/ Provost's Office

2021–2022 Faculty FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions for the Spring 2022 Semester


Can we have department, board, and committee meetings via Zoom to prevent an entire department or committee from becoming ill?

  • Yes. This will be left up to departmental or committee discretion, except in the case when a faculty/staff/student member is in quarantine/isolation or is the caregiver for a family member in quarantine/isolation. In this case, the chair of the committee will facilitate a Zoom/Meet meeting so that the faculty/staff/student member may participate in the meeting synchronously while the other committee members are in person. If the committee member is unable to participate synchronously, the meeting must be recorded.

Will Hope mandate all students be vaccinated, following such requirements from U of M, MSU, Kalamazoo College, etc?

  • Hope has required students to show proof of vaccination or complete an exemption form. The exemption form required students to explain and document the medical, religious or personal reason for immunization exemption. As of August 19, 2021, 81.7% of registered students have been vaccinated or are in the process of being fully vaccinated.

Who will decide/communicate about employee vaccine status?

  • In May 2021, employees were surveyed regarding COVID-19 vaccination status. There was a 90.1% response rate among employees. Of respondents, 89.5% were vaccinated at that time.  

Will departments be able to require any student auditioning for a performing arts event to be vaccinated?

  • No.

Will departments be able to ask for vaccination proof for non-Hope community attendees at Hope-sponsored events?

  • No.

Will departments or programs be able to set their own vaccine requirements for specific student groups or events?

  • No — vaccination policies are not allowed to be set at the department, program, or event level.

Can instructors require students to wear masks in their particular class? Will the college move to in-person mask requirements, as recommended by the CDC, once/if Ottawa County moves from yellow to orange on the map?

  • Effective Sunday, August 15, face masks, securely-fitted over the nose and mouth, must be worn in all indoor spaces on campus by all individuals regardless of vaccination status. The only exception to this guidance can occur when a person is alone in an enclosed space (i.e., private office or personal living space). Federal guidelines also require that people wear masks on public transportation; this directive includes all Hope College-owned vehicles (buses, vans, cars) unless the driver is alone in the vehicle. Hope College will continue to work with health department officials and look at federal recommendations and our local health information to decide about continued masking.

In the spring 2022 semester, the Deans’ Council stated that instructors could require a non-cloth mask given the increasing rates of the Omicron variant. Academic administration will supply these masks. Instructors may request them for students in their classes by submitting a Physical Plant Work Order, consolidating requests through department office managers whenever possible. These masks can be used for approximately one week. Until the masks arrive, instructors should not penalize students. Some alternatives are surgical masks (the latter could be double-layered with another surgical mask or put underneath a cloth mask).

Updated January 13, 2022

COVID-19 Cases

Will students who report symptoms of COVID-19 (vaccinated or unvaccinated) be required to attend class? Will being ill with COVID be treated like we would treat any other illness in terms of absences?

If a student tests positive for COVID-19 (vaccinated or unvaccinated), will they be required to isolate?

  • Yes — any student who tests positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate.

What is the instructor required to provide for a student in quarantine or isolation? Will instructors need to "Zoom in" students testing positive (but asymptomatic)?

  • Students in quarantine or isolation will be considered temporary remote learners. Instructors are required to provide recordings of lectures for students in quarantine or isolation. Thus, instructors are not required to “Zoom in” students that are quarantined or isolated.

Updated January 13, 2022

Classroom Procedures

Will invited speakers be able to visit our classes in person?

  • Yes

Will labs, which require working with other students and touching the same equipment, remain in-person or be made virtual?

  • Labs will be in-person

If a faculty or staff member is a close contact, will they be asked to isolate off-campus?

  • If you have been identified as a close contact/know you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, contact HR and your manager/supervisor for guidance. The CDC now states that those that are up-to-date (received a booster and additional primary shots for some immunocompromised people) after a primary series of a COVID-19 vaccine. Here is additional information regarding quarantine.

Will there be a record sharing policy that the college follows? How wil absences from labs be handled?

