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Spring 2022 Guidance for Faculty and Students Regarding Attendance, Accommodations, and Flexibility

Revised January 18, 2022

President Clark’s January 10, 2022 message indicated that the Spring 2022 semester will begin as planned on January 19, 2022. However, courses that were scheduled to be in person will be held synchronously online for the first three days of the semester (January 19, 20, and 21). Beginning on Monday, January 24, classes will be held in the modality shown on Infobear.

Any changes to this information will be communicated to the campus by the President’s Office.

Key Terms to Understand

  • Exemptions: COVID-19 vaccination exemptions for students are approved through the Wellness Center. If approved, a student is exempt from the requirement of being fully vaccinated on campus. An exemption does not alter the student’s campus or classroom experience in any other way; they are exempt from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement only. Exceptions for the vaccination requirement for faculty and academic staff are approved by the Office of Equal Opportunity.
  • Accommodations: Based primarily on legal requirements outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, all student requests for reasonable accommodation must be processed through Student Accessibility Services (SAS). If granted, accommodations are communicated to faculty by a formal Letter of Accommodation. There are no exceptions to this process. Accommodations for faculty and academic staff are approved by the Office of Equal Opportunity.
  • Flexibility: To promote the physical and mental wellbeing of our community members, faculty may wish to offer additional flexibility to students within the classroom. This may include revising attendance policies, adjusting assignment due dates, or taking other student-centered acts.
  • Modality: The way a course is taught. The different modalities may include in-person, asynchronous online, asynchronously online, and hybrid (partly on campus and partly online). For more on class modalities see:

Class Modality

Courses for the spring 2022 semester will use the modality listed in Infobear. A permanent change of modality may happen only if the faculty member receives permission from the dean of the college offering the course. In some cases, if there is a need to isolate due to a positive Covid-19 diagnosis, the faculty member may change the modality of the course for a few days with notification of the department chair and dean. It will be important for the faculty member to clearly communicate this change to the students with as much advance notice as possible. It will also be particularly important for students to check their email and class announcements every day for any updates.

Class Attendance

  • Faculty may set their own attendance policy for each course and this policy should be explained on the syllabus. However, with the understanding that it will be critically important that both students and faculty to not come to campus if they have a positive Covid-19 diagnosis, faculty are encouraged to use flexible attendance policies and work with students for alternative options or assignments. Faculty can contact Information Technology at to inquire about live streaming your class sessions through Zoom.
  • Students are encouraged to communicate with their faculty members if they test positive and to keep their faculty updated on their health status. Check the BSU Covid-19 webpage for the current guidance regarding the appropriate length of time to isolate. Students are reminded that regular class attendance and participation are key components of many courses and, unfortunately, some number of absences, even for the best of reasons, will result in the student not meeting the key learning outcomes for the course.

What should students do if they test positive for COVID-19?

Students should provide confirmation of their diagnosis to Eileen Estudante, Director of Student Outreach and Special Programs ( Eileen will contact faculty to discuss and encourage flexibility. If the student is severely impacted, they should also be referred to SAS ( by the faculty member to explore possible accommodations.

What should faculty do if they test positive for COVID-19?

Faculty who test positive for Covid-19 should not come to campus, use accumulated sick time, and check the BSU Covid-19 website or Michelle Arsenault, Benefits Manager in Human Resources and Talent Management (HRTM) ( for guidance on how long they should isolate.

  • For short absences (one week or less), faculty should work with their department chair to develop a plan for course continuation as is normally the case.
  • For long absences, faculty should consult with the Office of Equal Opportunity to seek personal accommodations and/or with HRTM in all other situations as is normally the case.

In general, it is important that each member of the academic community take the responsibility of communicating with others and that those who are ill focus on getting better before returning to campus.

PLEASE NOTE: If you have received a positive test that was conducted outside of BSU or you know of anyone at BSU who has tested positive, please immediately contact the Wellness Center utilizing this form. This site is monitored several times every day, including weekends and holidays.


For more information, please contact these campus resources:

BSU COVID-19 inquiries

Office of Teaching and Learning (OTL) 508-531-2694

Teaching and Technology Center (TTC) 508-531-2634

Student Accessibility Services (SAS) 508-531-2194

Wellness Center 508-531-1252