupational Health, VUMC or a VUMC clinic, must submit their vaccination record using the vaccine tracker submission form by July 31. This requirement applies regardless of whether staff are working on campus or remotely, now or in the future.

Staff and postdocs who decide to seek an exemption from the vaccination requirement as a medical or religious accommodation must submit a request for accommodation to the Equal Opportunity and Access office as soon as possible. To support timely processing, accommodation requests should be submitted by June 15.

Vaccination and submission of vaccination records (or an approved or in-process request for accommodation) by July 31 for staff and postdocs is a condition of employment. Supervisors will be notified of those not in compliance, and the university will take appropriate disciplinary action, which will include termination of employment.

We encourage you to submit your  vaccination record. If you encounter issues with uploads, please contact the  Public Health Central Command Center. 

Until the deadline by which all staff, faculty and postdocs must be vaccinated (or have an approved exemption/accommodation), staff and faculty who have not yet been vaccinated should continue following CDC guidance for individuals not fully vaccinated, which includes continued masking and physical distancing from others at all times when indoors—and masking when outdoors if physical distancing cannot be maintained.

COVID-19 Vaccines

COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to be  safe and effective  at preventing infection by the virus, and experts believe getting the vaccine prevents serious illness and reduces potential transmission to others even if you do get infected. The rapid development and expansion of the vaccine is an unprecedented achievement in the history of medicine and is one in which scientists and clinicians at Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center  played  leading roles. This underscores the power of our university’s relentless pursuit of innovation and our mission to be of service to our community.   

Faculty, staff and postdocs who have not yet received their vaccination may visit the free walk-up vaccination clinics taking place on campus in June and July or may find a vaccination site elsewhere in the community.  

The on-campus clinics are scheduled for June 9 and 16, 2–4 p.m. at the School of Nursing and June 10 and 17, 7–9 a.m. at the David Williams II Recreation and Wellness Center for first doses. Second doses are scheduled for July 7 and 14, 2–4 p.m. at the School of Nursing and July 8 and 15, 7–9 a.m. at the David Williams II Recreation and Wellness Center. 

Additional FAQ

Which vaccines are approved?

All World Health Organization-authorized vaccines are acceptable; Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson are included.

I received a vaccine, but it is not WHO approved. What should I do?

The university is accepting all World Health Organization authorized vaccines. The WHO continues to update decisions on vaccines routinely. We would recommend reviewing the WHO website for information regarding the vaccine you received and if it’s to be approved in the future. If the vaccine you have received may be approved soon, we would recommend waiting to submit your records until such time. Once approved, the vaccine tracker portal will include an option for that vaccine. If the vaccine you have received will not be approved in advance of the vaccine submittal deadline, we would recommend getting a WHO approved vaccine wherever you are located.

Am I required to get vaccinated if I’ve had COVID-19?

Yes. In line with CDC recommendations, Vanderbilt University requires all faculty, staff and postdoctoral fellows to be vaccinated, including those who have previously tested positive for COVID-19. 

I received my vaccination at VUMC/Student Health/Occupational Health, do I need to submit my record to VU?

Yes, you will still need to submit your record to the university even if you received your vaccination at Student Health, Occupational Health, VUMC or a VUMC clinic. VUMC (which includes Student Health and Occupational Health) does not automatically share your medical record with VU.  

How do I submit my vaccination record? 

Vanderbilt students, faculty, postdoctoral fellows and staff should submit their vaccination records to the Public Health Command Center using a password-protected, self-service portal. To submit a vaccination record, please visit the following link. 

What is needed to submit a vaccination record? What if I lost my vaccination card?

A picture or screenshot of the vaccination card, documentation, or an online medical record showing the dates of the vaccine doses is needed. If you were vaccinated at VUMC or another medical provider, we can accept a screenshot of your vaccination record in MyHealth at Vanderbilt or from another medical provider’s online system.  Otherwise, you will need to contact the location in which you received your vaccine to obtain some form of documentation that shows your name and dates of the vaccine dose(s).

I am having trouble entering my vaccination information into the tracker/system. (Any questions regarding how they can only enter one dose or can’t upload an image, etc.) 

Email the Command Center at commandcenter@vanderbilt.edu if any problems are encountered submitting vaccination information to the system.  Include a picture or screenshot of the vaccination card, documentation, or an online medical record showing the dates of the vaccine doses and they will assist you behind the scenes. 

For VUMC employed postdocs, staff or faculty that say they cannot enter their vaccination records into the vaccine portal.

