by Jeff Dayton-Johnson

Dear MIIS Campus Community,

We hope this message finds you well as you turn toward the homestretch of spring semester. Here is your weekly update regarding COVID-19 and our plans for fall return to campus. You can access previous messages about our return-to-campus plans on our COVID-19 site.

Brian Deese will be our Spring Commencement Speaker: This week we announced that Deese — newly appointed director of the White House National Economic Council, former senior advisor to President Obama, instrumental both in engineering the rescue of the U.S. auto industry and in negotiating the landmark Paris Climate Agreement — will address our spring graduates. Our virtual spring Commencement ceremony takes place on Saturday, May 15, beginning at 4 p.m. Pacific Time. More details are available at our Spring Commencement page.

Updates for International Students: The circumstances for new and returning international students is evolving. This past week, the U.S. Department of State issued guidance regarding travel restrictions from certain countries and the expansion of the National Interest Exception, which may affect some of our international students. The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) also issued its update regarding continuing guidance for the 2021-2022 academic year. We remain hopeful that these developments signal even more positive changes to come for our international students. International students, please look for forthcoming communication in early May from International Students and Scholar Services (ISSS) with more details about what these developments mean for you. If you have questions regarding the visa process and coming to Monterey in the fall to begin or continue your studies, you are always encouraged to contact International Students and Scholar Services.

New CDC Guidelines: Public-health guidance is also evolving. The CDC announced new guidance for fully vaccinated people on Tuesday. California is expected to relax its mask mandate soon to align with the CDC guidelines. There will be no major changes to the Institute’s COVID protocols between now and July 1, but look for updates closer to that date. 

Do you have your vaccine yet? Everyone 16 years of age and above is now eligible for the COVID vaccine. The Monterey County Department of Health and the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula are both good resources for finding sites and appointments for the vaccine. We expect that by the start of the fall semester, all faculty, staff, and students returning to campus will be vaccinated, except those who have a religious or medical exemption. 

Good luck as you finish up your semester.

Jeff Dayton-Johnson
VP for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Institute