Online training and pledge required of all

Dear Ohio State Community:

Good afternoon. This week, we are sharing with you several important updates. As we continue to plan for a return to on-campus operations in the autumn, Ohio State will require that all students, faculty and staff complete an online training course and the Together As Buckeyes Pledge. We are also sharing accountability measures for failure to take the training and sign the pledge, and for anyone who chooses not to abide by required health and safety guidelines.

These steps, shared at University Senate, are part of a larger picture of mandatory safe and healthy measures, including wearing a mask, practicing physical distancing and ensuring good hygiene. We want to be clear: Our return to on-campus operations in the autumn is fully dependent on each member of the university community following all requirements and guidance. If we fail to collectively maintain this culture of caring for ourselves and each other, we will not be able to be together on our campuses doing the things we love — including teaching, learning, researching, playing sports and keeping active, and cheering on our student-athletes.

In the fight against the spread of COVID-19, we are Together As Buckeyes.

Online training course and Together as Buckeyes Pledge

All students, faculty and staff must complete an online training course and the Together As Buckeyes Pledge. The pledge acknowledges an understanding of and commitment to the behaviors described in the training. It is not a legal waiver.

The 10-minute training will be assigned in the coming weeks toBuckeyeLearn transcripts and the pledge will be signed upon completion of the course. We will alert the entire community when it is available. Accommodations will be made for those without access to a computer to complete the training.

Completing the training and signing the pledge are mandatory for all students, faculty and staff before returning to Ohio State’s campuses. Those who have already been working on a campus should take the online training and sign the pledge as soon as possible. For those not physically returning to a campus, the training and pledge need to be completed by the start of autumn semester on August 25.The training course will cover expectations for daily health checks, personal protection such as face masks, hygiene, staying informed and more.

Accountability measures

While we expect everyone to follow the guidance voluntarily, accountability measures will be in place for those who do not complete the training and sign the pledge, or choose not to abide by required health and safety guidelines. These accountability measures range from additional training and informal coaching to formal disciplinary action based on existing structures for students, faculty and staff. They are available on the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website.

Please visit the website regularly for updates, including guidance related to our mask requirement for all students, faculty, staff, vendors, volunteers and visitors.

As a reminder, masks must be worn on Ohio State’s campuses when entering indoor or enclosed spaces. Masks also must be worn in outdoor spaces where individuals gather and cannot maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet between each person. This is in alignment with state guidance for institutions of higher education and the recent mandate from the Ohio Governor’s Office.

Travel advisory

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced this week a new travel advisory, recommending that Ohioans self-quarantine for 14 days after returning from any state or territory with a COVID positivity rate greater than 15%. Thislist currently includes: Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Nevada, South Carolina and Texas.

The university is reviewing this new advisory, and we will keep you informed on how these changes may impact Ohio State’s travel guidelines. We are also extending the university state of emergency through Saturday, Aug. 1, which enables us to utilize Disaster Leave (Policy 6.28).

Thank you for your continued commitment to each other and our university’s mission. Next week, July 27-31, we celebrate Faculty and Staff Appreciation Week, recognizing the many ways that you work each day to advance Ohio State’s mission. For virtual events and discounts available throughout the week, visit the Human Resources website.

Additionally, you can show your appreciation for a colleague or colleagues with personalized messages and virtual cards available at the Kindness at Ohio State website.

We remain Together As Buckeyes.


Bruce A. McPheron, PhD
Executive Vice President and Provost

Harold L. Paz, MD, MS
Executive Vice President and Chancellor for Health Affairs
CEO, Wexner Medical Center