The VU vaccination tracker system only accepts information for those that are VU employees as it is tied to the VU Oracle/SkyVU system. It does not accept information from those that are VUMC employees. For staff and postdoctoral fellows, the vaccination drawing is also only available to those that are VU employees and not VUMC employees. If you are a VU employee and continue to have trouble with the system, please contact the command center at commandcenter@vanderbilt.edu .

Questions regarding submitting vaccine information in other languages and whether that is allowed 

A picture or screenshot of the vaccination card, documentation, or an online medical record showing the dates of the vaccine doses is needed. Individuals can submit official documentation of the vaccination in whatever form provided in their country as long as it shows the person’s name clearly in English, the manufacturer and date of each vaccine dose.  While records in English are preferred, the Command Center will accept other languages as long as the name is in English and it clearly shows the manufacturer and date of each dose.

Do I need to test in the asymptomatic testing program if vaccinated? (FOR SUMMER 2021 TESTING)

Individuals who have been vaccinated are exempted from the summer testing program beginning two weeks after their vaccination series is complete or two weeks after the single dose for single dose versions — ONLY if the person submits their vaccination records to the Public Health Command Center.  To submit the vaccination record, please visit the following link. A picture or screenshot of the vaccination card, documentation, or an online medical record showing the dates of the vaccine doses is needed. Email the Command Center at commandcenter@vanderbilt.edu if any problems are encountered submitting vaccination information to the system.  Individuals who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear a mask and main physical distancing from others at all times when indoors – and when outdoors if physical distancing cannot be maintained.  This is the case even if the individual is participating in the asymptomatic testing program this summer. 

Do I need to quarantine as a close contact if I have been vaccinated?   

Individuals who have been vaccinated will no longer need to quarantine if they are identified as a close contact and their last exposure to a positive person was later than two weeks after their vaccination (the second of two doses for two-dose vaccines, or the single dose for one-dose vaccines) is complete.  The vaccinated person is exempt from quarantine from the two week mark ONLY if they submit their vaccination records to the Public Health Command Center.  To submit the vaccination record, please visit the following link. A picture or screenshot of the vaccination card, documentation, or an online medical record showing the dates of the vaccine doses is needed. Email the Command Center at commandcenter@vanderbilt.edu if any problems are encountered submitting vaccination information to the system.  

What is the deadline for submitting my vaccine record?

The deadline for faculty, staff and postdoctoral fellows to submit their full vaccination record is July 31, 2021. 

What will happen if I do not submit my vaccination record?

Vaccination and submission of vaccination records (or an approved or in-process request for accommodation) by July 31 for staff and postdocs is a condition of employment. Supervisors will be notified of those not in compliance, and you will be subject to termination of employment.

Faculty who have not submitted confirmation of vaccination and who do not have an approved or in-process request for exemption/accommodation by July 31 will be subject to appropriate Faculty Manual processes including disciplinary actions. 

I work off campus (am remote).  Do I need to meet the requirement?

This requirement applies regardless of whether staff are working on campus or remotely, now or in the future and/or if you are currently in a leave status. 

Can I continue to work from home if I choose not to get vaccinated?

Staff currently working remotely may continue to do so at this time. However, all Vanderbilt University-employed staff, which includes full time, part time, flex, and temporary, are required to be fully vaccinated (or have an approved or in-process request for accommodation) by July 31. This requirement applies regardless of whether staff are working on campus or remotely, now or in the future and/or if you are currently in a leave status. Submission of vaccination records (or an approved or in-process request for accommodation) by July 31 for staff is a condition of employment. Supervisors will be notified of those not in compliance, and you will be subject to termination of employment. 

Will new employees have to show a card before they can start? 

Proof of full vaccination or an approved accommodation is required before the start of employment in order to work at Vanderbilt University.

How do I submit an accommodation?

Faculty, staff and postdoctoral fellows who believe they require an exemption from the vaccination requirement as a medical or religious accommodation must submit a request for accommodation to the Equal Opportunity and Access office. 

 

Following revised  CDC recommendations  indicating that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks or physically distance, we are updating many protocols.

Fully vaccinated peopleindividuals two weeks past their second dose in a two-dose vaccine such as Pfizer or Moderna, or two weeks past their single-dose of Johnson & Johnsonno longer need to wear a face mask/covering in any setting on campus,indoors or outdoors, or maintain physical distancing from other fully vaccinated people.  

People who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear a mask and maintain physical distancing from others at all times when indoorsand when outdoors if physical distancing cannot be maintained. 

The university expects that many members of our campus community will continue to wear face masks/coverings, and the university supports their choice to do so. People who choose to wear masks should not be questioned about them, nor should they be discouraged or prohibited from wearing them.  

