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Return to Learn

The Return to Learn Committee was established to provide answers and clarity to faculty, staff and students as everyone returns to campus in the fall. Check this page for updates from the committee as information is made available from the university.

Updates from the Committee

Event request form

The Emergency Management Team is transitioning control of campus events and activities to the dean and/or vice president level for approval of all events taking place on Aug. 16, 2021 and later. 

The Return to Learn committee and the dean have established a form for special event approval

This approval form is for special events over 25 attendees. Regular faculty meetings, committee meetings, research meetings, interviews, etc. do not need approval. 

You will receive approval for your event or follow-up questions within 1-2 days. 

Please submit form at least 2 weeks in advance. 

Request approval for your event through the event request form here.

Questions? Please email Michaela Taylor.

Here is a short recap from the listening session on Aug. 17:

  1. Make sure to upload your vaccination card to MyHealthSpace. If you got your vaccine through the university, your record should be updated but you are still able to upload a copy if you’d like.
  2. A main part of the session was discussing how to encourage mask wearing. As of yesterday evening, the university will now require face coverings. “Effective immediately, face coverings are required at all times inside all campus buildings, unless you are in your own residence hall room, private office or you are eating inside campus dining facilities.”
  3. Please wear your mask around Davis and the SJMC. We understand you might walk out the door without it occasionally but please keep masks on hand. Masks will be in every classroom and if you notice the supply getting low let CIC Tech know.
  4. Although we cannot ask students if they are vaccinated, we can be cheerleaders and encourage them to get vaccinated. Share about the #GarnetandVaxxed program and make sure they are aware they can schedule a vaccination appointment through the health center.

Kim Thompson joined the SJMC faculty meeting on Monday, and we wanted to share the updates and questions shared there. Thank you Kim for compiling these.

Updates from SJMC Faculty Meeting:

  1. Can I invite students to wear masks throughout class? Yes. And if you do, best practice is to make it as easy as possible for students to wear mask, which may mean checking that you have a box of disposable masks in your classroom (Pierre can set you up) to be able to share with students as needed.
  2. Can I give extra credit if students wear masks? We cannot mandate mask-wearing or give extra credit or treat students differently (i.e. make them sit in a certain area of the classroom) if they choose not to wear a mask.
  3. Can I create a seating chart? Yes, we are asked to create seating charts to be able to track exposure.
  4. Can I rope off the first few rows of a large classroom and have all students sit a bit further from me so I can de-mask while lecturing? Now that masks are mandated for everyone, you cannot remove your mask while teaching indoors.
  5. If I have to quarantine at home or someone I am primary carer for has to quarantine, what do I do? Contact your director to discuss options. If you are very ill, it may require that adjustments are made to your overall teaching schedule. If it is a regular 10-day quarantine, there is an option to inform the students that there is a temporary modality change that will be from date x to date y and that during that time the course will be delivered online, and then resume to regular modality.
  6. Are there any suggestions for what I can put in my syllabus about attendance? Faculty Senate has provided the wording suggestions (attached) and an additional suggested statement from Audrey Korsgaard regarding COVID-related absences reads:Consistent with the university's attendance policy, absences for documented illness will be excused and you will be permitted to make up coursework or complete an equivalent assignment agreed upon by me. Note that if the illness is COVID-19 you need to complete the COVID-19 Student Report Form which facilitates notification to faculty members regarding the dates of your absences based on your documented illness If you have been exposed to COVID-19 and have been advised to quarantine, you must complete the Ombuds Report Form. Please note I will not honor Covid-related absence unless I have received notification from the Health Center, in the case of illness, or notification from the university ombuds in the case of exposure.
  7. Can I do office hours exclusively online to reduce contact hours? Yes, and please be sure students are aware of your virtual office hours and how to reach you.
  • Faculty cannot change modality for Fall 2021 and deliver their course online/hybrid without approval. If you have Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) documentation, please contact your Director to discuss accommodation options.
  • If a faculty member contracts a short-term illness/needs to quarantine, courses can be adapted (hybrid or online) for a short period of time (e.g., 10 day quarantine). The faculty member needs to clearly delineate to students how long the change will last, and also let your Director know so they can answer questions if students or parents call with inquiries.
  • If social distancing is not possible in a classroom space, please use face masks and other PPE. We cannot insist that anyone use a face mask, but we can make it as easy as possible for them to mask-up. CIC and/or paper face masks are available in every classroom in our buildings and Pierre D’Autel (x72750 or in the tech office in the J-School building has a selection of other PPE items as needed.
  • Live streaming a class is not equal to face-to-face delivery. If a course is in the registry as on-campus delivery, students and instructors need to come to campus for class at the scheduled time and place.
  • An instructor can provide make up work or incompletes for students who provide documented evidence of inability to attend because of quarantine or other short- or long-term illness. Cameras and recording capabilities will be available in every classroom if instructors would like to record their own lectures, but this is not required. Please see the university attendance policy (pdf) for additional information:, and see these examples of syllabus statements provided by Faculty Senate (Word doc) for the new attendance policy.

