Sent to current students June 16, 2020

Dear students,

Back in March, I charged a team of staff known as the Crisis Management Team (CMT) to develop a plan for opening the campus for in-person instruction with the start of the Fall 2020 semester. The CMT has been hard at work with senior staff, the deans, faculty and staff members from across the University to develop this plan and is guided by our top priority: the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff.

While work toward the full plan continues, we have arrived at some key updates reflective of our current intentions that we would like to share with all returning students so you can better plan for what to expect this fall. Additional details will be shared throughout the summer as they become available. We will also continue to post all updates related to our planning in response to the global pandemic at uarts.edu/COVID19, eventually linking to the full Fall 2020 Opening Plan once it is finalized.

Health & Safety Partners
First, and as previously shared, the University is engaging one of the most elite and preeminent healthcare providers in our city, Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health, to partner with us in addressing the health and safety needs of our re-opened campus. By expanding our existing partnership with Jefferson, we will ensure that the health and safety protocols we enact for reopening UArts for in-person instruction meet or exceed the social distancing standards recommended by the CDC and governing authorities, as well as surpass best practices for higher education institutions. UArts is continuing the partnership with Jefferson’s Department of Family and Community Medicine to provide primary care services for our students, and we could not be more pleased to further expand its advisory role as we develop the health and safety reopening guidelines for the UArts community. Planning conversations began in March and continue among the senior staff of our respective institutions.

The Fall 2020 Academic Plan
At this time, it is the intention of the University to have new, first-year students begin classes on Monday, August 17.  A remote new student orientation program will begin for this cohort on August 1.  New students living on campus will move into the residence halls over August 12 and 13 and all new students will then participate in an in-person orientation program leading up to the start of classes.

Returning students will begin their in-person instruction on Monday, September 14.  Upper-level students living on campus will move into the residence halls over September 12 and 13. A remote re-orientation program for returning students will be available beginning August 17.

All in-person instruction will be completed by Saturday, November 21 just prior to Thanksgiving break, but the semester will officially end December 19. Residential students will be required to move off campus over November 21 and 22. Thereafter, remote and alternate forms of instruction will continue for most courses through December 19. You will receive details on the specifics of your schedule over the course of the summer. I am attaching a table of these important dates to this email as well, which will also be available at uarts.edu/COVID19. Residential students will soon receive a revised bill with a prorated charge for room and board based on the schedule of in-person instruction.

In addition, resuming in-person instruction requires that we as a community plan for the following:

  • UArts Healthy Promise
    • All community members who wish to return to campus, including students, faculty and staff, will be required to complete a training and sign a UArts Healthy Promise. The details of the Healthy Promise are still being developed but in general will consist of individual actions that we each must agree to in order to minimize the spread of COVID-19. It will likely include measures such as requiring all individuals to wear masks; maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet (36 square feet per person) from each other at all times in studios and classrooms; and abide by sanitation and cleaning protocols that will be established and customized for various spaces across campus. The UArts Healthy Promise will become an addendum to the student, faculty and staff handbooks, and adherence will be required.
  • Adjusted Course Meeting Times
    • To meet these requirements, and to provide any specialized cleaning regimens that may also be required, some changes in class start times and room assignments will be necessary and may require evening and weekend scheduling, as well as additional instruction spaces. More details will be shared as they become confirmed within each School.
  • Critical Studies & lecture-based Major Requirements delivered Remotely
    • To minimize the number of students, faculty and staff on-campus at any time and to maximize our ability to practice the highest level of social distancing, the academic plan for the Fall 2020 semester will require that all Critical Studies courses and lecture-based major requirements be delivered remotely. This will also facilitate students who are unable to return to campus due to heightened health or family concerns to have the choice to continue earning credit towards their degree program. For those students who return to campus, your schedule may comprise a hybrid experience.
  • Student Support & Academic Services Adjusted
    • Our staff and faculty are hard at work to develop safe and socially distant delivery plans for student support and academic services. How services are delivered within areas like Academic Advising, the Counseling Center, the Registrar’s Office, Media Resources, the Library and Financial Aid, among others, may change. Detailed plans for each area will be made available prior to the start of the fall semester.
  • Continued Support for Most Vulnerable Students through UArts Cares Fund
    • In the spring 2020 semester, more than 300 students were supported through UArts Cares with over a quarter-million dollars awarded from March through the end of the term. We recognize that the global pandemic continues to have tremendous impact on our students and their families, and that many continue to face immediate hardship including housing insecurity, food insecurity and/or a significant loss of income that may impact their ability to successfully complete the Fall 2020 semester. We will continue to provide UArts Cares funds in the fall semester  for those facing immediate hardship. In addition, if any student is concerned about their ability to meet the cost of enrollment for fall 2020 and there has been a change in your finances since you filed a FAFSA for the 2020-2021 academic year, please contact the Office of Student Financial Services at finaid@uarts.edu to discuss your concerns.