Faculty and staff who believe they require a workplace accommodation in light of this change in protocol are encouraged to contact the Equal Opportunity and Access officeStudents who believe they require an accommodation are encouraged to contact Student Access. 

Other Scenarios

Staff breakrooms and shared eating areas can reopen in keeping with CDC protocols. Those fully vaccinated can eat in shared spaces while those not vaccinated should maintain physical distancing.

New and returning students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for the 2021–22 academic school year. The requirement applies to all undergraduate,  graduate  and professional students this fall, and it will be handled in a manner consistent with other university policies governing student vaccine requirements.

Students can request accommodations for medical exemptions through the Student Access office and religious exemptions through the Equal Opportunity and Access office

Students must submit their vaccination record through the university’s vaccine tracker submission form, including those who received their vaccine from Student Health, VUMC or a VUMC clinic, no later than Friday, August 6. A hold will be placed on a student’s course registration until the vaccination record has been verified unless they have an approved (or in-process request for) accommodation. Non-compliant international students with the hold will receive a survey from the ISSS office to determine their status.

International students 

If a World Health Organization approved COVID-19 vaccination is not available in a student’s home country before returning to campus, the student will be able to receive a vaccination and a COVID-19 test once they arrive on campus. Consistent with CDC guidance, they should only perform essential activities, mask and physical distance for seven days after travel.  

International students can request accommodations for medical exemptions through the Student Access office and religious exemptions through the Equal Opportunity and Access office

More information about receiving a COVID-19 vaccination and other requirements upon arriving to campus will be shared directly with international students this summer. 

COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to be  safe and effective  at preventing infection by the virus, and experts believe getting the vaccine prevents serious illness and reduces potential transmission to others even if you do get infected. The rapid development and expansion of the vaccine is an unprecedented achievement in the history of medicine and is one in which scientists and clinicians at Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center  played  leading roles. This underscores the power of our university’s relentless pursuit of innovation and our mission to be of service to our community.   

In partnership with VUMC, the university has worked to offer students, faculty and staff ongoing opportunities to receive the vaccine, including making appointments available to all students beginning in mid-April. The Student Health Center has also announced that it will offer the  Johnson & Johnson  vaccine beginning Monday, May 24, by appointment only. Students staying in Nashville for the summer are encouraged to call Student Health at 615-322-2427 to schedule an appointment. Time slots will be available 1–3 p.m. Mondays and 9–11 a.m. Thursdays. All World Health Organization-authorized vaccines will be acceptable; Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson are included. Information will be provided for international students with difficulty accessing vaccines in their home country before they come to campus this fall.   

Additional FAQ

Which vaccines are approved?

All World Health Organization-authorized vaccines are acceptable; Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson are included.

Am I required to get vaccinated if I’ve had COVID-19?

Yes. In line with CDC recommendations, Vanderbilt University requires all students to be vaccinated, including those who have previously tested positive for COVID-19.

How do I submit my vaccination record?

Vanderbilt students, faculty, postdoctoral fellows and staff should submit their vaccination records to the Public Health Command Center using a password-protected, self-service portal. To submit a vaccination record, please visit the following link.

I received my vaccination at VUMC/Student Health/Occupational Health, do I need to submit my record to VU?

Yes, you will still need to submit your record to the university even if you received your vaccination at Student Health, Occupational Health, VUMC or a VUMC clinic. VUMC (which includes Student Health and Occupational Health) does not automatically share your medical record with VU.

What is needed to submit a vaccination record? What do I do if I lost my vaccine card?

A picture or screenshot of the vaccination card, documentation, or an online medical record showing the dates of the vaccine doses is needed. If you were vaccinated at VUMC or another medical provider, we can accept a screenshot of your vaccination record in MyHealth at Vanderbilt or from another medical provider’s online system.  Otherwise, you will need to contact the location in which you received your vaccine to obtain some form of documentation that shows your name and dates of the vaccine dose(s). You are welcome to upload documentation directly into the vaccine portal at the following link or you can email it to commandcenter@vanderbilt.edu and they can add it for you.

I am having trouble entering my vaccination information into the tracker/system. (Any questions regarding how they can only enter one dose or can’t upload an image, etc.)

Email the Command Center at commandcenter@vanderbilt.edu if any problems are encountered submitting vaccination information to the system.  Include a picture or screenshot of the vaccination card, documentation, or an online medical record showing the dates of the vaccine doses and they will assist you behind the scenes.

