Return to Learn

Updated September 3, 2021

Our past 18 months have challenged us in ways we never thought possible. Today, we are looking forward and preparing for our return to our campus with a watchful eye on what is happening in the community.

UNT has a Health Crisis Team (HCT) that continuously monitors community health conditions, CDC guidelines, and Texas COVID requirements to guide health-related practices on campus. As guidelines and mandates change, the HCT reviews all relevant information, considers the impact on the campus community, and recommends change that best serves our students, staff, and faculty.

Living in a world of uncertainty has been difficult for us all. It is exciting to be able to offer students a learning experience they would normally expect at UNT, but it also generates many questions. This website includes UNT’s current guidelines for academic affairs and will be updated as we respond to changing conditions. Please continue to send your questions and requests to Brenda.Kihl@unt.edu so we can respond to your needs.

Continuity Stages

UNT continuously monitors public health conditions, including infection rates in our region and state and seeks guidance from county and state health officials. Since the start of the pandemic, we have been phasing academic activities in response to conditions on campus and in the community.   The following offers further detail on key aspects of each stage of the plan.

March 22 – May 3

  • UNT campus closed, except for essential personnel
  • All classes moved to online or remote delivery
  • Willis Library open for academic and technical support
  • Residence halls closed, with limited exceptions

May 4 – July 5

  • Faculty/staff may have limited access to offices
  • Telecommuting primary mode of work
  • All 5W1 summer classes online or remote
  • Limited student access to experiential learning spaces (after June 1)
  • Willis Library remains open
  • Restart advisory committees develop plans to reopen campus

July 6 – August 9

  • Majority of 5W2 courses are online and remote
  • Limited in-person instruction for select experiential learning courses
  • Units reopening plans developed consistent with COVID Response Guidelines
  • Student support services open in-person services
  • Academic offices open 5-15 hours/week with all offices open Thursdays
  • Select Clinics resume in-person services
  • Select athletic teams resume voluntary practice
  • Limited dining operations
  • Willis Library open

August 10 - May 31

  • Resume in-person instructional delivery and student support services
  • Classes are hybrid, remote, and online delivery
  • All classes and academic services will follow social distancing and safety guidelines
  • Academic support services and offices open regular business hours with limited in-person staff
  • Student affairs and housing open
  • Virtual academic and student services will continue
  • Campus activities will scale based on demand and public health conditions
  • Clinics resume in-person services
  • Spring semester academic operations resume on January 4th after winter break
  • Spring 2021 classes resume January 11 in the mode of delivery that is scheduled

June 1 - Ongoing

  • Summer Classes will be in-person, hybrid, remote, and online delivery
  • Fall 2021 Classes will return to pre-COVID schedule and delivery
  • Classrooms configured for full capacity
  • Academic support services and offices open regular business hours
  • Full staffing for Academic Affairs resumes August 1, 2021
  • Student affairs and housing open regular hours
  • Virtual academic and student services will continue
  • Active monitoring and review of community health conditions

Prepare to Return to Learn

UNT has made modifications to policies, procedures and standard practices in response to COVID-19. The following information details the changes to help academic faculty and staff prepare for on-campus teaching and operations. Information is updated regularly as decisions are made in response to health conditions and state and local orders..  

  1. Academic Calendar: Fall 2021

    The fall academic calendar will run as originally scheduled. See the fall registration guide for details.

  2. Activities/Events on Campus

    Events scheduled after August 1st must follow UNT’s normal approval processes. All venues will be open to events and there are no restrictions on size. Information published or disseminated about the event must include a statement that the event may be adjusted, rescheduled, or canceled based on community health conditions.

  3. Classroom Cleaning and Disinfecting

    Classrooms will be equipped with a camouflage bucket with sanitizing spray. Students may continue to use these cleaning supplies to sanitize their classroom space when they arrive. Supplies will be replenished nightly by custodial staff.

  4. Classroom Culture That Promotes Health and Safety

    Everyone in the UNT community has a shared responsibility to sustain a healthy environment for ourselves, for our coworkers, for our students and for our visitors. Precautionary actions taken during the height of the COVID pandemic have been suspended. Faculty, students and staff are encouraged to wear a face covering indoors, get vaccinated, and continue to monitor their health to help keep our UNT community safe and healthy.

    UNT also implemented a mandatory testing requirement for Fall 2021. All students, faculty, and staff will be required to have a COVID-19 test at designated intervals throughout the fall semester, with the first testing interval being Aug. 16 - Sept. 10. Additional testing intervals will be determined and announced. Vaccinated individuals can opt-out of the mandatory testing requirement by uploading proof of vaccination by Sept. 10.