Please contact your Director with any additional specific questions about course delivery or with accommodation requests.

The Return to Learn Committee is actively working on addressing any concerns from faculty and staff. Please let a committee member know if you have any.

Event Guidelines

  • All in-person special events are subject to approval from the dean. Stay tuned for CIC specific event guidelines and approval.

Faculty Senate Town Hall

To address concerns regarding the University's evolving COVID-19 mitigation strategy and to help faculty prepare for their fall classes, Senate Chair-Elect Audrey Korsgaard and Faculty Senate Chair Mark Cooper will host a virtual town hall on Friday, July 30, from 2-3 p.m.

Interim President Pastides will address the political situation, describe polices at other South Carolina public universities, and provide his reading on the course of the pandemic. Interim Provost Cutler will engage questions related to academic regulations and other faculty issues. Dr. Jason Stacy, Chair of the Emergency Management Team and Interim VP of Health and Well Being and Chief Health Officer, will speak to health mitigation strategies.

Join Town Hall

UofSC Update

View UofSC update from July 23 + the updated mitigation plan

Highlights include:

    • COVID test guidelines for faculty, staff and students
    • Isolation and quarantine guidelines
    • Voluntary testing continues 


Hiring/salary/travel freezes lifted

  • A memo went out on June 14, 2021 that hiring, salary and travel freezes are being lifted this summer. Hiring and salary freezes are lifted July 1 and travel freezes are lifted in the new fiscal year. More information to come.

CIC face covering policy

  • CIC will follow all regulations put in place by UofSC. UofSC says fully vaccinated individuals do not have to wear face coverings in the classroom.
  • Extra CIC face coverings are available in the CIC Communications office.

Concerns about teaching face-to-face with no face covering

  • Faculty may choose to wear a face covering, but they cannot require students to wear one. 
  • Extra disposable masks, hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies will still be available in all classrooms.

What if someone tests positive for COVID in the classroom?

  • Fully vaccinated individuals are not required to quarantine following exposure to a positive COVID case.
  • More information to come on guidance in classrooms. 

Attendance policy updates

  • Read the new attendance policy
  • Under this policy, faculty will not assess grade penalties for excused absences and must make reasonable accommodations for make-up work.  
  • Recording of lectures is not required but the equipment to stream/record is staying in all CIC classrooms. 

Building signage

  • New COVID signage is going in the SJMC and Davis with the updated UofSC guidelines.

UofSC Updates

Check out this UofSC update posted May 26.
Highlights include:

  • Vaccinations are strongly recommended.
  • Fully vaccinated individuals do not have to wear masks on campus except in the Center for Health and Well-Being, Thomson Student Health Center and on shuttles, buses and other forms of public transportation. Fully vaccinated individuals who wish to continue wearing masks are free to do so.
  • COVID testing is still required for those not fully vaccinated.
  • 3-feet physical distancing guidelines recommended

For other updates visit the main UofSC COVID website.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.