Do I need to test in the asymptomatic testing program if vaccinated? (FOR SUMMER 2021 TESTING)

Individuals who have been vaccinated are exempted from the summer testing program beginning two weeks after their vaccination series is complete or two weeks after the single dose for single dose versions — ONLY if the person submits their vaccination records to the Public Health Command Center.  To submit the vaccination record, please visit the following  link. A picture or screenshot of the vaccination card, documentation, or an online medical record showing the dates of the vaccine doses is needed. Email the Command Center at commandcenter@vanderbilt.edu if any problems are encountered submitting vaccination information to the system.  Individuals who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear a mask and main physical distancing from others at all times when indoors – and when outdoors if physical distancing cannot be maintained.  This is the case even if the individual is participating in the asymptomatic testing program this summer. 

Do I need to quarantine as a close contact if I have been vaccinated?   

Individuals who have been vaccinated will no longer need to quarantine if they are identified as a close contact and their last exposure to a positive person was later than two weeks after their vaccination (the second of two doses for two-dose vaccines, or the single dose for one-dose vaccines) is complete.  The vaccinated person is exempt from quarantine from the two week mark ONLY if they submit their vaccination records to the Public Health Command Center.  To submit the vaccination record, please visit the following  link. A picture or screenshot of the vaccination card, documentation, or an online medical record showing the dates of the vaccine doses is needed. Email the Command Center at  commandcenter@vanderbilt.edu  if any problems are encountered submitting vaccination information to the system.  

For international students – I have not been vaccinated yet and do not have access to a WHO approved vaccine in my home country.  What are my options for vaccination upon arrival?  Should I consider obtaining a non-WHO approved vaccine in my country and then a WHO approved upon arrival?

The Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine will be available through Student Health when international students arrive in Nashville.

It is not necessary for international students to arrive early for their vaccination. Those living in on-campus housing can contact OHARE with any questions regarding their move in.

Consistent with CDC guidance, international students should only perform essential activities, and continue to mask and physically distance for seven days following international travel. Essential activities include activities such as picking up food, fulfilling academic obligations, mandatory orientation activities, and visiting Student Health for their vaccination.

Students interested in receiving the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine at Student Health can call the Student Health Center at (615) 322-2427 to speak with one of their nurse managers to schedule an appointment.

Students who prefer to receive Pfizer or Moderna, can schedule to receive Pfizer at VUMC as a VUMC patient. To do so, visit the following page and click on either “current patients” if you have a myHealth account or “general public” if you need to set up a myHealth account. You can also call 888-312-0847. You can also receive Pfizer or Moderna at Metro Nashville or other community locations. More information is provided at https://www.asafenashville.org/ (for vaccination through Metro Nashville Public Health) and at https://www.vaccines.gov/ (for vaccines at other community locations).  

For international students – I do not have access to a WHO approved vaccine and am trying to determine how to handle

The university accepts all World Health Organization (WHO) authorized vaccines.  The WHO continues to update decisions on vaccines routinely and will continue to do so in the future. You can find more details here and on the main WHO website: https://www.who.int/.  

If the vaccine available to you may be approved soon, we would recommend waiting to submit your records once it is approved.  Once approved, the vaccine tracker portal will include an option for that vaccine.

If the vaccine available to you will not be approved in advance of the vaccine submittal deadline, we would recommend getting a WHO approved vaccine wherever you are located or doing so upon arrival in Nashville (if you are currently out of the country and one is not available to you).

If you are considering getting a non-WHO approved vaccine at your current location and following up with a WHO approved after arrival, we would first recommend that you consult with your local healthcare provider to get their perspective on mixing two different vaccines before making a decision.

The Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine will be available through Student Health when international students arrive in Nashville and is an option for you. Students who receive the one-dose vaccine at Student Health upon arrival will be considered in compliance with the vaccination requirement. Students interested in receiving the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine at Student Health can call the Student Health Center at (615) 322-2427 to speak with one of their nurse managers to schedule an appointment.

For international students – I have already received a non-WHO approved vaccine in my home country and my healthcare provider has advised that I wait a period of time before receiving a WHO approved vaccine.  What should I do?

You may consider applying through the medical accommodation process to seek an accommodation until such time that either the vaccine you received becomes WHO approved or the waiting period recommended by your doctor concludes and you can be revaccinated with a WHO-approved vaccine. Students can apply for medical accommodation through Student Access at the following link: https://www.vanderbilt.edu/student-access/how_to/get_accommodations/index.php.  Faculty, staff and postdoctoral fellows can apply through the Equal Opportunity and Access office.

For international students – I have access to Pfizer or Moderna in my home country.  However, I will only be able to receive one dose prior to arrival.  What should I do?

