Interim President's Message: UHD Starting Spring Semester Online
Dear UHD Community,
As you are likely aware, pandemic levels remain extraordinarily high in our community. To ensure a safe start to Spring 2021, all classes will be conducted 100 percent online through at least Feb. 1. This will include those scheduled as face-to-face, hybrid, and online-interactive sections.
As a state institution, UHD follows the directives of the Texas Governor’s Office and will remain open in alignment with the Governor’s Reopening Plan for Texas. Although courses will not be conducted in UHD classrooms at the start of the semester, the campus and all student-facing offices and resources (library, computer labs) will remain open at Step 2-Orange as previously announced. Campus access will continue to be available through designated entrances, and all face covering, self-monitoring and distancing protocols will be in place.
I recognize that this change of plans comes just days before the semester begins, but your safety is paramount.
Communication is also important at this time, so I encourage everyone to do their part in making sure others are informed that all Spring 2021 courses will begin online.
Faculty with courses that include any face-to-face meetings, please contact your students to specify how you plan to conduct classes; please share this information both by email to student Gatormail accounts and by posting announcements within your Blackboard courses. Faculty are welcome to conduct synchronous online classes during the times already scheduled for your courses or to move fully asynchronous as long as you clearly communicate this plan to your students.
While the COVID-19 vaccine has arrived in Houston, its impact on our community has yet to be determined. We will continue to evaluate pandemic conditions in our city and will make further announcements before Feb. 1 on the status of classes beyond that date.
Until then, thank you for your patience, professionalism and flexibility. It has been nearly a year since COVID-19 first affected our institution. Through it all, the strength of the UHD Community has been exemplary. Let’s continue to work together to ensure a successful start to the semester and more importantly, the safety of our UHD Community.
Antonio D. Tillis, Ph.D.
University of Houston-Downtown