| by Jeff Dayton-Johnson

Dear MIIS Campus Community,

It is my hope that these weekly updates will provide you with added clarity on our efforts to transition from pandemic operations to a gradual return to campus. Please note that these updates are archived on the MIIS website here.

Fall 2021 Planning Updates

The week ahead will be a meaningful one for deliberation and consultation regarding our plans for a primarily in-person fall semester. Faculty have been invited to a town hall meeting Thursday, March 11 at 12:15 pm PST, and staff have been invited to attend a staff meet-up Friday, March 12 at noon PST. (Zoom information has been included in the invitation that has been sent to staff colleagues, and a Zoom link will be sent to faculty over the weekend). I will also be meeting with Student Council leadership, Program Chairs and with Staff Advisory Team/Staff Council members next week. 

These meetings are an important step in ongoing collaboration to communicate the general principles of our in-person plans. We will share information on what we know today about health and safety protocols for campus access. These conversations, moreover, will provide an opportunity to seek your input on critical components of the plans we’re developing, including expectations for on-campus presence for faculty, staff, and students; resources to support instructional design; and new approaches to formulating the schedule of classes, among other important topics. 

One of the most important points I will make at all of these upcoming forums for discussion and deliberation is that we are formulating our fall plans under conditions of unusual uncertainty. We cannot be sure how the world in September 2021 will differ from the world today, in terms of the evolution of the virus, and in terms of changes in the restrictions imposed by the authorities on our academic operations. We must therefore prepare flexible plans, in a collaborative way. We will adapt the implementation of those plans depending upon the circumstances, but with a commitment to meaningful in-person, on-campus learning for our students.

Campus Updates

We have planned two new sessions for our spring series Teach-in on Democracy. On April 22 we will be hosting police chiefs from the Monterey Peninsula for a roundtable discussion, and on May 6, Professor Kent Glenzer will lead a discussion on “Non-Profit Systemic Collusion/Collaboration.” As always, I welcome your suggestions for other topics to cover and people to feature.

Community Update

Educators in Monterey County are currently being prioritized for vaccines, and that includes faculty and staff at the Institute. We are encouraged by the increased availability of vaccines in our area and hopeful that these vaccinations are a signal of better times to come.

I hope all of you are staying safe and healthy and wish you a wonderful weekend.


Jeff Dayton-Johnson