June 18, 2021

Dear students, faculty and staff,
When the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, we faced historic challenges together, even as we were scattered across the globe, learning, working and teaching from our homes. As we reflect on the last 16 months, there is so much to be proud of! Now, as vaccination rates increase and new cases of COVID-19 are decreasing, it is only together that we can move forward and accomplish a fall 2021 semester that is as close to fully operational as possible.
With that goal in mind, we announce the following plans for the fall 2021 semester at CIM.
Beginning Monday, June 21, CIM will begin to follow the current CDC guidance, which states that fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear a mask or physically distance. If you are not fully vaccinated, you should continue to wear a mask and physically distance. Of course, any fully vaccinated person may continue to wear a mask as well. As an open and honest community, this protocol will be managed based on the honor system – faculty and staff (including security) will not have any knowledge of who is or is not vaccinated.
Vaccination, Testing and Quarantine
Vaccination against COVID-19 is strongly encouraged for all students and employees. The following protocols will be in place and participation is required:
  1. Declaration: By August 6, 2021, you must inform CIM of your vaccination status. Human Resources will manage a secure process for employees, and the Office of Student Affairs will manage the secure process for students. This information will be collected and stored in accordance with all applicable laws and will not be shared with anyone outside of the departments responsible for collecting the information. This is not optional: all employees and students are required to inform CIM about whether they are vaccinated or not. Human Resources and Student Affairs will communicate directly to employees and students regarding the submission process, which will be open beginning on July 12. CIM will also provide an opportunity for vaccination for any employee or student who is not able to access a vaccine prior to the start of the fall semester.
  2. Testing: Woodwind, brass and voice students and employees in these areas who are not vaccinated will be required to participate in weekly testing, which CIM will provide. Student Affairs or Human Resources will communicate directly to the students or employees for whom testing is required, and test results will be communicated securely and directly back to those departments and to those tested. String, keyboard, percussion and composition students and faculty who are not vaccinated will not be required to participate in regular testing. Staff members will not be part of the testing program.
  3. Studio-Specific Flexibility: Applied faculty members teaching individual lessons may amend their syllabus with temporary policies regarding virtual lessons. Any student may request lessons to be virtual and applied faculty may specify that students who are not vaccinated sign up only for virtual lessons. This information must be in the studio syllabus, and arrangements regarding virtual lessons will be between the faculty and student. Just as we will support each other through our shared honor system as it pertains to mask wearing, we must also engage with this process in good faith.
  4. No employee, including faculty, may inquire with any student or colleague as to their vaccination status. Only the authorized person(s) in Human Resources and Student Affairs may request and manage this information.
  5. In accordance with CDC guidance, employees and students who are not fully vaccinated must quarantine for 14 days if they have close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19. Anyone who is diagnosed with COVID-19 and symptomatic must self-isolate and may not return to campus until the following conditions are met: (1) at least 10 days have passed since the onset of symptoms, (2) 24 hours have passed without fever, and (3) other symptoms are improving. Anyone who is diagnosed with COVID-19 but remains asymptomatic may not return to campus until at least 10 days have passed since the date of their COVID-19 test.
Classes, Ensembles and Performances
Classroom and studio capacity limits and ventilation break requirements will be removed for the fall semester.
  • CIM will return to our traditional academic calendar; the first day of the semester this fall will be Monday, August 23.
  • Classroom instruction (music theory, eurhythmics, seminars, etc.) will return to in-person and regular class sizes.
  • Chamber ensembles will not need to be distanced and can resume rehearsals in studios.
  • CIM Orchestra will return to full orchestra format, without distancing or playing masks/bell covers required.
  • CIM Opera Theater will resume semi-staged and full productions.
  • New Music Ensemble will no longer require distancing or instrumentation limitations.
  • When we begin the fall 2021 semester, audience capacity limits will be capped at 50% of hall capacity (120 seats in Mixon and 270 seats in Kulas). This protocol will be adjusted as needed.
  • External guests, including family members and other members of the public, will be able to attend performances. COVID-related protocols for event attendees will be determined later this summer.
While there are many more details to be confirmed and communicated, we know that having this information regarding key activities on our campus is critical to your planning for the fall semester. These protocols are designed to offer the greatest opportunity for in-person learning, teaching, working and performing while mitigating potential risk for community members who may be at a higher risk for any reason. As with all the plans we have made during the pandemic, this one is subject to change based on new information or changing conditions, and communications will be shared consistently to reinforce or update the protocols.
It is also important that we each consider how we will interact with each other once we are together again on campus. As we return to campus, let us focus on the ways we can support and assist each other, both on the stage and off it. It will be a great year with much to celebrate, and as we’ve persisted through the last 16 months as a community, we will continue forward together as well.
After the July 4 holiday, please be on the lookout for more information regarding vaccination reporting and other back-to-school details we’re all eager to learn more about. We look forward to seeing you this fall!
Tammie Belton, Sr. Director of Human Resources & Title IX Coordinator
Jerrod Price, Dean of Musician and Community Advancement
Dean Southern, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Conservatory
Maddi Tolliver, Dean of Artistic Administration and Operations