IMPORTANT COVID-19 POLICY CHANGES COMING TO CSP (St. Paul and Portland Campuses)

The New Year has started with a flurry of national, regional and local news surrounding COVID-19, and campus administration has quickly adapted its policies to match the new federal, state and city guidelines.

With the increased spread of the Omicron variant combined with the guidance regarding vaccinations, Concordia is encouraging students and employees to get a booster shot if already vaccinated and eligible; and for those who have yet to complete the first vaccination series to do so. 

MDH VACCINE LOCATOR | MDH BOOSTER LOCATOR

Please review this email carefully for how policies will be adapted on the St. Paul campus for students and employees:

  • Required mask usage to start spring 2022 term, effective Friday, January 7 in accordance with the City of St. Paul mask requirement for licensed businesses.
  • Classes will continue to meet face-to-face without further alteration or disruption.
  • Seating charts and classroom close contacts will not be reported due to little-to-no classroom spread in the previous 18 month of inclass education.
  • Close contacts will continue to be determined through athletic participation, dorm & residence life settings, choir, theater and unique circumstances in academics (such as labs).
  • CSP will continue to follow CDC & MDH guidance, adopting the latest CDC approach to COVID-19 positive isolation and close contact quarantine. More important information is below on the impacts of vaccinations, booster shots and how close contact quarantines are impacted.
  • Symptoms continue to be the leading indicator of COVID-19. If you are sick, please stay home and notify your professors. If symptoms are COVID-19 related, pursue a COVID-19 test and complete the COVID-19 reporting form.
  • Follow COMET’S COMMITMENT by continuing frequent and thorough handwashing, wearing a mask when in common public areas on campus, and monitoring your health.
  • If you have been sick with COVID-19, are currently waiting for test results, experiencing symptoms and plan to take a COVID-19 test, or have been instructed to quarantine as a close contact, please complete the COVID-19 Reporting Form with as much information as possible.

UPDATED CDC ISOLATION & QUARANTINE GUIDANCE – FULLY VACCINATED DEFINITIONS (effective January 10, 2022)

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) adjusted its quarantine and isolation guidance in January of 2022, including adjusted definitions for what constitutes a “fully vaccinated” individual against COVID-19. Below is information about quarantine & isolation guidance. Questions can be directed to CSP Contact Tracing via email at contacttracing@csp.edu.

The CDC now considers an individual “fully vaccinated” if they have received the booster shot and the full series of initial vaccinations (2 shots of Moderna/Pfizer; 1 shot of Johnson & Johnson) or are within 6 months of receiving the initial series of Moderna (2 shots), 5 months of Pfizer (2 shots) or 2 months of Johnson & Johnson (1 shot). Once an individual is eligible for a booster and has not had the additional dose, they are no longer considered “fully vaccinated.”

It is important to emphasize the importance of the symptoms-based reporting. CSP aims to keep students in the classroom and to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Honest, accurate reporting of symptoms is vital to this process, and students are expected to monitor their health.

COVID-19 POSITIVE ISOLATION GUIDANCE

  • Five full days of isolation from the start of symptoms. If symptoms develop after the positive test is reported, please notify Contact Tracing (contacttracing@csp.edu) via email so we can adjust your timeline.
  • Symptom onset date is considered “Day 0”
  • On the sixth day at 10 a.m., a student will receive a brief symptom health assessment (3 questions)
  • Must remain fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication
  • If symptoms persist, the student should communicate with Contact Tracing (contacttracing@csp.edu) on an updated return to campus timeline
  • Upon completing the symptom form, a member of Contact Tracing will submit an official clearance notification announcing it is ok to return to class, their dorm room and general campus activity
  • Required to wear a well-fitting mask for 5 days around others and in public after clearance, up to 10 days following symptom onset. The date will be communicated on the clearance notification that will also be sent to faculty and key campus officials
  • Individuals unable or unwilling to wear a mask will need to continue isolation for 10 full days
  • Do not go places you are unable to wear a mask around others in the 10-day recovery period (such as restaurants, gyms unless you can mask and avoid eating/drinking around others)
  • Individuals are encouraged but not required to take an antigen test on the 5th day of isolation, please communicate with Contact Tracing if you decide to pursue an antigen test. This should only be done if asymptomatic and 24 hours fever-free without fever reducing medications.
  • Vaccination status has no impact on COVID-19 positive recovery. Individuals will be expected to accurately and honestly report their symptoms to Contact Tracing.
  • Students needing additional accommodations beyond the 10 day time frame may work with Student Accessibility Services (SAS@csp.edu).
  • Employees needing additional accommodations beyond 10 day time frame may work with Human Resources.

