I am deeply saddened to share with you that we have experienced the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Denton. This means we now must move to the next phase of our business continuity plan. In order to protect the health and safety of our community, all on-campus instruction, student services and research will be restricted to only essential activities by close of business Monday March 23rd, where possible, and by Tuesday March 24th, at the latest.
Continuity of Student Services
We have made tremendous progress in moving to virtual student support services. We will now suspend in-person services, except where necessary.
- Willis Library will remain open, with limited operations, including accessibility to students to check out a laptop or use the computer lab.
- Housing, dining, and the Student Health and Wellness Center services will continue to be provided to those students who need it.
- Please continue to direct students to the support services they need as virtual operations will continue.
Continuity of Instruction
While our faculty made every effort to move instruction online, there were a very limited number of learning experiences that simply could not take place online. We now must suspend this in-person instruction too.
- I have asked each college, where applicable, to prepare a communication to send to students explaining changes that will happen to their instruction.
- For those instructors impacted by this change, communicate with your students about your plans for alternative delivery.
- We continue to add additional guidance on http://teachanywhere.unt.edu and http://learnanywhere.unt.edu
- Know that our IT professionals are working as quickly as possible to meet our instructors needs. I encourage where possible that you adapt the delivery of your curriculum to rely less on specialized software, as possible. We now have Adobe Create Cloud, SPSS and Microsoft Office available for students to download at http://learnanywhere.unt.edu
Continuity of Research
As much as we regret doing so, we must suspend a significant number of our research activities to protect the health and safety of our community. We are not alone as R1 universities across the country are ramping down research facilities and know that many more will join us in the coming days and weeks. I know that this will be disruptive to the research and scholarly activities of you, your students and your research team. I encourage you to take this time to focus on the activities that can be completed remotely, such as analyzing data, writing papers, and preparing grant proposals.
- Every faculty member engaged in research should plan for a remote-work research operation that could last for an indefinite period of time. This is a good time to talk to your dean, chair, research partners and, if any, research funders, to discuss the next best steps for you to proceed.
- All research facilities will need to ramp down all functions into a non-use preservation status to ensure protection of research assets and resources. This means faculty will no longer be able to continue conducting research on UNT’s campus once their facility is moved to non-use status. Please see the guidance on ramping down research.
- All human subjects research must be paused until guidance to resume is directed. Contact the Institutional Review Board about revising your human subjects protocol.
- I recognize that this global health crisis has created disruption in faculty’s research progress, particularly to those working towards tenure. Stop the Clock will be available for tenure-track faculty significantly impacted by this research disruption. In addition, guidance will be forthcoming as it relates to annual reviews. The Office of Faculty Success will provide further details in the coming weeks.
Continuity of Communication
This week there are three Virtual Coffee Hours, as opportunities for you to connect with university leaders.
- Coffee Hour: Continuity of Teaching, Thursday, March 26, 3 pm Zoom Code: 133010949
- Coffee Hour: Continuity of Student Services, Thursday, March 26 11 am. Zoom Code: 790456656
- Coffee Hour: Continuity of Research, Monday, March 23 4 pm Zoom Code: 170163294
For those who need to come on campus, engage in social distancing.
As we prepare for the first day of alternative delivery of instruction, I want to say thank you for everything you are doing to support our students. I know this semester has not turned out the way any of us had hoped, and yet I am astounded by the efforts of everyone in our community to come together. Everyone has done amazing work in a short period of time to make sure our students could continue their learning in spite of these extraordinary circumstances.