This message was sent via email to Foothill-De Anza district employees by Chancellor Judy Miner
Sept. 26, 2022
I want to apologize for the uncertainty and confusion that was caused by my abrupt announcement on Friday regarding the change in our indoor masking policy. There were several time-sensitive issues that led to the decision to make the change, but I understand that Friday evening was not an optimal time for such an announcement. I can only hope that the merits of providing individualized choices for our students, staff and faculty are not lost in the distress caused by the lack of consultation with our constituency groups and the stress of an immediate implementation on the first day of the quarter.
Toward the end of last week, I developed a sense of urgency to act on our current direction with indoor masking given the following input I received:
- concerns that we were losing enrollment to neighboring districts as a result of the masking mandate;
- accusations that we were acting in response to fear rather than facts, especially in light of local, state and national loosening of various pandemic-related restrictions; and
- reports from both presidents of a strong consensus from employees at division and department meetings in favor of optional masking.
With the start of fall quarter imminent, I felt it important to take action to provide consistency for the quarter. I know there continue to be questions about implementation, and we will address those concerns. As I stated in my original message, this change does not eliminate the ability of faculty and managers to require masking in their respective instructional and public-facing areas or the ability of individual employees to continue to wear masks as they choose. It was intended to provide more flexibility and to more closely align our processes with those of Santa Clara County.
Thanks to all who have written to me. I appreciate your comments. I hope we can move forward from this situation and work toward providing the best possible experience for our students as they start the quarter.
Judy C. Miner, Ed.D.