UPDATED CDC CLOSE CONTACT QUARANTINE GUIDANCE

WHO DOES NOT NEED TO QUARANTINE FOLLOWING CLOSE CONTACT EXPOSURE?

  • Less than 2 months since single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine
  • Less than 6 months since second shot of Moderna or Pfizer vaccines
  • Vaccination dose(s) plus a booster shot
  • Had confirmed COVID-19 positive case within the last 90 days
  • Vaccinated close contacts are required to wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days from the most recent date of close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual
  • Taking a COVID-19 test is recommended on or after the 5th day since exposure
  • If symptoms develop, stay home, notify CSP Contact Tracing (contacttracing@csp.edu) and pursue a COVID-19 test

WHO DOES NEED TO QUARANTINE FOLLOWING CLOSE CONTACT EXPOSURE?

  • individuals who have not received any vaccination doses
  • individuals who had Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccination over 2 months ago and have not had a booster shot
  • individuals who had Moderna/Pfizer second shot vaccination over 6 months ago and have not had a booster shot

WHAT IS THE QUARANTINE PROCESS?

  • individuals should quarantine for 5 days following date of exposure (Exposure Date = Day 0)
  • may return if asymptomatic following a short health assessment (3 questions) emailed from Contact Tracing Team on Return to Campus date at 10 a.m.
  • must wait for official clearance notice following health assessment submission to leave quarantine space and return to campus
  • must wear a well-fitting mask, required through 10 days since exposure date per CDC guidelines (date will be provided in communications from Contact Tracing)
  • individuals who are unable or unwilling to wear a well-fitting mask following an asymptomatic 5-day quarantine should quarantine for the full 10 days
  • Do not go places you are unable to wear a mask around others in the 10-day recovery period (such as restaurants, gyms unless you can mask and avoid eating/drinking around others)
  • continue to monitor symptoms through 10 days post-exposure
  • if you develop symptoms, please stay home, pursue a COVID-19 test and notify Contact Tracing by email (contacttracing@csp.edu)
  • testing is recommended on the 5th day of quarantine, but not required

SOURCE: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html (updated Jan. 4, 2022)

CSP Extends Leadership Roles for Several Senior Leaders

Concordia University, St. Paul is pleased to announce expanded roles for several proven members of our faculty and administration. These new roles and promotions directly support CSP’s commitment to delivering focused, career-relevant academic programming for our students and supporting long-term growth plans for the university. 

Each individual listed below has shown exceptional talent and leadership in their roles to help make CSP the great university that it is today. The following new roles take effect January 3, 2022. CSP’s leadership team will provide support to help ensure seamless transitions as certain functions will be better aligned within the organization. 

Dr. Katie Fischer is being elevated to Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Strategic Program Development.
Katie has been with CSP for more than 11 years, serving most recently as the Dean of the College of Health and Science. In her new role as Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs and Strategic Program Development, Katie will apply her strategic management skills for an even greater impact on the trajectory of CSP, specifically for the nursing and health sciences programming that is expected to grow significantly in the coming years.
With a strong track record of advancing the health sciences-related academic programs, Katie will also serve a critical role in supporting academic program development across CSP. She will collaborate with all stakeholders to advance the academic mission of the university. 

Dr. Mark Koschmann is being elevated to Associate Vice President of Faith and Ministry.
Mark takes on this expanded role, which builds on his leadership at CSP over the past 6 ½ years. Most recently serving as the Chair of the Theology and Ministry department, Mark will provide his expert leadership and support for campus programs that support CSP’s Lutheran identity. Responsibilities will also include serving as a key resource for the entire CSP community while supporting recruitment and retention of LCMS students, leading the Department of Theology and MinistryMInistry, and working with the university pastor to support campus ministry and clubs.
Mark will also continue to represent CSP at important off-campus, church-related events, and foster relationships with churches and schools to continue to build essential relationships with various LCMS constituencies. 

Dr. Sara Kellogg is being elevated to Associate Vice President of Continuing Studies and Strategic Partnerships.
This expanded role for Sara is a natural extension of her 15 years as an emerging leader in the organization, with her most recent role being Director of Continuing Studies and Program Coordinator for the Master of Arts in Education (K-6) Licensure. Sara will lead efforts to develop strategic opportunities related to workforce education, continuing education, and cutting-edge credential and certifications to help advance career value for current students, alumni, and our industry partners.
Sara will collaborate with internal and external groups to identify new offerings CSP can bring to market to drive even greater value from a degree and certifications from Concordia. This will include leading collaborative teams to develop new course offerings and partnerships. 