  5. Classroom: Instruction

    All classroom instruction will return to pre-COVID activities for Fall 2021. Although not required, faculty are encouraged to create seating charts and take attendance to assist with contact tracing.

    All courses should be delivered in accordance with information in the registration system.

    • Online Courses: Online instruction and has been approved for delivery by CLEAR
    • Hybrid Courses: A combination of online and in-person instruction, with more than 50% of the course taught online and has been approved for delivery by CLEAR
    • In-person Courses: Delivered in-person based on the information in the registration system (i.e. MWF class meets in-person in location identified in the schedule). Course delivery through alternative methods, such as Zoom, is only permitted in cases of quarantine/isolation/illness of instructor and requires dean approval.
  6. Classroom Layout

    Classrooms (110 classrooms) have furniture arranged in pre-COVID configurations with full seating capacities. The classroom furniture layout website has a visual of the furniture configuration for each classroom.

  7. Classrooms: Outdoor Teaching Spaces

    Outdoor learning spaces are available for individual class meetings, as appropriate. Reservations are required.

    Union Outdoor Spaces: Clark Park, Crumley Park, Rawlins Front Lawn
    Contact: UniversityUnion.SchedulingOffice@unt.edu or 940-565-3804

    Discovery Park Outdoor Spaces: Contact Cindy.Dutton@unt.edu or 940-565-4300

  8. Classroom Seating Chart and Taking Attendance

    Although not required, faculty are encouraged to create seating charts in Canvas to assist with contact tracing. Contact tracers can quickly access seating charts in Canvas to identify close contacts in the classroom. We will no longer use alternative forms of seating charts for contact tracing purposes. The classroom furniture layout website has a visual of the furniture configuration for each classroom to help with the faculty member's seating chart.

    Instructions on how to create a seating chart are on the CLEAR website. Information on the UNT’s contact tracing process can be found on the UNT Health Alerts website.

    If you decide to make a seating chart, check your Accessible Information Management - AIM Instructor Portal to determine if there are students in the class who need accommodations. The Office of Disability Access has more information on accommodations for students with disabilities.

  9. Classroom Technology

    To enhance learning, UNT is expanding the availability of HyFlex/Advanced Synchronous Rooms. The technology enables faculty to record class sessions and students to join class remotely. Hyflex classrooms (1) capture quality audio and video of the instructor and students, especially during class discussion and (2) feature more cameras and better angles so the professor can move around the front of the room. As of Fall 2021, 28 classrooms are equipped as HyFlex/Advanced Synchronous Rooms, with microphones installed in the ceilings above student seating.

    • Business Leadership Building: BLB005, BLB010, BLB015, BLB035, BLB050, BLB060, BLB073, BLB080, BLB090, BLB140, BLB180, BLB250, BLB260
    • Chilton Hall: CHIL345
    • Discovery Park: DPK110, DPK120, DPK150, DPF175; DPD201, DPB185, DPB155
    • Frisco: FRSC128, FRHB102, FRHB118
    • Matthews Hall: MATT311
    • Terrill Hall: TH120, TH121

    Contact your department chair about scheduling classes in HyFlex/Advanced Synchronous classroom spaces.

    Useful resources and training materials can be found on the Teach Anywhere site or https://classroomsupport.unt.edu/teaching-with-tech.

    Classroom Support Services will continue to support classroom technology needs. classroomsupport@unt.edu or 940-565-2691

  10. Classroom Technology: Microphones

    Microphones have been added to all general (110) classrooms to ensure the best possible experience. Body pack microphone sets are installed in the general access classrooms. The transmitter will stay in the classroom for all faculty members to use and will sit in a charging station when not in use. The lavaliere microphone is the piece that you place on your body and clip to your shirt. This will be assigned to you individually for hygiene reasons. 

    For lavaliere mics: Contact DSI Tech (dsisupport.unt.edu, 940-565-2691) to deliver the lavaliere before your first class and demonstrate proper use. 

    Classroom Support Services will continue to support classroom technology needs. https://classroomsupport.unt.edu/ classroomsupport@unt.edu or 940-565-2691

  11. Clinical Operations

    Clinics may transition to pre-COVID operations for Fall 2021. Clinic leadership may opt to modify pre-COVID operations to ensure a safe clinical treatment environment for staff and clients.

  12. Close Contacts and Self-Quarantine

    Through the contact tracing process, individuals may be considered a close contact or asked to self-isolate or self-quarantine. See the contact tracing site for more information about the contact tracing process.

  13. Contact Tracing

    UNT has developed protocols to trace contacts within our community, including UNT faculty, staff and students who have tested positive for or been diagnosed with COVID-19. All protocols are in adherence with CDC guidelines and developed in conjunction with local health authorities. Contract tracing for purposes of public health includes all personal contacts and travel. The focus is on contacts within the UNT community, visits to campus, and risk within dining facilities, public areas of campus, and residence halls. The contact tracing tab on the health alerts website has detailed information about the contact tracing process.

  14. COVID-19 Team

    A COVID email address has been established to help UNT community members report and understand COVID-19 symptoms, testing information and/or results; receive guidance on actions they may need to take following potential exposure; and with questions related to COVID-19’s impact on our university operations. Email COVID@unt.edu to report symptoms, positive COVID results, or ask COVID-related questions.

  15. COVID-Positive Student in Class

    If a student in an in-person class tests positive, they should remain at home and contact the COVID-19 Team to start the contact tracing process.  Faculty teaching the COVID-positive student will be notified and provided additional information, including a video to share with other students in the class if the COVID-positive student attended class while symptomatic.

  16. COVID Testing

    COVID-19 antigen testing is available in the student health and wellness center for students and for employees identified as close contacts during the contact tracing process. Employees are asked to see their primary health care provider for screening and possible testing for COVID-19 or take advantage of testing offered free in the Union Monday through Friday. Book online at https://curative.com/sites/24128.

  17. Exams: Ensuring Academic Integrity

    All classes may offer online exams. UNT subscribes to a product called Respondus that serves as a remote proctor. While testing with Respondus, the students’ browser is locked down so they cannot access web searches and offers AI-guided proctoring through student webcams. Information on Respondus can be found on the CLEAR website. DSI CLEAR also provides Respondus support to faculty.

  18. Face Coverings: Campus Locations to Obtain Disposable Masks

    If a student would like to obtain a face covering for class, they are available at a number of campus locations. Some of the most convenient loacations include:

    • Willis Library
    • Union Information Desk
    • VP Student Affairs office – Hurley Administration Building
    • Discovery Park – Engineering Dean’s Office & College of Information Dean’s Office
    • Inspire Park –Administrative Office 115
    • Hall Park – Library 166
  19. Face Coverings

    UNT encourages everyone to wear a face covering when indoors, regardless of vaccination status, to protect yourself and others from COVID infection, as recommended by current CDC guidelines. Face covering guidelines could change based on community health conditions.

    Please post only UNT-approved signs to communicate COVID-19 safety information. Approved signs are available on the Health Alerts website.

    Under the Governor’s executive order, UNT cannot require students, staff or faculty to wear a face covering.

  20. Faculty Development Leave

    Faculty Development Leave requests are being considered for 2021-2022 academic year. Faculty who deferred their 2020-2021 faculty development leave should contact the Faculty Success Office for more inforamtion.

  21. Faculty Flexible Work Arrangement

    Faculty requesting remote work arrangements must request approval by submitting a Faculty Flexible Work Arrangement Form. All faculty requests for less than 50% remote work arrangements and within the DFW region only need approval through the Dean. Faculty requests for more than 50% remote work or remote work outside the DFW region also require Provost approval.

    Academic staff requesting flexible work arrangements must follow UNT policy and obtain all approvals by submitting a flexible work arrangement form (https://policy.unt.edu/policy/05-022). All academic staff requests require approval of the appropriate supervisors before submitting to academic resources for Provost consideration.

  22. Faculty Illness

    Faculty who may become ill, whether or not related to the COVID-19 virus, have leave options available through the Family and Medical Leave Act, their own accrued sick leave, sick leave pool, and sick leave donation. In addition, faculty may request a leave of absence without pay upon exhausting these leave resources.

    Faculty who are ill must contact their department chair to address the continuity of instruction, appointing a substitute instructor if necessary.

  23. Faculty Office Hours

    Faculty office hours are required for all courses.

    • In-person classes must schedule some in-person office hours and may be held in faculty offices, a conference room, or other available spaces
    • Online classes must schedule some online office hours
    • For both in-person and online classes, offer students the option for in-person and virtual office hours to accommodate what works best for them
  24. Field Trips

    Academic activities outside the classroom such as field trips, performances, class project, etc. must follow normal UNT approval processes.

  25. Hours of Operation

    Academic Affairs units are expected to return to normal operations on August 2, 2021. Offices will post hours of operation on the entrance doors and the department website.