If you have received one dose of a two dose vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) before arriving in the United States, you have a few options to consider when arriving in the United States.  You can schedule a second dose of Pfizer at VUMC as a VUMC patient. To do so, visit the following page and click on either “current patients” if you have a myHealth account or “general public” if you need to set up a myHealth account. You can also call 888-312-0847. You can also receive a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna at Metro Nashville or other community locations. More information is provided at https://www.asafenashville.org/ (for vaccination through Metro Nashville Public Health) and at https://www.vaccines.gov/ (for vaccines at other community locations). Consistent with CDC guidance, international students should only perform essential activities, and continue to mask and physically distance for seven days following international travel. Essential activities include activities such as picking up food, fulfilling academic obligations, participating in mandatory orientation activities, and receiving their vaccination.

I understand Student Health will offer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine; however, I prefer to receive Pfizer or Moderna.  Do you have those options?

If you prefer to receive Pfizer or Moderna versus receiving the Johnson and Johnson at Student Health, you can schedule to receive Pfizer at VUMC as a VUMC patient. To do so, visit the following page and click on either “current patients” if you have a myHealth account or “general public” if you need to set up a myHealth account. You can also call 888-312-0847. You can also receive Pfizer or Moderna at Metro Nashville or other community locations. More information is provided at https://www.asafenashville.org/ (for vaccination through Metro Nashville Public Health) and at https://www.vaccines.gov/ (for vaccines at other community locations). Consistent with CDC guidance, international students should only perform essential activities, and continue to mask and physically distance for seven days following international travel. Essential activities include activities such as picking up food, fulfilling academic obligations, participating in mandatory orientation activities, and receiving their vaccination.

My vaccination information/card is in a language other than English.  Do you accept records in other languages?

A picture or screenshot of the vaccination card, documentation, or an online medical record showing the dates of the vaccine doses is needed. Individuals can submit official documentation of the vaccination in whatever form provided in their country as long as it shows the person’s name clearly in English, the manufacturer and date of each vaccine dose.  While records in English are preferred, the Command Center will accept other languages as long as the name is in English and it clearly shows the manufacturer and date of each dose.

What is the deadline for submitting vaccination records? 

Students should submit their vaccination records no later than one week before the start date of their 2021-2022 academic program.

Should I upload my first dose before receiving my second?

If you have received your first dose of a two-dose vaccine, please upload to the system as soon as possible. You can then update your record after you receive your second dose. Students without any documentation on file for a first or second dose will receive an impact hold and starting July 21st, they will be unable to register for classes. Students who have uploaded their information for the first dose will receive a non-impact hold while they are completing their series. These students will be able to make changes to their schedule on and after July 21st.

Do students in online programs need to submit vaccination records?

If the education program in which you are enrolled has any sort of on-campus or in-person component (even if you visit campus for one hour on one day or only 3 days during a semester), then you must fulfill the vaccination requirement.

How do I submit an accommodation request?

Students can request accommodations for medical exemptions through the Student Access office and religious exemptions through the Equal Opportunity and Access office.

The university may issue Shelter in Place Orders to small groups of students who are not positive or identified close contacts, and will require those students to temporarily remain at their residence and switch to online learning for all classes.

The university issues Shelter in Place Orders when it finds, based on the advice of public health experts and assessment of University officials, that developing test results and contact tracing suggest a potential cluster among a concentrated group of students that may present a higher risk of COVID-19 infection and transmission.

If a Shelter in Place Order is issued, the Dean of Students will notify impacted students and provide additional details and instructions.

  • Students will be required to sequester in their residence hall room or off-campus residence until the Dean of Students releases them to resume normal activities.
  • Students will transition to remote learning during the period they are subject to Shelter in Place Orders and should inform the professor of any in-person courses in which they are enrolled.
  • Students on campus will be limited to leaving their rooms to use shared bathrooms and to collect food from central drop-off locations; students off campus may not come to campus, and should only leave sequester for essential activities or as directed by the University, such as testing.
  • Students should not invite roommates or others into their room; they should maintain masking even around roommates to prevent potential in-residence spread.

Shelter in Place Orders protect all involved when additional time is needed to complete contact tracing and related analysis to assess the scope of a potential cluster, and are in addition to the isolation and quarantine actions already underway. The university will lift Shelter in Place Orders once the necessary analysis is complete.

Triggers for Return to Online Only

Supporting our students is our utmost priority, and the university is committed to providing options and alternatives that allow all of our students access to a world-renowned education, no matter the instruction mode.

All courses will be prepared to be offered both in person and remotely. This gives us flexibility to adapt to remote instruction only should conditions warrant it.