In closing, please know that we will continue to be responsive to new guidance and directives as issued by the local, state and federal authorities including the CDC. We will continue to update students, faculty and staff as information becomes available, and ask that you share messages such as this one with your family. You may also want to encourage your family to sign up for the Generations newsletter, through which we will share important public updates.

Best wishes,

David Yager

______

Sent to faculty and staff June 16, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

Back in March, I charged the University’s Crisis Management Team (CMT) to develop a plan for opening the campus for in-person instruction with the start of the Fall 2020 semester. The CMT has been hard at work with senior staff, the deans, faculty and staff members from across the University to develop this plan and is guided by our top priority: the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff.

CMT Sub-Groups
The CMT has divided its work into sub-groups, each assigned with exploring guidance and providing the UArts response to a specific area of the plan.  Each sub-group will expand as needed to include faculty and staff with the expertise that will be helpful to each specific area.  These sub-groups include focus on the following areas:

  • Academic & Administrative Spaces
  • Academic Instruction
  • Communications 
  • Facilities and Safety
  • Health and Wellness
  • Onboarding Faculty & Staff
  • Onboarding New Students
  • Onboarding Returning Students
  • Programming & Events
  • Residence Life and Dining 

While work toward the full plan continues, we have arrived at some key updates reflective of our current intentions that we would like to share so you can better plan for what to expect this fall. Additional details will be shared throughout the summer as they become available. We will also continue to post all updates related to our planning in response to the global pandemic at uarts.edu/COVID19, eventually linking to the full Fall 2020 Opening Plan once it is finalized.

Health & Safety Partners
First, and as previously shared, the University is engaging one of the most elite and preeminent healthcare providers in our city, Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health, to partner with us in addressing the health and safety needs of our re-opened campus. By expanding our existing partnership with Jefferson, we will ensure that the health and safety protocols we enact for reopening UArts for in-person instruction meet or exceed the social distancing standards recommended by the CDC and governing authorities, as well as surpass best practices for higher education institutions. UArts is continuing the partnership with Jefferson’s Department of Family and Community Medicine to provide primary care services for our students, and we could not be more pleased to further expand its advisory role as we develop the health and safety reopening guidelines for the UArts community. Planning conversations began in March and continue among the senior staff of our respective institutions.

The Fall 2020 Academic Plan
At this time, it is the intention of the University to have new, first-year students begin classes on Monday, August 17.  A remote new student orientation program will begin for this cohort on August 1.  New students living on campus will move into the residence halls over August 12 and 13 and all new students will then participate in an in-person orientation program leading up to the start of classes.

Returning students will begin their in-person instruction on Monday, September 14.  Upper-level students living on campus will move into the residence halls over September 12 and 13.

All in-person instruction will be completed by Saturday, November 21, just prior to Thanksgiving break, but the semester will officially end December 19. Residential students will be required to move off campus over November 21 and 22. Thereafter, remote and alternate forms of instruction will continue for most courses through December 19. Regardless of the end date for in-person instruction, offices remain open through December 19 and faculty and staff are expected to continue working until winter break officially begins. I am attaching a table of these important dates that has been shared with students as well to this email, which will also be available at uarts.edu/COVID19

Faculty and Staff
In support of in-person instruction, only those faculty assigned to in-person classes and only those staff who provide and/or support services that can only be delivered in-person will return to campus in the fall.  All other faculty and staff will maintain the work from home practices employed in the Spring.

All administrative department heads are being asked to provide an overview of the in-person needs of their offices so that specific health and safety protocols and practices can be established for each office.  The CMT will be working with the executive committees of Faculty Council and Staff Council, along with Human Resources to develop the final plan for the return of faculty and staff to campus.

Faculty and staff will receive training and orientation around the health and safety protocols and practices for fall 2020 in early August.

Community Plan
In addition, resuming in-person instruction requires that we as a community plan for the following:

