Reopening Plan for Fall 2020

Provost and Senior Academic Affairs VP Joe Glover and Senior VP and COO Charlie Lane
July 10, 2020

Dear University of Florida community,

The fall semester is quickly approaching, and we know you share our excitement as we prepare to reengage on our campus.

By now, you’ve likely heard about or seen UF’s Reopening Plan for the fall semester, which lays out how the university will move forward amid the ongoing pandemic. Our Plan Forward is a comprehensive guide for students, faculty, staff and our community on what the fall semester will entail. It is a living and flexible document as our understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic and best practices to address the virus evolve. We encourage you to review it for the latest updates and FAQs, but we also wanted to share some highlights from the plan that we believe will be important to you.

Campus life and academics

Classes begin August 31, final exams will be completed by Dec. 18, and instructors are encouraged to allow course and exam completion remotely after Thanksgiving break.

Students who registered for fall classes in February will not be required to re-register, although they may need to adjust their schedule in cases where classes have been divided into additional sections to allow for physical distancing.  Please review your fall schedule at https://one.uf.edu/ and review fall course offerings at https://one.uf.edu/soc/

In order to keep students, faculty and staff as safe as possible, we have changed how we offer many classes in the Fall.  Some in-person classes will be smaller to allow for physical distancing.  Some classes will be held outdoors.  There will be more online classes, and some will be hybrids of both in-person and online.  Students who prefer to stay online for the fall semester who can do so while staying on track to graduate on time, are encouraged to configure their schedules accordingly. 

Given the current surge in coronavirus in Florida, we are approaching the Fall schedule cautiously, but flexibly.  Across all undergraduate, graduate and professional courses, 35% of the sections are scheduled to be held in face-to-face or hybrid modes[1]. The distribution of these courses among colleges will vary considerably, depending on pedagogical needs.  An additional 35% of the sections are scheduled to be delivered in a synchronous, online format.  That means that students will be engaging with the instructor and course activities at a prescribed time over the internet.  If the incidence of coronavirus improves during the Fall term, these courses could become face-to-face courses simply by assigning a meeting room.  Given the current incidence of the virus, we cannot count on that happening, but the option to convert to face-to-face is there throughout the Fall semester.

Residence halls and dining facilities will be open with modifications that promote necessary physical distancing and other safety measures in alignment with UF Health recommendations.  We expect most of the facilities students rely on to be open, including the Southwest Recreation Center, the Libraries, the Reitz Union, and Newell Hall. 

Campus residences will operate with a reduced capacity and will adjust occupancy within some rooms to promote safety of our community. Triple rooms will no longer be available. Masks will not be required within a student’s own room as roommates in residence halls will be treated as a single household. However, face coverings are required in common areas, hallways and outside of rooms where physical distancing may be difficult to maintain.

We realize that experiences outside the classroom are every bit as important as those that take place in the learning environment. Campus traditions as well as extracurricular and co-curricular activities will continue to the greatest extent possible, although many will occur in modified fashion.

Promoting a safer, healthier campus

The entire campus community is expected to continue the standard practices of wearing face coverings – required in all UF facilities – physical distancing, handwashing and staying home when you feel sick. UF also will be expanding enhanced cleaning and safety protocols in residence halls, dining facilities and classrooms with the arrival of the fall semester.

The cornerstone of our plan is the UF Health Screen, Test & Protect program, which was launched in early May to return faculty, staff and students to campus at no cost to individuals. Every student will receive a letter outlining the screening process.  All students are required to complete a mandatory COVID-19 screening questionnaire. Students also will have access to COVID-19 testing.  Additional student screening and testing information is available on the Students page of the Screen, Test & Protect website. 

Should the need arise, the university has reserved rooms on campus and rooms off campus for student quarantine use. Students in quarantine will be provided with food, sundries, counseling and other services, as needed.

Your role in our success

Finally, while the university is doing everything in its power to make this fall a success, perhaps the single most important factor in making that happen is individual responsibility. Each one of us will determine whether the fall semester is a success. Like you, we want this fall to be rewarding both academically and socially.

We have created a thorough and thoughtful approach to re-opening campus, and we will continue to provide an exceptional education and opportunities that will enable the success of our students, faculty and staff while preserving the legacy and future of our great university.

Sincerely,

Joe Glover, Provost

Charles Lane, Chief Operating Officer

D’Andra Mull, Vice President for Student Affairs

[1] Includes internships, independent study, graduate dissertation, supervised research, supervised teaching, and undergraduate research.