Vanderbilt University may choose to transition to remote-only learning based on the following:

  • Local, state or national shelter-in-place advisories or restrictions that require remote-only learning
  • Quarantine and isolation capacity for the residential population
  • A surge in cases coupled with increased severity of illness among campus demographic cohorts
  • Contact tracing analysis (a surge in cases tied to an event vs. tied to rampant community spread with severe illness may be treated differently, for example)

The decision to begin the semester enrolled in on-campus instruction will be accompanied by an acceptance of responsibility for full payment of tuition, housing costs and relevant fees. No refunds for these costs will be issued if the need to finish the semester fully online arises.

This includes if a student leaves for personal or disciplinary reasons after being on campus, or if the university has to shift to online-only instruction. If the university has to shift to online-only instruction, we hope to be able to allow students to remain in on-campus housing; however, the university reserves the right to require students to vacate campus housing if necessary, including to comply with any applicable government order.

The university may also decide to “pause” in-person classes on a program by program basis for a period of time and move such to virtual/alternative platforms; for example, to allow undergraduate students living on campus to remain in their residence hall rooms. Such a suspension period would also be focused on additional actions to contain any potential spread. The university may also use this approach with specific populations within the University, such as a specific school or program or course, to allow time for additional contact tracing and testing to be conducted.

We know students had many difficult financial and personal decisions to make for the fall semester. To assist with these decisions, we have given students the option to study remotely if it is a better fit for them during this time. We have also allowed upper-division students to choose off-campus housing instead of living in the university’s residential facilities.

In the event of a resurgence in COVID-19 cases that results in a shift to remote learning, Campus Dining will significantly scale back its campus services to match Vanderbilt’s changing needs. Should a ramp down of residential housing occur prior to the scheduled last day of in-person classes (November 20, 2020), Dining will work with Student Accounts on dining adjustments. Meal plan components eligible for adjustments include:

  • Meal Money – all unused meal money will be credited in full.
  • Meal Plans – Students enrolled in the 21 Plan, 19 Plan, or 14 Plan will receive a credit for the unused portion of their meal plan based on the portion of the term remaining

 

The university is using a streamlined process to evaluate an individual’s concerns about how their personal circumstances surrounding COVID-19 may place them at greater risk. That risk may be the result of their own underlying health condition or age, or it may be due to the health condition of a family member for whom the individual provides care. Vanderbilt is taking every appropriate precaution to protect our entire community as we return to campus and classrooms.

Individuals with certain conditions may have a higher risk for COVID-19 infection. According to the CDC, people at increased risk include:

Students coming to campus

For on-campus students requesting accommodations for the first time, or for those students requesting a change to an accommodation, please log into the Commodore Access Portal and make the request.

Each student will make the decision, based on their personal circumstances, to either return to campus or study remotely. Students should keep in mind that there will be students on campus this fall who may have underlying conditions rendering them more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. It is the responsibility of each community member to fully commit to protecting the Vanderbilt community’s collective health and well-being.

students opting for remote-only instruction

See: Undergraduate Students Not Returning/Opting for Remote-Only

STAFF AND POSTDOC accommodations

Staff and postdocs can submit a request for COVID-related accommodations, and the request will be evaluated based on an individualized assessment of the basis for the request and the requirements of the individual’s professional position. To initiate a request for a COVID-related accommodation, go to the Equal Employment Opportunity homepage on the Vanderbilt University website and select the COVID-19 Accommodation Request image on the right side of the page. Requests should be submitted to EEO as soon as possible to facilitate preparation for fall 2020.

The Roadmap for Reopening Nashville acknowledges higher-risk groups as a specific subpopulation, and Vanderbilt acknowledges that we may need to make special contingency plans for the voluntary return to campus by members of those groups, for example, by allowing members of those groups to continue to work remotely when possible. If members of higher-risk groups return to campus voluntarily even when the Roadmap for Reopening suggests they may be safer at home, we will ask them to acknowledge the risk associated with being on campus.

FACULTY ACCOMMODATIONS

We all share the goal of protecting, as much as possible, the health and safety of our faculty, their families and all members of our community as we prepare for the start of the fall semester. If you are affected by a situation that increases your health risk (or that of a family member) by your returning to campus, you should submit a Reasonable Accommodation Request Form to the Equal Employment Opportunity Office.

Although medical information is routinely and normally required for the accommodations process, for many of us this is a new experience. It might feel uncomfortable to disclose to the EEO Office personal information about our vulnerabilities or those of our family members. Using the EEO accommodations process is the very best way to ensure your medical information stays separate from those that make decisions about your faculty appointment. The EEO policies and process protect your rights.

