10:10 AM

Interim President's Message: Campus Operations

Dear UHD Community,

Happy New Year to all of you!

The Winter Break has provided all of us with opportunities to recharge and refocus, and it is now time to look ahead and prepare for Spring 2021.

The New Year holds promise, but challenges still loom. The COVID-19 Response Task Force, President's Cabinet, and UHD Department of Emergency Management are monitoring pandemic levels throughout our region. UHD's COVID-19 Response Matrix will continue to guide our decisions regarding campus safety, classes, and University operations.

This week, we reopened UHD at Step 2-Orange on the matrix. The University will remain at this step as we begin the spring semester on Jan. 19.

This means that UHD will continue to practice those safety measures and protocols that are currently in place. The University is open with face covering, social distancing and self-screening requirements in effect, and campus access through designated entrances.

Additionally, staff members who have worked remotely since Fall 2020 will continue to telecommute, and student-facing offices will remain open on campus. Those staff members tasked with mission-critical assignments will continue to work on campus as assigned by supervisors. Supervisors are encouraged to address telecommuting or on-campus work schedules with their respective teams in advance of the spring semester.

Courses will continue to be delivered in modalities that accommodate our faculty and students' safety—online, online interactive, hybrid, and a limited number of face-to-face offerings. As was the case during the fall semester, the majority of our courses remain in online formats.

While a COVID-19 vaccine is now available, it is too early to determine what this development means for Houston and all of us at UHD. With that in mind, we should continue to practice those habits that became a part of our daily routines during 2020—washing hands, social distancing, wearing masks/face coverings, and avoiding large crowds.

Details about the UHD response to COVID-19 can be found on the UHD Coronavirus website.

We start 2021 with confidence but should exercise the same caution that served us well last year. Working together, we can ensure that UHD remains a safe place for learning and working and an institution that serves this region's academic needs.



Antonio D. Tillis, Ph.D.
Interim President
University of Houston-Downtown