16:12 PM

Interim President's Message: Update on Classes Beginning March 22

Dr. Antonio D. Tillis

Dear Students,

I hope this note finds you in good health and preparing for a safe Spring Break.

As you're aware, out of concern over the post-holiday spike in COVID-19 infections, all University of Houston-Downtown courses have been conducted 100 percent online since the start of the spring semester. Fortunately, since peaking in mid-January, the infection rate for our region has come down significantly. Therefore, effective March 22, all Spring 2021 classes will be conducted using the instructional delivery mode originally scheduled.

For example, if a spring class was scheduled to be online, it will remain online. If a spring class was scheduled for some on-campus engagement (face-to-face classes, hybrid classes, and the on-campus portions of remote interactive classes), then that on-campus engagement will begin on March 22.

In making decisions regarding the opening of campus, UHD leadership considers guidance from the UH System, regional health officials, UHD's Department of Emergency Management and the UHD COVID-19 Task Force. In this instance, incoming UHD President Loren J. Blanchard was also consulted.

While the Governor's Office has issued an Executive Order that includes ending the state's mask mandate, all UHD safety protocols remain in place until further notice. These include required masks/face coverings on campus at all times; signing in at designated entrances; maintaining proper distancing in hallways and classrooms, public spaces; and a four-person limit on elevators.

It is important that all members of the UHD Community do their part to maintain a safe environment for learning and working. In addition to abiding by UHD's safety protocols, please continue to practice self-care habits to ensure your personal health and safety, including washing hands regularly and staying at home if you are sick or have been in contact with someone who is sick.

This month marks one year since the pandemic began to affect every aspect of our lives. It has been challenging, but your determination has made the difference at UHD. You have successfully adapted to online learning and changes in campus safety protocols. You no doubt have had to make other concessions in your personal lives as well.

While I cannot tell you when the University (or the world for that matter) will return to normal, I can acknowledge your efforts in ensuring a safe and successful semester. Your strength and poise in the face of this pandemic have been admirable to say the least, and have set an example for all Houstonians.

Thank you for your flexibility this spring and, most importantly, for doing your part to keep our campus safe.




Antonio D. Tillis, Ph.D.
Interim President
University of Houston-Downtown