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COVID-19 Community Update - Spring 2022 Semester

December 31, 2021

The year 2021 will come to a close in a few hours, but despite our prayers and hopes, COVID-19 will not see a similar end. It has been a challenging year and we all desire a return to pre-pandemic normalcy; unfortunately, we are reminded daily this is not yet possible. Thus, we will need to continue to demonstrate the resilience and adaptability that sustained us throughout the fall semester into 2022. In a message I sent earlier today to faculty and staff, I expressed my full confidence in their ability to continue to deliver an outstanding educational experience to you in the spring semester. With this message, I want to reaffirm our commitment to your educational experience, both inside and outside the classroom, during the upcoming semester. As we go forward into the new year, Seaver College will continue—as we have since March 2020—to make decisions that prioritize the well-being of each member of the Pepperdine community while we continue to provide each student an exceptional educational experience. 

As you read in the University memo preceding this message, Seaver College will begin the spring semester in Malibu on January 10 with online classes for the first three days of the semester as we gather up-to-date information on COVID-19 testing of returning students, faculty, and staff. This objective information will allow us to activate isolation/quarantine protocols and better understand viral prevalence in our campus population. In addition, it will ensure that all students attending in-person classes have received a recent negative test result. Assuming the collective results indicate that we can resume in-person classes safely and effectively, we will do so on Thursday, January 13. Throughout the semester, we will continue to closely monitor campus conditions through our weekly testing regimen and remain ever vigilant to act decisively and transition to alternate modes of delivery if conditions warrant. 

All Seaver College international programs will continue to operate as planned in the spring semester. Current regulatory conditions at all IP campuses continue to allow for in-person instruction. Should conditions change, the IP office will continue to keep students and faculty participating in these programs updated.

As you plan to begin your spring semester classes, please know that we are prepared to support your safe return to campus and in-person instruction. As chronicled in the University message, all eligible students have been strongly encouraged to get the COVID-19 booster, are required to be tested within the three days prior to their return to campus and to report the results to Pepperdine, and will be required to participate in PCR testing at a Pepperdine on-campus testing site on either Saturday, January 8, or Monday, January 10. In the fall, Pepperdine was one of a very small number of local and national universities that conducted weekly testing of its entire population, and we will continue this PCR-based testing into the spring semester. All other COVID-19 safety protocols implemented in the fall, including monitoring, will also continue into the new year.

As you prepare for your return, I also want to emphasize the importance of every person practicing strict adherence to all University COVID-19 protocols, including masking, distancing, testing, contact tracing, etc. Given the ease with which the Omicron variant is transmitted, strict compliance with all safety policies and protocols is necessary to ensure we can remain together as a community and continue in-person classes. 

As the current year closes, I hope that each of you will take time to reflect on what you accomplished in 2021. Every student at Seaver College faced and overcame significant hardship. As you reflect, I hope that you find great satisfaction in the perseverance and resilience you demonstrated. I look forward to continuing our journey together in the new year and eagerly await the time when we can celebrate the successes and joys that await you. May God bless Pepperdine and each of us in the new year.