University News

Fall 2021 Update: President Guiyou Huang

October 19, 2021


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Dear University Community,

As we are now at the midpoint of our Fall 2021 semester, I want to express my gratitude to our students, faculty, and staff for helping us get to this point. Prior to the start of the fall semester, we put into place a mandatory COVID-19 testing program in which faculty, staff, and students are required to test weekly unless proof of vaccination is provided. Because of your cooperation and your commitment to keep our University community (and those beyond) safe, we continue to have an in-person experience thus far, and for that I thank you.

At this point in the semester, nearly 65 percent of our student body and almost 88 percent of our faculty and staff have been vaccinated. Getting vaccinated helps our communities mitigate the risks of Coronavirus and its variants. Working with our McDonough County Health Department, we have hosted vaccine clinics on our Macomb campus this semester, and have two more clinics scheduled on Monday, Oct. 25 and Tuesday, Nov. 9. Individuals who receive a booster vaccine do not need to resubmit their vaccine card.

While we're pleased with these vaccination numbers and the fact they are increasing weekly, those who are not vaccinated must continue to comply with the mandated weekly test. We will continue to work with our local health departments in Macomb and Moline to ensure we provide vaccines, tests, and other safety measures to keep the members of our Leatherneck family safe.

We understand that COVID-19 has created challenges for many college students and their families, and we are continuing to do what we can to ease the financial stress that is affecting our students. I want to remind our students and families that the WIU Office of Financial Aid has in place a financial circumstance appeal for a review of financial aid eligibility using projected 2021 income versus earned 2019 income. If you have been financially impacted by the pandemic, we encourage you to complete a special circumstances appeal at bit.ly/WIUFinAidSpecialCircumstances. In addition, WIU will allocate Higher Education Emergency Relief funds between the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semester to students enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours who are pursuing a degree through WIU and meeting or have successfully appealed satisfactory academic progress. No application is required to apply for the emergency funds; however, students must complete the Emergency Aid Authorization form on STARS.

We will continue to monitor WIU's pandemic-related protocols and procedures, and will make changes and decisions as necessary, based on guidance from state and federal public health authorities. Please remember to continue following our University's pandemic-related protocols, including wearing face coverings in all indoor buildings/settings, registering events and activities through Scheduling and Event Services, complying with the University's travel guidelines and more. COVID-19-related information and protocols can be found at wiu.edu/coronavirus.

We appreciate what each of you continues to do to ensure a safe and healthy Western Illinois University community.

Be well,

Guiyou Huang, Ph.D.
President
Western Illinois University



Posted By: WIU News (U-Relations@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations