Dear Faculty and Staff,
As we approach the end of the Fall semester, we are devoting this issue of the newsletter to answering faculty and staff concerns for additional resources and support to help prepare for a successful Spring 2021. With that in mind, we want to cover a few important points about COVID-19 testing for students, faculty and staff, training options for HyFlex technology, availability for purchase of personal protective equipment, and Fall scheduling.
Testing: To promote a safer campus environment during a forecast increase in COVID cases, UF Health plans to test all undergraduate students who are taking in-person classes by January 10, the day before classes begin. Students in sororities and fraternities, residence halls and in-person classes will continue to be tested every two weeks in order to be “cleared” for campus. As is the case now, faculty, staff and other students will be encouraged to participate in a weekly symptom screening and may be tested through UF Health Screen, Test & Protect every two weeks if they so choose.
HyFlex: UFIT expects to install HyFlex technology in most registrar-controlled classrooms and many college-controlled classrooms before January 11 and has developed a “Preparing for Spring” website, which lists several resources to assist instructors in learning how to use the technology effectively. Instructors can schedule an appointment online to receive an “in-person” overview and receive training on HyFlex technology best practices to engage both remote and face-to-face students. HyFlex Classroom Technology workshops are also available twice weekly through December. Instructors with questions about academic technologies can contact UFIT’s Center for Instructional Technology and Training.
Additional workshops supporting HyFlex teaching strategies are available through the Center for Teaching Excellence. The UF Instructor Guide provides a quick resource for onsite and online teaching ideas. The CTE team is available for one-on-one consultations to help instructors prepare a quality learning experience for their students.
Personal Protective Equipment: Through the UF GatorPerks program, UF is partnering with Office Depot to offer special pricing on KN95 masks, face shields, touchless thermometers, hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes, technology, work/study remote supplies and print services. Although UF will continue to provide PPE to faculty and staff in connection with assigned duties, you can also participate in the GatorPerks’ Office Depot discount program here.
Fall scheduling: With several promising vaccines around the corner, it is expected that classes will resume their normal configurations during the Fall semester. Accordingly, preliminary scheduling of fall classes is taking place now under the assumption that physical distancing will no longer be necessary. We appreciate all you are doing to finish the year strong and to prepare for a successful Spring semester.
Joe Glover, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Charlie Lane, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
David R. Nelson, M.D., Senior Vice President for Health Affairs, UF & President, UF Health
David Norton, Vice President for Research