Jason Rahn is being elevated to Associate Vice President for Student Life and Retention. In this role, Jason will expand on his current role focusing on all aspects of student life at CSP along with student retention. As Associate Vice President, Jason will also work closely with all on-campus groups and external organizations to foster exceptional student experiences at CSP. He will also establish a long-term retention plan to help ensure students stay with CSP through the completion of their degree programs – and potentially beyond.
In addition, Jason will work closely with CSP’s Chief Diversity Officer, Title IX team, behavioral intervention teams, the crisis response team, and CSP’s senior administration to advocate for the needs of students in all aspects of their CSP experience. Jason has been instrumental in cultivating great experiences for CSP students over his 26+ years with the university. 

Milissa Orchard’s role is elevating to Associate Vice President of Accreditation and Assessment.
Milissa’s role is a natural extension offrom her current role as Associate VP of Human Resources. In this new role, Milissa will be responsible for CSP’s ongoing accreditation and compliance relating to all federal, state, and local requirements. This essential role is pivotal as CSP continues to focus on career-relevant academic programming that aligns well with the needs of businesses and organizations for the coming years. She will work collaboratively with all academic departments to help ensure program accreditation, which is foundational for the continued delivery of high-value high value degree options for students across disciplines.
Milissa has fostered essential strong relationships within CSP during her time with the university, and she will continue to do the same with the regulatory agencies and program accreditors in this new role. She will also facilitate reporting all programmatic accreditation standards and annual program reviews. 

Kristin Vogel’s role is expanding as the Director of Enrollment Systems and Operations.
With 18 years at CSP, Kristin has established an important presence in enrollment management. As Director of Enrollment Systems and Operations, Kristin will focus on planning, managing, and executing strategies specific to enrollment operations. This will include overseeing the enrollment operations team members, CRM administration (SLATE), communication, and marketing to support CSP’s assertive enrollment goals.
Kristin’s ability to collaborate, drive solutions through data-informed decisions will continue to help improve the entire experience for students from enrollment to acceptance to embarking on successful academic careers at CSP.

Organizational Overview

Each one of these new appointments will result in some re-alignment in the overall structure of CSP. You can view a revised org chart HERE.

The expanded roles for these CSP leaders will also lead to some adjustments to the executive leadership and strategic planning teams. The executive leadership team to the President will include all vice presidents, the Chief Diversity Officer, and the Associate Vice President of Faith and Ministry. The strategic planning team consists of a broader team, including the president, all vice presidents, deans of schools, the Faculty Senate Chair – along with the Associate Vice Presidents of Continuing Studies, Faith and Ministry, and Accreditation and Assessment. This team will also include representatives from CSP service areas, including the library, technology, athletics, and facilities department.

“These new roles for proven leaders at CSP will better tap their unique skills to directly support the needs of our students, which will ultimately support the university’s strategic growth goals,” noted Dr. Eric LaMott, Provost and COO for CSP. “The university has a solid plan in place to grow CSP across most areas of academic programming, with particularly significant growth opportunities in non-traditional, and graduate studies programs. The value we provide, whether online or in-person, is paramount. This new alignment of leadership and skills will further help propel our students and university forward in competitive and innovative ways.” 

 

COVID-19 CAMPUS UPDATE: 12/8/21

Booster Shot Vaccine clinic coming to campus & other important reminders

Campus officials are pleased to announce that Hy-Vee will return to Concordia for a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot clinic on Monday, December 13 in the Buenger Education Center (BEC). Hy-Vee has reserved 150 booster shot doses (Pfizer) for campus appointments.

BOOSTER SHOT DETAILS

  • When: Monday, December 13, 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm
  • Where: Buenger Education Center (BEC) on campus
  • What: Vaccine Booster shot for COVID-19 (Pfizer)

Who: All students & employees who have had their second shot of Moderna/Pfizer before 6/14/21 or the Johnson & Johnson single shot before 6/14/21

REGISTRATION: HyVee Registration

IMPORTANT REMINDERS REGARDING CAMPUS COVID-19 POLICY

With a cooperative effort to COVID-19 campus policy and a high vaccination rate, Concordia has maintained a low active COVID-19 positive case count throughout the fall semester. From the start of the semester (9/1/21) through December 6, 2021, Concordia had 68 cumulative COVID-19 positive cases (employees & students), roughly half from the same time frame in the 2020 fall term.

Further, active case counts have consistently remained in the single digits and have not surpassed 15 on any single day whereas last year, campus had reported numerous active totals in the 20 to 30 range.

Students and employees should continue to follow the campus guidance as we look to stay ahead of the national, state, local and higher education trends:

  • Masking: unvaccinated individuals are still required to wear a mask at all times indoors in shared campus spaces, exceptions are non-shared office spaces and dorm rooms. Vaccinated individuals are still strongly encouraged to mask indoors in public common spaces, as well.

