Letter from the Provost | Welcome Back and Happy New Year

January 7, 2022

Dear LMU Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Happy New Year! I hope that you had a joyful and reinvigorating holiday break. As we welcome you back for spring semester, I take this opportunity to assure you that colleagues across the university are working around the clock to prepare our campuses for your arrival and to safeguard our community in alignment with guidance from public health authorities.

Thank you to our students and families for your patience and grace as we continue to navigate these turbulent times together. I also thank our faculty and staff for your continuing ability to pivot during quickly changing circumstances.

With two weeks of virtual instruction beginning on Monday, I’d like to reiterate a few points that were shared in the Jan. 4 Community Advisory and provide additional information:

  • Remote Work: Out of an abundance of caution and to help facilitate our safe return to in-person instruction on Jan. 24, effective Wednesday, Jan. 4, only faculty and staff who must be on campus to do their jobs prior to Jan. 23 should continue in-person work. Those who believe they can work remotely should obtain manager approval. Our campuses will remain open, including academic facilities, administrative buildings, and campus dining. Please consult with your supervisor with your questions.
  • Boosters Required: LMU requires that you provide proof that you have received a COVID-19 booster prior to Jan. 24, 2022 or within one month of your eligibility unless you have a previously approved medical or religious exemption. Please upload your booster information to Vax LMU as soon as possible and please check our FAQs for updates. For questions, students should contact deanofstudents@lmu.edu and faculty and staff should contact hr@lmu.edu.
  • Masks Required: We continue to require that you wear your mask indoors on our campuses, including common areas in housing buildings, regardless of vaccination status. Please wear your mask outdoors when you are in a crowd or interacting with individuals from outside of your household.
  • Surgical-Grade Masks Recommended: L.A. County Public Health strongly recommends that you wear a surgical-grade mask (3-ply mask up to and including N95 masks) instead of cloth face coverings. Faculty and staff on the Westchester or Playa Vista Campuses may request masks through Environmental Health and Safety online. Faculty and staff on the law school campus can obtain masks at the Information Center, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. While surgical masks should be disposed of daily, per Cal/OSHA N95 masks may be worn up to five times. Currently Public Health is not mandating particular types of masks for students, but we are monitoring the guidance and will adjust accordingly.
  • Dining Services: We will offer a modified campus dining program while classes are conducted virtually. Open venues, hours of operations, and modes of service will vary based on campus population, staffing levels, and safety measures. For the most up-to-date information, visit LMU Dining Services or follow @LMUDining.
  • Faculty Meeting/Voting Update: Please note that I am extending an exception to the Faculty Handbook for meetings and voting procedures that are normally required to be conducted in person so that these may instead occur remotely during the spring semester only.
  • Remote Instruction and Classrooms: Students, please attend your classes from your home, student residence, or from an outdoor space. Faculty, you have priority access to and may use classrooms at your assigned time. Please note that while students may use empty classrooms, the maximum occupancy is one person per classroom. Gatherings in classrooms are not permitted during remote instruction. Also, masks are required in classrooms, even if you are alone.
Given the current winter surge, it is essential that we all adhere to the following precautions:
  • Do not come to campus or leave your on-campus residence if you exhibit symptoms of COVID-19. Follow this guidance and do not return to campus until you obtain a negative COVID-19 test, are fever-free for 24 hours, and your symptoms have improved without the use of medication.
  • I strongly encourage fully vaccinated students, faculty, staff, and contractors who are on-campus to test weekly; if you are not fully vaccinated, you are still required to test twice weekly at the on-campus testing center. This requirement applies regardless of the reason or the number of days you may otherwise be on campus. You can schedule an appointment at the Westchester campus here and the LLS campus here.
  • Avoid congregating in buildings’ common areas, including shared kitchens and break rooms. Please consider eating outdoors, especially when eating with others.
  • Conduct meetings remotely via Zoom whenever possible, and avoid serving food or drinks at in-person meetings or events.
  • Postpone in-person gatherings, and consider rescheduling events. Indoor event spaces will not be available prior to Jan. 24.
Please consult these resources for more specific information:
County Public Health is monitoring the situation and making recommendations dynamically, so please be on the lookout for future updates.

I wish good health to you and your families, and I eagerly anticipate seeing you on campus when in-person instruction resumes on Jan. 24.

Thomas Poon, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President and Provost