Chancellor's Message: UH System Approach to Fall 2020
Dear UH System Faculty and Staff,
I hope this finds you and your families safe and healthy as we continue to navigate this pandemic. There is no doubt this has been the most challenging time I have experienced in higher education because of the profound human and financial impact over an extended period. I am grateful to each of you for your work and dedication that has helped keep your respective universities operating at a high level as we continue to adapt.
As you know, the fall semester is rapidly approaching. I want to assure you that the safety of all of you and our students is of paramount importance, and this is reflected as we adjust and implement our plans for each of our system institutions.
1) First, we continue to monitor COVID-19 on a daily basis in all of our cities and regions. We are in routine communication with our local and state health departments and elected leaders. Our decisions follow their guidance, as well as guidance from the many health and medical resources within the UH System.
2) Each of our universities is committed to creating a campus and work environment that greatly reduces the risk of spreading the disease. We expect all of our faculty, staff and students to take part in this shared responsibility by complying with policies and taking appropriate steps to protect yourself and those around you.
3) Our principles have not changed. We will continue to operate with transparency and flexibility, in the best interest of all of you who work and learn at our institutions, and in the interest of our academic and research missions.
- Each of our institutions will work to provide maximum flexibility for those of you juggling personal obligations such as caring for children while grade schools are online or accommodating extenuating health concerns within your home.
- We remain committed to providing the highest quality education, uninterrupted, regardless of the delivery method.
4) While the fall semester plans for our system institutions will differ slightly, all of them are flexible. Our universities plan to offer multi-modality course instruction and the ability to shift modalities as needed should conditions warrant.
5) The presidents of each university will continue to meet weekly to assess their operations and conditions and seek direction from each other, our Board of Regents and from the State of Texas.
One thing we know with certainty is that the COVID-19 threat will persist for the foreseeable future and our plans will continue to evolve, sometimes rapidly, to adapt to change. I urge you to pay close attention to communications you receive from your university leadership and managers and, whether you are working or on your personal time, to take good care of yourselves and those around you.
Chancellor, University of Houston System
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.