Pandemic Rebound to Include $11 Million Investment in Academics
The following message was sent to Drexel faculty and professional staff about requiring student vaccinations and academic investments to support the University's strategic plan.
This spring brings a renewed sense of hope, as our Drexel community looks ahead to a vibrant campus life in the weeks and months ahead. In preparation for the return to campus — including in-person teaching, full occupancy of our residence halls and dining facilities and a full slate of campus activities — we are continuing to focus on masking, distancing, testing and more recently, the vaccination of our students, faculty and professional staff and investing in Drexel’s new Strategic Plan, specifically, our academic foundation.
Requiring Student Vaccinations
Vaccination against COVID-19 holds the promise of returning to a more familiar, safer life for all of us, and for that reason, we intend to require COVID-19 vaccination for all undergraduate and graduate students taking part in any face-to-face classes, participating in extracurricular or program activities on campus, accessing campus facilities or participating in any team sports, with limited medical and religious exceptions. We recognize the challenge this presents to our international students and will provide vaccination upon arrival for those students who are not able to be vaccinated in their home country.
Like most U.S. colleges and universities, Drexel already asks that students provide proof of vaccines for highly contagious illnesses by completing an immunization record. Our immunization requirements are based on the recommendations of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the American College Health Association and our own scientific advisory group. Now, we will join a growing number of national universities that are adding COVID-19 vaccinations to their lists of required immunizations.
As announced earlier, the University has been authorized as a vaccination site by Philadelphia health officials, and we are working with a pharmacy partner to provide a COVID-19 immunization to anyone eligible in our community. As of Monday, April 19, everyone in our community is eligible to be vaccinated. We fully expect the supply of vaccines to increase in the coming weeks and months, expanding access to this life-saving safeguard against COVID-19.
We strongly recommend that all faculty and professional staff also be vaccinated and have made vaccines available through a number of clinics on campus. If you still need to schedule your vaccination appointment, you can do so here. Drexel is currently reviewing possible vaccine requirements with appropriate exemption options for faculty and professional staff and plans to inform the community of its decision in the coming weeks.
Academic Investments to Support Drexel’s Strategic Plan
As we look ahead to the fall, we also recognize that achieving the goals of Drexel’s Strategic Plan and continuing to deliver on the academic promise of this University will require significant investment in our people and infrastructure. Today, we announce an $11 million investment in our academic units, which will be distributed over the next two years. This investment in the academic foundation of the University will include support for new faculty and professional staff hires to bolster our academic programs and research and build strength in key areas aligned with the Strategic Plan. One of the major objectives of the hiring plan will be to grow the faculty at the assistant professor rank. In addition, we will look to collaborative efforts to maximize our investment and strengthen cross-disciplinary collaboration, including strategies such as joint and cluster hires.
Other long-term strategies are planned to further strengthen and enhance our academic programs, expand research and identify opportunities for greater collaboration. More information will be shared in the coming weeks.
We are eager to move ahead with bringing everyone back to campus in the fall and making strategic investments in our academic enterprise. As always, we are grateful for everything you are doing to contribute to the well-being and success of the Drexel community.
Helen Y. Bowman
Executive Vice President, Treasurer, and Chief Operating Officer
Paul E. Jensen
Executive Vice President and Nina Henderson Provost and University Professor