  • Section C2K of the Faculty Handbook contains our classroom recording policy. Recording and distribution are at the instructor's discretion, unless included as part of an accommodation via DAR (e.g., semester-long remote learner). In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are requiring instructors to record class periods for students who are quarantined or isolated due to COVID. No other student would need to receive the recording. If the instructor prefers to livestream the class for the student, and the student is well enough to watch the class live, the instructor could do so (although we encourage faculty to record any class period for which there are either temporary or permanent remote learners). 
  • If a student is in quarantine or isolation and you can't feasibly record the class session (i.e. studios, labs, etc.), you must provide an alternative or make-up experience during or after the quarantine period for the student.

Will I be allowed to have students in my class face each other or work in small groups?

  • Yes; in moving students around, be sure that everyone maintains a distance of three feet from each other and that chairs/desks are returned to their original positions.

What is the chain of communication for students going into Q&I?

  • Instructors will receive an email from the Q&I housing group that will notify them of the date range when students will be absent from class.

Will students be required to wear facemasks in off-campus situations such as nursing clinicals or education field placements?

  • Students will need to follow all safety guidelines and requirements at off-campus locations connected to their Hope College coursework.

Will instructors be allowed to give unique or one-time allowance for remote learning experiences? For example, a non-COVID illness, traveling for sports, professional conferences?

  • Remote learning status can only be granted by the Dean for Academic Services and Registrar, in collaboration with DAR, not by individual instructors. Questions regarding remote learning should be emailed to remotelearner@hope.edu.  This ensures we continue to meet the standards of our accreditation and provide equitable accommodations to all students. Absences not related to COVID-19 quarantine or isolation should continue to be handled as they were previously, following guidelines in your syllabi.

Who will be handling modality changes, remote-learner issues that will inevitably arise (even with clear policies), and other COVID issues?

  • The Deans’ Council will continue to work with the Registrar’s Office and DAR regarding remote-learner issues. Requests for modality changes due to medical reasons should be sent to Human Resources.

Will instructors be allowed to hold synchronous or asynchronous online classes if they fall ill or have to care for ill family members?

  • As was the case pre-COVID, in the case of faculty illness, family illness or childcare consideration faculty can temporarily teach remotely if able. If not, they will notify the department office manager, department chair and students. After three consecutive missed class hours per class (e.g., all MWF classes in a week, or all TR classes or one three hour lab) the faculty member must reach out to their department chair and dean to coordinate class coverage.

What do I do if I have a medical condition or circumstance that impacts my ability to teach in-person classes?

  • Requests for any medical accommodations should follow the standard process with the Human Resources office.

What is the distancing plan within classrooms? Can we rearrange desks? Are students and instructors required to face forward the entire time?

  • All classroom spaces are set up to keep 3 feet of distance between students. As with other events and gatherings, movement and re-arrangement of desks are allowed given that all individuals in the classroom will be wearing facemasks. As always, if desks are moved, they should be moved back to their original location before the end of the class period.

Updated January 13, 2022


Will faculty, staff, and students be able to travel for college purposes? If so, when?

  • College-related travel is allowed following all pertinent federal/international travel guidelines.

What if my travel plans are impacted by COVID-19 and I’m unable to return to campus as planned?

  • Please have a plan in place to communicate with students if you are unable to return to campus, and keep in touch with your department chair and dean to manage course coverage if that becomes necessary.

Updated January 13, 2022

Guests and Performances

Will guests be allowed at Hope-sponsored events? Will departments be able to ask for vaccination proof for non-Hope community attendees at Hope-sponsored events?

  • Guests will be allowed at Hope-sponsored events. They will not be required to show proof of vaccination. All individuals attending events indoors will be required to wear facemasks regardless of vaccination status.

Will guest speakers and performing artists be allowed in classes and non-class events, and will they be required to be masked?

  • Yes — guests are allowed and all individuals will be required to wear facemasks when indoors. Those performing or presenting outdoors will not be required to wear facemasks.

Will there be restrictions for singing/playing wind instruments?

  • Indoor singers will have to wear masks. Individuals playing wind instruments are able to take their masks off indoors while actively playing wind instruments and are also required to use instrument bell covers.