From Interim Provost Michael D. Johnson
Dear Faculty Colleagues:
All of us are following the rapidly evolving news about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Although we hope that UCF will continue running as normal, the university is committed to being prepared. We must consider the possibility of students, staff, and faculty falling ill or being placed in isolation, and even the possibility of canceling face-to-face classes. Before spring break begins, I want to inform you about planning that is underway to allow us to continue to serve our students well.
UCF’s top priority is the personal safety of our faculty, students and staff. On Tuesday, UCF launched a website that provides prevention and health tips, helpful resources, FAQs, and regular updates about the Coronavirus and its effects. Urgent information is frequently distributed through UCF Alerts, so please be sure your information is current in myUCF. A Coronavirus information module has also been added to the UCF Mobile App.
We have not yet been significantly affected by COVID-19, and we do not know whether this will rise to a level that requires UCF to implement any significant response. However, this is the time to make contingency plans. University-wide plans are being developed (e.g., travel, working from home, etc.). Here is some of the planning underway for academic matters:
- One step is important in the short run: Please consider relaxing attendance policies so that ill students do not feel compelled to come to class. It will be important to take this step before we know it is needed and to protect our entire community.
- If conditions require, we will move all possible courses online. UCF’s Center for Distributed Learning is developing a comprehensive website with tools and resources that will allow you to quickly shift online if this becomes necessary. This information will be shared with you after spring break. In the meantime, please think creatively about how to teach your courses if classes cannot meet in person.
- We are also examining solutions for research laboratories if these conditions occur.
More detailed plans will follow. Thank you for taking the steps needed to provide students with the exceptional education they deserve.