October 22, 2021
To MICA Students, Parents, Staff, and Faculty,
As we begin to enjoy the first days of fall, we write to share MICA’s plans for the Spring 2022 semester.
A Successful Fall 2021 Reopening
MICA reopened this fall semester with all students safely returning to face-to-face and hybrid classroom instruction, on-campus housing, access to studios and fabrication spaces, robust vaccination policies, weekly asymptomatic testing for individuals with approved vaccine exemptions, and campus COVID-19 positivity rates continuing to hover near zero. We give our deepest thanks to the extraordinary MICA community for our success—the unwavering commitment of faculty, staff, and students has allowed the College to continue to operate true to its core values and educational mission despite the continuing challenges of pandemic management.
With the College’s fall semester at the halfway point, we now turn to spring confident with the success of the campus reopening.
The Promise of Spring 2022
MICA continues to work closely with our epidemiologist consultants in developing all educational and operational aspects of the on-campus experience for the Spring 2022 semester. We are encouraged by their very positive assessment of MICA’s Fall 2021 reopening efforts and near zero positivity rates. Our doctors believe that Maryland’s vaccination rates will steadily increase, as booster shots become widely available, and that rates of community spread will decrease in the coming months—especially after the conclusion of the flu season in early March.
We are pleased to announce the plan to continue MICA’s Spring 2022 semester in Operational Mode 4 but with expanded in-person on-campus activities. That means our spring exhibitions should be able to welcome a larger public and our May 2022 Commencement should be able to return to an in-person celebration. We’re additionally exploring opportunities for in-person attendance to the MICA Grad Show events and even potentially Artwalk. While our plans may change due to the unpredictability of the pandemic, our hope is to bring back in-person celebration of the work and accomplishments of our remarkable art and design community.
Since we are planning to continue operating as we have this fall, with in-person classes and on-campus work and residential life as the norm for the spring semester at MICA, staff and students can expect the same practices as are currently in place.
We are asking our faculty to work with their chairs and program directors to discuss the most appropriate structure and sequence for their spring classes to elevate the students' learning experience and align with their course learning goals. Face-to-face instruction will be prioritized. Given our faculty’s demonstrated skill with online instruction, we now have the capacity to pivot classes should the College experience a winter weather event. Academic leadership has asked faculty to send advance notification of any syllabus or schedule shifts, to adjust for snow or inclement weather, several hours in advance of class meeting time to ensure that our commuter students can plan for such changes. In closing, we hope you share our optimistic outlook for spring.
We would like to again offer our sincere gratitude to all of our MICA community members—from our faculty and students who have reunited in our classrooms, to our staff and health professionals who have worked tirelessly to ensure the safety and well-being of all our members. Our continued collaboration and support for each other will help MICA emerge from the pandemic as a stronger and better institution.
Samuel Hoi, President
Tiffany Holmes, Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost
Office of the President
Maryland Institute College of Art
1300 West Mt. Royal Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21217