Dear Academic Staff and Faculty,
It is an exciting time of year with final exams, graduation and winter break just around the corner. I want to thank you all for your support as we transitioned this fall back to a more typical UNT experience for our students. We can be thankful that our campus and community health have improved significantly since August. However, we are carefully monitoring the omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus and its potential impact on the spring semester.
CDC guidelines and Texas COVID requirements are used to guide our health-related practices on campus. You can expect a spring semester with the same protocols as those currently in effect. If guidelines or mandates change, UNT’s Health Crisis Team will review all relevant information, consider the impact on the campus community and recommend any changes to protect our students, staff and faculty.
Below is a summary of safety protocols as a reminder for spring 2022. You can also find information on the Return to Learn website.
Continuity of Teaching
- In accordance with Governor Abbott’s Executive Order 36 Prohibiting Government Entities From Mandating Masks, face coverings are not required at UNT. However, UNT is strongly encouraging everyone to wear a face covering when indoors, regardless of vaccination status. We ask our faculty and staff to lead by example and wear a face covering.
- Syllabus statements for face coverings, attendance and course materials for alternative instruction will not change for spring 2022 and are posted in the syllabus template available on the CLEAR website.
- A seating chart and daily attendance is strongly recommended to aid in the contact tracing process. Instructions for creating a seating chart and classroom floor plans are on the CLEAR website. If you are using a seating chart, it is critical that this be in Canvas and that attendance be marked each class period.
- The green camouflage buckets with sanitizing spray and other cleaning supplies will remain in classrooms for spring semester. Supplies are replenished nightly by custodial staff, but if you find that the supply has been exhausted, you can order more using the Report-a-Problem app on the classroom computer.
- The delivery mode of courses (online, hybrid, in-person) must be in accordance with the information in the registration schedule. Course delivery through alternative methods, such as Zoom, is only permitted in cases of instructor quarantine, isolation or illness, with chair and dean approval.
- Flexibility may continue to be necessary for student absences due to illness, quarantine and/or isolation. Please provide opportunities for students to participate remotely when necessary and load course-related materials into Canvas prior to the start of the semester to ensure student accessibility.
- As of Jan. 1, 2022, all students, faculty and staff reporting their own positive COVID-19 status to UNT’s Contact Tracing team at COVID@unt.edu will need to upload their results unless they tested on campus in order to have an excused absence (on-campus testing results are automatically shared with UNT).
Continuity of Operations
- UNT strongly encourages all students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated, and the Student Health and Wellness Center is offering booster doses. Free on-campus COVID testing will be available spring semester through Curative located in the Union and the Student Health and Wellness Center.
- UNT will continue random COVID testing during the spring semester. Testing programs will be announced through official UNT communications.
- During the spring semester, the COVID team at COVID@unt.edu will monitor COVID cases on campus, provide contact tracing and serve as a resource for all COVID-related questions. Please report any students in your class who state that they have COVID.
- PPE, including specialty face covers, is available through Risk Management. Contact your college’s PPE liaison for your PPE needs.
- Faculty alternative work arrangements must be approved through the department chair and dean. Depending on individual circumstances, faculty may request a disability accommodation through Human Resources.
- Domestic business travel, including professional development travel, will follow normal UNT processes and must be pre-approved through Concur.
- International travel has additional risk factors and requires pre-approval through Concur as well as registration through Risk Management four weeks prior to departure to ensure timely approval. Non-European destinations with a Level 3 or 4 Department of State travel risk require review by the International Risk Oversight Committee (IROC) and approval by the provost. Unvaccinated individuals must quarantine for 10 days upon return to the U.S. before coming to campus. Risk levels are constantly monitored, even after approval, to ensure safety. Travel permission may be revoked if public health conditions change.
I am impressed with how we have come together in this time of uncertainty. There have been many stressful situations during the fall semester, and I know your workload has increased to implement safety protocols while supporting our students. I appreciate your patience, understanding and collaboration. Working as a team, we have come through the darkest times of the pandemic with many proud moments to share and plans for an even brighter future.
I wish you a well-deserved, restful break and a very happy holiday season.