The medical details of your request for an accommodation are not a part of your employment history, nor will this medical information ever be shared with your dean. The EEO team, and HR as needed, will keep your personal medical information confidential. The information is only used by the EEO team to evaluate your request for an accommodation and to determine the most appropriate and reasonable accommodation to ensure you are as safe as possible. Your rights, both to privacy and to safety in the workplace, are paramount in this process. If you have any questions at all about how to submit a request, how requests are processed or what resources are available to you, you should reach out to EEO Director Anita Jenious or her staff.

To be clear: The provost and the deans will not have access to your confidential personal medical information.

During this time of uncertainty,  Vanderbilt is committed to supporting the overall health and well-being of the entire campus community through resources that offer support, stress management and strategies for resilience across all demographics. Vanderbilt recognizes that COVID-19 has magnified disparities in a number of areas (e.g., housing, technology, finances, access) among and between various populations of students, which can lead to negative effects on personal wellbeing. 

ACADEMIC SUPPORT RESOURCES

LIBRARIES

Vanderbilt’s Libraries are reopening with card access for the VU community only. The Libraries are following University protocols to enhance safety and promote physical distancing, while delivering excellent services and resources for learning and research. Remote resources and services have been expanded over the course of the last few months as most of the Libraries services will remain remote.

Researchers often need access to original, primary source materials. So far, the library has been able to provide e-texts or scans for 83.2 percent of all requests. The university has invested resources to increase accessibility, and library staff have scanned thousands of items, so that many items that were unavailable previously are now available digitally.

Some library spaces are being used as classrooms, while others are open for individual study—check the Libraries’ webpage for current opening hours.

On the website you will also find tips for using the libraries in “What to Know Before You Visit” and see more information about new services and resources in “Frequently Asked Questions.” Staffing on site has been de-densified, but librarians are fully available via live chat, zoom, email, phone or text. When in doubt, please reach out to our librarians.

The libraries homepage will continue to offer the latest updates to library hours, resources and services.

Learn more about remote teaching, learning and research support available through the Vanderbilt Libraries.

STUDY ROOMS AND OTHER RESOURCES

Central, Science & Engineering and Peabody libraries will be open for undergraduate students living off-campus to use to take their online courses if they need a place on campus. VUID card access is required to enter these buildings. Headphones or earphones will be required when utilizing these spaces. The buildings will open on Aug. 24 and the hours will be:

  • Central, Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and weekends from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Peabody, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Science & Engineering, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If more spaces are needed for off-campus student support, updates to students and faculty will be provided through this Return to Campus Update.

In addition, study rooms are available across campus in buildings that include, but are not limited to, libraries. Designated buildings and specific rooms available for study are listed in the searchable chart below and include the room’s capacity. Each room is specifically set up to maintain appropriate physical distance, and students should follow all campus protocols, including wearing a face mask/covering, while using these spaces. Be mindful of following all posted signage, including circulation patterns, and be prepared to change plans in the event a space is at capacity when you arrive.

Building and Room No.Capacity
Alumni Hall 20221
Alumni  Hall 20617
Central & Divinity Libraries 2104
Central & Divinity Libraries 21118
Central & Divinity Libraries 21718
Central & Divinity Libraries 22240
Central & Divinity Libraries 4056
Central & Divinity Libraries 40845
Central & Divinity Libraries 41876
Central & Divinity Libraries 500FA1
Central & Divinity Libraries 500FR1
Central & Divinity Libraries 5016
Central & Divinity Libraries 5036
Central & Divinity Libraries 600FA1
Central & Divinity Libraries 600FR1
Central & Divinity Libraries 6026
Central & Divinity Libraries 60516
Central & Divinity Libraries 61276
Central & Divinity Libraries 612A16
Central & Divinity Libraries 612C6
Central & Divinity Libraries 61412
Central & Divinity Libraries 700FA1
Central & Divinity Libraries 700FR4
Central & Divinity Libraries 7016
Central & Divinity Libraries 7036
Central & Divinity Libraries 800BE55
Central & Divinity Libraries 800FA8
Central & Divinity Libraries 80312
Peabody Library 0036
Peabody Library 0042
Peabody Library 00836
Peabody Library 0092
Peabody Library 0102
Peabody Library 0111
Peabody Library 0131
Peabody Library 0142
Peabody Library 1084
Peabody Library 12032
Peabody Library 2026
Peabody Library 20476
Peabody Library 3024
Peabody Library 30415
Peabody Library 3056
Sarratt Student Center 1126
Sarratt Student Center 11515
Sarratt Student Center 18914
Sarratt Student Center 22022
Sarratt Student Center 3616
Sarratt Student Center 3636
Stevenson 3 (Library) 2123
Stevenson 3 (Library) 2389
Sony Building A107635
STUDENT MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS SUPPORT

To address this reality, we are enhancing support for our students’ health and well-being through collaboration with the Nurse Faculty Practice Division in the School of Nursing, which will provide counseling for any students who are in quarantine and isolation. We are also providing new tele-health options and additional programming through theStudent Care Network, a holistic network of wellness services and resources available toallVanderbilt students. 