  • Vaccination: Concordia encourages its students and employees to get vaccinated to protect themselves and others from the spread of COVID-19. More information about how to get a vaccination appointment is located HERE

  • Free COVID-19 Testing: The MDH offers free COVID-19 testing at numerous sites around the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota. Tests are convenient and typically yield results in 1-to-2 days, ahead of their published time frame. More information about COVID-19 testing click HERE

  • COVID-19 Reporting Form: Students who have been exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual or who are taking a COVID-19 test should complete the COVID-19 Reporting Form so the CSP Contact Tracing Team can assist students & their instructors on a safe and efficient quarantine timeline. Link to the COVID-19 Reporting Form

Updates to plan coverage of COVID-19 related testing, treatment and telehealth services

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Concordia Plans made changes to the way the Concordia Health Plan covered testing and treatment of COVID-19 and telehealth services for any illness in 2020 to support workers and their families during these challenging times. Specifically, diagnostic services, treatment of COVID-19, and telehealth services were provided free to members, even those with a high deductible health plan. These changes were made possible by legislation passed in the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act, and further clarified in the CARES act, which permitted this coverage without violating health saving account regulations. Due to the proliferation of vaccinations and treatments, along with the reopening of our communities and access to health care, the CHP will revert to normal cost share for COVID-19 treatment and telehealth services effective Jan. 1, 2022.

What’s changing

  • Treatment of COVID-19. If you’re diagnosed with the coronavirus disease, treatment provided in-network is a covered service that will be subject to regular cost-sharing and deductibles.
  • Telehealth. All telehealth services offered through each of the CHP options will be subject to regular cost-sharing and deductible. Cost share varies by vendor but generally all services will incur a fee. Please visit our website for costs specific to each service.

What’s not changing

  • COVID-19 vaccinations. The cost of the COVID-19 vaccine will be covered at 100%. The member will not incur any expense. This includes booster vaccines, if your medical provider deems this clinically appropriate.
  • Testing for COVID-19. Testing is covered 100% through members’ CHP benefits when testing is medically necessary (when members are referred by a medical professional, have been exposed to someone or are having symptoms). Note: the ability to provide this diagnostic testing without member cost share will terminate when the National Public Health Emergency periods ends. This is set to terminate on Jan. 16 but could be extended. CPS will update our website if these changes go into effect.

We will update the Concordia Plans website to reflect any changes as they become known. You may want to bookmark this page to check back for current coverage as you need it.

Thanksgiving Letter From President Friedrich

Happy Thanksgiving! I wish it was possible to be with you in person today as we celebrate Thanksgiving together as CSP faculty and staff.

However, I give thanks for all of you and the work you do to prepare our students for “thoughtful and informed living, for dedicated service to God and humanity, for enlightened care of God’s creation, all within the context of the Christian Gospel.” What we do here at Concordia is a team effort where everyone is a significant contributor to our collective successes.

Our theme verse from Psalm 23, “He restores my soul,” is serving our community well this academic year. I pray that each of you have a personal sense of how God is restoring you individually, just as He collectively restores our community in service of our students, our community, and our world. 

Each of you has had your own personal and professional challenges as we’ve navigated the past 18 months. Yet, despite what seems like constant pivots and disruptions, you’ve led and served our students graciously and thoughtfully. I commend you for your good work and want you to know that our board, executive leadership team, and I see, appreciate, and commend your hard work and diligent efforts.

Laurie and I were grateful to meet and get to know many of you better at the social hours we hosted this fall at the President’s Residence and through other in-person events. God has blessed Concordia with people who are both professionally gifted and talented and personally caring and engaging. You are our greatest resource, and God has blessed CSP and most importantly, our students, through you.

Last week, you may have seen a summary of the Great Colleges to Work For survey results in the CSP Digest. I appreciate each one of you who responded to the survey. Thank you for your constructive, honest, and thoughtful feedback. Your responses detailed many of the things we do well here, like clarity of roles and responsibilities, how well we collaborate and work together, and how well managers and department chairs support and lead their teams.

At the same time, you identified areas in which we can improve, including communication, appreciation, transparency in governance, and decision-making. We take your feedback seriously, and, working together with you, will use it to continue leveraging our strengths and improving our growth areas. We are committed to making CSP a great university at which to work.

Finally, for those who work in St. Paul, please make plans to join Laurie and me for the President’s Christmas Reception on Friday, December 10 at 5 pm. For our colleagues in Portland, we are working on an event in conjunction with commencement. It will be wonderful to celebrate Jesus, the one who restores our souls, as we conclude a successful semester together. More details on both events to come soon. 

I thank God for each one of you, and pray that you have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Much joy,

Brian L. Friedrich

President