A Message from the President

 September 29, 2021

Balancing Student Success and Vaccination: The Way Forward

As we enter the fifth week of classes for the fall 2021 semester, Bowie State has made substantial progress toward our goal of achieving full vaccination for all students, faculty and staff who are designated to come to campus. I want to commend and thank every individual who has accepted the value of the COVID-19 vaccines to protect their personal health and the overall health and safety of our BSU campus community. We have demonstrated on countless occasions that BSU is a community that cares about one another.

It is with that deep level of compassion for our Bulldog students who have yet to complete the vaccination process that the senior leadership of the university has decided to allow them to continue with virtual access to in-person courses for the remainder of the semester. This decision is not intended to reward those who have not heeded the mandate announced in April 2021 by the Chancellor of the University System of Maryland; but to retain students until such time they are able to return safely to our campus community.

For those students who fail to meet the vaccine requirement by September 30 there will be consequences. Students who have not been vaccinated:

  1. Cannot come to campus for any services or activities
  2. Will have registration holds preventing them from registering for classes for next semester until proof of vaccination is confirmed
  3. Will not be eligible for future financial assistance from CARES funds
  4. Will not be eligible for the upcoming free laptop program

Each day new confirmations of vaccination are being received by the Wellness Center. We do not want to disrupt the academic progress of students as they continue to work through their decision process to accept the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine that is already protecting millions of people from the severe effects of the disease.

I want to thank the members of our faculty who have shown an extraordinary commitment to the continued success of our students. The adjustments to dual modalities for teaching in -person classes present significant challenges for quality instruction and learning. As an institution we are committed to moving forward with online course development that aligns with established best practices for effective pedagogy. A separate communication has been forwarded to members of the faculty with details including information regarding additional supports for faculty effected by this decision.

As we navigate through this period of transition, we remain focused on our primary goal of providing a pathway for students from all backgrounds to get an education that will enhance their lives and the lives of their communities. With the ongoing pandemic, maximizing vaccination of BSU students remains a critical component for success. We continue to encourage students to get vaccinated so that they can rejoin our campus community to complete their academic journey. 

Again, I want to extend my appreciation to the members of our campus community who have complied with the vaccine mandate and are contributing to the safe campus environment for administrators, faculty, staff and students to work and learn together.

Thank you for your continued cooperation and patience during these unprecedented times caused by the pandemic.