  26. Human Resources Information Regarding COVID-19

    Information about employment, work schedules, personnel and other human resources questions related to COVID-19 can be found on the UNT System HR webpage.

  27. Ill Student in Class

    If a student is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms in class, faculty should politely ask the student to excuse them self from class and return to their place of residence. Refer to the Health Alerts website for self-monitoring information. The student is also asked to email the COVID Team for assistance.

  28. Libraries

    Willis Library will be open with modified hours to support the needs of our students, staff and faculty. Libraries will return to their normal hours of operations for Fall 2021.

  29. Personal Protective Equipment

    Personal protective equipment, including masks for specialty use such as bell covers, clear masks, and other specific area needs are available through risk management. Please request PPE through your college PPE liaison.

  30. Reopening Plans

    Reopening plans for Fall 2021 are not required for any campus space.

  31. Research

    Research activities may resume using normal UNT processes and procedures.

  32. Schedule of Classes

    The fall schedule of classes will return to a pre-COVID schedule, similar to Fall 2019.

  33. Student Absences

    Students may become ill or asked to quarantine because they have come in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Faculty should be mindful that student absences due to COVID may still occur. The attendance policy for the class must be in the syllabus. Making attendance accommodations is at the discretion of the faculty member. Possible modifications include:

    • If you have attendance points – reconsider for COVID-related absences
    • Post course information and materials in Canvas
    • Provide flexibility in accepting late assignments and offering make-up exams to accommodate absences


    If a student misses more than one class without notification, send the student an email to check in and submit an early alert notification in EIS. This can be done be logging into EIS, under Faculty Homepage, select Faculty Center. Click Class Roster and the Early Alert icon is in the second column. Learn how to submit an early alert.

    A Fall 2021 attendance policy is available for inclusion in syllabi. See Syllabus Statement: Attendance

    International Student Absences: International students may not be able to be vaccinated before arrival to the U.S. and will be required to quarantine. In addition, there are significant challenges with obtaining visas and the timing of the students' arrival may not be fully within their control. UNT will offer vaccination clinics to support our international students as they arrive at UNT. Faculty are asked to have alternative methods for participation during the period in which an international student is required to quarantine.

  34. Study Abroad

    UNT will return to the normal process for study abroad travel scheduled for academic year 2021-22. Travel to countries with a level 3 or level 4 State Department Risk will require an IROC review and Provost approval.

  35. Supervisor COVID Training

    Human Resources hosted a supervisor COVID-19 training on August 18. The session covered a variety of topics that will help supervisors respond to COVID-related questions and the mandatory testing program. A recording of the supervisor training is available in Bridge.

  36. Syllabus Statement: Attendance

    Students may become ill or asked to quarantine because they have come in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Faculty should be mindful that student absences due to COVID may still occur. The attendance policy for the class must be in the syllabus. Making attendance accommodations is at the discretion of the faculty member. Possible modifications include:

    • If you have attendance points – reconsider for COVID-related absences
    • Post course information and materials in Canvas
    • Provide flexibility in accepting late assignments and offering make-up exams to accommodate absences


    If a student misses more than one class without notification, send the student an email to check in and submit an early alert notification in EIS. This can be done be logging into EIS, under Faculty Homepage, select Faculty Center. Click Class Roster and the Early Alert icon is in the second column. Learn how to submit an early alert.

    Below is the attendance impact statement to include in Fall 2021 syllabi. It is also included in the syllabus template available on the DSI CLEAR website.

    Attendance Policy [faculty should adapt their class attendance policy to suit their circumstances] [Insert Professor’s regular attendance policy here].

    Attendance Syllabus Statement:

    Students are expected to attend class meetings regularly and to abide by the attendance policy established for the course. It is important that you communicate with the professor and the instructional team prior to being absent, so you, the professor, and the instructional team can discuss and mitigate the impact of the absence on your attainment of course learning goals. Please inform the professor and instructional team if you are unable to attend class meetings because you are ill, in mindfulness of the health and safety of everyone in our community.

    If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 please seek medical attention from the Student Health and Wellness Center (940-565-2333 or askSHWC@unt.edu) or your health care provider PRIOR to coming to campus. UNT also requires you to contact the UNT COVID Team at COVID@unt.edu for guidance on actions to take due to symptoms, pending or positive test results, or potential exposure.