The University Counseling Center provides students with access to professionals who have experience helping specific identity groups. The Provost’s Office for Inclusive Excellence, through its identity centers and identity initiatives, will also continue its commitment to fostering a safe and welcoming community that is inclusive and respectful of differences. Inclusive Excellence is launching identity initiatives this academic year to support international students as well as first-generation students. 

Parents and students with questions can call a new dedicated hotline at 615-322-4357 for any question related to the fall. Vanderbilt has expanded capacity to take these calls, and, from this line, calls will be routed to the right unit as/if needed.

Student Care Network will:

  • Provide clinical mental health and psychiatric services, well-being and academic coaching, care coordination and follow-up, and other health and wellness services
  • Provide access to counselors with expertise for specific identity groups
  • Enhance staffing and training
  • Increase tele-health/self-directed app options
  • Implement targeted programming
  • Re-formulate “drop-in” services
  • Revise collaborative follow-up models
  • Continue financial assistance
  • Support virtual community-building efforts
ADDITIONAL CAMPUS SUPPORT

An updated list of the available student services and resources for both our remote student population and for those students who remain on campus is available on the Student Care Network website.

HELPLINE

We are also offering a dedicated helpline to help answer your questions at 615-322-4357. The help line will be staffed by counselors between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CDT, Monday through Friday.

Faculty, Staff and Postdoc SUPPORT

Vanderbilt is committed to supporting your overall health and well-being. Faculty, staff and postdocs should visit the Vanderbilt health and wellness website for more information and resources that offer support, help manage stress and enhance your resilience.

Vanderbilt community members with children SUPPORT

For parents in the Vanderbilt community who are managing both work and home responsibilities, there are specific university resources available for support.

The Vanderbilt Child and Family Center has a number of resources ranging from family life to baby’s best start to backup care. The center continues to seek input on what working parents need to create pathways to these resources. Two examples that grew out of parents’ expressed interest are:

  • The Vanderbilt Caregivers Network online forums continue to be a resource to help facilitate and support collaboration.
  • The Art Adventures Enrichment Program was created for children in kindergarten through fifth grade to provide Vanderbilt University parents with respite two to three days per week.The Vanderbilt Child and Family Center has announced that it will extend its Art Adventures Enrichment Program through Dec. 18 to continue to support Vanderbilt University community members with children in kindergarten through fifth grade.The extension comes in response to an announcement from Metro Nashville Public Schools that all Metro students are likely to return to remote learning after the Thanksgiving break due to rising COVID rates.Starting Nov. 30, Art Adventures will be offered Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with the exclusion of university holidays.

The Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center has a number of support initiatives and programming, including three parent groups which are open to parents of all genders. The Parenting Group is for parents and caregivers and meets once each month. Each meeting focuses on a specific topic, with an invited discussion leader. Last month the group connected with Jessika Boles, a Child Life Team Lead at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, who explained how to talk to kids about COVID-19. Pandemic Parenting is a subset of the Parenting Group and meets Oct. 22 and Dec. 4. The Single Parent Group meets once a month. As a support group, the meetings are unprogrammed and offer a space for single parents of all genders to seek help from other parents while a member of the Employee Assistance Program joins.

The Women’s Center also hosts monthly Work-Life Workshops that cover a range of professional development and self-care topics. Future sessions for this fall will focus on mentorship and isms in the workplace. The Women in the Academy series, aimed at graduate students and postdocs but open to all, will have sessions focusing on trust and boundaries in the classroom, parenting and the academy, and interviewing in a virtual world. The monthly Kitchen Table Series is an undergraduate student-run discussion series that addresses a range of gender-related topics, with the Nov. 17 session focusing on women’s roles in the pandemic.

In addition, please be sure to consider our many existing resources, including the support for remote work and employee engagement recently announced by Human Resources, along with the HR Guide to Supporting Leaders and Staff, which encourages flexibility with staff work schedules. For staff, as always, we encourage you to talk to your supervisor or your HR consultant if you have any questions about your particular situation. For faculty, we encourage you to reach out to your department chair or dean. For students and postdocs, we encourage you to talk with your mentor and dean’s office.