Dear Faculty and Staff,
With the Spring semester now behind us, we would like to remind our faculty of the additional burden many of our international students are carrying given the COVID-19 situation in their home countries. Not only are many of them facing difficulties with traveling, renewing visas can be an issue as well. We encourage you to reach out to students who may be struggling and to explore all of the support resources UF has to offer.
On another note, you may have noticed already that the Florida Department of Transportation began installing temporary speed tables along University Avenue this week. FDOT will evaluate the impacts these installations have on speeding on the roadway and further assess the need to lower the speed limit to 25 miles per hour on University Avenue. These traffic-calming devices are part of the university’s ongoing partnership with the city of Gainesville and FDOT to create a safer pedestrian and traffic environment on and around campus.
Several additional safety enhancements have already been implemented or are in the works as part of an effort to reimagine University Avenue and prioritize bicycle and pedestrian access and safety in that corridor. Those improvements include adjusted stoplight timing that forces vehicles to progress more slowly along these stretches of road and ultimately reduces traffic speed, increased and improved signage, and freshly striped crosswalks.
Additionally, in the fall, signalized crosswalks will be installed at both 16th and 19th streets, enabling pedestrians to cross University Avenue more safely. FDOT also plans to install two raised crosswalks with pedestrian signals and lighting upgrades along West University Avenue.
In other transportation-related news, a partial road closure of Museum Road will begin on Monday, May 10, as the university begins construction related to infrastructure additions and improvements that will provide upgraded utility services to many existing buildings as well as several new projects.
During the upcoming first phase that is expected to last through June, Museum Road will close between Center and Broward drives. Though parking will not be affected, drivers will be redirected to alternate routes. We encourage you to take into account these detours as part of your daily travels through campus and to check back for future updates, as this is the start of a seven-phase, multi-year underground infrastructure overhaul.
Meanwhile, we would like to recognize the prestigious appointment of Distinguished Professor Rob Ferl by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine as co-chair of a group tasked with mapping space-related biological and physical research for the next 10 years.
Additionally, the work of Lisa A. Taylor, Ph.D., an assistant research scientist of behavioral ecology and evolution, was featured in “Life in Color with David Attenborough,” a Netflix docuseries “which explores how animals use color to survive and thrive in the wild.” Dr. Taylor’s work focuses on how male jumping spiders use their bright, red faces to mate and potentially delay an attack from the female.
There’s so much to be proud of at UF, and these last few semesters have proven that there is little that can stop our amazing faculty, staff, and students. We are genuinely thankful for everything you’ve done during this unprecedented and unforgettable time.
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
Win Phillips, Chief of Staff, Office of the President