What are our prospects for resuming in-person research group meetings after members have completed their vaccination cycles?

Date: March 2021

Question

Dear Deans,

I have a question for the Ask a Dean column.

Within about five to six weeks from now, all four members of my advisor’s research group will be fully vaccinated with the Pfizer or Moderna shots (both highly effective). Frankly, we are quite sick of meeting over Zoom and academic progress has also slowed because of this. CDC has recently recommended unrestricted mixing of vaccinated individuals in indoor environments. In light of this guidance, what are our prospects for resuming in-person meetings after completing our vaccination cycles? Is it up to any of us students or the professor to broach the topic?

Sincerely,

Zoom-sick student


Response

Dear Zoom-sick student,

I understand the frustration of not being able to gather with your colleagues. To respond to your question, I referred to this Cornell University HR webpage: Working on Campus. The following are the current rules regarding gatherings, whether on or off campus (under the assumption that we are in green or yellow, not orange or beyond):

In-person, university-sponsored events and activities of 10 people or fewer are now permitted (face masks and physical distancing are required). This applies to business activities sponsored by a college, department, unit, or lab – whether on or off campus.

  • Anyone attending an on-campus meeting or activity must be approved to be on campus.
  • Faculty and staff approved to be on campus must complete the Daily Check each day they plan to go to campus, and complete surveillance testing on their assigned testing frequency and day. In order to continue to manage the density of campus and protect the health and safety of our community, employees who can fully perform their work responsibilities remotely, and who are not currently approved to be on campus, should not be approved to be on campus solely for the purposes of attending an event or activity.
  • Visitors are prohibited from entering campus facilities.

Please follow the guidelines. Stay safe and healthy.

Sincerely,

Kathryn

Kathryn J. Boor
Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for Education