  37. Syllabus Statement: Class Materials for Remote Instruction

    Remote instruction may be necessary if community health conditions change or you need to self-isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19. Students will need access to a [webcam and microphone – faculty member to include what other basic equipment is needed] to participate in fully remote portions of the class. Additional required classroom materials for remote learning include: [list specific software, supplies, equipment or system requirements needed for the course]. Information on how to be successful in a remote learning environment can be found at https://online.unt.edu/learn.

  38. Syllabus Statement: Class Recordings

    Synchronous (live) sessions in this course will be recorded for students enrolled in this class section to refer to throughout the semester. Class recordings are the intellectual property of the university or instructor and are reserved for use only by students in this class and only for educational purposes. Students may not post or otherwise share the recordings outside the class, or outside the Canvas Learning Management System, in any form. Failing to follow this restriction is a violation of the UNT Code of Student Conduct and could lead to disciplinary action.

  39. Syllabus Statement: Face Coverings

    UNT encourages everyone to wear a face covering when indoors, regardless of vaccination status, to protect yourself and others from COVID infection, as recommended by current CDC guidelines. Face covering guidelines could change based on community health conditions.

  40. Teaching Resources

    CLEAR provides consultations and training to assist faculty as they design online courses. Resources can be found at online.unt.edu/teach.

    Professional development opportunities to support faculty teaching online are available on the UNT CLEAR website.

    Several Trainings are available asynchronously at clear.unt.edu/getting-started-online.

    • How to Organize Your Course – Creating Modules, Due Dates, a Using the Calendar to Stay Organized in Canvas
    • How to Work with Graded Assignments – Creating Assignment Items, Grading Assignments, and Using the Assignments Index in Canvas
    • How to Work with Quizzes & Exams – Creating Quizzes, Importing Questions, and Using Question Banks in Canvas
    • How to Implement Discussions – Creating Discussion Items, Graded vs. Ungraded Discussion, and Using Discussion Prompts in Canvas
    • How to Get the Most out of Zoom – Accessing Zoom, Scheduling a Session, and Using Zoom effectively during a Live Session
    • How to Keep it Legal - Copyright, and Trademark Compliance
  41. Teaching When Faculty Get Sick or Self-isolate

    Departments need to plan for the various faculty attendance scenarios that may occur. Faculty may be feeling healthy but required to self-isolate at home due to possible COVID exposure, having COVID-related symptoms, or being asymptomatic COVID-positive. Each instance must be evaluated by academic leadership for an appropriate response. Faculty who are ill or required to quarantine or self-isolate should contact their chair to discuss continuity of instruction.

  42. Travel Restrictions

    Business Travel, including professional development travel, resumed normal approval process beginning August 1.

    Domestic Travel: Follow normal UNT processes and must be pre-approved through Concur.

    International Travel: All university-sponsored international travel must be pre-approved through Concur and registered through risk management. Travel to destinations with a State Department risk level of 3 or 4 require a review by International Risk Oversight Committee (“IROC”) and approval by the Provost. Travel exception requests to high risk destinations can be submitted by completing the restricted travel exception request form. See the study abroad section for information about study abroad travel.

    Travel risk levels are constantly monitored, even after approval, to ensure safety. Travel permission by be revoked if public health or safety conditions are elevated.

    UNT will require all unvaccinated persons arriving from international travel to quarantine for 10 days prior to returning to campus.

    Student Travel: All student domestic and international travel will be monitored by normal processes in the fall. Similarly, study abroad travel will resume its normal review processes.

  43. Travel: Vacation

    We want you to be safe if you’re planning to take a vacation. To prepare for your vacation, review COVID information from the state or local health department in your location, along your travel route, and at your planned destination. Tips can also be found on the CDC’s travel webpage and on the Travel Texas website.

    Faculty and staff are strongly urged not to travel for the two weeks prior to the start of the Fall semester.

  44. Vaccinations

    Vaccinations are critical to the success of our return to typical operations. UNT has implemented a vaccination campaign with incentives for students, faculty and staff who voluntarily provide proof of vaccination. All who voluntarily disclose will receive a prize and be entered into a pool to win large prizes (such as tuition for a semester, parking pass, professional development funding).

    International students and incoming international faculty access to vaccines is varied. UNT will accept vaccines recommended by the CDC and/or World Health Organization. Anyone who has not received one of these vaccines will be asked to quarantine for 10 days and will be offered the opportunity to receive a CDC recommended vaccine. A list of approved vaccines is on the Health Alerts Website.

    Only those vaccines listed on CDC/WHO sites are approved for the UNT community. Please visit the Health Alerts Website for a list of approved vaccines.