14:39 PM

Interim President's Message: COVID-19 Response Taskforce Update

Greetings UHD Students, Faculty and Staff,

I hope this note finds you and your loved ones well and in good health. As with all members of our UHD Community, your health and safety are of the utmost importance.

Today, the COVID-19 Response Taskforce submitted its first set of recommendations. While we are uncertain about all of the details surrounding how UHD will conduct business this fall at this time, there are several developments we wanted to share with you.

As you know from past announcements, the Fall 2020 class schedule is being revised and will be available the week of July 13. Classes will be delivered in four formats: online (completely web-based); online interactive (web-based with some scheduled streaming lectures/activities); hybrid (partially in person and partially online); and face-to-face (conducted on campus with limited enrollments and modified classrooms). Students enrolled in courses where the format has been changed will be contacted directly via GatorMail.

The majority of Fall classes (approximately 80-85 percent) will be completely online, while the remaining classes are being scheduled in other formats. The 15-20 percent of Fall classes conducted on campus will be in classrooms that are strategically arranged for social distancing and will contain a limited number of students.

Students enrolled in on-campus classes will be required to wear face masks. Faculty in these classes will also wear masks, and in some cases face shields, as a safety precaution for both themselves and their students.

It should also be noted that regardless of format, all courses will transition to an online environment following the Thanksgiving break and finals will be delivered online.

As you are aware, Harris County is currently in a Level 1 Red status, and UHD is planning operations for this threat level, as well as threat Level 2 Orange. We are developing more details about the University implications of each threat level, which will be shared by July 20.

As we move forward, the status of UHD on-campus operations and classes will be guided by the state of public health, as reflected by the threat assessment level identified for Harris County, using the color-based system presented by county officials, referenced above. Thus, in light of current threat levels, our initial plan for staff on campus is being reassessed with more information to follow.

In closing, please know that as we plan, your safety and health will always be our number one concern. I look forward to the time when I can greet you on campus. However, until then, be on the lookout for more information and continue to be safe and stay healthy.

Warmest regards,

Dr. Antonio D. Tillis
Interim President
University of Houston-Downtown