Welcome to the fall 2021 semester I firmly believe that, although we understand the concerns associated with COVID-19, there is nothing that can stop the successes of our students, faculty and staff.

A view looking south on the University of Nevada, Reno Quad, a large lawn area surrounded by trees, walkways and an outer ring of buildings, with Morrill Hall visible at the end of the Quad.

Welcome to the fall 2021 semester

I firmly believe that, although we understand the concerns associated with COVID-19, there is nothing that can stop the successes of our students, faculty and staff.

August 23, 2021

Dear Wolf Pack Family,

I wish to welcome all of you to the start of the fall 2021 semester. Our campus community has been diligently preparing for an academic year full of personal achievement and institutional advancement as we work together in realizing Nevada’s future. We have within our sights an opportunity to work together to make our campus the place where dreams do come true and where all individuals can have the opportunity to succeed at the highest levels.

I firmly believe that, although we understand the concerns associated with COVID-19, there is nothing that can stop the successes of our students, faculty and staff. All of you have chosen to define success through very humanistic ways. You’ve put people first. You’ve shown compassion and understanding for one another. You’ve demonstrated through generous and kind acts, large and small, that we are at our best as an institution when we have the assisting hands of colleagues and classmates who are always there to help when help is needed most. I am so proud of the people of our University.

Mandate updates

The past few weeks have seen several state public health mandates related to the COVID-19 Delta variant. These mandates have strong implications for how we live, study and work on campus and at all other University locations.

Here are some important updates to keep in mind.


The University continues to adhere to the state of Nevada’s mandate that regardless of vaccination status, all students, employees, and members of the public must wear masks indoors. Also, students, employees, and members of the public, who have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, are required to wear face coverings outdoors while on campus and at all other University locations.


Vaccinations continue to be our best line of defense in fighting the spread of COVID. Students, faculty and staff can make an appointment through our Student Health Center for a vaccination or can receive the vaccination from a host of local health providers. The imperative here is clear: vaccination is not only for you, but also for the health and well-being of those you love, those you live and study with, and those you work with.

University employee vacination/weekly testing mandate

The State of Nevada is implementing a mandatory COVID-19 weekly testing requirement for all unvaccinated State employees, which was to become effective on Aug. 15; however, the Nevada System of Higher Education’s implementation of employee testing and protocols will begin on Aug. 30. The testing mandate will apply to all NSHE faculty, staff and any other employee full or par-time, who receives a paycheck from NSHE. Human Resources will provide additional information and guidance to the campus as soon as it become available.

Student vaccination mandate

On Friday, Aug. 20, the State Board of Public Health voted to require the COVID-19 vaccine for students attending NSHE institutions. Students must provide proof of vaccination by Nov. 1, 2021 to enroll in the spring 2022 semester. We will provide additional details on this mandate as details become available.

Although we have made positive progress in the fight against COVID-19, the University continues to prepare for changes in health and safety requirements as directed by Governor Sisolak, the Washoe County Health District, the Nevada System of Higher Education’s Board of Regents, and the Chancellor. Therefore, policies and procedures for University operations as well as mode of instruction may change through the semester. Should the Governor, Washoe County Health District, Board of Regents or the Chancellor require that classes be moved to entirely online or another mode of delivery, there will be no refund of tuition or fees.

As we return to an in-person experience for the fall semester, health and safety protocols for our classrooms, laboratories, workspaces and residential communities are already in place. Information regarding all COVID-19 related policies and procedures are available on the University’s coronavirus web page. Included on these pages are face covering guidelines, information on how an individual can get a vaccination, as well as general student, employee and department guidance.

A final note on the health, safety and well-being of our University community. The previous three semesters of the pandemic have taught us a great many lessons in how we should operate given the many variables, complexities and the general volatility of COVID-19. Our faculty and staff have shown outstanding flexibility in the face of the pandemic’s challenges. Our students have demonstrated remarkable resiliency. We have tools at our disposal that have empirically and quantitatively been shown to work: vaccines, facial coverings and testing. Combining all of these public health measures while remaining vigilant in minimizing the spread of COVID-19 provides us a with a roadmap for success this semester. I firmly believe we have already demonstrated the willingness to follow it and will do so again during the fall semester.

The semester will no doubt require diligence and vigilance on our part. But this is not unfamiliar territory. We can keep our campus safe by adhering to public health policies and understanding that taken in sum, what we are asking of one another is indeed a small price in order to ensure the health of a neighbor, friend, co-worker, classmate, or family member. This is a core tenet that truly distinguishes our University. We care about our University, and about each other. We will continue to work together in ensuring that success can be had by anyone who is part of the Wolf Pack Family. Our priority will always be our people.

I hope you have a personally enriching and highly successful fall semester.

Go Pack!

Sincere regards,

Brian Sandoval