Nearly two years ago word about a strange virus in China was in the news; but there was seemingly little concern in the US. Our students left for the relaxation and fun-times of spring break in mid-March. It seemed like almost overnight, the CDC and other public health officials were now warning of an outbreak of what was to be labelled SARS-Co-V2. The world changed and the AUCC changed. The decision was made in the AUCC to extend spring break giving faculty some small window of time to move thousands of course sections from our traditional in-person instructional modality to quickly deliver a quality educational experience to our students remotely.
Late summer of 2021, data on the advance of the pandemic seem to show a moderation of community spread. An effective regimen of vaccines had been developed. The decision was made to reopen the campuses for a fully residential experience for the 2021 Fall Semester. The campuses continue to place the health and wellness of the AUCC community in the forefront of the decision-making. Vaccination against the COVID-19 virus is required of all faculty, staff, and students in order to return to the campus. Our member institutions showed the true foundation of what our consortium is—a group of outstanding schools with unique, yet related missions, collaborating to meet the collective needs of the community that are beyond the resources of any one member. From the very beginning, the member institutions worked together to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, the AUCC campuses have one of the lowest positivity rates for COVID-19 and one the highest overall vaccination rates of any college or university campus in the country. With over 55,000 tests taken, the AUCC campuses maintain an overall average positivity rate of 0.47% and a vaccination rate (with at least one dose) of 94%. These outcomes represent the collaborative spirit and resolve of you—our faculty, staff and students to protect our community to fulfill our mission to elevate student success.