  • UArts Healthy Promise
    • All community members who return to campus including students, faculty and staff will be required to complete a training and sign a UArts Healthy Promise. The details of the Healthy Promise are still being developed, but in general will consist of individual actions that we each must agree to in order to minimize the spread of COVID-19. It will likely include measures such as requiring all individuals to wear masks; maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet (36 square feet per person) from each other at all times in studios and classrooms; voluntarily report and record symptoms or lack thereof on a daily basis; and abide by sanitation and cleaning protocols that will be established and customized for various spaces across campus. The UArts Healthy Promise will become an addendum to the student, faculty, and staff handbooks, and adherence will be required.
  • Adjusted Course Meeting Times
    • To meet these requirements, and to provide any specialized cleaning regimens that may also be required, some changes in class start times and room assignments will be necessary and may require evening and weekend scheduling as well as additional instruction spaces. More details will be shared as they become confirmed within each School.
  • Critical Studies & Lecture-based Major Requirements Delivered Remotely
    • To minimize the number of students, faculty and staff on-campus at any time and maximize our ability to practice the highest level of social distancing, the academic plan for the Fall 2020 semester will require that all Critical Studies courses and lecture-based major requirements be delivered remotely. In addition, a majority of studio-based electives that do not also serve as major requirements will not be scheduled for the fall.
  • Student Support & Academic Services Adjusted
    • Our staff and faculty are hard at work to develop safe and socially distant delivery plans for student support and academic services. How services are delivered within areas like Academic Advising, the Counseling Center, the Registrar’s Office, Media Resources, the Library and Financial Aid among others may change. Detailed plans for each area will be made available prior to the start of the Fall semester.
  • Continued Support for Most Vulnerable Students through UArts Cares Fund
    • In the Spring 2020 semester, more than 300 students were supported through UArts Cares with over a quarter million dollars awarded from March through the end of the term. We recognize the global pandemic continues to have tremendous impact on our students and their families, and that many continue to face immediate hardship including housing insecurity, food insecurity and/or a significant loss of income that may impact their ability to successfully complete the Fall 2020 semester. We will continue to provide UArts Cares funds in the Fall semester for those facing immediate hardship. In addition, if any student is concerned about their ability to meet the cost of enrollment for fall 2020, we ask that all faculty and staff advise the student to please contact the Office of Student Financial Services at finaid@uarts.edu.

In closing, please know that we will continue to be responsive to new guidance and directives as issued by the local, state and federal authorities including the CDC. We will continue to update students, faculty and staff as information becomes available.

Best wishes,

David Yager

The Crisis Management Team is comprised of the following members:
Sara Pyle, CMT Chair and Assistant VP for Student Services
Jeanette Brown, Director for Security & Public Safety
Kristen Burkett, Director of Campus Life
Desiree DeLuca, Assistant VP for Facilities & Operations
Rhonda Fioresi, Director of Residential Life & Community Standards
Carol Graney, VP for Academic Affairs
Rick Longo, VP for Enrollment Management & Student Affairs
Maria Raha, Assistant VP for Enrollment Marketing
Suzanne Scott, Director for Health Services
Shelton Walker, Chief of Staff and Associate VP for Strategic Initiatives

______

    Recent Communications to the UArts Community

    COVID-19 Update (June 5) (sent to faculty and staff)

    Fall Semester Update (May 29) (sent to current students, faculty and staff)

    COVID-19 Update (May 5) (sent to current students, faculty and staff)

    Retrieving your Belongings (residential and academic spaces) (April 27) (sent to all students)

    Update & Commencement Plans (April 10) (sent to all graduating students) 

    COVID Update for Residential Students (March 20) (sent to all residential students)

    Update: COVID-19 follow-up (March 16) (sent to all students)

    UArts COVID-19 Remote Working (March 16) (sent to all faculty & staff)

    Residential Student Update (March 13) (Sent to all residential students)

    UArts Response to Covid-19 (March 13) (sent to all students, faculty, staff & community members)

    Residential Living Update: COVID-19 (March 13) (sent to all residential students)

    Message to Parents: Extension of Spring Break (March 11) (sent to parents & families)

    Announcement: Updated Information about Spring Break (March 11) (sent to students)

    Message to Students: Extension of Spring Break (March 10; updated March 11) (sent to students)

    Update: UArts COVID-19 Response (March 10) (sent to all faculty & staff)

    Campus Safety Update: Coronavirus (March 2) (sent to all faculty & staff)

    Remote Learning Resources


    Remote Learning Resources for Students 


    Remote Resources for Faculty/Staff 

     

    UArts Contact Information

    For academic questions: Office of the Provost: provost@uarts.edu
    For financial aid questions: Student Financial Services: finaid@uarts.edu 
    For health-related questions: Student Health Services: healthservices@uarts.edu 
    For housing-related questions: Office of Residence Life & Conduct: reslife@uarts.edu
    For international student questions: Office of Student Affairs: studentaffairs@uarts.edu
    For any other student life questions: Office of Student Affairs: studentaffairs@uarts.edu 
     

    For information about COVID-19

    Visit the CDC’s COVID-19 online hub. 

    Visit the CDC’s FAQ. 

    The CDC has also issued a series of anti-stigma guidelines.

    UArts’ Response to Coronavirus FAQs

    General FAQ

    FAQ: Residential Students

    FAQ: Counseling

    FAQ: Academic Support Services

    FAQ: Health Services

    FAQ: Prospective and Admitted Students and Families

     

    Remote Learning Resources

    Remote Learning Resources for Students

    Remote Resources for Faculty/Staff 


    Questions?
    For academic questions: Office of the Provost: provost@uarts.edu
    For financial aid questions: Student Financial Services: finaid@uarts.edu 
    For health-related questions: Student Health Services: healthservices@uarts.edu 
    For housing-related questions: Office of Residence Life & Conduct: reslife@uarts.edu
    For international student questions: Office of Student Affairs: studentaffairs@uarts.edu
    For any other student life questions: Office of Student Affairs: studentaffairs@uarts.edu