A Roadmap to Fall 2020
Renewing The University of Texas at Austin in the wake of the massive disruptions brought by COVID-19 — so that UT is stronger than ever — requires all of us to dig deep. It requires a renewed focus on our mission to serve society and to change the world and a deep commitment to one another to carry out that mission in a way that protects all members of our Longhorn family.
This plan provides a framework for the fall designed to accommodate the dynamic environment we are facing and enable us to adapt to changes in the prevalence of COVID-19 in Austin and throughout Texas. The university’s leaders are aware that things are changing every day.
What starts here changes the world
- The health of our students, faculty, staff and visitors is our primary goal, and we must protect all members of the UT family, especially those who are vulnerable due to their immune systems or who are at higher risk because of their jobs.
- Online learning will be critical to the continuity of education, but the on-campus experience plays a central role in the university’s mission — even with the restrictions that the pandemic will place on campus life. Students not returning to campus this fall, you are still every bit part of the Longhorn family and still will be engaging with UT’s world-class faculty and student life.
- We can fully carry out our mission of serving society and changing the world only by both returning to campus and returning safely. However, many faculty and staff members will be supporting the university remotely to help safeguard our community.
- The university will continually monitor its progress and adjust plans as needed in response to changes in the public health environment.
We’re in this together
- Wearing cloth masks at all times when inside university buildings will be mandatory except when alone in a private office, eating in a campus dining facility, or in your own residence hall. Wearing cloth masks outdoors will be encouraged.
- Keeping social distance (at least 6 feet) and hand hygiene remain crucial.
- Daily symptom screenings for students, faculty and staff will help keep the campus community safer. Please use the university’s Protect Texas Together app, to be launched by mid-August, before going to class or going to campus.
Running UT Safely
- UT is committed to keeping the campus community healthy while learning, living, teaching and working.
- Staff members who are able to perform their job duties from home will continue to do so into the fall with approval of their managers.
- To ensure facilities are safe and systems are functioning properly and can accommodate adequate distancing, UT has established building inspection and certification processes.
Teaching and learning will look different
- The fall 2020 semester will start Aug. 26. In-person instruction will end Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving, to lessen the risk of spread that comes with traveling and returning. Most students will remain away from campus for the remainder of the semester, taking final exams online Dec. 7-16.
- Students may choose to spend their semester fully remotely. Thousands of classes, including the 400 largest unique classes, will meet online only. Additional online resources will be available to students.
- Classes will be more evenly distributed throughout the day, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Rooms will be assigned to classes so that when all students registered for that class attend, no more than 40% of seats in that classroom will be occupied.