Dear Students and Families,

As you are preparing to start Spring Term classes next week, I’m writing to share a few reminders and provide additional updates. Every decision the university makes regarding the successful management of Covid-19 is guided by science, with the health and wellbeing of our community at the forefront. As always, we thank you for your continued understanding as we navigate the shifting landscape of the pandemic together.

A fully vaccinated community

It is important to underscore up front that Northeastern is a fully vaccinated community—with a booster shot requirement now in place. Vaccination is arguably the single most effective tool we have in managing the pandemic. All students, faculty, staff, and contract employees at our U.S. campuses must receive a booster shot no later than January 18, 2022, or seven days after becoming eligible. (For those who have already had Covid, eligibility may be determined by a physician.) Proof of booster shots should be entered into the Vaccine Verification form.

Wellness Housing and isolation requirements

In our January 7th message to students and families, we outlined our Spring 2022 approach for residential students who test positive for Covid. Our vaccination and booster requirements will allow students to isolate for 5 days in their rooms—either on or off campus. Students may leave isolation to get tested, attend medical appointments, and pick up food. The university is prepared to accommodate the highest risk students in rare instances. Roommates of those who test positive should consider themselves “close contacts” and monitor themselves for symptoms. If they begin to exhibit symptoms, they should immediately obtain a Covid test, irrespective of their weekly testing cadence.

Before the vaccines, case counts were the primary metric by which we measured the state of the pandemic. The university’s vaccination and booster requirements necessitate a shift in our collective thinking. While the omicron variant has led to substantial increases in transmission, the most current data demonstrates that the vaccines remain remarkably effective in reducing the risk of severe illness.

As a result, many students will be asymptomatic or exhibit only mild symptoms. The vaccines allow us to begin shifting our mindset and to approach Covid much more like a cold or flu season, which tends to be low-risk for healthy,vaccinated individuals of a college-aged demographic.

Academic flexibility

We have asked all faculty members to provide extra flexibility this term, especially in the first couple of weeks. The NUFlex technology we developed in the summer of 2020 remains in place and will enable flexible modes of educational delivery for students. ​We have asked faculty members to be prepared to use this technology, and other adaptations, to ensure educational continuity for our students. ​Our faculty have also been provided with important reminders about increasing their course’s digital readiness for students to access course materials remotely, when necessary. Training resources for NUFlex have also been provided to faculty.

We hope this information is helpful and reassuring. Throughout the pandemic, Northeastern has served as a model of resilience and adaptability. By putting empathy and understanding at the forefront, we have strengthened our community and maintained continued progress in our teaching and research.


Ken Henderson
Chancellor and Senior Vice President for Learning